On the 20th of October, George Ezra graced the stage of The Ritz in Manchester and played one of the best live shows I have seen to date. Not only did he play the perfect gig but he also picked the perfect support act — Rae Morris is looking like she is going to be absolutely massive in the coming months and her simplistic style matched that of Ezra’s. Her velvet voice silenced The Ritz crowd and for a while you forgot she was just the support act.
George then took to the stage and opened with a fan favourite, Cassy-O, which got the Mancunian crowd jumping, dancing, and singing to their hearts’ content – “Good evening Manchester, it’s so good to be back” George said with a smile before pouncing into his next few tracks which were ‘Drawing Board’, ‘Listen to the Man’, and ‘Stand by your Gun’, all of which maintained the optimum energy the crowd had reached after just 10 minutes of George taking to the stage. George is just as observant as he is talented demonstrated by him proclaiming “You love a good dance, don’t you” half way through the gig. Mid-way through the show, George was left standing solo on stage with just his guitar as he launched into an old fan favourite from his first EP, Benjamin Twine followed with ‘Leaving It Up To You’. As brief as it was, it was a treat to witness these songs stripped down to their bones and sung so raw. He then went on to play more songs from his new album including ‘Barcelona’ and ‘Breakaway’ before playing the song that got him where he is today, the wonderful ‘Budapest’ where the audience transformed into a choir in perfect harmony with George’s extremely soulful voice.
At this point George left the stage to the sound of the Manchester crowd shouting WE WANT MORE in unison, a request which Exra clearly could not turn down as he re-emerged to play his live lounge cover of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ – a real crowd favourite, and of course his showstopper ‘Did You Hear The Rain?’ – my personal favourite song of the night and the point where the room hit it’s atmospheric peak. George Ezra is an absolutely incredible, humble, and funny performer. His shows never fail to impress and it is an absolutely pleasure to know he will be back in Manchester on his next tour in February, this time at the Apollo. See you there.
Review by Jack McCabe |