Having supported Take That since my teens, and seen numerous other boy bands in concert, I have a rough idea of what to expect from a live show, and sure enough some things came as no surprise. The crowd of screaming teenyboppers waving glow sticks were there, as was a floating stage taking the band out over the crowd. Then there were the on-stage tricks; cue much hand clapping, the odd pelvic thrust, and the band’s predictable shouts of ‘alright Wembley’. There was also a theme to the set, with oil barrels, fans, and flaming torches representing their current album title, Radio:Active. But there is one difference between McFly and other bands like Take That, and that’s the music. Pop/Punk has never been one of my great loves, so would watching this dvd turn me into a McFly fan? Erm not quite…
The concert, recorded at Wembley Arena during their 2008 tour, features a lot of new material from the Radio:Active album, along with some of their older, more familiar songs. All of these made the crowd jump up and down and sing along, but I found the heavy, fast paced guitar riffs all blur into one another, and at times the continuous jumping around on stage and frantic light show was a little too much for my tastes.
I was hoping they would slow the pace down, introduce some melodies, harmonies, and turn up the volume on the acoustic guitar or piano, but all credit to them as that’s exactly what they did. P.O.V, Falling In Love, and Obviously were a little slower and had more of an acoustic/pop feel to them. For me, they were one of the highlights of the show. The other highlight for me was lead singer Danny Jones, a superb vocalist, with a smart image, and a frankly brilliant cover of Michael Jackson’s hit ‘Black or White’. It was also good to see the appearance of the backing singers during this song. I’d give the band high marks for all these things, which were pleasant surprises. McFly have got talent, some of which appeals to me, but I’d like to see more variety in the pace of the show, and for the band to harness more stage presence/better conversational skills in between songs. I’m not a complete convert, but I’m sure their fans will enjoy the show and the backstage documentaries as well.
McFly Radio:Active Live At Wembley released 11th May 2009.
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