WORDS BY CLAIRE WILKINSON / IMAGES BY PAUL DIXON
‘Surrounded By Their Fans, They Provided A Fully Immersive Experience Which Gave Me Radio 1 Live Lounge Vibes’
As I approached Nottingham Motorpoint Arena for The Script Greatest Hits Tour I could feel the anticipation and excitement build. Although I had seen the band before, this was at a small Students’ Union venue in Stoke over ten years ago, so I was curious to hear some of their newer material live and see how the band would perform in a 10,000 capacity venue.
Ella Henderson (Support)
I instantly felt a buzz as I entered the arena and noticed how excited the audience was to be back in the venue. They were instantly engaged as the support act, Ella Henderson took the stage. Opening with her hit single ‘Risk It All’, her energy and passion radiated through the crowd. Dressed in a hot pink embellished jacket and matching trousers her confident and vibrant look complemented her energetic performance as she strutted through her performance.
Her down to earth attitude made the audience feel comfortable and it was easy to forget you were at an arena tour. Instead, it would have been easy to mistake the atmosphere for a club night. It felt fun, lively and like you were partying with a group of friends – rather than surrounded by thousands of strangers.
During the second half of her set, she shared a special moment with the audience as she introduced Ross Harris to the stage to perform “Let’s Go Home Together”. During the performance, the arena lights dropped and the audience was encouraged to light up the room with their phones and they sang the cheeky and flirtatious single, recorded initially with Ela Henderson and Tom Grennan.
The atmosphere quickly became energetic and upbeat again as Ella summoned the “hooligans” of the crowd to recreate the beats in her song “21 Reasons”. During this song, the audience also joined in with the catchy chorus, although they were no match for her undeniable talent. As a support act, her stage setup was fairly simple but with her powerful voice she didn’t need any distraction or theatrics to improve her performance.
She closed her set with her first single, “Ghost”, explaining to the audience that she wanted “take us all back to where it started”. It was a powerful moment as she reminisced with us before demonstrating how far she has come since her X Factor days. I think the support act status completely undersold this performance, and I would recommend fans book tickets for her October tour.
The main act exploded onto the stage with a confetti cannon as they opened with ‘Superheroes’ taken from the band’s fourth studio album ‘No Sound Without Silence’. The visual effects of their set encapsulate the lyrics “…now light a match, stand back, watch them explode.” perfectly. Despite there being over a decade since I first saw The Script live, their energy level has not waned as they switched up their classic version of the song with a drum and bass version for the final chorus.
As they moved into their second song of the evening, Danny O’Donoghue declared, “Let’s make it rain, Nottingham!” as the stage’s backdrop turned into a waterfall. The band launched into their second song, ‘Rain’, and from this moment, it was clear that the audience was hooked. The first part of their set was filled with some of The Script’s biggest hits, and there was a moment when I wondered if they’d peaked too soon – oh, how I was wrong!
During ‘Paint The Town Green’, the band left the stage, essentially turning to a marching band as they walked around the standing crowd to a small stage mid arena. At this point, the tone of the concert changed as Danny sat down to sing a stripped back version of “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”. Despite being in an arena, this performance felt intimate and vulnerable.
They continued to play more of their emotive songs on this smaller stage, contrasting the extravagant effects and lighting from the first part of the show. It was great to see and hear The Script performing in this way, and this would have been enough for me to go home happy. However, shortly after, the band appeared to go rogue as they decided to move into the audience to perform.
Finding a gap in the seating area, Danny explained how good it was to get up close and personal with fans again. They played ‘If You Could See Me Now’, which Danny dedicated to his late parents and anyone else who couldn’t be in the audience. Surrounded by their fans, they provided a fully immersive experience which gave me Radio 1 Live Lounge vibes. It was a surreal but beautiful moment to witness.
For the final part of their performance, the band returned to the main stage and the tone of the concert changed again. As the stage lit up with bright red and blue lights, the band jumped around to more upbeat songs such as ‘Something Unreal’ and ‘Talk You Down’. During these performances, images flashed up of the band’s old album covers. Even without these visual prompts, you could feel that we had all been on an emotional journey together – through The Script’s back catalogue to a new time (post-Covid) which felt hopeful and optimistic.
As the show approached the end, Danny took a moment to thank fans “My ears are ringing, my heart is full and I’m being projected into the future. Just take a moment, take a second and take it all.” This transitioned into ‘For The First Time’ and I remember feeling overwhelmed by his words and the emotion and passion of the song. As the crowd roared, this moment could have easily closed the show, but the band returned to the stage with just as much energy as they arrived to do their encore performances.
My biggest takeaway from the show was the level of energy and passion these guys have. Despite playing some songs over a decade old, you can feel their love and passion, and I’m genuinely excited to see what they produce next. I was also blown away by lead guitarist Mark Sheehan’s voice, which he demonstrated in songs, including ‘We Cry’ and their encore performance of ‘Hall of Fame’. Even if you aren’t a fan of The Script, I would recommend experiencing one of their live shows and keep your ears open for any future material they produce.
1. Intro – Superheroes
3. Together We Cry
4. I Want It All
5. 6 Degrees
6. Paint the Town Green
7. The Man Who Can’t Be Moved
8. Before the Worst
9. Last Time
10. If You Could See Me Now
12. Never Seen Anything
13. Something Unreal
14. Science and Faith
15. Talk You Down
16. For the First Time
1. No Good in Goodbye
3. Hall of Fame
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FOLLOW ELLA HENDERSON