Finale Aloud: Ten The Hits Tour 2013

Girls Aloud O2 2013

From drum’n’bass-inspired debut single to Ibiza-friendly 20th one, it was a long journey of crossing all the pop boundaries while consistently having fun for Girls Aloud. Their ‘Ten’ tour is now over (as well as their times together) and I bring you my own report from the 3 tour dates I’ve attended.

Hit more for tons of photos, videos and my report.

They may open the show with ‘Sound of the Underground’, but they’re coming from the top – both literally (on a huge glittery Girls Aloud logo) and figuratively, as that’s UK’s most successful girlband of the 21st century we’re talking about. After taking 3 years off, they’re back to remind us about the whole lotta history that started 10 years ago when 5 girls won ‘Popstars: The Rivals’ talent show and soon transformed into nation’s most quirky and record-breaking girlband.

Girls Aloud didn’t just push pop forward, they made the process seems like so much fun. ‘Fun’ being the key word in band’s legacy: they are perhaps the campiest girlband in the current history which magically kept any behind-the-scenes drama away from the tabloids (up until now at least – but all the ‘tweet-scandals’ were carefully saved for the after-split time).

Surely this time around there was a little bit more tension (Nicola and Nadine either have some unresolved issues or simply very different performance technics as they barely communicate and Nicola usually turns her back to Nadine during ‘I’ll Stand by You’ while the rest of the girls share a group hug), but what’s more important is that the girls really upped their game after 3 years of solo experiences (everyone but Sarah have released at least one solo album by now). Surprisingly they still blend perfectly, with Cheryl melting the arena with her larger-than-life persona and a warm smile, Nadine swaying around the stage in her cartoony-yet-cute diva act, Sarah embracing her rockstar-in-heels image, Kimberley working her Strictly Come Dancing–trained curves and Nicola hitting every single note like she’s auditing for the The Voice.

The show avoids any reference of the girls’ work outside the band, which is a smart move, considering there’s plenty of Girls Aloud material to pick from. And it’s safe to say the band has picked the creme de la creme (plus a surprise ‘Call Me Maybe’ cover which does sound like some lost Girls Aloud classic). From the rocky anthem ‘Wake Me Up’ to the melancholy galore ‘Call the Shots’ (with the whole stadium chanting the chorus), from the mediocre-yet-captivating ballad ‘Beautiful Cause You Love Me’ (in a second O2 lights up with the countless phone screens) to the why-isn’t-it-a-single-goddamit dancefloor killer ‘On the Metro’, it’s a non-stop ride through some of the finest British pop music from the last decade, presented with all the necessary bonuses: glitter, feathers, shirtless dancers, a dubstep breakdown, brand new music videos and more catwalks and hair flips than you’ll get in a whole America’s Next Top Model season.

The band announced its split right after the last show in Liverpool, but the London gigs already left a bittersweet taste and hints Girls Aloud’s reign is not that far from over. While singing ‘I’ll Stand by You’ as part of the encore at the final O2 date Sarah (who’s usually the most emotional one) shouted ‘That’s for the 10 years!’ and started crying (with Kimberley comforting her in her usual ‘Mom Aloud’ fashion). So much for ‘I won’t cry because I’ve made it through this far’. The same moment Cheryl looked through the crowd with the trademark sad smile on her face and visible pain in her eyes: she of all people does know that there’s life outside Girls Aloud (having performed solo at the very same arena just a few months ago) but obviously feels the nostalgia kicking in.

Even if it was the end, it was almost the right one: it’s safe to say that the band left in its top shape. Margarita-loving, calling-the-shots, sexy-yes-yes-yes, something-new-still-kinda-oooh shape. And all we can do is take that final walk on a wild side and maybe cry a little on the metro afterwards. Which most of us did anyway.

London (March 2)

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London (March 3)

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Manchester Arena (March 5)

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Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Music, Travel, Без рубрики

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