Live Review: Boyce Avenue – 8th November 2017 – Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
Brother band and YouTube sensations Boyce Avenue – made up of Alejandro, Fabian and Daniel Manzano – are currently doing another trek around the world with a heavy songbook in hand, ready and willing to offer their enormous fanbase a night to remember as part of the bands Be Somebody World Tour. Ticking off the U.S and much of Europe ahead of their touchdown in the UK, London welcomed the trio back to English shores with a performance in the very opulent Royal Albert Hall where a setlist of some of the bands most successful covers and original hits gave an eager crowd an opportunity to sing and dance their Wednesday away.
“This is unbelievable to be playing the RAH”. We’ve played 13 times in London and played all the venues apart from this one” the bands front-man, Alejandro announced following their performance of Coldplays Yellow, clearly in wonder as he looked around the multi-tiered and affluent venue which has hosted some of the most successful artists in the world across all genres. Their excitement was also being filmed as they drew attention to the cameras hovering overhead and a camera man subtly pacing the stage in an effort to catch the performers, the fans and the night in its finest light.
Casually dressed in black jeans with different shades of blue demin shirts, the threesome were joined by a single drummer on stage for their big Royal Albert Hall debut. Carrying with them a set list brimming with some of the bands most acclaimed covers – from the likes of Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn and Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris, which nestled into the 4 track encore, the three piece sibling band showed they were equally seasoned to perform much more rocky staples with the likes f Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody and Foo Fighters hit Everlong giving the night a sturdy kick despite the latter suffering from audio issues from time to time.
As the bands reputation with their Youtube followers who have helped the lads rack up an impressive 3 billion views over the years – the highest of any act in music – for reimagining some of musics most cherished hits was given the spotlight, the band were generous with some of their own pennings as well. Opening hit I’ll Be the One and the throbbing Imperfect Me injected originality into the opening half of the show and had fans bouncing along on the lower tiers of the Albert Hall to the bands well-rehearsed delivery while further into the night Pick Yourself Back Up Again and When the Lights Die offered the crowd chances to sing along with the band as the outfit encouraged fans to help them out with some of the tracks’ lyrics while many punters within the venue held phones in the air with lit up screens, providing a serene feel to the end of the set.
There was a heavy nod to English acts during the course of the bands London touchdown as fans were offered memorable covers of Coldplay’s Yellow and James Arthur’s Say You Won’t Let Go to a roaring crowd approval; the latter hit dished up in solo form alongside the sentimental Christina Perri ballad, A Thousand Years as part of a brief yet complimenting acoustic section for the bands front man to show off his one-man musical talents.
Requesting silence in the grand venue during their encore and unplugging their guitars, the band situated themselves at the very front of their stage and, with the help of the crowds near deafening backing, unveiled a performance of Oasis’ signature hit Wonderwall; another nod to British music and a British act that have inspired the trio in their own journey to the top.
Dispute the celebration for the band to perform within the walls of the Royal Albert Hall, the setting did, for the most part, seem a little bit unforgiving to the bands brand of stripped back acoustic rock/pop; the threesome often drowning in the enormous space and their songs sounding a little TOO unplugged and basic. Having seen the lads perform a spectacular set a couple of years ago within a much more intimate theatre space in Sydney, Australia, the Royal Albert Hall appeared to offer more than the band could handle which was the performances biggest let down. While the bands enthusiasm and instrumental delivery was on top form, the show lacked a ‘fullness’ that one expects when attending a show at a venue like the RAH and instead last nights show felt much more like a start up band being given a golden ticket to perform on one of the worlds most elegant stages – and a stage that was not set up sufficiently with the audio quality coming from the microphones sounding muffled and dreary during many of the sets inclusions – a great shame given the quality of Alejandro’s usually prestine and powerful vocals.
There were a few missing elements to last night performance with the audio not its finest and the size of the venue not the best fit for the Florida natives but despite the hiccups the band were on top form as they delivered a weighty set to their adoring followers and family who were present for the trio’s big Royal Albert Hall moment.
I’ll Be the One
Yellow (Coldplay cover)
Everlong (Foo Fighters cover)
A Thousand Years (Christina Perri cover)
Say You Won’t Let Go (James Arthur cover)
Torn (Natalie Imbruglia cover)
Use Somebody (Kings of Leon cover)
Pick Yourself Back Up Again
On My Way
Fast Car (Tracy Chapman cover)
Dream On (Aerosmith cover)
When the Lights Die
Ride the Wave
Iris (Goo Goo Dolls cover)