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Live Review: Måns Zelmerlöw – 20th April 2017 – Islington Academy, London, UK

3 min read
Photo: Wilful Publicity

It must certainly have felt like a world away from conquering the pyrotechnic equipped, glitz and glamour of the Eurovision stage for 2015 winner Måns Zelmerlöw, but you would never have thought so after the singer delivered a masterful show for London fans in the quaint setting of the O2 Islington Academy tonight.

Performing for 800 very eager fans, the musician was in town to promote his sixth studio album, Chameleon, which was released at the end of last year.

Getting straight down to business and in full enthusiastic spirits with show opener Should’ve Gone Home, Zelmerlöw took to the stage at a little after 9.15pm and was instantly met by the warmest of welcomes by fans who, as he later recognized during the show, had traveled from all over Europe, as well as a front row punter from L.A, to witness the Swedes triumphant London landing.

Dressed in a button down shirt and leather jacket, Zelmerlöw utilized his well rehearsed 5 piece backing band during some of the shows biggest numbers; one member offering well received sax and flute solos during toe-tappers like Whistleblower and Fire In The Rain while the rest of the band provided the front man with a sturdy musical pillar of support.

With many of the nights highlight moments being offered up in uptempo form with the likes of Live While You’re Alive, Brother Oh Brother and Glorious all being awarded some of the nights most rapturous applause’s; the latter injecting the most anthemic number into the set and one that wouldn’t feel out of place on the Wembley stadium stage, the musicians ballads also struck a chord with fans as they hung on to the musicians pitch perfect vocal delivery.

Strapping on his guitar and confessing that “it’s probably the most personal song I’ve ever written”, Zelmerlöw glided into a mesmerizing performance of down-tempo gem, Wrong Decision; the crowd singing along with the Swedish heartthrob. The track also showcased the singers talents behind an instrument – one of half a dozen that saw the performer don an acoustic guitar – as he provided a gentle guitar picked backbone to the track alongside some stunning vocal harmonies with his band.

Casting aside a faulty hand-held keyboard for its performance, Hearts Collide was a cinematic ballad nearing the end of the set; a sweet string filling complimenting the closing of the number.

Throwing in a punchy cover of Ed Sheeran’s Castle On A Hill as the main segment of the set drew to a close, it was the musicians encore performance of his Eurovision winning hit, Heroes, that gave way to the nights shining star. Belting out the track as if he were performing on that world stage all over again, Zelmerlöw capped off his night in London with an exceptional display of vocal precision and the showmanship of a true star.

While his performance may have been brief – a fleeting 60 minutes – Mans Zelmerlöw offered a memorable set of pop toe-tappers and soaring ballads that left the crowd craving more from one of Sweden’s finest (and finest) exports.

Setlist:
Should’ve Gone Home
Whistleblower
Fire in the Rain
Live While You’re Alive
Hanging on to Nothing
Brother oh Brother
Wrong Decision
Hearts Collide
Burning Stars
Castle on the Hill (Ed Sheeran cover)
Happyland
Glorious

Encore:
Heroes