Girls Aloud @ o2 Arena 1st March 2013

Last year Girls Aloud announced the Ten tour and this was coinciding with the bands Greatest Hits also called Ten. Girls Aloud had been on hiatus since 2009 when they toured album Out Of Control. The Ten: The Hits coincided with their 10th anniversary and this was also the bands final swan song. When the dates were announced I was tempted to purchase a standing ticket for one of the o2 Arena shows but what put me off was the fact what was also offered was early entry packages. Now I like standing and being right at the front but with these packages it was very slim I would get to the front even if I queued early. So about a couple of weeks before the concert I took full advantage of the falling prices and purchased one £20 cheaper than face value. Yes I may have been seated but it beats queueing any day plus you can get up during the intervals and get back to your seat.

Supporting Girls Aloud you had Amelia Lily who finished 3rd on The X Factor in 2011. Back then Lily got picked to sing on the live shows. But a twist which saw one act from each of the 4 categories saw mentor Kelly Rowland not chosing her as one of the 3 to progress in the competition. Prior to week 6 Frankie Cocozza had been disqualified and it was up to the public to vote in one of the 4 contestants who had been eliminated the 1st week. With 27.4% of the public vote Amelia Lily then went all the way to the final only to finish 3rd. Lily took to the stage around 7.30pm to perform a short but sweet set. “This song I’m going to sing is called Truth Or Dare off my début album Be A Fighter” Amelia said before launching into the said song. Truth Or Dare was a Dance Pop number and was quite synthy at the same time. I found it to be rather infectious and my favourite part had to be its chorus. It was then straight onto Shut Up (And Give Me Whatever You Got). This served as Lily’s 2nd single and it was the first song that she recorded. Again this was another Dance Pop song and it can easily get you moving. Whilst the verses were delivered at a steady pace it’s chorus just hits you flowing with plenty of energy. “London how you doing. It’s such a pleasure to be here tonight to perform for you all. Whose excited for Girls Aloud? Do you know what’s weird for me is 4 years ago I came to see Girls Aloud on their Arena tour, 4 years later I’m opening for them. It’s pretty awesome” Amelia then said before introducing the next tune as Blue. Before starting the song Lily had introduced guitarist Steve Rushden who played throughout this track. I found Blue to be extremely different compared to the opening 2 numbers. To start with it wasn’t packed with a punch that instantly hooked you. Blue was a steady paced chilled out tune and the acoustic guitar worked wonders. Also Amelia’s vocals were simply startling. “You having fun out there London. Can’t believe I’m performing at the o2 it’s magical” Lily said before her and Steve decided to launch into a cover. This being Locked Out Of Heaven which was originally by Bruno Mars. Now it is hard when tackling a song which was sung by such a well known artist but Amelia pulled it off and her version was flawless. “I had a hair cut today. Thought I would say something different. Change it up a bit” Lily then said before introducing the next number as her next single Party Over. Steve Rushden had left the stage just leaving Amelia to perform this by herself. Like Truth Or Dare and Shut Up it was very synthy plus the Dance Pop feel is still there. This song was aided by Lily’s powerhouse vocals and it was very quirky at the same time. “Seeing as though you guys have brought me joy tonight. I thought I would finish with my debut single. I want to see everyone with there hands in the air. The party hasn’t finished just yet, it’s just starting” Amelia said before ending with You Bring Me Joy which charted at #2 last year. This was an incredible song with stunning up tempo verses and a smooth hypnotic chorus. Just by witnessing this set makes me want 29th April to be here right now. Judging by this Be A Fighter will be a complete cracker.

SET LIST

Truth Or Dare
Shut Up (And Give Me Whatever You Got)
Blue
Locked Out Of Heaven
Party Over
You Bring Me Joy

Just before 9pm the monitors at both sides of the stage began a countdown showing clips of past Girls Aloud videos. Everyone was going crazy at this point and once over hanging from the ceiling was a Girls Aloud sign with each of the girls standing on top of it. What kicked off the evening was the début single and this being Sound Of The Underground. When the sign lowered the girls then took to the stage to deliver the rest of this epic song along with perfect choreography. Cheryl did a little ad lib during this infectious number “When the bassline drops in London”. It was then straight onto the follow up single No Good Advice which failed to hit the top spot and charted at #2 instead. This was a Pop Rock song which had plenty of attitude. What surprised me the most was the fact they sang the explicit version.

“Here I go, on the road, crank the stereo,
I flick a finger to the world below,
Here I am, dirty hands, I don’t give a damn,
Shut your mouth because your shit might show”

“GA back in the house” Sarah then said to the sold out crowd. “Thank you all so much. It kind of takes your breath away when you come back. So we’re going to slow it down a little. We done a song a few years ago. A few, 8 years ago. So we’re gonna take it back for y’all” Nadine then went onto say before introducing the next number being Life Got Cold. Now this is my favourite Girls Aloud song from the début album and it was a shame it didn’t match the same success as Sound Of The Underground or No Good Advice. It actually charted at #3. The girls were sitting on steps for this performance. Life Got Cold was a Pop Ballad which was faultlessly delivered. It was very sombre as well and there was plenty of people swaying their arms from side to side. Its chorus does slightly resemble Wonderwall by Oasis. “London, where’s all the rock chicks in the house tonight?” Harding then asked the crowd before Wake Me Up which was taken from sophomore album What Would The Neighbours Say?. This was a Pop Rock song which was strongly delivered. Again there was plenty of choreography plus they took to the catwalk that had been put in place for this gig. Once over it was then straight onto Jump which featured on the soundtrack to Love Actually and the reissued version of Sound Of The Underground. This Dance Pop song was actually a cover of the Pointer Sisters. I found this to be an infectious track with lyrics you wan to get up and move to.

The Arena then erupted with cheers after the 1st act finished. A video interlude showed the girls getting changed whilst singing Models. Once on the stage the girls each took turns to walk down the catwalk. Nicola was wearing a feathery Indian head dress, Cheryl, Sarah and Kimberley were sporting angel wings while Nadine was sporting a big red heart. What opened up the 2nd act was The Show. This was a delicious Electropop song with contagious lyrics which you just want to dance along to. Once over the girls then left the stage to take of the feathery items that they were wearing. It was then onto Love Machine. This was a Pop Rock song and was very quirky at the same time. This is one of my favourite songs from the sophomore album but this performance of this track didn’t blow me away. “We’re going to sing one of our favourite songs. I hope you really enjoy this track” Kimberley said before Whole Lotta History. Now this song is my favourite from Chemistry and surprisingly it doesn’t feature on the main disc of Ten. This was a beautiful slushy ballad and a tad emotional at the same time. It was actually a swooning infectious number. Whole Lotta History started off with Kimberley opening with the first couple of lines then the rest of the vocals were shared between each member of the band. It was then straight onto Can’t Speak French. This song featured on the bands 4th offering Tangled Up.  It was an up tempo Pop tune which was superbly delivered. Ending the 2nd act was Biology. It was a Electropop number with infectious lyrics which you just want to sing along to. The chorus was very pacey. At the beginning of this number chairs appeared on the stage which the girls then used as props.

The girls then left the stage only to return moments later after changing dresses. It was then onto the 3rd act. Each of the girls were standing on the Girls Aloud sign which they were on for Sound Of The Underground. Sexy! No No No… was a furious paced number with lyrics you want to sing along to. This act was to take place on the B Stage which was located in the middle of the arena. It was then straight onto Out Of Control track Untouchable. This famously became the 1st GA single to fail to get within the top 10. This was an Electropop ballad and it is also the longest song by Girls Aloud. Untouchable was easy on the ear and it had luscious lyrics which were faultlessly delivered. It suddenly dawned on me that this was going to be the last ever time they would perform as Girls Aloud. “London, Good evening from the middle of the Arena” Harding then said to the cheering crowd. “This is one of our favourite off of our new greatest hits album” Cole then said before On The Metro. Nicola Roberts co wrote this and I really liked the disco vibe to this number. The verses were sung at a fast pace whilst the chorus was very uplifting. “What’s up everybody? You’re the best audience we’ve had so far” Coyle then said before introducing Call The Shots. I found this to be a lovely song which actually gave me goosebumps. So much energy and passion was put into it.

After plenty of applause it was then back to the main stage for the 4th act. This act then kicked off with Something Kinda Ooooh. This track was more Dance than Pop and had furious paced verses along with a killer chorus. It was then onto a cover and this being the #1 single Call Me Maybe which was originally sung by Carly Rae Jepsen. This infectious song had the GA stamp of originality all over it. I could pick up on the fact they were having so much fun when attempting this tune. Also Cheryl slapped Nicola’s behind during it. It was then onto the latest offering by Girls Aloud and this being the final single Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me. This was a slushy ballad with lyrics such as “Right now the whole world could call me ugly, So what, to you I’m not, You don’t love me cause I’m beautiful”. The curtain then closed with Something New. When I first heard this comeback single it didn’t immediately strike me but the more times I heard it the more addictive it got. This was an infectious Dance track which you just want to move about to. The verses were pacey whilst its chorus was extremely smooth. After another costume change Girls Aloud came out wearing long red sparkly dresses for I’ll Stand By You. This song was emotional as the big screen behind them was displaying footage of the girls from the past 10 years. This was a swooning ballad which went down well with the crowd. The band then ended with their last #1 single and this being The Promise. “You take the crown for being the best crowd so far” Cole then said before they launched into the final song of the evening. This was very Pop with traces of Jazz.

SET LIST

ACT 1

Sound Of The Underground
No Good Advice
Life Got Cold
Wake Me Up
Jump

ACT 2

The Show
Love Machine
Whole Lotta History
Can’t Speak French
Biology

ACT 3

Sexy! No No No…
Untouchable
On The Metro
Call The Shots

ACT 4

Something Kinda Ooooh
Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen cover)
Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me
Something New

ENCORE

I’ll Stand By You
The Promise

OVERALL: They said they were going to cause a controversy in the song Biology and that is something they most certainly did. On 20th March 2013 Girls Aloud announced that they were going their separate ways through the means of Twitter. Now this scuppered anyone’s hopes that the band would stick together.

As for this show at the o2 I was extremely pleased that I purchased a ticket as I enjoyed myself immensely. Every song that was sung on the night was highly addictive. It actually went by in a flash. I had even considered getting a ticket to one of the final 2 nights of the o2 stint but I was unable to find a ticket that hadn’t been highly inflated.

With 22 singles to the bands name it was obvious that some were going to be overlooked. These 4 songs being I Think We’re Alone Now, See The Day, Long Hot Summer and The Loving Kind. Still what featured on the set was 20 incredible songs.

As for Amelia Lily I look forward to the début album and I most certainly will see her live again in the future.

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