The Vamps ‘Cherry Blossom’ tour was the first concert I’ve been to post-pandemic and what a first show to go to! At the beautiful Eventim Apollo, full of a crowd prepared to sing (and scream) their hearts out, The Vamps put on an excellent show with a mix of fan favourites from previous albums as well as tracks from their latest release ‘Cherry Blossom’, written and recorded over lockdowns in 2020.
Arriving at the venue, hours before The Vamps came on stage, there were queues of young girls visible immediately after exiting the tube station. The excitement was palpable – thousands of fans wearing The Vamps merch and carrying posters, flags and even flowers. Lauran Hibberd and JC Stewart did an excellent job of warming the crowd up and when the lights went down for The Vamps, the screaming hit an insane volume.
The Vamps appeared on stage first as silhouettes lit behind a sheer curtain, amping up the crowd, before the curtain dropped as they opened with ‘Cherry Blossom’ lead single ‘Married in Vegas’. They swiftly followed up with singles from previous albums including ‘Just My Type’, ‘Cheater’ and ‘Last Night’. Frontman Brad Simpson performed with a huge amount of energy although the crowd was so excited he barely needed to sing, with fans taking over for whole verses or choruses.
After this, they performed more songs from ‘Cherry Blossom’, including ‘Nothing But You’ and ‘Part of Me’ interspersed with asides about how much the band had missed touring and seeing their fans. Despite being more recent releases, the crowd still knew every word and greeted each song with a huge reaction.
This show was a hometown show for guitarist James McVey, and drummer Tristan Evans, born just down the road, so we got some hellos for friends and family in the audience. There was a very high proportion of long time fans in the crowd – more than half the crowd raised their hands when Brad Simpson asked how many people had bought their first album 7 years ago before launching into a slow acoustic version of their first single ‘Wild Heart’ followed by ‘Can We Dance’, starting on the piano before transforming into a upbeat track that got the whole venue on their feet.
They closed with high energy performances of ‘Middle of the Night’ and ‘’All Night’ which received the biggest reactions of the night before coming back for a 5 song encore. ‘Missing You’ from their 2019 EP of the same name led a brief dip in energy so late in the night but ‘Wake Up’, the lead single from their second album soon got everyone back on their feet before they closed with ‘Somebody to You’, one of their most successful singles from their first album. Confetti cannons sent pink confetti spiralling into the air as the fans sang along until the very last word.
It was a very fun night full of singing and dancing and some fans around me were so overwhelmed by finally seeing The Vamps again that they were brought to tears. Having seen previous tours of The Vamps, it wasn’t really anything new but the band know how to keep their fans excited and having a good time all night long and it was great to be back at a concert again after so long.
Photo credit: Ruby Gaunt