White Lies – 17/12/11 Wembley Arena
Harry McVeigh’s smile is priceless.
As they timidly enter the stage, the fans go absolutely mental. Following the two support acts – the Chevin and Duke Spirit, everyone is well warmed up and excited for what’s in store. It’s White Lies and their flawless show.
Even whilst queuing in a temperature dangerously near to naught outside Wembley Arena, our spirits were high; then, they were further heightened by the soundcheck penetrating even the outer walls of the squarish building. It was the unmistakable sound of Death and it was most certainly getting us hyped up for the evening. And what a magnificent evening it was!
The first musical note of the night was a clear, strong vocal that befell on us from the frontman of The Chevin, complimented by an acoustic guitar. The fourpiece hails from Leeds and one thing was established within thrity seconds of their initial appearance onstage: the guy can SING. Once the rest of the band joined in, we were pleasantly surprised by the great quality of this support act – because who are we kidding, sometimes those can be utterly atrocious. The Chevin were definitely far from that!
…The Duke Spirit less so. Yes, they were energetic and all, but just slightly too cliché. the frontlady resembled a somewhat aged Hannah Montana strutting about the stage and thinking herself a cowgirl, lassooing the microphone stand throughout most of the set., whipping her hair back and forth as if she were Willow Smith. I liked her sparkly jacket though, very Matthew Bellamy. Sound-wise, well, they were decent enough. A bit teeny at times but obviously the fact that the leader is female is a win. Go girl power!
The half-hour anticipation for the main dish of the evening seemed to stretch beyond infinity. When eventually our awaited trio appeared onstage, our banners flew right up – we were over the moon when Harry himself looked straight at them, sporting that precious smile of a bewildered ten-year-old at Christmas. Having pushed our way to the frontal barrier, we had the priviledge of seeing that smile right up close and even catching Harry’s eye a few times. And the sound – oh my lord it was immense. The set consisted of such WL classics as To Lose My Life, Death, EST, Strangers and Taxidermy, which is my all-time personal favourite. An unexpected surprise awaited the throng at Wembley though, and this was a near-perfect execution of Come Down, a track that permitted Harry to stand in the centre of a smoke-filled stage and sing his pretty little heart out. A definite highlight of the evening!
After the main corse came the dessert – the supposedly unexpected encore. I say supposedly… Of course, neither Power and the Glory nor unfinished Business had been played yet, thus we were obviously expecting this and starving for more! We were heard. the trio returned and graced us with those two tracks and ended the show with none other than Bigger Than Us, aided by fireworks and confetti machines. I might or mightn’t have caught a handful or two of the silver sparkly stuff and stuffed it down my top, you’ll never know.
But now, even looking at the wristband on my left wrist, it still hasn’t dawned on me that I stood within 10 meters of those beautiful beings. I am glad to have caught this show, seeing as the band will “hibernate from live shows for a while” (according to Jack’s twitter). The new material had better live up to the sky-high standards White Lies set through last night’s gig!