O2 Smartsounds was Europe’s first interactive concert. It was an initiative to encourage customers to buy smart phones from O2, as they received tickets if they bought one. Due to lengthy queues and what seemed like slight confusion at the box office, we regrettably missed Kanyu Tree and caught the tail end of Royseven’s set which ended with their breakthrough hit We Should Be Lovers.
Paul of Royseven fame joined presenter Roisin and thankfully due to a technical glitch, a crowd karaoke rendition of Katy Perry’s Firework failed to gain any momentum. Prior to Pixie Lott’s set, we were shown a teaser interview. I wouldn’t be overly familiar with the leggy blonde’s repertoire, she sang about six songs with ‘Uh Oh‘ and ‘Cry Me Out‘ seeming to be crowd favourites. She also answered some fans questions and hugged most of the front row. Who says they don’t do it for the fans anymore.
Paul and Roisin teased the crowd with a pre-recorded Westlife interview. During this a man proposed to his girlfriend. Yes ladies and gentlemen this gig had everything. After a countdown, Westlife arrived on stage. Lapping up the atmosphere for their last performance in the 02, and after a bit of chat, they started with a fan request for ‘When You’re Looking Like That’ which got the crowd going. Seeming in great form and even breaking out some excellent dance moves.
The requests came in through social media, fan videos and audience requests. A lot of this is orchestrated using the O2 Smartsounds app which is available on Iphone and Android. A unique and fun way of choosing a bands set-list especially with such passionate and dedicated fans. It wasn’t just fans either as boy band The Wanted got in on the act through a video, requesting Coldplay’s Viva La Vida. JLS requested Flying Without Wings and Jedward requested World Of Our Own – all three went down a treat.
As they worked their way through their hefty string of hits, they recalled stories and had moments with audience members. The idea for the gig was that it was all the fans choices, yet the cynical part of me noted that the lads had just released their Greatest Hits and this was a taster of what to expect in Croke Park in June.
Rounding up the gig on a high with Uptown Girl and a few more dance moves, they did what they do best and had the crowd, even the few men, singing along – smart phones in hand lighting up the arena. All in all it was a great concert and everyone seemed to enjoy it. If you missed it – O2 have the video stream available for purchase online at www.O2.ie/smartsounds. It only costs you €5 and lets you relive or catch for the first time just what I got the pleasure of catching that night. Bring on more O2 Smartsounds if you ask me.