o2 Academy Birmingham, Saturday 16th October
The atmosphere at O2 Academy Birmingham just before Becky Hill came on was electric. The woman behind me said she’d been waiting a year for this moment and considering I haven’t been to a live gig since before the pandemic, I was pretty stoked to be there too.
The show opened with one of Becky’s most well-known songs, ‘Heaven On My Mind’. Prior to the tour, Becky had said that this tour is solely for her new album Only Honest On The Weekend, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the next song was ‘Afterglow’, possibly one of her most well-known songs. Throughout the show, there were a few oldies which I did not expect but thoroughly enjoyed including ‘False Alarm’, ‘Lose Control’ and ‘Wish You Well’.
After the first few songs, Becky greeted the audience and explained that since she is from Bewdley in nearby Worcestershire, this is her home show. She pointed out her parents, family and friends in the audience and it was clear from this point on that this show was extra special to her.
The show was roughly split into three parts: starting off with some party songs, slower songs in the middle and finally back to party songs. After the initial few party songs, Becky asked everyone in the audience to put their arms around their companions for ‘I Could Get Used To This’. She joked that this is the part where she makes her audience greatly uncomfortable and even called out her parents for not hugging. The song that followed was ‘I Could Get Used To This’ which she delivered beautifully. Throughout the song there seemed to be a sense of community and love among the audience, regardless of whether they were at the show with their friends, partners or even alone.
While many of us know Becky for her party anthems, that is not all that she can offer
Carrying on with the more emotional songs, she introduced ‘I Got You’ as one that she is most angry when singing. I really like this song because it’s all about sticking with those you love no matter what life throws their way. From her emotions it was evident that this song meant a lot to her. I can only imagine that she has had some experiences in the past whereby she was there for someone when no one else was. Speaking of expressing unconditional love, it was very evident that Becky had huge admiration for her team. She introduced her band and included a few funny stories (like how she stole the drummer from drum ‘n’ bass pioneer Goldie). On top of this, she also recognised a fan in the audience from a meet and greet, showing the sort of kindness and down to earth nature which is perhaps rare from celebrities.
The next song was the most emotional by a mile. Becky had initially written ‘Distance’ in lockdown when she was unable to see her boyfriend, but explained that lots of people had reached out to saying that they had related to the song when experiencing grief and loss. For this reason, Becky would usually dedicate this song to anyone in the audience who has lost someone dear to them, but since this was a special show she chose to dedicate it to her family, who were in the audience. Becky, myself and most of the audience shed a tear during the performance. Her delivery of the song was so raw, emotional and powerful.
After I cleaned up my mascara, it was time for more party songs starting with the hit that is currently climbing the charts: ‘My Heart Goes (La Di Da)’. For a couple of the songs, Becky requested that everyone puts their phones away and just enjoy the music. I think this is a must at any show because you can’t really enjoy yourself fully if you are glued to your phone screen. Thankfully, no one seemed to mind this request and the atmosphere became even more alive once everyone was fully immersed in the music.
However, even during the more upbeat songs, the emotional side of Becky still shone through. As she was singing the penultimate song ‘Wish You Well’, there was a moment where she held out the mic and looked up at her parents. I can’t imagine the pride they must have felt when witnessing 3,000 people sing their daughter’s song.
This show has shown me that celebrities are real people with real emotions and people have more sides to them than you may assume. While many of us know Becky for her party anthems, that is not all that she can offer. Her incredible vocal range and ability to connect with the audience have made this show one of the most memorable ones I have ever been to.