Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent Tour
Support Act: RAYE
26th January 2023
Photos and words by: Dan Rose
Despite having only released his debut album thus far, the unforgettable Lewis Capaldi brought his ‘Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent Tour’ to a sold out crowd of approximately 15,800 at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena. I’ve been to this venue a few times as a gig goer previously and, yet, I have never seen it so full to capacity as I did that evening – what an impressive achievement! It’s extremely motivational for me to have witnessed Lewis’s unique rise to success so far, as it motivates me to persevere with my own goals. His second album, of which the tour is named after, is due for release on 19th May 2023.
Setting a magical tone for the entire evening, the remarkably talented British singer-songwriter ‘RAYE’ opened the show. I’d first heard of her on popular dance records from the likes of Jax Jones, Joel Corry and David Guetta but RAYE is an absolutely incredible artist in her own right, which is why she’s now releasing stellar music independently. Some of my personal favourites by her include: ‘Cigarette’, ‘Call on Me’ and ‘Escapism.’ When it comes to songs she’s featured on, the list is extensive and they instantly become major hits because of her undeniable presence on the tracks. Now an independent artist, RAYE’s debut album ‘21st Century Blues’ is due for release on 3rd February 2023.
Just before Lewis graced the stage in Birmingham, video visuals enveloped an enormous box on stage and, not long after, the box was raised and the crowd saw their first glimpse of Lewis, accompanied by his band. The Scottish singer-songwriter was welcomed in Birmingham by an epic atmosphere from the fans and, during the first song, confetti erupted out of various canons just below the stage and into the audience. Featuring graphics from Lewis’s upcoming album, the stage visuals throughout the concert were strikingly beautiful alongside the Scot’s powerful voice, which was as distinct and as astonishing as on record.
Not only were fans treated to stunning performances of multiple power ballads, but they also got to witness Lewis’s witty sense of humour intermittently between songs. Roughly half an hour after Lewis started his set, the aforementioned box descended upon the stage and the arena collectively went quiet. Shortly after, Lewis appeared 20ft in the air on top of the box sitting in front of a piano, and continued to put on an extraordinary show once again. The light-hearted singer stated that he “hated this part of the show,” where he was situated so far up in the air, as it “wasn’t good for his irritable bowels,” which made the crowd giggle!
At one point during the show, numerous phones were thrown up on stage and Lewis stopped to pick them up and asked who they belonged to. For two lucky fans called Jasmine and Olivia, Lewis comically took irreplaceable BeReals for the fans which I’m sure is a memory they’ll treasure forever. After this, he naturally made us all laugh again as he told the crowd that he didn’t want anymore phones thrown onto the stage as he would “keep them himself.” However, a further phone was launched onto the stage and the artist demanded to know who’s phone this was; a fan called Lucy piped up and Lewis told her that he was disappointed in her for the fact that she’d disobeyed his rules, once again in a comedic way. Further phones appeared on stage during the evening and he kindly did take the time to pick them up and read things written by fans, one of which influenced the crowd to erupt in hysterics. When he read this particular message, he asked the cameraman to zoom in on the phone screen, which read ‘can I suck you off?’, and to which Lewis replied that he was flattered but politely declined this offer as he said that he’d already had one that day!
It became apparent of how much of a ladies man this national treasure is when a bra was thrown onto the stage adorned with a hand-written ‘I heart Lewis’ message. Illustrating the audience’s gratitude for the artist, flowers and fan written letters – some of which included various phone numbers – also showed up on stage. Inspiringly, Lewis mentioned about his struggle with Tourette’s syndrome and how it can be a nuisance for him whilst performing, whilst also reminding his fans that the condition is nothing to worry about. One of the many things I admire about Lewis is his down to earth personality and how, despite his rapid ascension into the public eye, he has never lost his relatability and good nature.
Lewis entertained his thousands of supporters for over an hour and, during this time, he played an array of his songs including ‘Before You Go’, ‘Bruises’, ‘Grace’, ‘Pointless’, ‘Hold Me While You Wait,’ his internationally-adored smash hit ‘Someone You Loved and even a new song entitled ‘Wish You The Best.’ He additionally covered Taylor Swift’s iconic tune ‘Love Story,’ which he had sang the previous night when he appeared on stage at The 1975’s show in Newcastle. Before the evening ended, the singer noticed that it was a fan’s birthday in the crowd and, after asking her name, he asked the entire arena to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to nineteen-year-old Sasha. Undoubtedly, Lewis has not only broken records with his phenomenal discography, but he has also single-handedly cultivated an openly loving and supportive fanbase which is a testament to his compassionate and hilarious nature, and it was so heartwarming to witness both his music and his devoted supporters in full force.
Lewis Capaldi (Headliner)