March/April European Tour 2023
Support Acts: Gracey and Frankie Beetlestone
Utilita Arena Birmingham
10th March 2023
Photo and words by: Dan Rose
Setting the tone for the rest of his March 2023 UK tour, Tom Grennan absolutely smashed the first show at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena.
Prior to his upcoming third studio album, releasing in June this year, Tom filled the large Birmingham arena with a variety of people of all ages who came to witness the singer live. Accompanied by a four-piece band and two backing vocalists, the Bedford-born artist performed sixteen songs and three medleys, which consisted of an additional six songs. What an evening the gig goers were treated to!
During the evening, fans of the English singer-songwriter were blessed with both powerful ballads and also euphoric dance tracks which Tom had featured on, from the likes of KSI, Calvin Harris, Chase and Status and Joel Corry. During the performance of Tom’s second and third medleys, the crowd erupted into dance as he flawlessly blended ‘Not Over Yet’ with ‘All Goes Wrong’, and ‘Lionheart’ with ‘By Your Side’. A testament to the artist’s exhilarating music, the atmosphere in the packed out Birmingham arena was electric, and the ground was even shaking from the mass amount of fans enjoying Tom perform.
During the song ‘Amen’, a lucky fan called Maisie was noticed in the crowd, as she was holding up a sign asking to play guitar during the song in question. Without hesitation, Tom invited her to join him on stage and, after introducing her to the crowd, Maisie was given a guitar. Stood next to Tom’s guitarist and accompanying on an acoustic, she was an incredible addition to the live performance. There was also another instance where Tom interacted with a fan’s sign which was asking for him to take a BeReal. After the fan’s phone was passed to him from the crowd, Tom composed himself and figured out how to take a BeReal as he hadn’t done it before. Eventually, Tom captured the shot after asking the entire arena to hold up their hands; I haven’t yet seen the outcome of this photo but would certainly love to if I ever come across it!
Concert goers were blissfully introduced to five unreleased tracks from Tom’s upcoming album ‘What Ifs and Maybes’, which were ‘Before You’, ‘Psychedelic Kisses’, ‘How Does it Feel’, ‘Head Up’ and ‘This Side of the Room.’ Before performing ‘This Side of the Room’, Tom told the crowd that this particular song was his personal favourite he had ever written. It’s undeniably a treat to hear unreleased music when attending shows prior to an artist’s album launch and it collectively builds enormous anticipation for the forthcoming record. As well as the excitement of new music, there were eight instances of pyrotechnics during the show and Tom amusingly said to the crowd “I wonder how much that cost me”, when they frequently appeared. The pop star was majorly in awe of how far he had come over the years and mentioned that, on the day of the first show, he was told that he deserves the success in his career which he certainly agreed with. The singer mentioned that it was the “best night of his life”, and he profoundly explained how he felt that everything he’d achieved in his career had led up to that moment of him performing to a packed arena crowd.
Overall, if his extraordinary live performance is anything to go by, it is no surprise that Tom Grennan has experienced a rapid rise to fame and success with his stellar music. Like thousands of fans in the crowd that night, I patiently await the London-based artist’s imminent album release – it cannot come soon enough!