This post is going under the category of better late than never… I saw Sam Smith on his The Thrill Of It All tour in Edmonton on September 12, 2018 and am only just now getting to this blog…
I know. I know… But, ahem… better later than never!
I have to admit that I was only familiar with the Sam Smith songs that come on the radio… Pray, Writing’s on the Wall, etc… But what I know, I love, so I bought tickets with a couple of friends to see him live.
One week or so before our concert, another friend saw him in her town and posted pictures. They looked absolutely amazing, with a super-cool stage setup. She said that she went into the show as only a casual fan and left it a fan fan. As that is pretty much the level I was going in, I became even more excited to see Sam live!
He was ok… I’m kidding. He was glorious. It was a fantastic show.
My friends and I had seats at the very top of the arena. The very top… You know, the ones where you get vertigo and feel like you are going to fall over the seat and continue falling until you hit the lower bowl… (I assume they make it that steep so that the views are less obstructed, and to bring the occupant as close to the action as possible… but wow.. )
Anyways, Beth Ditto opened the show with a voice as big as the arena and then some. What a powerhouse! And funny as all heck. She definitely warmed us up and reminded me of why I go to concerts in time to see the opener. It blows my mind every time when I see so many empty seats during the opening act. I figure I paid the money, I’m gonna get as much entertainment out of that price as possible! Not to mention its a great way to hear new music, to find my next rock god, or even just to support the music community.
I also figure the act I love, the headliner, chose this act to support them; and if I love their music, I trust their judgment, I want to hear what they want me to hear. It is essentially having a conversation with them – Hey Sam Smith, I love your music, can you please suggest any other music I should listen to? Hya Tracy – sure – There’s this one artist that I like so much I’m bringing them on tour with me – you gotta check out Beth Ditto!
I’m sure there are other factors in how an opening act is chosen, but still I go, I listen, and sometimes, like this time, I love. So yay Beth Ditto – welcome to my Spotify!
Ok. Sam Smith. So the stage is this cool triangle set up, with a triangular structure at the base of the stage. From where we are sitting – up high and perpendicular – we couldn’t see much of the backdrop effects, but it was still pretty wicked. Unique.
Sam was amazing. What a stunning voice! The flipping between his soft, low register to striking falsetto, both laden with that depth of emotion… sigh. He played all the hits, including my favourite – Say It First. Just beautiful.
There was one song, I can’t remember which one, where the lighting and smoke effects made the stage look like ocean waves were rolling through – that was mesmerizing! Sadly my camera didn’t pick it up too well!
At another point Sam asked everyone to turn on the cell phone lights to create a sky of stars. I absolutely love love love when this happens in concerts. It is so beautiful! (Though I also always think of the economic, consumerism impact of the visual as well – everyone has a cellphone … lol!)
And yet another moment where the light came over the stage and Sam in a way that provided a very dramatic, backlit effect. So many dramatic moments. So many many gorgeous love songs.
The encore began with Sam in a striking red long coat, up in the triangular structure on a spiral staircase. He sang down to one of the backup singers, a beautiful duet. And then when he came down and walked to the point of the stage, red confetti fell from the sky like thousands of red rose petals were raining down. Seriously. The man knows how to deliver drama.
The show ended with Pray, a hand kiss, and a very grateful-looking Sam. What a beautiful night! And I must agree with my friend – I definitely left that arena a fan fan.
Check out my Spotify playlist of the setlist.
Setlist (courtesy of setlist.fm)
One Last Song
I’m Not the Only One
Lay Me Down
I Sing Because I’m Happy (Georgia Mass Choir cover)
Omen (Disclosure cover)
I’ve Told You Now (snippet)
Writing’s on the Wall
Latch (Disclosure cover)
Money on My Mind
Like I Can
Restart (ending contains The Best… more )
Baby, You Make Me Crazy
Say It First
Promises (Calvin Harris & Sam Smith cover)
Too Good at Goodbyes
Safe With Me