Review: Jack Garratt at the O2 Guildhall, Southampton

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How to write a review that gives justice to Jack Garratt’s live concert? It’s beyond me. I’ve been trying to find the right words, to paint a just picture but it’s damn hard. People have asked me how I liked the concert and I honestly say that it exceeded all my expectations (and they were high already given the incredible standard of all his songs and of his debut album Phase).

Jack Garratt is the best performer I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing, he is not only extremely talented but it’s evident he really cares about his craft and his audience. His show began, the lights dimmed and a neon ring lit up at the backdrop of the stage. Jack came on to take his place behind what seemed like a multi-instrumentalist’s workplace: he was surrounded by a semi-circle of drums, keyboard and he had his guitar on him. Extremely stylish, he sported a shirt with his name on the back and with a baseball cap; and so he began. Not only was his voice extremely beautiful (even angelic at times) but he showed his extreme ability and skill at playing various instruments at the same time. And on top of it all he also danced. I was baffled at so much talent.

I really enjoyed his moves, he would throw his head back, he would play the drums in a funky way along the beat and at the end of nearly each song he mustered all his energy and strength and went on fun frenzy of playing the drums. A lot of his songs contain an explosion of sound and beat normally at the end and he really went hard at those moments and it was so much fun because the audience would benefit from this energy and go crazy too. Garratt performs with gusto, it’s clear to see; he seemed to be enjoying himself on the stage nearly as much as his audience. It was very refreshing to witness an artist that is so clearly in love with what he does and is so appreciative to be able to share what he loves with his fans.

He can’t even just be called a performer in my opinion; the guy is a one-man show. Jack Garratt is a star and that’s so clear from his music but I got to see first-hand that this is also made true by his presence on stage. He had immense charisma, making the audience laugh and at times feel intense emotions with him. He showed a bit of the man behind the artist too. He spoke of equality and his desire for a world where people are allowed to share their beliefs without fear and dedicated the song ‘My house Is Your Home’ to this thought and to his fiancé, whom he spoke about with huge adoration, saying that the only downside of life on the road is missing her. This all made me like him even more as he seemed extremely down-to-earth and like a genuinely good person.

I can’t even say which song was my favourite because I think he did such an unbelievable job with each song. At times I thought that his songs sounded better live than in the album which is a massive compliment since I’m obsessed with his album Phase, having had it on repeat throughout summer. He played all the fan’s favourites, among which were ‘Worry’, ‘Far Cry’, ‘Breathed Life’ and ‘The Love You’re Given’.

Halfway during the show he stopped to play a hilarious game with the audience which he also remarked that he knew that it would (comically) get on everyone’s nerves. He  vowed to play the intro to famous songs and only that. Amongst his chosen intros were the infamous start to Britney Spears’s ‘Baby One More Time’ to Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’. Everyone was finding him hilarious, I thought he seemed cheeky and happy. His mash-up of Craig David’s ‘Seven Days’ and Justin Timberlake’s ‘Senōrita’ was also brilliant and fun. The light show was also amazing, I loved the lasers and projections on the walls of the Guildhall and I thought it was particularly genius the way that the lights would go as crazy as him at some points during his songs and it all went extremely well with his electro-pop sound.

I think I haven’t even started doing justice to this concert and how much I enjoyed Jack Garratt, but if it’s any sign of my admiration, I am already planning with my friends on attending his next tour.

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I'm a third year philosophy student. I love wandering, travelling, exploring and just generally doing new things that will turn into awesome memories. My biggest dream is to be brave enough to travel around the world as a full time job.

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