WPGM Reviews: Busted Live At Utilita Arena Birmingham

Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Busted are back and are ready to take their fans on a trip down memory lane. Selling out arenas across the UK and releasing their first compilation album, Greatest Hits 2.0, the album consisted of re-recordings of the bands first two albums, Busted and A Present for Everyone.

Busted had finally secured their very first UK number one album with this record, and it came as no surprise with fans as dedicated as theirs, queuing up for their album signings before the live shows to show the band their appreciation and support.

Making a stop at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena, Busted fans of all ages were ready and waiting as they were excited to relive their childhood once again or to finally attend their very first concert. As well as their much loved songs, which brought them to where they are today, Busted are all about having fun and making every show one to remember for their fans.

Even the playlist that was playing in between the sets consisted of throwback songs from artists including Fall Out Boy and Avril Lavigne. Everything fit perfectly and made it even more of a nostalgic night before it had begun. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, supporting them on the tour were The Tyne and Hanson.

Up first were The Tyne. Bringing lots of energy to the stage as soon as they walked on, the people of Birmingham welcomed them with open arms. Showing their love and appreciation for the people who turned up early to see them live did not go unnoticed. With catchy and up tempo tracks, the influences of pop punk in their music was apparent. They knew how to gain and keep the crowd’s attention.

The relationship that each member had with each other made it even more wholesome, as it was evident that they all enjoyed doing what they were doing up on that stage and to say that they supported Busted was something they still couldn’t get their heads around.

For a relatively small group, this is already a huge milestone to tick off before the end of the year. The Tyne also did a cover of “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance, which had the crowd singing along. They also performed tracks including “Bad Mood” and “Funeral”. Their energy was consistent throughout and they definitely gained some new fans along the way.

Hanson was up next. Scoring a number one hit with their track “MMMBop” back in the 90s, Hanson were ready to bring it all back with the nostalgic feel. With tracks including “Where’s The Love” and “Fired Up”, the songs went down well with the audience. They knew how to keep the energy up from song to song, as well as keeping the crowd entertained.

They then asked the crowd if they could play a song that they had written 25 years ago. There were screams from every corner of the room as everyone was expecting them to play “MMMBop”. Fans had to wait a little longer to hear this live, as they had a special surprise in store.

It was the track “I Will Come To You” that fans got to hear. Using every corner of the stage, Isaac, Taylor and Zac knew how to keep their fans in the palm of their hands, even with songs that some people weren’t as familiar with. The energy was what kept their set one worthy of watching for the crowd.

Over the years, Hanson left a mark on the music industry with their catchy pop hits and this time around transported fans back to similar times in the late 90s. What people loved about the band back then all came flooding back as they joined another nostalgic band, Busted on their UK tour. Their raw talent shone through and there was nothing but love for the three brothers from the Birmingham audience.

As the lights went down, the cheers became louder and phones were held up ready to capture the moment James, Charlie and Matt took to the stage. Reprising actor Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown in the Back To The Future franchise, this was the perfect way for them to have announced their 20th anniversary. Emerging from the lift from under the stage, they recreated the iconic pose from their latest album, Greatest Hits 2.0.

The setlist consisted of the band’s greatest hits, kicking it off with “Air Hostess”, which the whole crowd went crazy for. Singing back every lyric along with the band, there were smiles all around and the night was proving to already be one to remember.

As always, Busted kept up their energy throughout. From the camaraderie between each member to the way they interact with their fans, nothing has changed in the 20 years. Just like the early days, Busted loved every second of being up on stage performing in front of their dedicated fans.

They also performed tracks from the new album, including “Loser Kid” and “Meet You There”. These songs felt like they had been part of the band’s discography for years with the fans singing back every word once again. The smiles on the band’s faces said it all.

Fans waited for Hanson to perform “MMMBop” during their set, but the wait was finally over when Busted brought them out to perform the track together. It was an exciting moment for everyone involved and definitely one that everyone in the room will remember.

From pyro and confetti, to the giant screens behind the band projecting videos and graphics of Busted back in the day, everything tied together perfectly and took fans on a trip to where things all began. They continued to play one hit after another and no one was ready for the night to end.

Busted took to the stage one last time to perform a cover of “Teenage Kicks” by The Overtones before ending the night with the much loved “Year 3000”. Busted gave the people of Birmingham a night to remember and one that James, Charlie and Matt won’t be forgetting either anytime soon.

Words by Sarah Akomanyi

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