Queuing within London’s magnificent O2 Arena, there are clouds of pre-teens in their ‘Scr3w You’ Snapbacks, rather tanned guys wearing a T-shirt with various singer’s faces plastered over them and the odd lass in a ‘Fight For This Love’ solider outfit. This is when it sunk in that we shall be seeing the mighty Cheryl Cole in a matter of minutes…
First thing’s first, we had to sit through a migraine-inducing Tinchy Stryder. Now, he has had a hit or two in his time: ‘Number 1’ and ‘Never Leave You’ probably being his most memorable, but the sing-along aspect was the best part. He neither commanded the stage nor portrayed himself in a likable or cool manner, simply becoming an annoying background noise.
After a short interval, the Cheryl logo appeared on the screens, the screams began and the music kicked in. With an impressive three consecutive, top 3 albums under her belt, you soon realise she has got some absolute tunes to her name. The dancers appear, buff and ready to move, the stairs light up and there she is… Cheryl Cole. Now, it has to be noted that I certainly question my sexuality when it comes to Cheryl. A vision of gold, Cheryl is amazingly stunning and throughout the show you became even more in love with her (and incredibly jealous of her awe-inspiring abs!).
With the world looking at you under a very intense microscope, Cheryl’s vocals will probably be what is on everyone’s lips during the ‘A Million Lights’ tour – will she sing live or will she mime? To my joy, and slight amazement, every song was sung (admittedly, some just snippets, but nonetheless) live. Swan diving onto the stage, Cheryl appears confident and at ease during opener, ‘Sexy Den a Mutha’. The show opened up fully, charging spectacularly into the number 1 hit, ‘Call My Name’, followed promptly by, ‘one for the girls’, she announced – ‘Girl in the Mirror’. The opening section, as well as the vast majority of the set, was performed slickly, and the dance moves were, on the whole, unbelievably good.
The show really took off when Cheryl appeared on stage and belted out a medley of some of Girls Aloud’s greatest hits. ‘The Promise’, ‘Biology’ and the ultimate crowd-pleaser, ‘Love Machine’, had fans singing, crying, and dancing on their feet.
The show, however, lacked some key ingredients to make it all the more spectacular. The pyramid stairs were used (and maybe abused) but the set seemed bare. The projected graphics were dull and failed to create an atmosphere, leaving the show to overly rely on gimmicks like dry ice, used throughout Cheryl’s performance of ‘The Flood’ which, incidentally, she sang rather marvellously.
The show did have many highlights to it, however. ‘Under The Sun’, ‘Ghetto Baby’ and ‘Fight For This Love’ were all well received, and the surprise guest appearances of will.i.am during ’3 Words’ and Wretch 32 in the fantastic ‘Screw You’, all made the evening just that bit more special.
We are pleased to report we were much happier coming away from the O2 Arena than we thought we may be. Cheryl held her own in the virtually full venue, proving she is famous for more than just a messy divorce and a short-lived X Factor career. She CAN sing, she CAN dance and pretty well at that.
Sexy Den A Mutha
Call My Name
Girl In The Mirror
The Promise/Biology/Love Machine
Under The Sun
Last One Standing
3 Words (Feat. Will.I.Am)
A Million Lights
Screw You (Feat. Wretch 32)
Fight For This Love
Call My Name (Reprise)