Live Review: Lewis Capaldi @ Utilita Arena, Newcastle - 21st January 2023
Lewis Capaldi stopped off in Newcastle to sample the local delicacies and pack out the Utilita Arena. Thomas Jackson was on hand to see what all the fuss is about.
The last time Lewis Capaldi played a headline show around these parts, it was over the road in Think Tank, a 200 capacity club with a low ceiling and newspaper clippings of punk icons pasted to the walls. The clown-prince of pop is now firmly in the enormodome category though, and quite frankly, it suits him far better.
From the confetti blast midway through opener Forget Me, through the dry-ice drenched Lost On You, to the ubiquitous singalong of Someone You Loved, this was a Big Pop Show (tm) in every sense. The sheer force of presence that the lad from Glasgow possesses fills these stages apparently effortlessly, and it’s easy to forget his struggles with anxiety and with Tourettes, which make this feat even more impressive.
There’s a perverse logic to dragging yourself around the country to promote an album that isn’t out for months - get the fans back onside, build the interest again, and at the same time, don’t feel the need to bombard them with half an album’s worth of new material, so tonight’s show was firmly about the hits… and the laughs, of course.
I’ve seen Lewis Capaldi’s shows described as “part pop concert, part Netflix comedy special”, and that’s bang on the money. There’s no denying he’s a funny guy. Certainly, some kids in the audience probably learned some new words tonight, but by now I think parents are probably aware of what they’re walking into. And he really does know how to land a punchline!
By the time he gets back from taking this tour around the world, there’s no doubt the new material will be firmly lodged in the collective fan-consciousness. Five huge outdoor shows in August, stretching from Manchester to Belfast, and taking in Reading, Leeds and Edinburgh in the middle, should see Capaldi make yet another huge step up in an already meteoric rise to pop greatness.
Words and photos: Thomas Jackson