All Fired Up Tour Review – Metro Radio Arena – 10th December 2011

Reviewed by: Chronicle Live

THE SATURDAYS played their biggest gig to date in Newcastle at the weekend, at the Metro Radio Arena. Young reviewer Lyndsey Fineran was there.

IT hasn’t been the easiest of years for The Saturdays. With Frankie’s prolonged absence due to a mystery illness and the announcement of Una’s pregnancy in September, there were doubts as to whether the full five-piece would be making an appearance on the group’s second tour of the year.

All proved all right on the night though as Vanessa, Rochelle, Una, Frankie and Mollie came out in force for the band’s All Fired Up arena tour.

Making their entrance in a cage and frequently appearing through the floor on rising platforms for subsequent numbers, the girls clearly had fun with the larger setting.

The girls made their excitement about their first arena tour clear and obviously appreciated the largely strong turnout (although the back third of the arena had been curtained off to disguise a handful of unsold blocks.)

The stand-out performances in terms of showmanship were opening tracks Notorious and Work which saw the girls kitted out in geek-chic outfits in a mock office environment complete with swivel chairs, the ballad Last Call sung while posing on a white Chaise Lounge and a Mean Girls-esque encore performance of Winter Wonderland complete with sparkly Santa outfits and fake snow.

When the production values were as strong as they were on these tracks, the show was impressive and worthy of its arena setting. A significant number of tracks however were surprisingly low-key and were accompanied with rather modest costuming and dance routines (although Una being six months pregnant may explain the latter.)

Vanessa took the lead on vocals with Rochelle and Una closely behind her to create tight harmonies on the slower numbers. Tracks from their third album, On Your Radar were mixed with older hits Up, Higher, Issues and a rejuvenated version of their debut single, If This Is Love remixed with Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger.

It’s all cheesy and overtly sexual at points considering the average age of their audience but it’s nothing Girls Aloud or Sugababes haven’t done.

They have made the most of the gap in the current girl band market and while I doubt they’ll be prove to be a memorable part of pop history, they’ve certainly made a career out of glitzy girly pop and they deliver it well.

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