After such a memorable gig last year, I was so excited for another amazing time on the second McBusted tour. Now with their own album of new material as well as seven old albums to select from, their back catalogue is an ever-growing work in progress. After taking us Back To The Future last year, McBusted came back with a Bill and Ted’s Most Excellent Adventure theme. Full of retro video-game and movie magic, McBusted’s infectious pop-punk is more than just a gig -it’s a whole showcase.
Opening up were LA foursome Symmetry. Their upbeat sound masks a tragic beautiful story in the guitarist Jared. He lost his sight as a kid but found joy again when he picked up a guitar. The pop-rockers played songs from their debut album Frozen In Time which was released last year as well as a catchy cover of Katy Perry’s Roar. They certainly got the party started and no doubt scored a host of new fans. Symmetry are touring the UK again at the end of April.
They were followed up by Essex trio New City Kings. Having opened for the likes of The Cribs and Marilyn Manson before, these guys are no strangers to big crowds. However, playing The O2 was probably still one of the biggest nights in their career yet. This alternative rock band played deep, emotional rock songs that captivated the crowd. Their debut EP Change was released last year and it was songs from this that the band gave each and every audience member for free. The title track Change and another Giving Up were up for grabs via e-mail, which the band sent via a free text number which flashed up on screen. This isn’t something I’ve seen a band do at a gig before and I thought it was a great innovative way of getting music to new ears.
Not doing things by halves, McBusted made an even grander entrance than last year. The main event was introduced with a giant arcade game screen and control pad. Each McBusted member was represented via an avatar on the screen and individually loaded before their human counterpart appeared on the stage. Once all six members were there, they launched into their first original McBusted single Air Guitar, which ran into the cutting, bitch anthem Hate Your Guts.
Once again, the songs were framed by cheeky, hilarious banter between them and their ability to engage a crowd hasn’t diminished. Playing a combination of Busted and McFly songs such as One For The Radio, You Said No and Thunderbirds Are Go, there was a lot for their long-term fans. However, they certainly played the best of their new album with performances of What Happened To Your Band?, Get Over It, Riding On My Bike (featuring James Bourne cycling round the stage) and the beautiful acoustic ballad Beautiful Girls Are The Loneliest, which saw James and Danny take to the smaller stage in the middle of the arena.
Other unforgettable moments was the introduction to Crashed The Wedding. Dougie and Matt played the bride and groom respectively, while the others donned dresses and played the roles of bridesmaids and flowergirls. There was even a point where they paused to play Streetfighter on the giant arcade game, which they’d been playing every show. A Kiss-Cam was thrown onto the crowd during All About You, which produced both some very awkward and sweet moments. All these little things about a McBusted gig make it a night that no one can forget in a hurry.
Calling it Game Over on Year 3000, I once again left a McBusted show on a huge high. Although I did see them last year, they did play songs that they hadn’t before and the different theme gave it a uniqueness. I look back on both nights with equal happiness and really hope that they play again next year.
*Images are not mine.