hmv.com reviews… Pharrell Williams @ London's O2 Arena
Pharrell Williams brought his enormous European tour to London last night (October 10th) and we were there to review things…
Pharrell. Pharrell Williams. Super producer, seller of million of albums, flogger of tens of millions of singles and wearer of excellent hats.
O2 Arena. A big tent in the corner of London.
Any good supports?
Singer-songwriter Cris Cab kicked things off with a rousing set of bro-step influenced pop, before Southampton songstress Foxes came on for the main support slot. From the second she skipped on after launched into ‘Talking To Ghosts’, the opener on her album Glorious, it was clear that this was going to be very hard work.
While it would be unfair to say she was totally the wrong choice as there would a good few cheers from time to time, the atmosphere during her set was decidedly flat. Even during ‘Right Here’ and ‘Clarity’, her big hit collaborations with Rudimental and Zedd respectively, the crowd were largely unmoved.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The flatness that greeted Foxes was gone by the time Pharrell greeted the packed out arena at 9.30pm sharp, he sent the place bonkers.
So what was the set like? What did he play?
He kicked things off with a volley of cuts from his new album G I R L (which you can preview on the right hand side of the page), starting off with ‘Come Get It Bae’, before working through ‘Hunter’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe’. Pharrell then announced that tonight would be a celebration of everything he’s done, and after that it was just hitsville.
Beginning with Nelly’s ‘Hot In Herre’, he lobbed out the likes of ‘I Just Wanna Love U (Give It To Me)’ and ‘Pass The Courvoisier’, before he introduced the crowd to Shay Haley, his bandmate in N.E.R.D and they walloped through ‘Lapdance’, ‘Rockstar’ and the groovy ‘She Wants To Move’.
After Shay departed, we were treated to Pharrell’s more recent collaborations, including ‘Blurred Lines’ and the closing ‘Get Lucky’, which sent everybody into ecstasies.
He returned for a three-song encore, running through his Daft Punk collaboration ‘Lose Yourself To Dance’, ‘Gust Of Wind’, before closing with monster hit ‘Happy’.
Any good between song banter?
No banter, but lots of gushing. Pharrell was clearly determined to let everyone in the arena know how special the UK is to him, and he did, he laid it on a little thick at time, but that’s forgivable.
Did he put on much of a show?
There weren’t as many bells and whistles as a lot of the shows at the arena, no fireworks, no pyrotechnics and only one change of clothes. But he did bring out an incredible set of dancers.
What was the highlight of the set?
The whole section where he ran through N.E.R.D’s biggest cuts was electric, but, predictably the crowd went demented as soon as they heard the opening riff to ‘Get Lucky’.
Where can I catch them next?
He’s back at the O2 tonight (October 10th) and then he rounds off his European trek with four shows in Paris.
And I have to ask, what kind of hat did he have on?
He started out in a nice blue fedora, completed with badges, but then ditched it for a headband.