You may not realise it but Birmingham pop rock band The Vamps are kind of a big deal. Despite only being around since 2012, they have climbed ranks in the music industry rather quickly and have accumulated the kind of fan base that would take some bands over ten years to gather. Now, after swiftly moving from smaller established venues to arenas, The Vamps are headlining with their biggest production and stage show yet.

Before the four midlands lads can take to the stage, though, Sabrina Carpenter takes to the stage to warm everyone up. It’s hard to believe, first of all, that Carpenter is just 17 years old. Making her fame on the Disney Channel original show Girl Meets World, Carpenter has branched into musical endeavours much like a lot of Disney stars but unlike some who do the same, she is much more suited to the life as a singer and performer.

With truly catchy pop songs and being as energetic as she is, Sabrina Carpenter puts on a show like a veteran artist. Most 17 year olds you would expect would just be finding their footing as they got up on stage in front of thousands but she is able to own it with such grace and fire that you can’t tear your eyes away. The added impromptu performance of That’s What I Like by Bruno Mars is sang with confidence, as if it’s her own song and not one previously created. Carpenter is definitely one to watch for the future.

Eventually The Vamps take to the stage, of course being revealed in a most dramatic fashion. There is a curtain drop, with screams audibly growing louder as it came closer to the ground. There were even some pyrotechnics thrown in to kick off the first song. Their stage set up is a little more elaborate than their last few tours, with a bigger stage in general fitted with a catwalk that circles around a pit specifically for standing VIP fans, making sure they’re in closest to proximity to the band.

Their setlist is sixteen songs strong and is, of course, filled with their most popular favourites. ‘Oh Cecilia’, ‘Can We Dance’ and ‘Somebody To You’, the latter of which they bring out Sabrina Carpenter to sing on in place of the songs original collaborator Demi Lovato. The Vamps vocalist Brad Simpson is a truly eclectic front man, whilst singing more pop-themed songs his stage presence derives from that of a true rockstar. He bounds endlessly, like he has a never-ending source of energy, though his voice never waivers and he manages, like a true pro, to stay on tune the entire time. Simpson is charming and fans seem to lap it up, damn near piling on top of one another to reach for his hand when he comes close to interact with everyone.

Among the set is an incredible cover of Ed Sheeran’s track ‘Shape Of You’ and of course some newer tracks too. Ending the set is the more club inspired All Night, which surprisingly is translated quite well in a live setting. The Vamps hit every high with their set, playing on their strengths in the best way possible as a band. It makes for a truly memorable evening and leaves you with promise for their new album, set to be released July this year, that it will be something truly special.


SABRINA CARPENTER

THE VAMPS