Review: Tom Grennan @ Metro Theatre (Sydney)

Tom Grennan
Grace has been singing as long as she can remember. She is passionate about the positive impact live music can have on community and championing artists. She is an avid animal lover, and hopes to one day own a French bulldog.

The harsh autumn winds have abated for a pleasant CBD evening as Tom Grennan kicks off his Australian tour at Sydney's Metro Theatre.

Josh Hannan starts the evening (29 May) with a smoky cover, greeting the crowd before sharing his next song is about losing a friend to drugs. "I'll wait for you," he sings heartbreakingly.

"You're the sun and I'm the moon," he coos for his next song. "You're the girl I love." It is very touching. He covers Coldplay's 'Fix You', bringing it right down for the crowd to join in, before finishing on a serious number as single red beams shoot down on him. A voice smooth as Tennessee whiskey, Hannan will go far.

Anticipation builds until 'Let's Dance' by Bowie introduces Grennan. White lights flash through the darkness psychotically as an electronic mashup of his songs plays, cutting to a lush string chord.

"Hey!" Grennan yells introducing 'If Only', the toms thumping away. He incites a clap along as the drums pound harshly. His two female backing singers add dimension as Grennan dances across the stage, his powerful, gritty voice cutting into you.

His energy is uncontainable as he bursts into 'Sober' followed by a shortened 'Royal Highness' and 'Barbed Wire'. Grennan is instantly likeable, his explosive energy a seductive sight for sore eyes. He ends the song with a lingering note.

"Sydney, let's go," he says before 'Psychedelic Kisses' bursts under purple and green lights. Grennan continues dancing, his energy boundless. "Keep up!" he sings and the crowd is right there with him. One backing singer exclaims a final note and the crowd roars.

"Australia, what's happening?" Grennan asks, sipping from his mug. "I've lost my lip on this mic, I'm bleeding real bad." Unsurprising due to his onstage antics. He introduces his Australian bassist as he starts an "ey oh" chant. "We're gunna have a party," he promises.

'How Does It Feel' has the crowd in the stratosphere, Grennan's guttural vocals asking the question as a beautiful Gretsch guitar solo rings out. 'This Is The Place' enters with a sentimental note, but the energy simmers along nicely. The bridge cuts down as Grennan sings out a spectacular note that rips up your heart.

'Amen' keeps the thermometer at 40 degrees, Grennan accompanied by acoustic guitar before the drums kick in. It's a clearly Nashville-inspired number that hits well. "I was born again," Grennan yells, convulsing theatrically. This man leaves nothing wanting.

He incites a "yeah, yeah" sing-along to get the crowd back up. "My dream was to play music around the world and I'm doing it here tonight in Australia. I love you," he says touchingly.

'Crown Your Love' sits in the sentimental groove, the drums kicking along as the multiple instrumental layers create a lush sound. "Can I hold your hand?" Grennan asks as crowd patrons link arms. They clap along, putty in Grennan's hand as he ends the song with a stunning vibrato.

'Don't Break The Heart' follows under blue lights. The chorus hits you hard in the feels, Grennan's voice once again standing out; it is perfectly stunning and moving. 'Head Up' brings the '80s, synth-pop vibe and the crowd swells with movement. Grennan dances chaotically, shouting "one more time Sydney!" before screaming through final notes.

'All These Nights' is ridiculously good songwriting, the crowd as if possible takes it up yet another notch as Grennan's falsetto screams through air. If you haven't heard this song you need to. "The energy just went up in here," Grennan says at the song's conclusion.

"Hug someone near you," he says for 'Here'. "Lift your phone lights as long as you can." "I'll be there for you," he sings as the crowd sing it each other. The band cut out to let Grennan shine. His voice is simple perfection.

Backup singer Angel takes Ella Henderson's part of 'Let's Go Home Together'. Angel's voice is deep and warm, the piano joins as Grennan takes the second verse. "I can't stop looking at your. . . eyes," he sings, shaking his booty. The song is a delicious sing-along. Angel's vocals stun before the song ends.

'Not Over Yet' starts with the backing singers searing with heat. A drum solo plays before the band launch into the bridge characteristically explosively. 'All Goes Wrong' follows, Grennan falling to his knees, crying out before exciting the crowd. How does this man have even more levels? Well he does.

For 'Lionheart', he takes off his cardigan and the front row enjoy his tattooed arms. It feels like a festival in here. "Make some noise," he incites and the crowd obliges. 'By Your Side' keeps them pumping along. It definitely isn't a school night in here.

Grennan tells the crowd to get down, and they jump up and down as the thermometer hits a million degrees. Grennan gets a little excited, jumping on the drum stage and falling back. The crowd's cheers lift him up.

'Remind Me' employs a momentary sentimental touch before entering the stratosphere. The obligatory stage exit follows before Grennan returns saying, "this is one of my favourite shows I've ever done".

'Little Bit Of Love' starts with an acoustic guitar and the crowd sans Grennan, who joins for the second intro chorus. He echoes out a note and you're fully in love. It all ends like a whirlwind and you wonder where life goes from here.

You leave believing you have undoubtedly seen one of this man's best shows ever, and probably one of yours too. Grennan is the pop star the world needs. His voice stands above the majority of his peers, but he also reminds you that life can be fun, energetic and really, really good.

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