Let me paint this picture for you. Saturday morning, I’m sat on the settee (I may or may not have been in my pants) and I receive a call from my editor.
“Shit, what did I do wrong?” springs to mind. Little did my self-doubting brain know, said editor was actually calling me to ask me to review McBusted.
That was pretty much the reaction that I had. Why? Busted were the defining band of my childhood. McFly played a pretty big part in it too. To see both of them together excited me… a lot.
I remember seeing a review from Popjustice founder Peter Robinson about the McBusted show when they first fused together. He basically said it was one of the best pop shows he’d ever seen (that’s from a guy who writes about pop for a living) and I can confirm that this new tour (his review was from 2014) very much backs that up. In fact, it wasn’t one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, it was the best show I’ve ever seen.
Big talk. Now, I’m gonna try and explain why.
The theme of this tour was very much inspired by the eighties, both the video games and films that came from that decade. Before the band came on stage, the screens in the arenas played out eighties film trailers. From Back to the Future to Weird Science, they helped set the mood perfectly, even if half of the peeps in the room weren’t even born when these movies came out.. saying that, were the band?
Anyway, the stage set is a massive arcade machine. No, seriously, it’s modelled to look like one of those old button bashers you spent all yer pocket money on when you were younger… and it was fully functional. At one point, the band played the world’s biggest game of Street Fighter… but that’s later on.
I’ll make one thing clear. I don’t know any of McBusted’s new stuff. But I do know practically every word to every Busted song, and every McFly song pre-2008. Due to this, it wasn’t the strongest start for me as they kicked off with several of their new songs. Thankfully, after three songs they started firing out the pop classics, and all of a sudden I was eleven years old again.
Thunderbirds Are Go, You Said No, 3AM, Crashed The Wedding. I was almost in sensory overload. Ecstatic happiness from hearing the songs, and in fits of laughter from the set pieces that went along with them (seeing Matt Willis in a wedding dress was not something I had expected to see earlier that day.)
A few McFly songs later and the band performed a few songs from their new album. The first was a lovely little duet between James and Danny called Beautiful Girls are the Loneliest. The second was a bit weird. Good-weird though. The song was Riding My Bike and saw James get on a stationary bike while the backdrop behind him resembled that of a Super Mario level. Oh yeah, and it was completely autotuned… like big time. Despite the bizarreness, it was super catchy.
To give the band a few minutes to recover, there were two of the most entertaining interludes I’ve ever seen in live music. The first was the aforementioned game of Street Fighter, and the second was a pre-recorded video which showed a stereotypical American football coach give the boys a proper motivational speech.
Five Colours In Her Hair was up next. Unsurprisingly, everyone went mental, as they did for Shine A Light. They didn’t bother running off stage for the encore, they simply asked “Who wants more music?” to which what felt like a million screams responded “US!”
Year 3000 was the final song. Was it amazing? Yes. Was it one of the happiest moments of my life? Yes, yes and yes.
You may have noticed I said “show” quite a lot in this review, and that’s because that’s exactly what the night was. A hugely entertaining show, with some incredible pop tunes that brought back tons of nostalgia. I’d recommend this show to anyone… besides pretentious hipsters. But I guess it’s technically cool to like them cos they’re seen as uncool? I’ll shut up now. Cool.
McBusted played at the Capital FM Arena on 19 April 2015.