English synthpop favourites Years & Years took to the stage at den Atelier on Friday night for their first Luxembourg show.
Last year was quite a momentous one for the band, having won the prestigious BBC Sound of 2015, they then went onto hit the top spot in both the UK singles and album charts for their debut “Communion” which went on to become the fastest selling debut album from a British band in 2015. However, their success didn’t stop on their own shores, with their single “King” going into the top ten in many countries across the globe, whilst selling out shows all over Europe, including last night’s.
Support came from the Dutch duo Klyne, who from the off possessed the same infectious electro groove as Years & Years, if maybe with a more soulful darker edge mixed in for good measure. Even when they dropped it back to the more down tempo beats the strength of the vocals still managed to captivate the boisterous crowd. On last nights showing I’m sure they’ve built quite a new fan base on the back of this tour.
With the crowd nicely warmed up and the anticipation palpable it was time for the lights to dim. I hadn’t foreseen just how down with the kids the band were till they took to the stage and it sounded like 1Direction had walked into a school classroom. The band proceeded to build up “foundation” before frontman Olly Alexander joined them a minute later to more screams as the haunting intro continued to soar.
Every contort of Alexander’s body got an extra cheer and with their reggae tinged “Take Shelter” there were plenty of moves and grooves to suffice. It was on “shine” where his falsetto vocals really came into their own, not that he needed to sing much as by this point the audience had found their own voice and were singing every word back to him with gusto.
As much as their sound lends itself to a good sing and dance, it was Alexander’s charisma that captured any of the non converted and encapsulated the whole crowd into one. For “Eyes Shut” he brought a young girl onto the stage to join him on the stool as he played keys and sang, this for sure wont be a night she’ll forget in a hurry.
With the huge success of last years “Communion” it looks like the band will be back in the studio sooner than you might think, as they looked to try out a few new tracks last night, including “See Me Now” which saw them stick to their tried and tested formula.
With headline tours for a band with just one album you are of course going to get some covers and they didn’t disappoint with a crowd pleasing medley of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” & Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse”, not to mention a curveball with Britney’s “Toxic”.
As the evening progressed so did the set, leaning heavier on the spiralling keyboards and euphoric club breakdowns of “Real” before launching into “Desire” & “King” both of which had the whole crowd singing along to the infectious electro pop.
There were moments throughout the night when the sound got a bit muddy and Alexander’s vocals were lost, but fortunately there was space for the imperfections and when you write as catchy songs as they have then you’ll have the crowd singing along all night, masking those mishaps.
Years & Years clearly have their niche and although the new tracks didn’t sound like much of a departure, why change a winning formula.
4/3/16 – den Atelier