Tom Odell Brings Raw Emotion to Leeds, 16/10/18

Tom Odell fittingly opened the forth night of his UK tour with his new single ‘Jubilee Road’. He began with the much-anticipated virtuosic piano solo, a sound so soothing it had the power to lift the weight of stressful deadlines from any student’s shoulders.

Not so soothing, however, were the blinding lights that accompanied the build up of the first song, and more throughout the show. ‘Blinding’ really isn’t an exaggeration, evidenced in the fact that the majority of the crowd had to avert their eyes away from the stage in order to refrain from looking directly at these lethal lights.

Image credit: Jessica McCarrick

Despite this distraction, Odell’s performance was unique and possibly more musically advanced than those of other artists who have played the same venue. Whilst Odell was sat at his grand piano for the majority of the show, the accompanying band behind him all performed impressive solos. The guitarist even played a solo on the harmonica; unexpected but highly welcomed.

“Odell’s performance was unique and possibly more musically advanced than those of other artists who have played the same venue”

Although Odell is well-known for his emotional music expressing heartbreak, I was surprised that his show featured a certain degree of rock and roll. He stood on top of the piano whilst the lead guitar played dramatic power chords in the build up for one song, naturally leading to an overexcited, livelier crowd. Despite the large venue, Tom interacted well with the crowd, and had us whistling along to one of his tunes as if we had been to soundcheck.

Odell played a range of old and new songs, including his biggest hits ‘Another Love’ and ‘Grow Old with Me’, alongside songs from his upcoming album Jubilee Road. The audience were even treated to an exclusive unreleased track that he claimed had only been performed live once before. Drawing a close to the show, Odell finished with what was perhaps the longest encore of any artist I’ve ever seen, spoiling the crowd with endless songs, including the beautiful ‘Half as Good as You’, a song about two artists who had broken up and tortured one another with their music.

If there’s anything Odell can provide, it is raw emotion alongside extreme excitement – 100% worth seeing.

Gabby Kenny

Header image via Jessica McCarrick