John Newman stopped in Brussels for a show, on 26 February this year. The show was a part of his “Tribute” tour. He performed at Ancienne Belgique (AB), a concert hall located in the historic heart of Brussels.
He was impressed with the growing number of fans who came to listen to him. He mentioned that just three months ago he performed in Brussels but for a smaller audience, somewhere in a bar.
Clean stage outfits, a good concept show, with remarkable light effects, even if sometimes the strobe lighting ruined the singer intention to rely with his vocal performance on both instruments’ sounds and lights.
His band and the two background singers did a good job, although very often all the voices were shadowed by the instruments. He also appears to be a skilled dancer.
I am familiar with his songs. I listen to some of them regularly and I got used to a certain melodic line, where he sings both low and high notes. This time, on the stage, his usual notes from the higher register were simply not there. It was visible that he avoided and the way he improvised the missing notes was not very convincing. I was not disappointed at all. The truth is that being only 23 he may need to grow and perhaps consolidate his own style, which is already something that defines him. I think he goes into that direction.
There was no major gap between his live performance and his song versions recorded in the studio. I saw worse, a number of singers that really faked their vocal performances in the studio and on the stage they were not what they claimed to be through their artificial songs boosted by digital tools.