Review: Lewis Capaldi at the SSE Wembley Arena

Home / Arts & Culture / Reviews / Review: Lewis Capaldi at the SSE Wembley Arena
Review: Lewis Capaldi at the SSE Wembley Arena

Lewis Capaldi is a comedic musician with a heavenly voice.

There were around 24,000 people in the SSE Wembley Arena waiting for Scottish musical sensation Lewis Capaldi to appear on stage.

The Glasgow-born musician entered the stage wearing his satin tour jacket, his untidy, dishevelled hair barely moving an inch. His stage banter and general clown-like nature took the West London crowd by storm from the very beginning of the show.

A video of Capaldi losing out on a BAFTA to Billie Eilish just a few weeks before the concert appeared on the large screens inside the arena, with captions such as “virgin”, “loser” and “your parents hate you so much” written across the superstar’s face.

“Wembley, how you fucking doing?” The deafening screams that followed were answer enough; people were excited. And understandably so. At 23, Lewis Capaldi and his breakthrough single Someone You Loved have won two Brit Awards for song of the year and best new artist, and two Global Awards including most played song and best mass appeal artist.

“I’ve got the shits. I’m going to try and get through the show without pooing my pants,” said the West Lothian singer-songwriter. The crowd exploded with laughter.

Capaldi, who was reportedly discovered by his manager after uploading songs to SoundCloud, then continued his comedy act with remarks regarding the current outbreak of the new coronavirus.

“Coronavirus or the shits, you have to take one. If anyone leaves today with the shits, I’m sorry,” the Scot announced to the crowd.

This was followed by words of advice from the musician who told the entertained crowd to “wash your fucking hands”.

Lewis Capaldi’s comedic personality does not match the heartbreak of his songs. Before his tear evoking performances begin, and on social media, he is as strenuously bluff and self-deprecating as his debut album title Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.

But when it comes to the artistry that he displays through his song lyrics, it’s a completely different story.

The crowd was first hit with a superb rendition of Grace. The song perfectly captivates Capaldi’s gospel voice and slowly builds up towards a euphoric climax with heart-stopping notes.

Despite the constant lyrical heartbreak, Capaldi’s sweary, jokey persona did not cease to exist throughout the show. The 23-year-old frequently labeled his love anthems as depressing and reminded the crowd that “love is dead”. But the sadder the songs, the louder the crowd seemed to sing with the artist.

Bruises is definitely one of those songs. Just when we thought that Capaldi couldn’t make us cry any harder than he did, the singer-songwriter hit us with another unbearable heartache.

“I’ve been told, I’ve been told to get you off my mind, but I hope I never lose the bruises that you left behind,” the 23-year-old sang with a deep pain in his voice.

After subjecting an entire arena to his sorrows with Hold Me While You Wait, Hollywood, and Forever, Capaldi brought back the comedy for one last sketch. He painstakingly explained how he would pretend to leave the stage only to have the crowd cheer him back for an encore. When the time finally came for him to leave, he still managed to surprise us.

Reappearing on a previously unnoticed stage in the middle of the arena, Capaldi ended the show with Someone You Loved. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful and contrary to popular belief, the song is not about Capaldi’s now-famous ex-girlfriend, but about his grandma who sadly passed away.

Amid screams of “Lewis, we love you!” from his Scottish fanbase, the entire arena sang along – a stunning ending to a beautiful and wonderfully bizarre show.