Live Reports

Lewis Capaldi: 50% popstar, 50% comedian

Lewis Capaldi brought his “Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent” to the SportPaleis in Antwerp for a 99% soldout show. During about 90 minutes, he sang his biggest hits but also told his best jokes. We sang, we laughed, we cried, we clapped. This evening went by way too fast!

This young Scottish singer is different. In many ways. First of all, he only released one full-length album so far, “Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent”, in 2019. An amazing album full of huge singles like Bruises, Grace, Someone You Love, Fade, etc. And even one of his biggest success so far was released on a special version: Before You Go. Almost 4 years later, this album has reached 10 millions sales worldwide. One album, a huge success and a very young singer: does it remember you anything? Of course, Billie Eilish! She may have more success than him right now (who can really match her right now?!) but the direction is quite the same. And tonight, he sold out the same huge arena as she did in June last year.

Before we welcome Lewis Capaldi on stage, we had 2 support acts: Mark Sharp & The Bicycle Thieves and Only The Poets. Sadly for them – without being a surprise -, the sound and the ambiance are not at its top. Especially for the first one. Half of the venue is empty when the Scottish band arrived on stage. By the way, even if this act was unknown, it was easy to understand they were from Scotland too as the singer got the same accent as our lovely Lewis. Definitely the more rock band on the bill, their British rock sound didn’t impress us.

Only The Poets at Sportpaleis – 23 February 2023 // FreakMike Photography for Ctrl Alt Music.

The main support, Only The Poets, is a bit more known. The venue is a bit less empty. The sound is a bit better. We have all the conditions for a better show, isn’t? And the crowd has been warmed up during the change-over: they displayed some messages like “Scream” or “Applause” during the 15 minutes break and also put the best songs for tonight’s young crowd with title like As It Was from Harry Styles. Honestly, the crowd was more on fire during Harry Styles – not on stage tonight – than during Only The Poets. The crowd doesn’t really know the songs but they still accept to play the game when the band asked them some help like turn on the light off their smartphone (use a lighter is too old-school) or get down on the ground. Before leaving the stage with their most famous song Every Song I Have Ever Wrote, the band reminded they gonna play a headline show not far from here: Trix promoted by MCLX on April 23th!

After a short change-over and 10 minutes earlier, it’s finally time to welcome the star of the day on stage: Mister Lewis Capaldi and his 4 musicians. Starting the set on the new single Forget Me, from the upcoming album, we can discover the beautiful stage production and the huge LED screen where beautiful landscapes are projected. After Forever, the musicians already left the stage to let us alone with Lewis Capaldi and his evil side. The singer is gone, the humorist appeared. During 5 minutes straight, he old some jokes, asked which language he had to speak here with the many official languages in our country: French, Dutch, Flemish ? We didn’t have time to explain Dutch and Flemish are basically the same. He forgot French. But obviously, he’ll continue the full evening in English! He continued with jokes about single people and couples. He dedicated the next song Lost On You to the biggest part of the crowd: “This song is for you single loosers”!

Lewis Capaldi at Sportpaleis – 23 February 2023 // FreakMike Photography for Ctrl Alt Music.

New funny break after 5 songs when he read some signs from the fans in the first rows. There weren’t as many as during a Harry Styles show but still, more than we’re used to. A girl, Julie, had her Birthday but the artist and the crowd didn’t really understand it… and start singing Happy Birthday to Lewis Capaldi who didn’t understand as it’s Birthday is in October! The second shot was the good one, he asked the whole venue to sing her an Happy Birthday and they did it straight away but in Dutch. This young fan will never forget her 17th Birthday for sure!

One of the biggest moment of the evening was definitely Before You Go, in the top 3 of his biggest singles, where he let the crowd sing along a big part of it. A beautiful close moment between the artist and his fans. During Wish You The Best that he played very high, we had another moment of jokes and talks from the Scottish singer. Even if he’s doing it since 7 weeks now, he still shit in his pants everytime! Doing this when you’re feeling dizzy is cool for the show but less cool for him… At the same time, the security staff had to evacuate a fan from the crowd. Seems Lewis Capaldi saw this – not sure – but decided to start the next song. Not the best move but in the end, everything was under control.

Back on stage, the screen went high again and all the lights went red at the same time: we knew what’s was going to happen: a huge song from the first album with his cover 100% red. It was Grace time. And already almost this end of the show: only 2 songs left… before he pretends to leave and came back for 2 other songs. Funny guy but not a liar, we indeed got 2 great songs, 2 new ones, Pointless and Hold Me While You Wait. For the encore, we got another new song… before ending on the massive Someone You Loved. The perfect ending for a perfect show!

Set-list: Forget Me, Forever, Lost On You, Heaven Kind Of State Of Mind, Fade, Before You Go, Bruises, Wish You The Best, Grave, Pointless, Hold Me While You Wait // Encore: How I’m Feeling Now, Someone You Loved.

Lewis Capaldi confirmed in less than 90 minutes he’s one of the biggest young singers on the planet right now. With only one album released so far. And if the stage production around him was lovely and well worked, he’s still appearing as a lovely normal guy coming from a small town in Scotland and just wanna sing. Nothing else… or maybe telling some jokes too. And we were there to hear everything of it! Next round at Pukkelpop 2023?!

Lewis Capaldi at Sportpaleis – 23 February 2023 // FreakMike Photography for Ctrl Alt Music.

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