REVIEWED: Nina Nesbitt’s brilliant ‘The Sun Will Come Up’ tour
| 16th April 2019
Two boxes illuminated the stage as electronic guitars reverbed through Manchester Academy. The crowd, which had sold out the event, grew ever wilder in anticipation. Nina’s husky vocal that opens the track Somebody Special was heard faintly from the wings before she stepped out onto the stage, reflecting the spotlights in an unmissable gleaming blazer.
It’s hard to find one of her songs that doesn’t relate to us in some way or another. Nina was here to make a statement, from the radiant pink hair to the ‘I was dumped but I’m over it’ attitude echoed in Chewing Gum and Colder.
The luminous boxes that backlit the stage flashed in sync to her melodic, pop- infused tracks from her latest release The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change.
Nesbitt’s pride in her work was modest: “We have just reached a quarter of a billion streams on my new album”, she began, “I never expected anything like this!”
The response from the audience was euphoric. The crowd, which was 1,500 strong, belted out the lyrics to favorites The Moments I’m Missing and Empire. It felt as though we were being taken on a journey through Nesbitt’s childhood diary, singing about her experience first kissing a boy and using fake ID at nightclubs; a memory that I’m sure her teenage fans are all too familiar with.
The Scottish folk nuances that once established her career and caught the eye of fellow musician Ed Sheeran now seem a world away from the electro-pop hits featured on The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change.
Nina seemed comfortable among her new musical growth; in her absolute element performing the new tracks along-side her band who also beamed energy and passion. Psychopath and Things I Say When You Sleep brought us on another road-trip throughout her life, from a big ‘F – you’ to an ex, to the nights she spent missing her once lover.
Although the night mainly consisted of the catchy tracks from her sophomore album, the audience appreciated the short moment that Nesbitt spent clutching at her guitar. These moments reminded the audience of why they fell in love with her musical artistry in the first place.
As she sang “Once, once upon a time, thought that you’d be mine”, the crowd joined in with a harmonious rendition of The Apple Tree. This nod towards music from the past continued with a completely genius mash-up of Love Letter and Say My Name. The opportunity wasn’t one that would have been missed by visionary Nesbitt, who’s 90’s influenced guitar plucking lent itself perfectly to the R&B hit made famous by Destiny’s Child.
The set list could have been more demonstrative of her musical evolution. Playing just half of her earlier single The Apple Tree left admiring fans wondering why they hadn’t had the opportunity to sing along with Nesbitt to Stay Out and Selfies from her 2014 debut. There were missed opportunities here, as time that was made for her to perform covers of 90s hits could’ve equally been given to her previous beloved tracks. Its unquestionable that her new album has taken a more eclectic and contemporary approach but nevertheless, a nod to her Peroxide days would have been greatly received by fans.
The whole concert felt as though we’d been invited into Nina’s living room for a cup of tea and a good old chat. Every song had a thoughtful introduction, as the twenty-four-year-old songstress explained the meaning behind the tracks and what inspired them. ‘“You know when you’ve gone through a breakup, and you’re always checking his Instagram, then you looked through his tagged photos and see another girl?” she honestly questioned fans whose heads nodded among the auditorium, “and she’s prettier than you? And studying Law!”
Her worries about this new girl on the scene seemed all but important as her silky vocal took us through The Best You’ve Had. Her self-assurance is something to be admired; talking honestly about heartache and how it promoted the growth within herself and her musical direction.
Before the concert came to a close, Nesbitt payed what could only be described as a homage to “It’s Britney Bitch”, the legendary phrase used by pop princess Britney Spears. The C-Minor chords began to introduce 2003s Toxic, leaving the crowd of twenty-somethings in a frenzy of excitement, remembering the days that they would dance to Spears in their bedrooms with a hairbrush. I predict that Nina was no exception. “Because you’ve been amazing Manchester, we are going to do another cover for you,” she said. “It’s Nina Nesbitch!”
The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change is a faultless compilation of anecdotes by Nesbitt, and this tour was no different. Each track resonated with its own story, featuring her perfectly rasp vocals, electronic drum loops and layered harmonies.
It was a night that set her firmly in the minds and hearts of Manchester fans, still seeming human and vulnerable in her quest to pop perfection.
The album is now available to download here.