Live review: Lewis Capaldi

There is a palpable excitement in the air, as we await for 20-year-old Lewis Capaldi to take to the stage for his biggest headline gig in Glasgow to date in St Luke’s. It’s obvious that he has a strong fanbase already, despite the fact that at time of writing this, he only has 2 songs available to stream online. Although, combined, they have millions of listens – cultivated by this aforementioned, dedicated fanbase.

That online buzz is now tangible in the 700 strong, sold-out crowd as when Capaldi takes to the stage, he is met with loud screams, hollers of encouragement and he is fully illuminated by the many phone cameras that are eager to capture this magical moment.

Photo credit: Cameron Brisbane Photography

With his accompanying keyboardist who opened with the heart string-tugging chord of his second hit single, ‘Lost On You’, Capaldi crooned the song’s vocals and was met with some intense audience participation as they sung his words loudly back to him.

He crescendos as the song progresses, and it is obvious that the strong vocals that have been so popular online are able to beautifully translate into a live setting. He commands the stage, and the audience, even if his body language was a little nervous, but the sheer power of his voice was still able to capture the room and it is absolutely spellbinding. I got goosebumps, and the night had only just begun.Throughout the night, he plays his way through some more unreleased songs — but the crowd are still enthusiastic. Even though he has perfected the sombre love song (see ‘Bruises,’ ‘Lost On You’), the other songs that are played are effervescent and upbeat, as a band joins him onstage and adds another poppy element to his sound.

We are told later that his debut EP, Bloom is now available for pre-order and will be released on 22nd October, and that it is currently sitting at #2 in the pre-order charts. What stands in the way of the top spot are a little band called the Foo Fighters, but Capaldi remarks that he’s “not one to knock a new band, so I hope they do well.”The joke does not come off as arrogant, but instead as light hearted, and it shows in his on stage banter with the crowd that he’s just a down to earth lad from Bathgate (with bags and bags of talent). However, he would’ve had every right to be legitimately cocky if he wanted to be – as next February, he will be topping tonight’s milestone by headlining the 02 ABC.

The most special moment of the night comes when Capaldi closes his set with the song that has over 20 million streams on Spotify, ‘Bruises’. There are points where the crowd seem to overtake his vocals as they were so loud, and Capaldi stops all together so that they can take over. The words are clear — everyone here knows them. When he does sing, though, it has the ability to make hairs stand on end. The song feels holy, with stripped down instrumentals again — set just to keyboard and aided with some harmonies, which is obviously idyllic, given the setting is in a reformed church.

As he leaves, Capaldi thanks the crowd for a final time and picks up his choice of holy wine – a quarter bottle of Buckfast – and exits stage left.

Words: Alisa Wylie, Editor-In-Chief. Photo credit: Cameron Brisbane Photography