Concert Review: The Vamps in Krakow – 30/9/16

September saw The Vamps make their first ever trip to Poland, the long anticipated, visit saw the quartet also play their first Polish show in Krakow to a 3000 strong audience. We were lucky enough to be able to witness The Vamps hysteria over the course of their visit, from the adoring fans, waiting and cheering on their arrival to the numerous fan projects throughout the show. If you weren’t able to attend the gig, here’s just what we thought about the #CocaColaPresentsTheVamps concert!

Taking place in a festival style tent meant immediately set the vibe for a festival in the middle of Krakow, which can we just say we totally loved. Opening the show was Young Stadium Club, an indie-electronic band from Warsaw. As they kicked off their set the crowd burst into action, clapping, singing and jumping along to their upbeat tracks. The quartet has rapidly made a name for themselves in their home country due to their unique sound and we could see why. Packing bucketloads of energy into their sets, the party vibe was vibrant and without even consciously doing it we found ourselves singing along to their infectious tracks. The Vamps always seem to get brilliant support acts and even in Poland this wasn’t set to change.

As it approached the headline acts stage time, you could sense the excitement running through the crowd as fans ran around giving out project signs, the coca cola advert played on repeat getting ‘Taste the feeling’ jammed in everyone’s heads and the stage was set up. We knew that Krakow was going to make The Vamps first visit memorable, but we didn’t expect it to produce a show as memorable as this. The lights dimmed, the crowd cheers erupted and the intro video used throughout the band’s World Tour flashed onto the screens, The Vamps in Krakow was a go.

Bouncing onto the stage to ‘Rest Your Love’ it took next to no time for the quartet to spring into action, vocalist Brad Simpson has gained a reputation for being a loose cannon on stage and his frantic running up and down the catwalk stage and side to side proved this. Fans were set to get The Vamps at their very finest and they certainly knew it. Crowd participation got its first outing with Brad telling everyone to “Repeat what James McVey sings” in ‘RYL’, due to a language barrier or just sheer excitement it didn’t really work as fans sung along rather than after James bringing a smile to Brad’s face when he could see how into the show everyone was from the first song.

Keeping the setlist similar to that of the World Tour the quartet performed fan favourites including ‘Cheater’ and ‘I Found A Girl’ along with their much-loved cover medley. However once the band had performed the ‘Sorry/History/Stressed Out’ sections, everything went quite as the band had managed to cause the PA system to cut out. A few panicked looks later and like the professionals they are, the quartet managed to laugh it off with the crowd as the event team worked to fix it in time for the band to continue with their set without it taking away the vibrancy it previously held.

We love seeing the friendships between the quartet and how each show highlights them perfectly with Connor and James getting their own Jonnor starring moment as they performed an acoustic version of ‘Written Off’ and ‘Risk It All’. The whole vibe in the tent changed to one of sheer awe, the stripped back beauty of this part of the show flaunted not only the superb vocal ability of the duo but also their love for performing alongside each other. Seeing the sheer delight on their faces when the crowd chanted back each word so far away from the country in which the band started out was enough to make you be unable to have a huge smile on your face too!

Each band member gained their own starring roles, from the Jonnor moment to Brad appearing onstage armed with an acoustic guitar to perform ‘Shout About It’ before Tristan’s drum solo brought back the party to the tent. Every time we’ve been lucky enough to watch Tristan’s drum solo we’ve been left stunned at the sheer talent this fashionable star has getting the crowd jumping, whipping their hair and dancing. It’s fiery, fierce and fabulous in equal measures as throughout not a single beat is missed showing the work put into making his starring moment as on point as possible. Tristan proved that he’s a many of many talents from his drum solo to rapping in ‘Volcano’, we’ve always been fans of band with multi talents and The Vamps seem to have all bases covered from rapping to having the moves (Brad we’re looking at you and your little body wiggles!).

Performing a setlist of new and older tracks for many in attendance this was their first chance to hear some of their favourite songs live. Mixing things up in the show came with The Vamps turning into a three piece with Brad taking a back seat behind the drums for ‘Cecilia’ with James and Connor becoming the sole vocalists, usually at this point the band introduce a special guest to perform with them during the track but tonight the trio took it on single handed. But it wasn’t just The Vamps with surprises up their sleeves…Fan projects have become a universal trend to not just show appreciation for the artist but also bring the fanbase together and Poland have got this right on point, during ‘Wild Heart’ signs distributed by fans and Coca-Cola filled the tent. With messages ‘Thank you The Vamps’ and ‘We love you The Vamps’ printed on them, the quartets view changed into a sea of appreciative fans causing their faces to break into huge smiles upon realising what was going on, a truly beautiful sight.

One of the best things about The Vamps is not only that they work brilliantly as a quartet and appreciate their fans for their support, but they also had a faultless team around them helping shows even in the coldest and strangest locations such as this one be an all round success. Here at CelebMix, we’ve recognised the artistic talents of videographer and photographer Dean Sherwood previously, but after this show, it feels only right to give credit where credit is definitely due. ‘Stolen Moments’ provided one of the most emotional, sincere and beautiful parts of the show not just from the musical side but also thanks to the stunning backdrop visuals displayed. Dean is blessed with a gift of knowing how to make an already moving song feel even more magical as we’re drifted through dark clouds shown on the backing screen. Sometimes simple is best and this was one of those times, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t feel a shiver down our spines and witness a few not so dry eyes around us.

Closing the long awaited show was recent single ‘Wake Up’, the transition from slow and heartfelt to a ready to end on a bang party vibe was immediate. There’s something undeniably fun about when you see The Vamps live, surrounded by 3000 elated fans there was tears, ear to ear smiles and the loudest singalong we’ve heard in a very long time. Each fan in attendance knew they were witnessing something extremely special, not just The Vamps first show in Poland but The Vamps making it clear that they’re making Europe their next point of domination. As Wake Up drew to a close, chaos was unleashed in the form of red streamers (Coca-Cola colour obviously) covering the crowd adding to the magic of their set and leaving the crowd with beaming smiles and cheers escaping their mouths as the band took their final bow and left the stage. Throughout the set, the band mentioned they are set to return on their next world tour and with an announcement about it being made on 12th October, Polish fans won’t need to spend too long anticipating their return!

The Vamps first Polish show was nothing short of magical, a British band performing to a crowd of 3000 adoring fans and performing as if their lives depended on it. What more could we have wanted from their show? The Vamps showed Poland just how they put on a show and we’re delighted we were there to watch the magic unfold!

Were you at the show in Krakow? Are you looking forward to the upcoming world tour announcement? Tweet us @CelebMix and let us know.

Written by Nicola Craig

Lover of all things pop, a boyband or two, and discovering new artists to get hooked on. You'll usually find me at a gig, truly living my best life without a care in the world.