Busted - Portmouth Review

On the evening of the 13th February, an event that I never even thought that would happen within my lifetime occurred – I saw the one and only Busted live. Although I hadn’t heard their new album, I owed it as a debt to 10-year-old me whose heart was broken many years ago, to buy tickets as soon as they were on sale, but, as far as gigs go, I am still in two minds.

Although not previously announced, the supporting act, ‘Natives’ was a pleasant surprise for the evening. Honestly, they are not the support that I had expected, especially when they started the set with each member of the four-piece playing the drums in perfect unison. Playing with a heavy use of drums, guitars and keyboard, their music was an incredible rocky, techno, punk-pop fusion that forced the audience off of their feet. Although slightly pitchy at times within the first song, their performance escalated into a great way to start the night and pump up the crowd ready for Busted.

‘Natives’, consisting of Andy White, Greg Day, Jack Fairbrother and Jim Thomas.

As the lights darkened after the break, a chorus of screams echoed around the venue, as millions of excited fans from past and present edged closer to stage. The electricity was short lived, as instead of running onto the stage, grabbing their guitars and scissor jumping their way around the venue, the trio took their places behind separate keyboards, remaining static for the first few songs. Obviously their latest album was a lot slower than that of their adolescent years, but this new level of maturity slightly sucked the electricity out of the gig as a whole. To me, this could have been avoided with a slightly more diverse set list, as opposed to having such a limited number of their fast paced classics.

‘Busted’, consisting of James Bourne, Charlie Simpson and Matt Willis.

The second that the synth-infused soft rock switches to the rugged, teenage pop-punk, the inner tweens of every audience member escaped from the darkest depths of their souls, causing a crazy transformation of atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong – I have since listened to their latest album ‘Night Driver’, but such a large number of this album's songs were played, I felt more as though I was tolerating it, rather than enjoying it.

Maybe in the future, the set list will improve to the level that their vocals have, and as a whole, I still enjoyed the night. ‘Year 3000’, ‘Crashed the Wedding’, ‘Air Hostess’ and ‘What I go to School for’ were all included, but I will never get over the upset that ‘Thunderbirds’ didn’t make the cut.

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