When the news of the amalgamation of two of Britain’s biggest pop-rock bands in recent memory, McFly and Busted, hit the ears of the public at the tail-end of 2013, the frenzy of girls and boys, both young and old, eager to see their favourite poster boys onstage together was unmeasurable. It was foolish to question that their 35-date tour across the UK would be almost completely sold out, or indeed that their stage show would spare any expense.
The evening’s first support acts, Young Brando (***), are only granted a very brief set, much like the other two support slots to follow. The Salisbury based quintet seem a tad out of their depth on such a massive stage, which is completely understandable. Still, their pop-rock tunes manage to get a few of the early birds involved, which is all they could really ask for given the opportunity.
Following up, Dudley’s EofE (**) start proceedings with an admittedly bold but ultimately foolish move; opening their set with a mash-up of Nirvana anthem ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and Michael Jackson‘s classic ‘Billie Jean’, resulting in the band ruining two songs in one. The rest of their set, composed of original material, shows some potential, but they really should’ve cut that cover out completely. Let’s just leave it down to the young age of the band, with one member being just 17-years-old.
Speaking of young age, third and final support outfit The 3 Dudes (***) are easily the youngest guys to be walking onto the stage for the whole evening. Composed of three brothers, Roger, Jack and Sam, they come across as a Blink-182 Jr. sort of band. It seems a little odd that the band have a song about “the greatest party in the world” when they might struggle to purchase an energy drink from the supermarket, but their confidence and ability for such a young age needs to be commended.
There are very few bands out there that you could say entered the stage on a full-sized DeLorean, but Matt Willis and James Bourne of Busted are one of them. Joined shortly onstage by all four members of McFly, who all aside from drummer Harry Judd are catapulted from under the stage, McBusted (*****) have arrived. Treating the fans before them to a set stacked with radio bothering hits from across both bands’ catalogues, immediately they kick into ‘Air Hostess’, and the screams from across the room from that point on weren’t going to stop for almost two hours.
Anyone in attendence who may not be a fan of either band walking into the arena, or even walking out after it all wraps up, is either an idiot or a liar if they claim the stage show wasn’t fun. The spectacles definitely don’t stop at the DeLorean; across the set we see the sextet firing out huge inflatable balls to ‘What I Go To School For’, having huge multi-colour speakers for ‘5 Colours In Her Hair’, and even moving themselves to the middle of the arena on a giant UFO stage for a few songs mid-set.
The highlight, as expected, comes with the encore. Willis makes a quick costume change into a bridal dress for ‘Crashed The Wedding’, the whole room overpowers the band for almost the entirety of ‘All About You’ and final hit ‘Year 3000’, complete with an inflatable trio of breasts atop the stage, brings to an end a show that is as impressive as it is nostalgic.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)