Bros at the O2 ArenaCultureMusicLive music
One of the biggest bands of the late 1980s, Bros – 48-year-old twins Matt and Luke Goss – brought their elaborate stage show to the O2 on Sunday, the second of two consecutive nights at the popular venue which was almost-but-not-quite filled to capacity (the Saturday had sold out).
This was no money-spinning reunion from two down-on-their-luck musicians keen to just relive past glories, however, as the pair have both been highly successful in their own right: Matt as a solo singer with a Las Vegas residency and Luke as a Hollywood actor who has appeared in such films as Blade II and War Pigs.
Rising from below the stage, the brothers kicked things off with I Owe You Nothing, their first single release from 1987, which then hit number one on its re-release a year later. Luke and the other musicians were on a raised platform at the back, while Matt and the three backing singers occupied the space below. Strip away all the hype that surrounded the band back in the day and it’s easy to forget what a great singer Matt Goss is, something he demonstrated right from the off on energetic songs like I Quit and the powerful ballad Are You Mine. “It’s a beautiful song, even now,” he said of the latter, revealing that his niece cried when she heard the boys rehearsing it.
The effects were impressive. Ticker tape shot out, flames lit up the stage and images flashed up on the big screen. A video showing a US highway – possibly the Pacific Coast Highway – accompanied the brilliant Too Much, without doubt one of the standout tracks of the night. Throughout the show, the twins repeatedly thanked and expressed their love for the fans. The two came together at the front of the stage and sang Cat Among the Pigeons while stills of fans from back in Bros’ heydey were shown behind. Garden of Forgiveness followed and saw images from the Goss family album displayed.
Paying tribute to the late George Michael, the brothers welcomed Michael’s longtime bass player Deon Estus and former backing singer Shirley Lewis – who also happens to be Luke’s wife – on to the stage for a near-perfect rendition of the star’s 1990 hit Freedom! The spirited Drop the Boy, a song Matt said they’d only played “two times in 27 years,” is also worth a mention.
Probably because they were together for a relatively short period of time, Bros don’t have a huge repertoire of mega hits to draw from, and compensated for this by using audience participation to extend each track beyond their original format. The new-found affection that Matt and Luke appear to have for these tunes – and for being back together again – was a joy to behold, however, and the former’s emphatic declaration of “Ladies and gentlemen, Bros are back!” at the end suggests there will be more to come.
For further information and future events visit the Bros website here.