Nothing But Thieves at Wembley Arena
A significant night for Nothing But Thieves – and for all the thousands of lucky fans squeezed together at Wembley Arena to see them. There is only one moment when lead singer Conor Mason’s glass-shattering voice seems close to breaking. Light washes over the audience as he watches in awe. “Wow,” he says, head in his hands, “Thank you for being here and selling out our first night at Wembley Arena.”
It’s one of their dreams come true, he candidly admits, as the five from Essex used to go to Wembley as children. And who knows what thoughts are racing through his mind while he conjures up the far-away image of a kid who, he believes, would probably make fun of his outfit – a rather fashionable ensemble of skirt and trousers, all black. Perfectly on brand.
This is just a small taste of a rock concert that electrifies, livens, and even moves to tears at some point. Not only do they have a lot of fun and appear totally at home on such a grand stage – Mason jumping around, dancing, bowing down – but they also share a genuine connection with the people who warmly welcome them, singing and dancing along.
Most importantly, not for a moment do they seem to take any of it for granted. Every “thank you” – and Mason does like to thank a lot – is not just mere concert etiquette. The lead singer’s frequent expressions of gratitude seem to stem from a profound and genuine sense of disbelief and appreciation for their journey. Britain’s most polite thieves.
Impressive is also the alt-rock band’s ability to recreate the complex layers and dynamics of their studio recordings in a live setting. From a soulful vocal performance to intricate guitar riffs and dynamic drum patterns, everything is executed with precision – yet never sacrificing the raw energy that defines their rock sound.
Last June, they released their fourth album, Dead Club City, which contains some of the highlights of the night, including Do You Love Me Yet?. Rock with a beating, bleeding heart, it reaches through and doesn’t let you go. The lead singer interrupts the performance to ask, “London, do you love us yet?”. The answer is a loud roar.
Ever so polite even with their track titles, Sorry stands out as another highlight. From the opening chords, it sets a haunting tone that immediately pulls the audience in. Mason’s vocals, a signature blend of vulnerability and power, take centre stage – unbridled emotion that amplifies the heartfelt narrative of the song, making it a visceral experience: “Pick the thorns out of my hair / I broke your heart so carelessly / But made the pieces part of me.”
The use of lights, ranging from red and yellow hues to accompany the more dynamic, energetic songs, to cooler blue and green tones during the slower, introspective moments like Sorry, also contributes significantly to the overall experience.
This is one of those concerts that prompted this writer to add several new songs to her Spotify playlist, including those of the opening act, Everything Everything, earmarked as a band to follow closely. Overall, an incredible performance that solidifies Nothing But Thieves as a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary alt-rock scene. These thieves are welcome to keep on stealing away.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Nothing But Thieves’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Sorry here: