Gig Review: Emma Blackery
Birmingham was the last tour date out of four shows for Emma Blackery, who was embarking on her first headline tour. She built her music career via her successful YouTube channel amongst comedy sketches and discussion videos. Her main channel has over one million subscribers and counting. Emma has also performed as a support act for Busted, who are known to her fans as being the musicians that inspired Emma to purchase her first guitar.
Opening up the show at the o2 Academy 2 was Arthur Walwin, a fellow YouTuber and guitarist in Emma’s band who also writes, performs and tours under his own name as a separate act. Walwin’s music sounded alternative with elements of techno incorporated into the backing tracks of each song. He predominately played upbeat songs about partying and having fun. However, his second to last song called Void, interested me as the narrative was about giving everything into a relationship and getting nothing back. This is something that the audience could possibly relate to and connect with.Overall, Walwin’s set made me feel nostalgic of techno/alternative bands that I listened to as an early teen.
Emma Blackery opened up the show with her latest single, ‘Sucks To Be You’ wearing the same gold sparkly jacket as in her music video. This was performed as a high-energy song with shouty vocals. The crowd were very lively and enthusiastic throughout the first three songs. Emma told the audience that she had never seen a crowd jump so much in the entire tour.
She engaged with the audience very well and her comedic persona came through whilst she was speaking in between songs, this is because she is known to her audience as a comedian on YouTube. Emma made a joke about how hot it was on stage and that if she faints, she wants it filmed at all angles because of how YouTube is these days. There were also some heartfelt, inspiring moments throughout the show. Emma asked the audience to raise their hand if anyone has ever felt insecure about how they look, everyone in the room immediately put their hands up and she told them all to look around. This was emotive and inspiring to her young audience as it proved to the fans that everyone feels the same about themselves. Emma then played her song called ‘Perfect’, a song about being yourself and that your flaws make you unique.
After twenty minutes of high-energy rock songs, Emma slowed down the tempo and her band disappeared backstage, allowing Emma to sit down with her guitar and truly show her musical abilities through her slower songs such as Next To You, Instead, and The Promise. The first two acoustic songs were reminiscent and showed the contrast between falling in love, and the heartbreak that followed. For the last acoustic song, She asked if the audience had tissues because some of her audience members sometimes cry during her song, The Promise. It is about overcoming depression and feelings of worthlessness. In the end of the song, Emma switched from acoustic to full band for the outro.
Emma thanked the audience for attending her show instead of watching the final of The Great British Bake Off. She closed the show with two encore songs called Don’t Come Home and Fear The Future.
I thoroughly enjoyed this show as I can relate to Emma’s personality and lyrical narratives. I would highly recommend that her fans attend her shows in the future as they are not to be missed.