Esco Williams pops his O2 Academy headline cherry delivering a next level showstopper, Getintothis’ Terri-Anne Baker salutes the New Challenger and his astonishing supporting cast.
Esco Williams‘ debut headline show at the O2 Academy in Liverpool was much like his legacy thus far: a game-changing thriller.
Arriving at the O2, Getintothis had little idea of what to expect from the four Merseyside acts on offer, yet nothing could prepare us for what unfolded.
Tyler Mensah opened the show; the 15-year-old from Runcorn (yup, FIFTEEN) accompanied simply by an acoustic guitar and microphone, and unassisted by the usual backing tracks, proved a revelation.
Opening track, Let It Rain was melodic and mature, Never Give Up was suitibaly catchy while Superman revealed Tyler’s cheeky side as he winked and worked the crowd.
Mensah, who incidentally has been performing since the age of five and has just released his debut EP 24/7, has hints of Bruno Mars and was pure pop pleasure; a mixture of smooth vocals and rap about the loves and life of a teenager.
To quote Tyler himself, ‘If you want the money and the fame you have to stay on top of your game.” Tyler, I don’t think you’ll have any problems there.
Next up was the gorgeous Janiece Myers – another local lass, the Liverpool songbird opened her set with a haunting rendition of A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes from Disney’s 1950s classic Cinderella.
If only Disney made princesses like Miss Myers. Her first song Work was upbeat despite being about the daily grind; an act full of soul, strength and heart she gave a touching tribute to her mum before her five-year-old niece, Jada, joined her on stage which added extra cute factor.
Myers followed up with Bad Boys, a track all about her love of them, cleverly sampling Miami Sound Machine and Bob Marley songs of the same name.
The urban princess closed her set treating the crowd to some street styling, which she executed perfectly. There’s a touch of Nina Simone about this girl – a voice like velvet dipped in honey; she’s definitely one to watch.
Getintothis 2013 tips, MiC Lowry opened to huge screams underlining their star quality, and despite being one member down (due to a ski trip!) their display oozed class.
Stand Down opened the set – a song written by Esco Williams – was woven together with heavenly harmonies and got the crowd clapping along.
Good Love, also written by their mentor Esco, was accompanied by an acoustic guitar and showed off MiC Lowry‘s incredible vocal talent; these boys are clearly in their element on stage and the song raised a massive cheer from the masses of excited teenage girls.
New Start again showed off flawless vocals and left the audience screaming for more. The boys closed with a mash up and Connor Maynard cover as MiC Lowry raised the pulse brining goose bumps to the O2.
After a healthy wait, building the anticipation, Esco Williams and his band The Kontrollers opened to riotous hometown applause.
The recent MOBO Award winner and GIT Award 2012 nominee opened with thumping heavy bass and powerful guitars while Janiece Myers added her textured tones on backing vocals.
The self-styled geek chic star opened with Just Friends; a bluesy but edgy ballad which had more than a few of his massive army of fans singing along to it gooey-eyed.
The aural treats came thick and fast – a fabulous cover of Rihanna‘s You Da One, soulful Esco original I Should Be The One For You, the summer hit in waiting I Want You More and the heart-melting Cards On The Table; a high energy track which had everyone jumping along.
New track Brown Skin followed before Esco unveiled an exclusive track so new that it hadn’t been named yet. What Do I Do Without My Heart was billed as Esco’s final song but he was just playing with us, returning to the stage to deafening screams of ‘more‘.
Joking with the packed O2 crowd, he beamed: ‘I’ve always wanted to do that,’ before belting out the mash up which pricked GIT Award judges way back in 2011, of Estelle‘s American Boy and Black Street‘s No Diggity.
Esco finally closed with debut single smash New Challenger, and boy have we got a contender in Esco Williams – a powerhouse performer, a vocal gymnast and a name we’re going to see a lot more of.
Esco Williams the Kontrollers have left another indelable impression on Liverpool.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Michelle Roberts.
Further reading on Getintothis:
GIT Award 2013 and Esco Williams single launch: The Grey Space, Water Street
Watch Esco Williams’ video to the New Challenger.
Getintothis‘ in depth interview with GIT Award nominee Esco Williams.
Getintothis on MiC LOWRY.
Getintothis on Janiece Myers.