Best experienced with headphones
Nothing marks the start of summer more than the ultimate summer-pop-party Capital Summertime Ball. Some of the world’s biggest artists took to the iconic Wembley Stadium stage – which was entirely sold out in 90 minutes by the way – on Saturday 10th June. The NOW Team were lucky enough to be a part of the stunning 80,000 people audience so here are the main 10 things that we learnt…
With the rare British sun shining down over thousands of excited pop-fanatics (all wearing their favourite merch & glitter face paint) it was perfectly clear that everyone was ready to get into the summer-festival spirit. Despite the current events, Wembley Stadium was absolute full to the brim even hours before the show had even started. With everyone sporting the biggest smiles, passing each other inflatables and singing in unison to the summer-anthem ‘Despactio’ played by the pre-show DJ, it was moving to see the crowd unite together for this 7-hour long party.
It’s pretty clear that Bruno Mars is one of the ultimate Kings of Pop. From ‘24K Magic’ into ‘Treasure’ to ‘Uptown Funk’ (with added Latin-style breakdown to keep up the summer vibe) he played half an hour of back-to-back solid bangers. With his impressive moves, perfectly synchronised back-up-dancers and all of the fireworks he really showed us that despite being a headline act, he sure does know how to open a show.
At just 19 years old it’s pretty clear that Zara Larsson already knows how to work that stage. Having seen her just a couple of nights before headlining her own show at Shepherds Bush Empire, she took to the stadium stage like it wasn’t any different. Beaming with confidence and talent, Zara proved in 4 songs that she was born to be a star. She absolutely bossed it– you go girl!
Never did we think we’d witness the entirety of Wembley Stadium shout the lyrics “Oi rudeboy, shut up”. An extremely important lesson of the day was that Grime has officially established itself in mainstream music. In just three songs Stormzy brought the energy to Wembley arena showing us all why we should be really excited about the British music scene.
Whenever his name was mentioned the stadium would erupt into the loudest high-pitched screams. Everyone absolutely loves Shawn Mendes. At just 18 years old, the social media star has become pop’s next superstar. Taking to the stage with just a guitar, a backing band and a load of exceptional talent he showed us why. If that wasn’t enough, he also took the time to meet a super fan and make her dream come true – what a lovely boy!
Raye. Julia Michaels. 5 After Midnight. These are just a few of the names of the breaking acts of this year. It’s also no doubt that this was the biggest show that these acts have played to date, but you wouldn’t be able to tell as they gave such memorable and natural performances. RAYE joined Jax Jones on stage for a colourful and fun performance of ‘You Don’t Know Me’, Julia Michaels displayed her raw talent with ‘Issues’ and 5AM showed off their impressive dance moves and even pulled off a cover of Queen B’s ‘Crazy In Love’… these are definitely some of the names to watch for years to come!
Whilst we’re on the topic of breakthrough artists…It’s pretty rare that 80,000 people can be stunned to silence by how moving one man’s voice can be, but Brit’s Breakthrough Act Rory Graham aka Rag‘n’Bone Man did it. Taking to the stage with his band Rory opened his 2 song set with hit ‘Human’. He followed this with a stripped-down version of his latest single ‘Skin’ which left the stadium in awe of his world-class talent. Rory’s already had a successful year but we’re certain he has cemented his place in the superstar league now.
We know that there’s a massive One Direction shaped hole in any pop party, but fret not because the 1D boys have proved that they’re more than capable of pulling their own. Both Liam and Niall gave stellar performances at the Summertime Ball. Liam debuted his single ‘Strip That Down’ and impressed the audience with his perfectly choreographed dance moves, whilst Niall took to the stage with his backing band to perform latest single ‘Slow Hands’ and ‘This Town’ with the stadium singing all the lyrics back to him – not bad for debut performances!
We heard he was going to “go all out for the fans” and he did not disappoint. Not only did he sport some of the best outfits of the day, he also performed one of the best sets of the day. Not one person in the stadium wasn’t dancing to ‘Temperature’ or singing along to ‘Cheap Thrills’. Not to mention the fact that he performed in all of his featuring roles – with Clean Bandit and Anne Marie for ‘Rockabye’ and Little Mix for ‘Hair’. One thing we learnt from his performances is that he will always be a pop-legend.
Closing the show with a seven-song set, Little Mix just confirmed why they’re the biggest girl band around right now. Not only did they awe the audience with their ability to smash impressive dance moves whilst simultaneously hitting all of their notes perfectly, they didn’t let their energy dip throughout their whole performance. Just to add to all of this, they had pyro AND fireworks – there was nothing not to love in their set. If anything, we learnt they were born to perform stadium shows. So girls, when’s the next one?
**Line-up by order of appearance: Bruno Mars, Zara Larsson, Stormzy, Olly Murs, Louisa Johnson, Clean Bandit, Martin Jensen, Dua Lipa, Jax Jones & Raye, Shawn Mendes, Sigala, JP Cooper, Julia Michaels, 5 After Midnight, James Arthur, Zedd, Charlie Puth, Anne-Marie, Liam Payne, Rag’N’Bone Man, Sean Paul, Niall Horan and Little Mix