Blossoms packed pilot gig in Sefton Park brings back the good times… for one night only

Posted on 5 May 2021
By Shannon Garner
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Waking up on the morning of the first live gig in more than a year and knowing I was going… I felt like a toddler on Christmas Day.

Bouncing around my house with excitement, I have seen a fair share of bands over the years, including Blossoms in the earlier stage of their career, but I have never experienced a gig so overwhelming or important in my lifetime.

I don’t know if it’s because we have all been deprived of normalcy for over a year, but the entire day felt like a fever dream. It even felt wrong to openly smile at a stranger and get a smile back because our mouths have all been hidden by face coverings for months on end.

It goes without saying that I was cautious and nervous leading up to the event after everything we have experienced this past year, but everything went without a hitch.

The security teams were efficient, helpful and super friendly which totally put me at ease and knowing everyone had to have a negative COVID-19 test to enter, made me feel extremely safer.

Having not been able to do such things for so long, getting past the final queue and entering the threshold felt like I was taking my first steps as a baby all over again.

It was a whole night of firsts as the myriad of people were able to forget the life of restrictions that we have come to know as normal.

No masks, no social distancing, no rule of six and no risk of fines, it was like getting your first taste of freedom. Once you passed those barriers, it was a free for all.

Upon first entering, everyone around me was either dancing around the field, embracing strangers with loving arms or ripping off their face masks with a sigh of relief. No-one was standing still or looking bored and the actual event hadn’t even begun yet.

By 5:30pm, before any of the bands had started, a DJ was spinning indie anthems inside the colossal red tent and even had the sizeable crowd dancing shoulder to shoulder to the YMCA.

That sight alone is enough to have you feeling elated and seeing everyone in such a happy mood felt very surreal.

Opening the show, Liverpool artist Zuzu turned the event into a celebration and performed like her life depended on it.

Creating a moment of civic pride by shouting “one small step for Scousers…” at the start of what became a euphoric performance, the bespectacled, PVC-trousered Liverpudlian probably didn’t expect to have such a rapturous reception after only releasing a few singles.

She had the tent roaring throughout her set and in all honesty, I have never seen such a good reaction for a support act before.

The Lathums followed on from Zuzu and seeing as lockdown could have destroyed this band, they seem to have come out of these strange times a lot stronger.

With 5,000 people in an oversized tent reminiscent of festival periods, by the time Blossoms hit the stage, the atmosphere felt like a cup final.

With a greatest hits setlist that pretty much everybody knew every single word to, frontman Tom Odgen yelled “this will be the best night out for a very long time” and proved as good as his word.

Blossoms have some heavy tracks too and they made sure to use them at the perfect times during their setlist.

Opening with ‘Your Girlfriend’ couldn’t have gone down with the crowd any better and their most famous song ‘Charlamagne’, which they ended on, was everything.

It was beyond impossible to get even a few seconds on video as the crowd were throwing themselves everywhere, clambering on people’s shoulders and hurling their drinks into the crowd. It was everything we have missed and everything we could have wanted in that moment.

A personal highlight was when the band sang ‘If You Think This Is Real Life’. Getting to scream the lyrics “if you think this is real life” at the top of my lungs felt so surreal given the strange times we are living in.

It definitely did not feel like real life seeing as it was the first live music performance in the UK in over a year.

Another personal highlight was the feeling of walking out with everyone at the end of the show. That adrenaline from feeling live instruments vibrating through your chest for hours does not come close to anything else and it is elevated by the rush to the merch stand to buy an overpriced top that you will only ever wear to bed.

The night was all about having a good time, drinking overly priced bevvys from cardboard cups and being squished in a melee of sweaty fans, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t even trade the amount of bruises I got from having such a good time.

There are still continuous arguments that can be made over everything we have faced during the past year but at some stage, we have to start living a normal life again.

Seeing everyone electrified from being back in the thrilling environment felt like old times and hopefully live music can make a full return soon.

If you did go to the gig or any of the pilot scheme events, please remember to send off your at home tests. It is important that people are able to analyse the show and bring back these events we all long for, we have spent too long living without them.