Sam Ryder review: Eurovision star lights up Eventim Apollo with a joyful charm | Music | Entertainment

Sam Ryder may have been pipped to the post at Eurovision last year by Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, but that hasn’t held him back from packing out London’s iconic Eventim Apollo as part of his UK tour.

The momentous occasion hadn’t escaped the Space Man hitmaker, who endeared crowds by admitting how fearful he was he wasn’t well-known enough to be headlining the venue, where he’s seen some of his favourite artists perform over the years.

Fortunately, Essex-born Sam’s worries were unfounded, as he lit up the stage and brought a smile to the faces of audience members, made up of fans of all ages – from pre-school to pensioners.

The singer made a grand entrance in one of his signature jumpsuits encrusted with 15,000 beads and gems (not dissimilar to his iconic 2022 Eurovision Song Contest denim outfit). With his blonde hair billowing behind him, Sam kicked off the gig on a high with one of his latest singles, the catchy and upbeat Somebody.

After the crowd were enthralled by his impressive vocal range, the glam-rock-influenced performer entertained by bringing a witty twist to a bit of classic audience interaction. Sam instructed fans to copy his jaw-dropping vocal runs, being all too aware that they would be a bit of a challenge to replicate. After leading an impromptu singing lesson, Sam belted out an impossibly long note for crowds to copy. The star then proceeded to comically lounge on a chair, whilst getting his famous locks and beard combed to perfection, as the audience tried their best to hold the note for as long as he had done.

Once he’d warmed up the crowd, Sam took the reins again with his David Guetta and Sigala collaboration, Living Without You. Bringing a fresh twist to the dance anthem for the live rendition, Sam concluded the track with a surprise guitar solo.

Living Without You was quickly followed up by another pop hit, Put a Light on Me, before the 33-year-old showed his sincere side by encouraging the crowd to rally around those who were struggling to introduce a new, uplifting song, Mountain.

Sam managed to get the audience on their feet when he performed a medley of covers, reminiscent of his rise to fame via TikTok. The star lent his versatile vocal skills to Paramore’s Misery Business and Florence and The Machine’s euphoric hit You’ve Got The Love.

Sam almost lost the audience when he announced More would be his last song of the evening, with many calling out for him to play his Eurovision anthem Space Man instead. Clearly part of a ruse, Sam eventually returned to the stage for an encore, starting with romantic ballad Lost In You, before launching into Space Man, delighting the many fans he had gained after becoming the UK’s best-performing act in the song competition since 1998.

Ending his setlist on a high, Sam’s falsetto sparked goosebumps as he changed the lyrics of his chart-topping Eurovision hit to “I don’t wanna go home”, proving how much the night at the Apollo had meant to the singer during his meteoric rise to fame.

Sam Ryder is playing Bournemouth’s O2 Academy tomorrow, April 4, 2023 – get tickets here.

He is also playing Cheltenham Racecourse and the Isle of Wight festival in the summer – grab tickets here while you can.

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