The Stereophonics opened their show in full lighting with their biggest hit in recent years, 2015’s ‘C’est La Vie’ with Kelly at the end of the long walkway that pierced the sold out Sheffield Arena crowd. This high energy opening was a great sign of things to come for the rest of the evening.
At first, the staging setup seemed relatively plain, but bit by bit small parts revealed themselves, with the lighting setup for songs near the end of the set looking extremely pretty without being over the top and distracting from the music. Moving lights adorned the entire arena, a giant glitterball shimmered for those more mellow moments, and even the walkway itself lit up throughout the night.
I saw the band live back in 2018 headlining Tramlines festival and was impressed by how well they sounded, but seeing them perform a longer set here without the slight drop in quality you can expect from outdoor shows was truly exceptional; for a band going consistently for this long and to still sound exactly like they do on the record is very impressive indeed.
Kelly was great with the crowd, telling occasional stories from throughout the band’s almost 3 decade long career and a few glimpses into the tales behind some of their most loved tracks.
They played a long, 24 song set but at no point did it become dull, with newer tracks like ‘Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day’ from their latest album ‘Kind’ fitting in perfectly alongside fan favourites like ‘Handbags & Gladrags’. They set up a mini stage at the end of the walkway and played ‘Local Boy In The Photograph’ and ‘Traffic’ from their 1997 debut album.
I really can’t fault the show at all. Finishing their main set with a blistering version of ‘Bartender and the Thief’ before a very strong encore which closed with ‘Dakota’ left Sheffield Arena very happy indeed. They certainly had a nice day.