Manchester Arena provided the stage for the latest leg on the debut arena tour of Fulham singer and rapper Example, and, quite frankly, he smashed it.
Playing to a near-capacity crowd on Saturday night, his set list mixed the old with the new.
Ably supported by Unorthodox collaborator Wretch 32 and the impressive Alvin Risk, Example had each audience member bouncing where they stood.
For every safe crowd-pleaser like Won’t Go Quietly or Natural Disaster, there was an untried and untested track such as Come Taste the Rainbow – from his as-yet untitled follow-up release to Playing In The Shadows.
Some of these new tracks like the newly-released collaboration with dubstep producer Flux Pavilion, Daydreamer, are sure to be successful.
Others, like the somewhat forgettable Whisper, probably won’t.
That’s not to say that it dampened the spirits of the remarkably receptive Arena revellers, and it has to be said that overall this was certainly one of the better gigs the venue will host this year.
His opening with second UK No.1 single Stay Awake set the tone for what was to come and had the crowd in his pocket from the outset.
After the fantastic Won’t Go Quietly, third on the set list, the crowd had to wait what seemed like an age to the next mainstream hit as he showcased tracks from latest album Playing In The Shadows, but it was worth the wait.
Watch The Sun Come Up, his first chart appearance in September 2009, was arguably the highlight of the show. The chaos this track caused in the standing area in front of the stage told us everything we needed to know about the reaction to this almighty tune.
Elliot Greave, as his mum might call him, didn’t give a chance for rest and immediately launched Kickstarts. The crowd's reaction was, as expected, frenzied, but perhaps not enough to take the mantle from its predecessor.
In truth, some parts of the set felt like Example was simply going through the motions of yet another gig, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind.
He spouted the usual clichéd love of Manchester, and the amount of times he recycled it felt like he was assuring himself of it more than the crowd.
His declaration of appreciation for Manchester’s fabric conditioner for the many towels used in this sweat-filled performance was more of a surprise.
Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of the gig was the impressive agility he showed to dodge the occasional glow stick lobbed in his direction.
Closing up with debut UK No.1 Changed The Way You Kissed Me left his loyal fans leaving exhilarated and satisfied in equal measures and a quick Twitter search of ‘Example Manchester’ says all there is to say about the reception he’s likely to face in his next visit.