Wednesday 5 June 2013

District 3 // Live Review, Sheffield O2 Academy

District 3 are best known for appearing on 2012’s Xfactor and making it to week six in the live shows. They are proud of their XFactor past, however the three-piece are keen to carve a name for themselves in the industry in their own right. So when we were invited down to see them we knew we couldn’t say no, intrigued as to what their first ever headline tour had to offer. 

We went along to check out the opening night at Sheffield’s O2 Academy.
Stay tuned to Est.1987 as we also bring you a video interview with the guys themselves as they chat to us about their original songs, ditching the dance routines, oh and the pigeon and moped incident.

It would be an understatement to say that excitement was high in Sheffield for the arrival of District 3. Having built quite the fanbase off the back of their time on Xfactor, the fans are out in full force this evening, ready to see what the “3eek Out” tour has to offer. By the time the three-piece step on stage the predominantly female audience is about to combust and welcome the band on with a roar of high pitched screams. And, from this point on, the adoration for the band is unstoppable.

District 3 on the first night of their first UK heaadline tour

With a lack of original material allowed to be heard whilst on Xfactor, it was refreshing to hear that the opening song is indeed a District 3 hand-penned piece. “What You Know About Me” is infectious pop at it’s best and Greg even shows off his skills on acoustic guitar. The rest of the set follows suit and it’s a diverse evening full of surprises. District 3 prove that they can hold down a range of different genres from ballad “Dead To Me” to the more RnB led “I Just Wanna Be Loved”, with impressive harmonies to boot. They even throw in some cover versions of their favourite songs, including Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love” and the upbeat Ne-Yo track “Let Me Love You”. If the crowd didn’t already have their dancing shoes on, then they certainly did now.

District 3's Dan on stage in Sheffield
Something very different to most live shows was that the “3eek Out” tour didn’t take itself too seriously. An interlude made way for a “Take Me Out” parody, seeing three fans battle it out on stage to win backstage passes. If backstage passes weren’t enough to ignite the audience into high pitched screams, then the boys re-emerging wearing boxing robes is. Cue chants of “take it off, take it off”. Much to the crowd’s disappointment they leave the stage fully clothed, but not after a quick question and answer session compared by host for the evening Luke Franks. However, when it got down to the music the three-piece didn’t disappoint and were soon back on stage, Super Soaker water pistols in hand ready to drench the crowd. Upbeat “Bring Me Back To Life” is highlight of the set, reminiscent of band Lawson with an acoustic rock-pop feel; a perfect festival anthem.
Charisma in abundance, it isn’t hard to see how District 3 capture the teen fan market. It is the first night of the tour so naturally a few things are being ironed out. However, as they end on Xfactor cover track “Beggin’” (featuring an impressive backflip by Dan, who bearing in mind has one arm in a cast due to an incident with a moped and a pigeon) the evening concludes on an almighty high.

The crowd simply can't get enough of the three-piece

It would be easy for people to dismiss District 3 as “XFactor flash-in-the-pans” and only time will tell what is set to happen next for them. However, it would be unfair not to give them the credit they deserve, purely because of their talent show past. For the market that they appeal to they have the whole package. And for the market that they don’t necessarily cater to [ie- not teenage girls] even they can’t deny they can sing, are entertaining to watch and are loving every single minute of it. Their enthusiasm is infectious and one thing is certain you can’t go to a District 3 tour and not have fun, no matter what age you are. 8/10