It’s ironic, really, that the event to celebrate the release of Declan McKenna’s new album Zeros (an album that shines a light on the good and bad of social media, and the world going on outside of it) took place entirely online, but the London -born indie rocker certainly took it in his stride as he took to the stage at Lafayette in London for a one-off live-streamed show.
Unlike the fans watching at home, who were probably dressed in pyjamas, Declan was decked out in gold, which felt fitting with the futuristic feel of his latest release. Without introduction, he launched into the latest album track by track, starting with the energetic opening song You Better Believe!!! and concluding with the softer, lingering notes of Eventually, Darling.
The previously-released singles Be An Astronaut, The Key To Life On Earth, Beautiful Faces and Daniel, You’re Still A Child slotted in nicely following the opening song, each sounding as powerful and arena-ready as the next, though it was the latest, high-energy single Rapture that was the highlight for me; a reminder that McKenna has not only come a long way since his 2017 debut album What Do You Think About The Car, but also that he isn’t afraid to embrace and develop his unique sound to another level.
Twice Your Size and Sagittarius A* felt made for dancing, and here’s hoping that an entire arena will be up dancing to these songs in the near future, whilst the softer songs on the album Emily and Eventually, Darling are lighter-in-the-air anthems that force you to pay attention to McKenna’s captivating, lingering vocals and will have live audiences asking for a repeat performance.
Even from home, you better believe he had the power to entertain, captivate and remind me especially of the live music scene I love and miss.
Following his play-through of his latest material, he also treated viewers to several of his earlier songs, including the politically-charged 2019 single British Bombs, the track that earned him high acclaim in the form of Brazil, a softer guitar track Make Me Your Queen and the final track Listen To Your Friends, though I for one, and I’m sure others would agree, could have listened to more songs.
Though it definitely wasn’t how McKenna – or his fans – expected to celebrate his latest release, the live-streamed concert was a fun, music-filled experience that brought his out of this world album back down to earth, a nostalgic reminder of the live music scene performers and fans alike are missing.
This concert was proof that Declan McKenna can transcend from his older indie rock pieces towards songs that are more futuristic and are in touch with the crazy times that we are living in.