Monday 20 May 2019

Review: YouTube stars ultimate icons of 21st century

Pop: The Vamps, 3Arena, Dublin

Vamps: YouTube celebrities
Vamps: YouTube celebrities
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

The Vamps are a very modern pop phenomenon. Rather than shop their demos around record labels, or pursue The X Factor route to stardom, they are bona fide YouTube celebrities.

In 2012, they scored a deal thanks to uploading clips to the video-sharing website, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this week.

In 2015, they are capable of selling out the biggest indoor venue in the country and will be back on these shores for a date at Cork's Live at the Marquee summer series. They only released their debut album, Meet the Vamps, last year.

Even though their career is in its infancy, Connor, Tristan, James and Brad manage to put in an hour-and-a-half shift. Granted, the bulk of their set consists of cover versions, such as a crowd-pleasing medley of Uptown Funk, Seven Nation Army, Shake it Off and We Can't Stop, but it is a rather impressive feat nevertheless.

They know how to clown around and have fun, dressing up as Darth Vader for another cover of In Too Deep by Sum 41 and inviting a fan onstage.

A truly surreal moment occurs about half way into the show, as drummer Tristan Evans launches into a raucous drum solo as his kit is elevated above the stage on a raising platform.

In rock n' roll, drum solos are normally a cue to go to the bar or rush to the loos, but Evans turns it into a concert highlight, complete with a blitzkrieg of Skrillex-style dubstep beats.

The Vamps are a 21st-century pop juggernaut in more ways than one.

These English pop kids certainly aren't reinventing the wheel of popular music, but they know how to deliver to their shrieking tweenage fanbase.

Their show is pacey and slick, and they do more than enough to shake off the slightly cynical suggestion that they are nothing more than One Direction with guitars.

Irish Independent

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