After a two-year wait, Sam Fender finally tackled his original Hypersonic Missiles Tour and it was well worth the patience. The moment everyone was dreaming of– the lights over the iconic London venue, Alexandra Palace, faded as the “Imperial March” from Star Wars began to play. Out ran Chewbacca and a lone storm trooper, followed by Sam holding his own lightsaber into the air. It certainly was a unique introduction for a show packed full of energy.
The show got off to a flying start, with Sam opening the night with his hit single “Will We Talk?” with the crowd absolutely beaming with joy. You can tell just how well awaited this tour was — voices echoed the chorus around the sold-out hall filled with 10,000 individuals.
The setlist burst with hit tracks from his discography ranging from one of his earliest releases “Spice”, to “Get You Down” off of recent smash hit Seventeen Going Under. Fender isn’t one to shy away from vulnerability when it comes to song-writing. Growing up working class, he is well aware of how the government demise those surviving from the skin of their teeth, often reflecting that in his lyrics. His vulnerability has led to his popularity, with one of the newest singles “Seventeen Going Under” proving to be a hit, especially to the younger generations. The lyrics “I was far too scared to hit him, but I would hit him in a heartbeat now” became a viral trend on TikTok, where individuals began opening up their vulnerable side, talking about pieces of their past. “Seventeen Going Under” proves to be a hit for this reason – people can share their experiences with a safe and supportive community. This song brought one of the loudest moments of the night, creating a real connection between the music and the people.
Midway through the show, Fender stopped the intro of “Howdon Aldi Death Queue” (a song written about a local Aldi supermarket in the middle of the pandemic) due to somebody in the crowd collapsing. The crowd applauded as the medics carried the person away on a stretcher. Sam reappeared onstage a couple of minutes later praising the security and medics for their hard work and for keeping everyone safe. He then requested everyone to take a step back to give those in the middle some more room — a heartfelt moment considering the state of the live music industry following the Astroworld tragedy of this month.
Highlights of the evening included the finale – single “Play God” — which concluded the night with a huge build-up consisting of guitars riffs and drums looping. For the encore, Sam re-emerged onstage with a cover of “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, which got everyone going regardless of how well fans knew his discography This then moved into two of his most popular singles: “Saturday” and “Hypersonic Missiles”. An ironic end for such an incredibly upbeat evening – “Hypersonic Missiles” is a song about the acceptance of the present world – and the lingering fears that we may face in the future like global warming, threats of war, and political doom. Regardless of the lyrics, the song ultimately ended the night on a high note; blasts of pyrotechnics throughout the chorus led to a big blast of confetti for the bridge. With cheers echoing through the hall, beer cups flying out of joy, and smiles on happy fans’ faces, we ventured into the night, elated by the pure artistry of Sam Fender. Check out our coverage of Sam and support act Gang of Youths below:
Gang of Youths:
Check out tickets for Sam’s 2022 tour here.