By Neil Durham
WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2
WHEN?: Saturday 12 November, tour runs until 24 November 2022
SETLIST: It Gets Dark; Burning Bridges; Risk Of Getting Hurt; Sucker Punch; Mine Right Now; Thank Me Later; Dancer; Head On Fire; Dynamite; Bad Life; Mistake Like You; A Driver Saved My Life; Everybody Says They’re Fine; High Five; Plot Twist; Don’t Kill My Vibe; Strangers; Grow; Don’t Feel Like Crying; Mirror; High Note
‘I’m not even from the UK but you guys have made me so welcome,’ says 26-year-old Norwegian Sigrid Solbakk Raabe as she realises a childhood dream to play Wembley Arena.
- Read on for reasons including how she loves touring so much and is so good live we can see her playing Wembley Stadium
We’ve seen Sigrid 5 times in 5 years and when we 1st saw her at the 02 Shepherds Bush Empire in 2018 it was the quality of her songwriting that made her stand out.
The charms of Sigrid’s sophomore album How To Let Go took a while to reveal themselves to us but after repeated listening in the run-up to this gig we can report that it’s a real grower with song Thank Me Later having 1 of the best lyrics we’ve ever heard about break ups: ‘Let’s not decorate the sadness, Let’s just rip off the Band Aid, And hug and say it’s OK we stop right here, The sooner that we’re not together, You’ll find someone better.’
Sigrid talks a lot during this gig and her enthusiasm for touring really comes through alongside an ability to perform these songs with an emotion that recorded music can only hint at and a professionalism of a spectacularly tight 5-strong band including 2 guitarists, a keyboardist and drummer.
If we’ve 1 criticism it’s that we don’t want her to grow up too quickly. She concludes with High Note, a song that has Paul McCartney and Prince influences, which seems to have her contemplating her own mortality (sample lyric: ‘When I go, I wanna go out on a High Note.’)
When we 1st saw her we were amazed by her song Dynamite from her debut album Sucker Punch and said: ‘It is this melancholy that gives gravitas to the songs that seems unusual for someone so young.’
She plays it tonight unaccompanied on a piano 8 songs into her set and it’s a real moment not least because her mum, dad and sister are here and she thanks her family for both encouraging her to learn to play the piano but also gave her the freedom to stop if she decided to pursue other interests at 13 – but thankfully for us she didn’t.
There are a lot of young male gay couples here and we’re standing behind 1 for a while who appear to have summoned up the courage to hold hands for the 1st time publicly in this environment and it brings a lump of joy to the throat.
There’s plenty of dancing to be done throughout a set which is also peppered with some brilliant uptempo numbers and it’s during hit Don’t Feel Like Crying where we feel that lyrically she’s in about the right place (‘I know I should be ordering takeout, Sitting on my couch, that’s what you do’) with room to grow and grow up to come in the near future.
This then is a gig that’s a lot of fun and it’s the most enjoyable we’ve ever seen Sigrid – Glastonbury this year was also a real high – and if she can keep up the quality of her songwriting there’s no reason why we can’t see her playing far bigger stages.
As we leave this venue, alongside thousands of delighted fans, we glance across to the iconic Wembley Stadium and think that, one day, perhaps in the not-too-distant future even, it would be very lucky to have an older Sigrid Solbakk Raabe playing on its stage.