X Factor Live Tour, LG Arena 24th March 2012

Following the massive TV show that is the X Factor, X Factor live comes to the LG Arena, Birmingham for the rescheduled show. The 9 finalists are performing for two consecutive nights at LG and a full house is eagerly anticipating the show. Hordes of excited children accompanied by parents are filling the arena which is already being filled with smoke before the start of the show.

“Birmingham, prepare for the night of your life” booms the “Voiceover man” comes on accompanied by the X Factor theme otherwise known as “O Fortuna” thunders around the arena. The hype is on, repeating the build-up of the tension that was a feature of the TV show.
Lights go down and Amelia Lily appears singing " Ain't No Other Man” backed by 2 sets of dancers (boys and girls) Amelia is decked out in a frilly dress and Converse trainers.

A quick song and she’s off followed Marcus Collins covering “Move like Jagger” in his Black suit and Trainers with leggy dancers in hot pants around him. Oh to be a teenage pop star! By now the majority of the audience are up on their feet.

The Risk sing Shalamar’s “Night to Remember” with a large glitterball projection on the screen and mock DJ set with dancers in red spangly dresses, black jackets for the boys like some cheesy 80’s disco. Janet Devlin follows dressed in a “Rock Chick” style with ripped leggings to sing “Sweet Child of Mine” followed by Kitty Brucknell who enters the stage on a revolving wheel, singing “Sweet Dreams” while Lion Tamers crack whips and then carry her overhead to the front of the stage surrounded by guys dressed in bondage gear. The song ends with a big thunderous flash.

Craig Colton follows and enters to clouds of dry ice. Enters with a black suit and T shirt singing “Jar of Hearts” and gets the audience waving along to the song. Misha B sits on a big throne with Union Jack backing in a silver gown and crown. As she moves down the stairs towards the front of the stage she stumbles, but regains composure to sing “Who You Are” at the front of the stage.
Johnny Robinson rises out of the stage in a Japanese style robe and waving a red fan to Kylie song “Can't Get you Out of My Head” with Japanese style barefoot acrobats in black baggy trousers looking like extras from “Kung Fu”

Amelia Lily comes running down the aisle pursued by camera crew and singing “Since U Been Gone” dressed in leather waistcoat and white shirt with a black glove on her microphone hand. She calls out to the audience “Birmingham lets jump” and they did!! The song closes to fireworks leaping out of the stage. Amelia thanks everyone for bringing her back into the competition following her early exit and then sings her favourite song from the show “China in your hand” whilst revolving at the front of the stage.

Marcus Collins returns with a with rock n roller dancers performing “Reet Petite” to a back screen full of 1950’s TV sets.…..just when I thought the vocals sounded too good, he drops a high note. Unfazed, he completes the song with no further mishap. “Higher and Higher” comes next, to a sunshine backdrop and Marcus is then raised up on a large square platform and then as the song draws to an end fire shoots vertically out of the stage. “Ta very much, see you in the second half”

A 25 minutes interval breaks up proceedings to allow the kids to hit the merchandise stalls and top up on fizzy drinks. While the stage is swept of debris, more songs and clips from the show are displayed on the screens at the front including a telephone text competition to meet the performers at the end of the show.

The second half starts with Misha B singing “Proud Mary” dressed in a white jacket accompanied by male dancers in Tuxedos. Misha walks down the aisle surrounded by cameraman and dancers to the centre stage. A quick shedding of her jacket and then it’s into “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, whilst 80’s style Ghetto blasters are projected onto the screen. Misha faces the rear half of the audience, whilst the camera projects the live footage to the main stage screens so that the front half of the audience can see.
Misha B is followed by Risk singing “She Said” then Janet Devlin appears in a little black dress at the centre stage singing Coldplay’s “Fix You” while the stage slowly revolves.

Marcus Collins reappears running toward the stage with Air stewardesses while a jumbo jet is sitting on the tarmac on the screen behind the stage, more dancers appear in Hi-Vis jackets with indicator sticks as if to guide a plane in. Marcus takes the opportunity to let the audience know he has a new album and single out as he launches into his White Stripes cover of “Seven Nation Army” with graphics reminiscent of the original White Stripes video and walks through the audience up to the centre stage to finish the song.

Craig Colton appears in a braided jacket with 6 dancers at the front of the stage in front of a single drum with female drummers at the back of the stage. He’s singing “Set Fire To The Rain” and as he sings the word “fire”, flames shoot up from the stage, the heat reaching far out into the arena. I should imagine that a few of the audience in the seats at the front of the stage will not be going home with their eyebrows tonight! As he ends the song, Craig descends on a platform below the stage

Johnny Robinson Is up next on the centre stage and he dedicates “Ole Devil called Love” to Gary Barlow, his unrequited love from the TV shows. Then it’s back to the main stage for Kitty Brucknell, standing at the front of the main stage in a black dress, and begins to rise into the air on a pedestal, the dress continues until she is high above the stage and the black dress reaches the floor. “Edge of Glory” is sung from the pedestal while the stage is filled with smoke. Amelia Lily is then back on the centre stage and to sing the Queen track “The Show Must Go On”.

After a long build up Little Mix finally make their appearance, being kept for the end of the show. Each group member jumps up out of the stage to a big flash and they begin to their Little Mix chant, which then merges into Candi Staton’s “You Got the Love” The girls thank the audience for coming and for voting them the ultimate X Factor winners. “The next song means so much to us” and begin to sing Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” as they climb onto swings. Showers of sparks descend from above the stage as the song ends.

Then comes “Superbass” followed by “ET” while black suited dancers with chrome masks dance along. The swings are gradually hoisted up above the stage and then gradually over the audience to the centre stage where they move onto sing “Don’t Let Go”. Again, the group are singing to the back of the arena, while the rest of us have to look at the back of their heads or watch the live projected footage.
The final song of the show is “Cannonball” sung from the Centre stage, whilst the revolving platform is raised from the stage and glitter rains down over them. As the song finishes, the group walk back up the aisle shaking hands with screaming members of the audience as they go. Little Mix reach the main stage, concluding their song and the lights go down.

While the lights are down and everyone is screaming for the encore, a heartbeat paced drumming is pumped through the speakers to build up the tension, until the light comes back up for the finale, and all of the performers are brought back on stage to sing their parts of a final medley of songs, streamers are flung from the ceiling followed by glitter tape and claps of thunder. With a final “Thank You Birmingham and Good Night” they were gone.

Each of the artists performed well, in this slick, highly polished, fast moving set of performances which showed off each of the artists with their different styles. The stage sets were excellent with a range of backdrops, projections and the various revolving and lifting platforms for the artists to work from and complemented by a stunning display of pyrotechnics.

With ticket costs at £32 each, it’s an expensive night to take the family, however the show is certainly a spectacle to behold, although the songs performed did not seem to last very long (a couple of verses short in some cases, perhaps) as if not to overstretch the performers voices. The phone in competition to meet the band I felt was a step too far, as plenty of money was flowing into the coffers from ticket and merchandise sales anyway. I thought it unnecessary to add another competition into the performance which with a captive audience, would only add to parental pressure. BUT, if you loved the hype and tension of the TV series, you’re gonna love X Factor Live!


1. Ain't No Other Man (Amelia)
2. Moves Like Jagger (Marcus)
3. Night to Remember (The Risk)
4. Sweet Child of Mine (Janet)
5. Sweet Dreams (Kitty)
6. Jar of Hearts (Craig)
7. Rolling in the Deep (Misha B)
8. Who Are You (Misha B)
9. Can't Get you Out of My Head (Jonny)
10. Since U Been Gone (Amelia)
11. China in your Hand (Amelia)
12. Reet Petite (Marcus)
13. Higher and Higher (Marcus)


14. Proud Mary (Misha B)
15. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Misha B)
16. She Said (The Risk)
17. Fix You (Janet)
18. Hey-Ya (Marcus)
19. Seven Nation Army (Marcus)
20. Set Fire to the Rain (Craig)
21. Ole Devil Called Love (Jonny)
22. Edge of Glory (Kitty)
23. Show Must Go On (Amelia)
24. Little Mix Chant
25. You Got the Love (Little Mix)
26. Beautiful (Little Mix)
27. Superbass (Little Mix)
28. E.T. (Little Mix)
29. Don't Let Go (Love) (Little Mix)
30. Cannonball (Little Mix)


31. Medley: We Found Love/ Party Rock Anthem/ On The Floor/ Moves Like Jagger/ Edge of Glory