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Review: McFly @ MEN Arena, Manchester
There were giant beach balls, a flying stage, fireworks, a bizarre but equally impressive rap, guns firing T-shirts into the crowd, and at the back of the stage, a gas-powered flaming sign that threatened to engulf the drummer.
This is what happens when you give a manufactured band creative control over their own show — but somehow, McFly pulled it off.
Yes, they were preaching to the converted — the near capacity crowd inside the MEN Arena was predominantly female and predominantly teenage, although there was a dedicated brigade of terrified dads and a good few cougars too — but the cult band, who are semi-credible these days, delivered an all-guns-blazing lesson in entertaining the masses.
McFly sing the old favourites (All About You, Five Colours In Her Hair and Obviously) as well as their latest stuff (That's The Truth, Party Girl and the Thriller-inspired End Of The World) in a strong two-hour set.
And it has to be said: these boys write very good pop songs and Tom Fletcher is at the centre of that.
He has very much adopted the Gary Barlow role.
But Danny Jones is the main man these days. Front stage centre, he’s the Robbie Williams of the band.
Heavily tattooed, with all the swagger and confidence of a bona fide rock star, the Bromley Cross lad even ditched his guitar midway through the show, donned a pair of shades, and ripped into an adrenaline-fuelled cover of Tinie Tempah’s Pass Out.
That a band like McFly can get away with this shows how far they’ve come.
They have broken away from those contrived beginnings and now are firmly in control of their own musical destiny.
The encore is brilliantly nostalgic.
One For The Radio is anthemic. In fact, it is McFly’s anthem, neatly summing up their refreshing philosophy on musical snobbery.
Then the rather lovely ballad, The Heart Never Lies, rounds off the show.
All done? Nope. This is McFly.
A second encore is demanded, deserved and delivered.
They belt out the infectious Shine a Light, and everyone, dads included, goes home happy.