Both confetti and tears were flowing in celebration of Little Mix’s farewell concert on Saturday night. The aptly-named Confetti tour ended with a three-day stint at London’s O2 Arena and a global send-off for the pop group that have been producing pop bops for the last decade.
The crowd was first warmed up with American singer-songwriter Denis Coleman, a pop talent commanding the stage with a short but sweet set. Denis was followed by Since September – winners of the talent competition Little Mix The Search. The four-piece captivated with a smattering of pop covers, including a well-known One Direction hit that got the crowd roaring.
The nervous excitement for the gig bubbled over as the final call for concert-goes to take their seats echoed over the speakers. Strolling to my seat, I witnessed a frenzy of fans: a teenager pulling their mother out of a toilet cubicle in fear of missing the first song, a gaggle of brightly-dressed young men shrieking in the bar queue, and a sprinting parent with a child scooped up in one arm, clutching a beer with the other.
Emotions were running high from the devoted crowd and band alike, each holding back tears throughout the show that marks the end of an era. If I had taken a shot every time a tear was shed, I wouldn’t have made it out of the arena. Nor would I have made it out alive if I’d taken a shot every time Little Mix performed a chart hit I somehow knew all the words to. The setlist was comprised of banger after banger, reminding the audience of the sheer number of chart hits Little Mix boast after a successful decade in music.
Highlights from the show included a shortened version of their number one single ‘Black Magic’ supplemented with a cell-block-tango-esque dance break, the flawless vocals of ‘Happiness’, and of course the track inspiring the tour – ‘Confetti’.
The stage design was grand and flashy with fire and feathers akimbo, unsurprising for the final tour of one of the biggest girl groups in the world. This was reflected in the trio’s styling, adorned with a selection of stage-ready outfits that moved and breathed with the performers – whether fitted monochromatic bodysuits, tailored catsuits, or neon feathers that floated in the breeze whilst suspended hundreds of feet in the air.
But it was the performance of the trio, aided by a whole host of talented backup dancers, that really made the concert unmissable. Pitch perfect despite high-energy choreography, Little Mix got the entire stadium moving with their unmatched stage presence. At times, it felt like the pop princesses were trying to outdo each other in riffs and runs – perhaps in preparation for their solo career – but a bit of healthy competition felt natural for the X-Factor winners.
A particularly refreshing moment was found towards the end of their set when time was taken to introduce each and every one of the backup dancers by name and allowed them a moment to shine. These dancers were clearly as impassioned as the crowd and spoke candidly on the mic about the impact of Little Mix on both their own lives and pop culture as a whole.
Yet Little Mix beat around the bush when it came to addressing their involvement with an infamous pop-culture figure – their controversial former bandmate Jesy Nelson and her role in Little Mix. During the final song – the reflective ‘Between Us’ – necks craned in expectation of Nelson’s appearance, but to no avail.
The band returned alongside the whole dance crew clad in tour merch for an encore of ‘Between Us’ that left barely a dry eye in the room, or on the internet, for the thousands tuning in via livestream. The final bow was taken with a poignant farewell by Perrie Edwards, “Goodbye! We love you!”, as the stadium soundtracked their exit with chants of “Little Mix forever” and “ten more years!”
Sobbing young fans littered the exits, consoled by friends and parents. “My favourite band is over!” a young Mixer wailed, clutching a handful of now despondent confetti. Although the concert’s hopeful title ‘Little Mix: The Last Show (For Now…)’ suggests otherwise, are Little mix planning a One Direction-style “hiatus” with (probably) no return, or simply undertaking a marketing ploy whilst each member temporarily focuses on their solo career?
Either way, it’s clear that Little Mix will be sorely missed, but fans are sure to be comforted by their six studio albums and the hope of a future return.
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Words: Gem Stokes
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