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I can’t deny that the January 14th 2005 was a rough time for my 11 year old self. It was the day that Busted announced they were splitting up, causing heartbreak across the country for their fans. You can imagine my delight when in November last year McFly announced they were merging with two members of Busted (Matt Willis and James Bourne) to form a ‘supergroup’ – McBusted. I went to see their third show in the tour in the Liverpool Echo Arena and it was amazing.
The excitement was tangible in the arena after the two support acts, Young Brando and The Three Dudes, finished their sets. Deafening screams filled the venue when the lights finally went down and the screens played the opening video. Fans watched a Back to the Future style short, taking place after the band split up in 2005. James leaves before swiftly reappearing and grabbing Matt, telling him they have to go “back to the future!”. We then see the McFly boys backstage, with McBusted merchandise slowly turning to McFly merchandise as James fails to start the Delorean. The video ends with it flying onto stage, revealing Matt and James, and McFly joining them to launch into the dynamic ‘Air Hostess’. This was followed by the disco favourite ‘You Said No’, ‘Britney’ and ‘Who’s David’, and, by this point, it was getting hard to hear the band over the audience singing along.
It wasn’t until the fifth song that we heard a McFly original, with their first two singles ‘Five Colours in Her Hair’ and ‘Obviously’ showing the band really coming into its own. The set had obviously been tuned to perfection, with each of the five singers complimenting the old favourites and giving them a new edge. It wasn’t until ‘Sleeping With the Light On’, sung by James in a single spotlight at the front of the stage, that the importance of the merge for the fans and the band members themselves became evident. The emotion felt all around the arena really was a testament to how much Busted had been missed, and how grateful James and Matt were at the chance to perform again.
After an emotional finish, the band disappeared and another video showed, this time with the boys dressed up and describing an alien attack. A UFO-style stage then descended from the roof with the band playing ‘Star Girl’, ‘Nerdy’ and ‘Room on the Third Floor’. After a crowd run back to the main stage, McBusted launched into ‘Thunderbirds Are Go!’ and a cover of Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’, complete with choreographed dancing. The band then played ‘Shine a Light’ and ‘What I Go to School For’ before disappearing offstage once again.
The encore began with another video, this showing Tom Fletcher’s famous wedding speech, which currently has over 13 million views on YouTube. This version was different, ending with Matt rugby tackling Tom to the ground mid-speech. The band then reappeared, with Matt wearing a wedding dress, to play ‘Crashed the Wedding’. A beautiful version of ‘All About You’ followed, with Tom taking the centre mic and fog rolling off the stage. Three inflatable breasts then appeared above the stage, and the familiar opening of ‘Year 3000’ triggered the loudest screaming yet. After many classic ‘Busted jumps’ being thrown out and much running around, the boys eventually said their goodbyes, and jumped down a trapdoor in the stage to deafening applause and cheers.
As my friend said afterwards, “Some concerts you come out of and they were really good, and others you come out of and it was AMAZING” – this was definitely amazing. So, thank you McBusted, for allowing me to relive my childhood one more time before I graduate.