Rookie Reviewer Melissa Churchill reviews Collabro’s recent and emotionally-charged performance at Symphony Hall ...

I knew Collabro performing at the Birmingham Symphony Hall would be an emotional experience with near constant goosebumps just from my research beforehand, however I was pleasantly surprised with the range of emotions I experienced. ‘Bring Him Home’ and ‘Somewhere’ left a lump in many people’s throats, but these moments were broken up with the playfulness of songs such as ‘Don’t Rain on my Parade’ and ‘That’s Life.’ Although they were not powerful performances, they were enjoyable and a much needed relief for those of us left feeling slightly emotional.

None of the songs were original but they had been ‘Collabrafied,’ giving a new listening experience to much loved songs. By telling stories that related to each of the songs performed, Collabro took us on a personal journey about the experiences of the group through the well-known music performed on stage. Although the backdrop was glamourous and alluded to Broadway, the performances were beautifully simple making the audience feel a part of their journey which added to the already magical experience.

Often at concerts I find myself wanting to sing along to the music being performed, however at Collabro I didn’t feel this urge. Although all the songs were recognisable classics, I felt content relaxing in my seat and enjoying the sound that was being created by the five talented individuals on stage rather than a need to get involved. Michael, Richard Jamie, Mathew and Thomas are all accomplished singers holding their solo pieces with ease, however nothing seemed to match the magic created when all five members synchronised in harmony. On multiple occasions they blew the audience away with a powerful and dramatic sound that filled every inch of the symphony hall.

AJ Brown was a very soulful and complementary supporting act, nicely warming up the audience before Collabro took to the stage. But the special guest on the tour, Cateiona Murray, shined during The Phantom of the Opera section which was one of the many highlights of the evening. I was concerned she may be overpowered by Collabro during the powerful duet but those fears were quickly put to rest as their voices merged seamlessly together, creating a stunning spectacle on stage.

It seemed right that the evening would end where our journey with the group began 2 years ago on the audition stage for Britain’s Got Talent. ‘Stars’ was a perfect finish to a wonderful evening with a successful group that have managed to keep their feet firmly on the ground.

Melissa is a 19 year old English Literature student from Northampton currently studying at Birmingham City University. She is hoping to be a professional critic one day and enjoys writing reviews. This is her first experience reviewing live performances and she is grateful for the opportunity and excited by the prospect of attending a variety of events. Her favourite music is Indie/Alternative however she’s willing to try anything. She also has a passion for films, theatre performances and books, occasionally contributing to, an online platform for young people trying to gain journalist experience.