El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA
Contact: Jon Bleicher, [email protected]
Players: Conor Maynard, vocals; George Layton, deejay; Alvin Ford, drums
Material: Playing for over an hour with various hits from his last 10 years of performing, as well as reimagined cover songs by the Backstreet Boys, Whitney Houston, George Michael, and Shakira, London-based popstar Conor Maynard delivered an energetic, passionate show of danceable music at the Los Angeles stop of his 25-date world headliner tour. From soulful vocals on “Nothing But You” that captivated the swaying crowd, and syrupy lovesong lyrics on “Crowded Room,” to the sexy grind of “For The Night” and anthemic “Can’t Say No,” Maynard delivered an engaging set of pop numbers.
Musicianship: With killer drumming from Alvin Ford, Maynard’s vocals were fun and upbeat, and he showcased beautiful falsetto lines, as he delivered his hits “Animal,” “Nothing But You,” and “Someone You Loved.” “Ain’t Got No Friends” had the audience clapping and singing along to refrain ‘I got you,’ and “You Broke Me Frist” highlighted his great vocal control and projection. Fabulous remixed renditions of covers from the Backstreet Boys, Whitney Houston, George Michael, and Shakira added fun, unexpected reinterpretations—especially the upbeat hip-hop version of “Careless Whisper,” with rap inserts from ANTH (the opening act for the evening).
Performance: Maynard’s interaction with the crowd was very easy and natural and generated a vibrant energy in the room, although the echo effect on the mic was a bit much and took away from the overall performance. Maynard’s mashup sing-alongs of “Stay” (The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber), “Shape of You” (Ed Sheeran), and “Despacito” (Bieber) showcased his fabulous energy and charisma as a performer, and the crowd was joyfully engaged throughout the evening.
Summary: With a strong vocal delivery and great range and musical ability, Maynard’s show presents a fun, upbeat pop experience that engages everyone in the room, drawing from music of various decades to shake things up. Between the sporadic sing-along moments and catchy beats that get you moving and swaying along, Maynard is clearly committed to creating an interactive evening, and makes every effort to engage the audience as part of the show. A unique musical experience for pop fans who want to be a part of it all.
Photo by Derek Harper