Omarion Concert – The Sheridan Suite Manchester Tuesday 8th April 2008
Review - T2 Bad
After a slightly disappointing night at Sankeys for the Mario concert earlier this year, my expectations for this night starring US singing star Omarion were not all that high.
The concert was held at the Sheridan Suite on Oldham Road Manchester which is about 5 minutes walk from Manchester City Centre. I had never been to this venue before and all that I knew of the place beforehand was that it had been used for conferences and wedding functions.
Me and my girlfriend turned up about 8-ish and were stood in a long queue for some time which was no fun because whilst it was dry, it was bitterly cold. As we entered the venue, the reason
for the long queue became clearly apparent as it was due to security checks and people purchasing tickets on the door. This I felt was a very good idea. After we were processed at the door we entered the main arena of the venue where there was already a crowd around the centre stage. The Sheridan Suite is huge and it has a conference hall appeal to it rather than that of a concert venue. You could either stand in the centre where the main dance-floor is or on the outside of the main arena which is separated by a security rail. There was a small VIP area in the corner and they had a live camera feed of the event so the people in there could watch the evening unfold in comfort. Generally I think most people could get a good vantage point of the main stage from most places in the venue which is good all round.
One reason why I worried about this night was that the ticket said all ages and yes there were many kids in attendance, and when I say kids I mean even 5 years olds were there with their parents!!! The majority of the crowd were around the 15-18 age group which was way too young for my liking!! There was a selection of warm up DJ’s and Dancer’s before the main event and the crowd were going wild for ‘Bassline House’ or 4x4 or whatever they call it, which I thought was strange considering the event was promoted as an R&B night!!! The two dance groups who were performing were called Sunshine Studios and Shockout and both were good to watch.
The warm up DJ’s were the same ones who played at the Mario event at Sankeys a couple of months earlier and I felt these guys acquitted themselves well, but at Sankeys we were being promised that Mario would be on from 11pm but he didn’t turn up until 3am, so that was me thinking “here we go again”!!!!
Two warm up acts came on before the main event, but one guy was rubbish and a bit weak to say the least – his name was Pisces or something like that. There was also a rapper from Liverpool who was quite good and he free-styled over many popular tracks to the crowds delight. I’m not that good with crowd numbers, but I reckon there were about 500 hundred people in there, but the arena is that big it could have held much much more.
Omarion born in 1984, is an R&B singer, actor, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and the former lead singer of boy band B2K. He has had 2 solo albums O and 21 and his latest album Face off, is a collaboration with Bow Wow. Omarion burst onto the stage at 10pm accompanied by two dancers and began his performance with the Neptune produced song “Touch”. He then sang two old B2K songs “Girlfriend” and “Bump Bump Bump” before seamlessly slipping into a free-style over the instrumental of “Soulja Boy” which the crowd loved. He then went into a Slow Jams mode and rounded of this part of the concert by covering the R Kelly classic “Bump n Grind”. He then stepped up the tempo and wowed the audience with “Entourage” before rounding off his performance with the Timbaland produced smash “Icebox”. The whole performance lasted 45 minutes or so and it is refreshing to say that Omarion was entertaining and very funny at times.
Overall I felt his performamce was good but not amazing. For me he missed out two of his best tracks which were “Obsession” and “Cut off Time”. The most dissapointing thing for me was the crowd, they went wild for the Bassline House music that was played earlier, but were subdued for the headline performance of Omarion!!! I don’t know what the audience were expecting, everyone knows Omarion sings R&B, but it was as if they were expecting him to come with a Bassline House remix of one of his 9 major hits!!!!!
The sound system was really good as it was loud and crisp. I chatted to the chief sound engineer (Kevan) who told me their company was called Supreme Dream and they were providing the sound for the Donnell Jones / K-CI and JOJO concert and a few weeks later the Busta Rhymes concert too which are all at the Sheridan Suite.
Soul Control Verdict:
In conclusion I'm not too sure yet about using The Sheridan Suite for full on concerts. I don’t think this concert was value for money either as it was very pricey!!! To be fair, this wasn’t a concert in my opinion, it was more like a long PA appearance. Omarion was good but this is the last time I’ll go to a concert that is billed as “for all ages”. However I guess we must be kind of grateful as we are getting US R&B and Hip-Hop stars in Manchester and they usually travel no further North
Soul Control Rating: