It may sound harsh, but it’s fair to say that over the years the continued existence of The Saturdays has become one of pop’s biggest mysteries. After all, they released their first single all the way back in 2008, and while they’ve outlived the likes of JLS and The Wanted they’ve also never really reached the commercial or critical heights of many of their predecessors. As early as their second album release there were talks of underperforming, and despite having thirteen top ten singles to their name many questioned the release of a Greatest Hits album back in August. They also have an unfortunate history of shaky live TV performances, which makes the overall success of this tour all the more surprising.
It really does appear that they’re determined to prove their critics wrong, as all five members brought their a-game to tonight’s show. The setlist is difficult to fault; all singles were performed, alongside a select few fan favourite album tracks and no unnecessary covers. The choreography is by no means complex, but it still allowed the group’s best dancers (Mollie and Frankie) to shine, and vocally none of them faltered – lead singer Vanessa sounded particularly impressive on the songs where she’s required to properly belt.
However, the most obvious reasoning behind the night’s triumph is simply how good the songs are. Over the years they’ve amassed an impressive collection of hits, leaving a list of highlights that could go on for quite some time. Up is obviously incredible (as are the likes of Ego and All Fired Up), but some of their weaker singles also manage to truly come alive in a live setting. Forever Is Over is far from a fan favourite, but here it sounds sensational, and even Just Can’t Get Enough is difficult to fault when it gets one of the best crowd reactions of the night.
Speaking of the audience, they’re the only aspect of the night that let’s the whole thing down. They’re simply lifeless, and it’s a great shame because the one aspect where The Saturdays surpass Little Mix and Girls Aloud is in their interaction and warmth to the crowd.
The Saturdays may not be the most adventurous or game changing of pop acts, but this tour shows exactly why sometimes there’s nothing wrong with being unashamedly frill-free. It remains to be seen if they have much of a future in the world of pop, but if they choose to bring things to a close after this tour they can definitely claim to be ending on a high.