LIVE: R5, o2 Ritz, Manchester (20/9/17)

R5, Manchester, 20/9/17 (photo: Becca Arnold)

American pop-rock outfit R5 rolled into Manchester for one of many shows on their extensive New Addictions tour. Fronted by Disney’s latest heart-throb Ross Lynch, the group got the sort of reaction you might expect from an audience whose demographic leaned heavily towards teenage and female.

But whereas many of the similarly hyped pop-rock bands are all production and little or no substance, the difference with R5 is that they really can put on a performance, and one that is every bit about the musicality as it is the showmanship. Sure Lynch is the focal point for many of the fans, but the band as a whole is a tight unit that delivers a strong and engaging set.

Red Velvet, Lay Your Head Down and latest track Hurts Good were among the highlights, alongside INXS cover Need You Tonight, but really there were no particularly weak points, not least because they have fun and energy in abundance, plus a slant that makes their particular brand of rock-pop what it is. All they need to prove is that they have the longevity to match some of the big names of the genre.

Photos: Becca Arnold

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