Dean Lewis – The Ritz, Manchester

Dean Lewis is a moving performer who encapsulates heartbreak in a raw and compelling manner. His debut album A Place We Knew was created to be experienced live and solidifies his identity as the musical powerhouse that embraces the vulnerable side of love.

The reflective glory showcases his undeniable talent which translates into his growing sound and confessional lyrics as seen in “Half a Man.” You can hear the emotions behind his voice, more so live, and it resonates with the audience of the Ritz, Manchester on 17th April, who sing back to him with their hearts on their sleeves. The atmosphere is exhilarating, bodies lost to the beat: “If I come around would you even care? Probably not.”

The adlib in “Seven Minutes” breaks us from the emotional trance, and we laugh with him as he overcomes loss – his accent causing more feelings to stir. With an infectious, boyish charm and stage presence, he delivers a promising show which leaves the crowd overwhelmed as he strips back, offering acoustic performances for a more intimate affair.

Waves” and “Be Alright” are popular favourites. Lewis steps back from the microphone to hear the sea of fans reprise the words he wrote. The cover of “Don’t Look Back in Anger” sends every Oasis fan into a frenzy. He shifts to the piano and plays “Chemicals“, a touch of bittersweet relief when everyone sings: “hold me, I’m falling apart.”

Lewis has a unique way of turning ordinary experiences into something beautiful like “A Place We Knew”, the kind of song you want to dedicate to a long distance lover. The range displays his capabilities and he does not shy away or narrow himself down with a particular formula. The heartfelt pleas in “Hold of Me” and “Stay Awake” go on to further demonstrate his personal nature and he goes on to play “Lose My Mind”, an older song from Same Kind of Different. The room then fades to black, golden spotlights illumine Lewis as the night’s tempo changes when the chords for “Time to Go” start playing. It’s magic, like the rest of the set, which includes, “Don’t Hold Me”, “For the Last Time”, and “Straight Back Down.”