Meghan Trainor, O2 ABC Glasgow - review: A gleaming, crisp performer

But let’s face it, it’s not sophisticated pop

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The Independent Culture

“Anybody here in love?” asks Meghan Trainor breathlessly, bopping back onto the stage for a well-received encore after an hour’s worth of intensive teen hero-worship. The front row respond with affirmative, hearts-in-their-eyes enthusiasm. “With me?” gasps Trainor with mock incredulity. “Aww, that’s cute.”

This is the 21-year-old American singer’s first European tour – her first “overseas”, in fact – and the wholehearted response from her audience suggests that she’s caught their imagination in a way which goes beyond puppy love and into the realms of abject hero worship. If she maintains this momentum, arenas surely beckon.

It helps that her live set isn’t just glossily efficient but positively rich in visual spectacle and a sense of authentically live performance. Trainor is a gleaming, crisp performer, casual by the standards of a big-budget pop production in a shiny skirt and a black top, and carefully big sisterly towards an almost exclusively young and female crowd with many children in it (the balcony area is kids-only).

Her dance sequences with the quartet of female singers and dancers alongside her are fun, ‘60s jiving fused with street style and simple actions for those watching to copy, while the lively five-piece band behind her play before a dazzling floor-to-ceiling screen.

The few grown-ups watching, of course, will realise how rigorously-produced and studiedly formulaic all of this is, but let’s face it, it’s not sophisticated pop. As castigated for the ‘anti-feminist’ set-opener ‘Dear Future Husband’ as she has been praised for presenting a confident role model who doesn’t bear a waif-like Miley Cyrus figure, her live show isn’t about sending a message.

Instead, it efficiently delivers simple but affirmative statements on bubblegum romance (‘No Good For You’ and the acoustic ‘Title’) and brisk pop workouts like ‘Lips Are Movin’, a cover of ‘Uptown Funk’ and the closing megahit ‘All About the Bass’.