Sam Smith. Apologies to all other bands featuring today (it was particularly great to see the Counting Crows still enjoying themselves on stage!), but the third day of NOS Alive! was… Sam SmithaBack in 2012 Sam Smith featured in Disclosure’s single “Latch”, which would be the first step in his rise to musical glory. Last night, he told the crowd: “One year ago I was playing in that tent over there (the Heineken stage), and I was panicking in the backstage because I thought no one would be there to watch”.


In reality though, he was so successful, that one year later he is on the main stage. Last night, in a sort o biographical coincidence, they shared headlining slots, plus Chet Faker.

“In The Lonely Hour”, his heart breaking album about love not returned echoed with the Portuguese crowd who we anything but unrequiting. Portugal loves Sam Smith, and Sam Smith knows it.


Sam is simple pop star – transparent, he’s written about his deepest and most private feelings, and the fans relate with him. They experience similar heartbreak, similar disappointment and hopelessness. Which explains why every single song was met with a chorus of thousands of voices.


“Leave Your Lover”, “I’m Not The Only One”, and “Latch” mingled in perfection with his pop/soul band who got their freak on to a bit of funky disco with “Le Freak”, “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough”, and even a bit of Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own”.

With teary eyes, Sam sang “Lay Me Down” in an unbelievable display of talent, emotion and fan sync. And total acclamation came as he left the stage to 50,000 people still singing the chorus of “Stay With Me”.

PHOTO CREDS: Madalena Santos

Via NOS Alive Festival

(originally written for So Bad So Good).