Saara Aalto showcased her new album ‘Wild Wild Wonderland’ in Belfast’s Oh Yeah Centre tonight in an intimate show jam packed with hits. Kicking off shortly after 8pm, the Finnish singer treated fans to pop infused first part that consisted of her Eurovision selection show songs; ‘No Fear’ (UMK 2016), ‘Queens’ and ‘Domino’ (UMK 2018), as well as other bangers from her new album ‘Han’, ‘Half a Heart’ and ‘Dance!!!’. The crowd went wild for the pop songs and as the fifth song in her set suggests had everybody dancing along albeit in their seats.
Despite a smaller crowd than most of her recent dates Saara remarked that she loved the intimacy and that it was like ‘a family reunion’. She even came into the crowd and shook hands and hugged everyone in the audience.
Following this opening segment and a quick costume change, Saara slowed things down a bit with a set of acoustic songs, most notably a cover of Sia’s song ‘Chandelier’, a song that helped her impress the judges in her first audition of X-Factor UK in 2016. This worked really well in the intimate setting of the Oh Yeah Centre. As well ‘Chandelier’, Saara showed off her vocals on the tracks ‘Walking on Nails’, ‘Can I Keep the Pictures’, ‘Sirens’, ‘You Gotta Go’ and the beautiful pro-LGBT anthem ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Watching’.
The tempo of the gig changed again when Saara returned to the stage after another quick change for the first of her encores which opened with another X-Factor favourite, a cover of Bjork’s ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’. Saara walked through the crowd and encouraged the audience who until now had been sitting, to get up and dance with her. Definitely a born entertainer.
As well as this Saara performed ‘My Touch’, ‘Don’t Deny Our Love’, title track from her debut album ‘Wild Wild Wonderland’ and a cover of Barbra Streisand’s ‘No More Tears (Enough is Enough)’.
The night closed with a second encore from Saara in which she returned to the stage to sing her Eurovision 2018 song ‘Monsters’. The song saw Finland through to the Final of Eurovision 2018 when she competed in Lisbon, finishing 25th.
Saara’s European tour continues tomorrow night in Dublin and concludes in Stockholm on 12 October, ahead of her next venture: Dancing on Ice.
In other news Saara Aalto won the 2018 People’s Choice Award at the Eurovision NI Awards on Saturday. She shared the acceptance video with us below: