The Wanted ‘Go All Boy Band’ for ‘Live on Letterman’
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The Wanted celebrated the eve of the release of their new album, Word of Mouth, with a group of hardcore fans in the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. There were sing-alongs, there was swaying and there was some of the worst on-stage dancing in the history of boy bands. But that’s just how The Wanted do.
The guys started with an old one, “All Time Low,” to warm up the crowd, with Max George quipping about the legendary “chill” of the Letterman studio, insisted upon by David himself. They were dressed smartly all in black, with Nathan Sykes deviating into a navy blue blazer and Tom Parker sporting stark white sneakers.
Amazingly, Word of Mouth is the band’s debut album in America (thought not in Europe), after their huge success in 2012 with an EP and the hit song “Glad You Came.” As such, they managed to play several tracks from the album, from the lyrically unorthodox “Walks Like Rihanna” to “I Found You.” Sykes introduces “Show Me Love (America)” by suggesting the group “go all boy band on this” and Jay suggest the crowd get into it with a sway. All suggestions are taken.
The thing to know about The Wanted, that was on stark display from the color palette to the attempts on-stage at doing both The Robot and choreography ripped from stock footage of The Temptations, is that they are the yang to One Direction’s (white-clothed) yin. It’s like Beatles & Stones: doesn’t matter what they’re actually like, 1D are marketed as the good boys so The Wanted have come to fill the slot as the bad boys.
Parker spends the night acting as the band’s musical director — that’s right, today’s boy bands do not perform to track. Parker introduces “Warzone” as a song he wrote about a girl cheating on him, much to the audience’s horror. He will later manage to toss his microphone under the band’s riser, prompting the other members of The Wanted to taunt him, with Skyes calling him “semi-pro at best” and Siva Kaneswaran insisting he climb under and get it.
The thing is, they are complete pros at is working the cameras. Between their world-wide crush of performances and that reality TV show on E! over the summer, the guys have picked up a few tips. They know when to spin, when to make camera-to-eye contact for the ladies at home and where all the best angles are. They may be a man band in other respect but when it comes to working the lens, they’re all traditional boy band.