Conor Maynard performed his first show in New York City last week at the iHeartRadio Theater in the lower west side of Manhattan. Thankfully, PopBytes was invited to this intimate performance presented by P.C. Richard & Son and lived to tell about it. Often referred to as the “UK Justin Bieber,” Conor owned the stage he performed on last Tuesday night. Underneath all of the lights Conor sang his little British heart out and the audience of teenage girls were eating it all up. Cameras were filming him from every angle and he posed and moved accordingly. He is not a seasoned performer just yet, repeating the same hand movements and fumbling with his between song banter, but it didn’t matter to the fans that were standing before him. They screamed and screamed every time he either smiled, smirked or spoke.
At only 19-years-old, Conor’s debut album Contrast (just released here in the states) reached number one on the UK album charts over the summer. Before he reached this success he was singing ballad-ized covers of pop songs and posting them on YouTube. He generated quite a following and was supposedly discovered by Ne-Yo, who quickly became his mentor. Now Conor is trying to take his success across the pond to the US and his first stop is New York City.
He opened his ten-song set with “Animal,” which will be his fourth official single (catch the music video below). His vocals were spot on and that stays true through his entire set. He has solid vocals, which is difficult to say about his counterparts. He performs “Can’t Say No,” and “Turn Around,” the track that features his mentor Ne-Yo. He’s bathed in red lights while teenage girls are screaming for him to take off his shirt. The only thing he takes off is his jacket, but he does so by his own volition and not on their command. He performs “Just In Case,” and for half of the song he is accompanied by just a keyboard that he’s playing until his band jumps in to end the song in a crescendo.
He performs an acoustic cover of Swedish House Mafia‘s “Don’t Worry, Child” and the whole room seems to be swooning. What would a Conor Maynard show be without a cover of a particular pop song? He ends his set with “Vegas Girl” and the floor seems like it’s going to collapse from all the jumping and dancing. He mentions Rihanna, Beyonce and Alicia Keys in the song and it’s hard to tell if he views them as muses, contemporaries or his particular type of woman. It’ll be interesting to see where Conor goes from here. Will his pop-conscious shtick work in America? If the screaming fans in the audience are any indication, then there is definitely potential for him here. Maynaics do exist on this side of the Atlantic!
PHOTOS | DOUG SONDERS FOR IHEARTRADIO