Review: The Wanted at the New York State Fair

Tonight I feel invincible,” sang Nathan Sykes as The Wanted took the stage August 23rd at the New York State Fair. That phrase could sum up my entire day and night at the fair!

I first discovered The Wanted when ‘Glad You Came’ hit the radio in October. The infectious melody, the British accents, the heavenly harmonies . . . I was hooked! When it was announced that The Wanted were coming to the NY State Fair, I knew my friends and I HAD to go.
The day of the concert, the weather echoed our moods – eighty and sunny, with not a cloud in sight. It was the opening day of the fair. We arrived around noon and joined the crowds in seeing the sights.

As we entered the vicinity of the Time Warner sponsored entertainment building, we noticed something unusual. There was a HUGE line-up of hundreds of excited teenaged girls. Hmmmm, what did they know that we didn’t?! My eyes scanned the scene and I saw the sign Meet and Greet The Wanted 5:00 to 6:00!

OMG! My friends and I couldn’t believe our luck. We had jokingly discussed the possibility of meeting the band, but we never thought it would actually happen! We made our way around the building to the back of line and joined the happy crowd baking in the hot sun for the chance to meet our boy band crushes. It was a fun hour of singing and talking and meeting like-minded fans from all over the state.

Around 5:20, a roar rose up from the front of the line and the restless crowd went crazy! The Wanted had finally arrived to the building and security had begun ushering small groups of girls inside.
I could not contain my excitement. Hoping for a quick peek at the guys in the band, I stepped out of line and ran into the building where the meet and greet was set up at tables in the front lobby. In the midst of the chaos, there they were, sitting at tables less than 10 feet away!

I caught curly-haired Jay McGuiness’ eye as I leaned against the security barrier. I smiled and waved, and he spied me and waved back. He pointed to the custom shirt I had designed with a black and white photo of the band against a colorful Union Jack and looked impressed. Feeling bold, I blew him a kiss, and he returned my gesture (swoon!!!!). Security came over to usher me out, and I turned and ran back outside to my place in line. My friends could not believe what happened!

The rest of the wait seemed interminable. After about a half an hour, we made it to the front of the line. A security officer delivered some bad news – The Wanted were leaving at 6:00 sharp, and we might not make it in to see them. We were devastated! We begged and pleaded, and they let us in just in time. (I felt so sorry for the hundreds of girls behind us who were not going to make it.)
We were led up to the building and entered the crowded lobby.

Nathan Sykes was up first. He looked cool in a blue t-shirt and black baseball hat. I reached out my arms, and he gave me a hug.”So nice to meet you, darling.” he said in his British accent. My knees went weak!

Jay McGuiness sat directly to the right.”Hello again,” I said as he pulled me into a hug.”You’re beautiful,” he told me, and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. (Ahhhhh!)

Max George and Tom Parker were busy signing autographs, but Siva Kaneswaran received me with open arms.”Look at that shirt” he said, eyeing my design.”I made it” I told him proudly.”Tom, look at this!” Siva said, nudging his band mate and pointing to my shirt. Tom looked at the shirt and nodded approvingly. He stood up from the table and gave me a quick hug and kiss (OMG!!!) on the cheek as security hustled me along. I was handed a card with their autographs and sent out of the line to meet up with my friends.

We were in a happy and excited daze! Meeting The Wanted was a dream come true, and we still had their concert to look forward to that night. We tried to eat dinner at one of the fair’s tempting food courts but found we were almost too excited to eat. Finally, the time came for us to make our way to the Grandstand.

The sun was just beginning to set as we entered around 7:30. We had scored great seats eighth row, center section, only thirty feet from the stage!

3Oh3, a pop-electronic duo from Colorado, was the opening act. I was only slightly familiar with them before the concert but was pleasantly surprised! Their 40 minute set was high energy, and songs like ‘My First Kiss’, ‘Double Vision’ and ‘Don’t Trust Me’ had the crowd on their feet.
A local DJ introduced The Wanted at 8:30, the lights went down and the moment we had been waiting for was here. Tom, Siva, Nathan, Jay and Max took their places on the stage and started things off right with the rocking song ‘Invincible’ off their ‘Battleground’ album.

The set list was mostly off of ‘The Wanted EP’. ‘Lightning’, ‘Chasing the Sun’, and ‘Warzone’ were among my favorites. Every song had its own distinct vibe.

A highlight of the concert was their Coldplay medley. For this part of the show, Tom and Max played the electric guitar, Nathan was behind the keyboard, and Siva strummed an acoustic guitar while they played hits such as ‘Viva la Vida’ and ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’.

The night ended with The Wanted’s biggest hit to date – ‘Glad You Came’. Not a person in the arena was still in their seat!

The Wanted concert was the perfect end to a great summer. We were on cloud 9 as we walked miles back to the car. My friends and I couldn’t have asked for better from Nathan, Tom, Jay, Siva, and Max. To put it simply, we’re glad we came.