CAPITAL FM SUMMERTIME BALL, Wembley Stadium – Evening Standard, 11 June 2012

With Coldplay booked as the opening act at 4pm, big things were clearly in store for attendees at Capital FM’s latest stadium roadshow. A fast-moving conveyor belt of top 10 stars both from here and the US, it was a handy primer in current mainstream tastes and a quick way to realise, grandad-like, that almost all current chart pop really does sound the same.

Ed Sheeran, as ever, stuck out bizarrely, both for his solo use of an acoustic guitar — an instrument that seems to be going the way of the lute — and for daring to play Small Bump, a song about a miscarriage, at this feelgood party.

Apart from this ginger anomaly it was a slick operation, with slim gaps between acts and a streamer or confetti explosion never more than another big chorus away.

Cheryl Cole in a dayglo catsuit was the highlight of a sudden flurry of unannounced artists, that also included Dizzee Rascal and Rita Ora, in the middle.

Capital must have stopped worrying about ticket sales as soon as Justin Bieber was booked. His fans and their graffitied cheeks dominated the audience and he worked hard to please the crowd in a Union Jack vest. Gloopy though much of his material was, the boy can dance.

Katy Perry wrapped things up in her inimitable cartoon style, and pop stayed in safe hands for another year.