Jessie J at the O2 Arena
The stunning siren of pop goes all out for Londontown...
Since she first told us how to do it like a dude in 2010, Jessie J has been a busy girl, whether she has been singing another chart smasher, shaving her hair off for charity or acting as judge and mentor on our television screens. Now, she is keeping busy doing what she does best – performing live for her fans on the Alive album tour, now at London’s O2 arena.
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Jessie J can sing. And she can sing live while grinding or playing the air guitar or running from one side of the stage to the other. Her vocals are technically on point and for someone with such a petite frame, she has no trouble filling the huge O2 arena with the sound of her melodies. The sophomore Alive album is brimming with the feel good anthems Jessie is known for, like Together We Can Conquer The World, Thunder and Gold. It’s a great album and it translates into a great concert, into what is effectively a one-woman show – Jessie isn’t supported by a troupe of dancers, it is just Jessie and three backing singers taking on the entire arena. But for a girl like Jessie, with that voice and attitude, she could fill the arena without even using her microphone.
The show is well-produced and features the standard laser lights (used appropriately when Jessie belts out her David Guetta collaboration dance hit Laser Light), wind tunnels and smoke machines. There’s a good build up to the debut single Do It Like A Dude which introduces pyrotechnics to the production with bursts of flames intermingled with a very respectable sample from Kanye West’s In Paris. Of course, the finale is where the production team really show off, with a shower of sparkles raining down behind Jessie during Gold and bombs of confetti exploding during the last song, Price Tag.
I expected a lot from the Jessie J concert – the next level vocals, the charismatic facial expressions, the costumes and lights and the spectacle. What I didn’t expect, however, was to walk into a life-coaching session. The concert features video interludes (allowing swift outfit changes) with Jessie enlightening the audience in the ways of positive thinking and the transformational power of love. It was as though she had read Rhonda Byrnes’s pop-psychology book The Secret and wanted to share it with her fans. She makes statements like “Always love yourself; love the darkness into the light; love the ‘should be’ into ‘could be’”, “love has no limits, no rules and no end” and “lies and deceit fester in your soul – stop being what others dictate.” And like all good life-coaches, Jessie clearly endorses the practice of daily affirmations, repeating in the mirror phrases such as “listen to you, be you and love you.” You may know that Jessie J is a chart-smashing, song-writing pop princess; you may not know that she is also one of the greatest and unrecognised philosophers of our generation, up there with the likes of Buddha and Ghandi.
Jessie J is a wonderful performer who gives a lot of energy in her one-woman show and never fails to deliver pitch perfection. She is great to listen to when singing those brilliant pop sings from Alive and with her figure, costumes and the concert production, she is also fabulous to watch live. And although the pop-psychology interludes became rather tedious, Jessie J teaches us a valuable lesson: You can live or you can be alive.
GT gives this a very solid 3/5
Jessie J’s second album Alive is out now, and the tour continues across the UK.
Words: Darcy Rive
Photo: Matt Kent