Dropout UK @ Jessie J Headline, Scala, Kings X
UK Star Did Not Do It Like A Dude. She Did It Like Only She Could!
It was 9pm and the world renowned live music venue in the heart of London, Scala was packed to the rafters with everyone here waiting to see one person. A little after 9pm, the BBC Sound of 2011 winner, Brit’s Choice Awards 2011 winner & First lady of Essex, none other than Jessie J took to the stage for her 1st headline London gig of 2011.
She began the show with great energy from the start with a song titled ‘Mama Knows Best’ as she showed off that her rich and powerful voice as well as a cheeky sexy side to her. Her accompanying 4-piece band complemented her on this song with the same energy and the much needed hard-hitting musical backdrop. Her second song, ‘Stand Up’ was a Reggae-tingled mid-tempo number with one hell of a crescendo of a chorus, it was also a firm crowd favourite as she had the crowd singing along to the chorus and she also showed great energy throughout this performance before sitting on stage to sing out the bridge, showing off the power in her voice just in case you missed it on the first song.
If you know Jessie J then you’ll know that as much as she’s an incredible singer, she’s a good talker and a funny one as I found out tonight. As soon as she hit the stage, you could tell it was going to be a night filled with great banter. From telling the crowd that the corset she was wearing was courtesy of Vivienne Westwood to sharing her father’s rather embarrassing response to hearing that her single was #2 this week, there was no keeping Jessie quiet.
She performed ‘Big White Room’ next, after confiding with the audience that she hadn’t been able to record the right version of this song for her debut album and that she was going to record this performance and use it for her album. It’s a beautiful song and her voice is perfect on this. All you hear is her and the acoustic guitar and you wouldn’t want it any other way and you can’t help but marvel at how beautiful this song is but I doubt if she can use this recording for her album because while it was a pitch perfect vocal performance from Jessie and the acoustic musical backdrop sounded lush, the audience just couldn’t help but make noise to show their adoration for Jessie.
For her fourth and fifth songs, she performed ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ and ‘Who’s Laughing Now’ respectively. The first was another up-tempo song heavy on bass which the 4-piece band duly obliged to. Jessie’s voice once again steals the show and she brings the crowd in again on the chorus of this one which is quite impressive to witness. It’s like a Jessie J cult in the Scala tonight, the way they all know the words to the hook. Before she introduced her next song, she engaged her audience in some more light hearted comedy and banter and if ever the Pop princess decides to walk away from music, there’s a career in stand-up comedy waiting for her. The second, ‘Who’s Laughing Now’, is a cheeky Hip-Hop infused pop song with a heavy bassline and an accompanying token rap verse from Jessie herself directed at all the ‘haters’. The crowd seem to enjoy this one with the room filled with bopping heads.
She then took out time to introduce her band and she let them take turns in talking to the crowd which is quite different to other ‘band introductions’ I’ve witnessed. Watching her introduce her lead guitarist and her keyboard player has got to be one of the funniest concert moments ever.
She introduced her next song as one she wrote for Alicia Keys titled ‘L.O.V.E’ which Jessie took back because Ms. Keys had a baby apparently. This was a slow-tempo guitar driven R&B song with a lovely chorus which let’s Jessie show off her beautiful voice once again. She went into another funny ‘interlude’ and then introduced what is her forthcoming single ‘Price Tag’ as she asks the crowd to sing along. Everybody at the Scala (apart from me) knew every word to this one. A definite crowd favourite, another mid-tempo guitar driven song with Reggae infusions that will certainly do well on the UK charts. She brought out Devlin for this one and the crowd went mental for him. Their stage presence is really up there and Jessie J’s adlibbing, not only on this performance but all through the show, should be commended!
Jessie J then performed an acoustic version of ‘Who You Are’ but not before she engaged the crowd one more time assuring her fans that she’s very normal and real and giving a short monologue about ‘doing you’, ‘doing your best’ and ‘positive energy’ as well as telling the background story to ‘Who You Are’. It’s a very emotional song about being true to one’s self in which she gives another very powerful vocal showing. The connection with her guitarist is so evident and they absolutely bring this song to life with the crowd finishing the song with her as she exited the stage.
The crowd obviously wanted more of Jessie J with chants of ‘we want more’ and ‘Jessie’ as well as loud screams and feet-stomping taking over the venue and filling out the Scala. Her band finally came back out, followed shortly after by Jessie herself now sporting an all-black NY Yankees baseball hat to perform the final song of the night, the hit-single ‘Do It like a Dude’. It was a very high-octane performance with the band sounding fresh and crisp like they only just came on stage. Jessie was very energetic and got the crowd singing along to the catchy hook. It was a great close to the show.
She closed the show by engaging with her audience, giving her band another encore and finally with a few words of thanks to her audience for coming. Many thanks should however go to Jessie J herself for such an amazing performance, I cannot wait to see her again and as I entered the Scala tonight, that wasn’t something I was expecting to say as I left.
The girl is a star.
Jessie Performs 'L.O.V.E.'
Jessie Performs 'Price Tag' Ft Devlin