Shepherd’s Bush Empire was the last UK date of the Stand Up tour. The tour itself was relatively short just only 7 dates were announced. 5 of those dates were venues around the UK and the other 2 being venues in Ireland. Tickets to these gigs were like gold dust. Even though I purchased a ticket of Ebay (Ticketweb messed it up for me twice!!!) the price I paid was extremely reasonable. It was after attending the Next Big Thing at the Barfly which made me think I have to be at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire date.
The day finally arrived and I planned to get there early. Since Jessica won both BBC Sound Poll and Critics Choice at the BRITS her popularity has gone through the roof plus she has gained more new fans. In a way I am thankful I saw her play both Scala and Barfly because based on this gig the only way is up. So I was outside the venue at 11.30am and there was around 15 heartbeats already queueing all whom wanted to be at the front barrier. So after 7 hours of waiting outside the venue the doors finally opened. Everyone was vying for the same spot this being the front barrier. Even though I wanted to be towards the centre I knew that this wouldn’t happen. So the position I had was to the far right of the stage. I wasn’t disheartened as Jessie doesn’t spend all her time standing in one place. Three piece R&B band Encore warmed the crowd up with a short 15 minute set. They definately went down a storm and sung 4 songs. One of those songs was Human Nature by Michael Jackson. The second support act was Liam Bailey. He had supported Jessie at her sold out Scala show. Now I love the soulfulness of each song. The 7 song set featured Fool Boy, You Better Leave Me, Crazy Situation, Stranded, It’s Not The Same, Sick Of Love and Heart Beat which people went crazy for. Every Bailey song is amazing but I prefer the ones where he is not playing his guitar. For starters Liam oozes bundles of energy which is always a plus point. Also there was an impromptu snippet of Blind Faith which was a Top 10 collaboration with Chase & Status.
At 9.15pm it was time for the main act. The person everyone was here to see and that was Jessie J. Kicking off the 60 minute set was Mama Knows Best. Now this song which is a favourite of many fans has garnered over 1 million views on Youtube. The way the set started was very like what Lady GaGa does at the very beginning of Dance In The Dark. There was a massive curtain which covered the stage. All we could see was Jessie’s silhouette belting out the beginning of this song. The massive Jessie J sign lit up and then the curtain dropped causing deafening screams. The crowd were definately geared up for a rollercoaster ride. Up next was Abracadabra which was delivered strongly and the rest of the audience were singing away to the lyrics. Stand Up followed on and had the audience chanting away to the words Stand Up for the Love, Love, Love. The crowd was loving every single minute of the song and Jessie’s vocals were incredible. “This is probably the most personal song I have ever written in my life” Jessie told the audience before launching into the beautiful and powerful Who You Are. The song actually conveys a message which is “Just be true to who you are”. Following on was the beautiful song L.O.V.E. This is a song about love, it is beautiful and slightly slushy at the same time as well. “Hard work pays off” Jessie told the crowd and this linked into the song which was next on the night. This being Who’s Laughing Now? This song also showcased her wonderful rapping skills. The lyrics are fantastic and the chorus is just wow. The message that the song conveys is don’t give up on your dreams. If someone puts you down then become more determined to acheive it. In the end when you achieve that dream then those people that doubted you will come crawling back. So like the title of the song Who’s Laughing Now.
After an inspirational speech from Jessie where she told the crowd “Everyone around you keep them close to you, they will keep you grounded” it was then onto Rainbow. Now at the very start Jessie sang a few lines without the aid of her bad. Her vocal range is simply extroadinary. What comes next is the full blown band version. I really like this song and so did the rest of the crowd. There was plenty of singing along and the atmosphere was simply electric. The night ended with the upbeat forthcoming single Nobody’s Perfect. Again everyone was singing along to the lyrics. This song yet conveys another message and this being that Nobody’s Perfect. So Jessie and the rest of the band leave the stage only to return moments later. This was to be a two song encore. The first song being Do It Like A Dude which as soon as Jessie arrived on stage she sang an acapella version of this song then launched into the full blown band version was sung. Plenty of people were singing along and again this song oozed energy. For the last song Jessie ordered everyone to stand up (even the people seated). This song being the Number 1 single Price Tag which is very infectious. Now this song wrapped up what was an extremely special night.
OVERALL: So after the set was over I then made my way home still buzzing from what I had just witnessed. I look forward to the day I see Jessie play again. I reckon Jessie J is going to set the world alight. She already has hardcore heatbeats and I reckon when the next tour is announced you will get plenty more people queueing early just to get to the barrier. Jessica definately has what it takes to headline HMV Apollo or Brixton Academy and those will sell out at in a flash. Plus Cornish can easily conquer America.
Mama Knows Best
Who You Are?
Who’s Laughing Now?
Do It Like A Dude