Rita Ora @ Scala 30th August 2012

An artist who is Hot Right Now is Kosovan born Rita Ora. With 3 #1 singles and a debut #1 album as well made this event rather special indeed. I purchased a ticket for this on the basis of both RIP and Hot Right Now. Plus she had supported Coldplay (unfortunately not on the day I attended). At 3.30pm I arrived at Scala and expected to be one of the 1st few there with a ticket. But I was in for a surprise when I noticed the long queue.

Fast forward 4 hours and the doors finally opened. People collecting from the box office went in first which was a little unfair considering a couple of those people arrived after me. Once inside I made my way up the stairs then into the venue. A decision needed to be made. Where should I stand. The barrier was out of the question, the best on the floor standing would have been 4th row. The tiered viewing platform next to the sound desk was were I watched the gig. It wasn’t where I would have been but as the barrier, 2nd and 3rd rows had been taken this was the next best thing.

Things started around 9.30pm. An introduction was then play which consisted of a snippet of RIP. Rita then took to the stage in a lime green outfit and was sporting a pair of bug eyed glasses. “London, let me here you scream” Ora said whilst she opened with Facemelt which is also the first song on the début album. “My name is Rita Ora. Thank you so much for coming to my show tonight. You all look so amazing. When I count up to 3 I want to see you all jumping” Rita then mentioned to the audience. Facemelt may have been short and sweet but bundles of energy flowed from it. This song got the audience warmed up for what was to be a phenomenal night. “I can’t explain to you what this moment means right now. I’ll get emotional later. Are you ready to have a good night with me” she said while introducing the next number of the set as Roc Da Life. The song itself went down a treat and it sounded incredible live. There was a tinge of rock as you had guitars and the drums. Rita’s vocals were superb but this song in general was along different compared to singles Hot Right Now, How We Do (Party) and RIP. “Hello Scala, How you doing? Thank you so much for coming here tonight. This is my first show where you guys came here, you know cos I’ve been supporting for so long. You actually came here to see me” Ora then said whilst saying that she was extremely grateful. It actually comes as a surprise that her first headline show wasn’t sooner than later. “There’s one song on this album that features a man I’m a big fan of. His name is Will.i.am. I invited him over here but I think he’s in L.A. You know next time” Rita said introducing the next song as being Fall In Love. Will.i.am’s vocals were provided by a backing track whilst Ora delivered this song to perfection. Its verses were amazing but for me the thing that I was most impressed with was the powerful chorus. “This new song I’m going to play for you is kind of like a little test for you guys. I don’t know which one to give you as a single next. So I’m going to give you 2 songs. The one that gets the biggest reaction will be the new single” Rita said to the audience. Shine Ya Light was another strange song. Strange in the sense that from having listened to Ora whilst queueing Shine Ya Light is in a completely different genre. Just witnessing it live made me fall in love with it even more. This tune is more pop than dance. You could see it as an infectious ballad. It went down well with everyone plus there was a lot of arms in the air swaying from side to side. “It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t sing this song for you. Thanks to you this was my 1st #1 with DJ Fresh. I want to say thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for making my dreams come true” Rita said before getting stuck into Hot Right Now. This drum ‘n’ bass went down a storm with the audience. Everyone sang along plus Rita sang with plenty of gusto. “I love doing covers. I’m always thinking it’s fun doing a cover because it’s not your music. There’s this one song and it was his 1st song he came out with and it’s called Swim Good. There’s one line in there I love and I’m going to try swim from something bigger than me. It’s such a simple thing but it’s so true” Ora then said. The choice of cover was Swim Good which was originally sung Frank Ocean. This tune had a soul vibe to it. I have never heard the original before but just witnessing Rita perform it made me fall in love with the track. Ora’s performance was very smooth and the rest of the audience were loving it. It was a shame that there was people chatting throughout it. The lyrics are absolutely flawless which makes you picture what this song is telling you. “This one next song is at the end of the deluxe album” Rita said before revealing Meet Ya was written after hearing Jackson 5. This was a beautiful sleek song which was extremely entrancing. The harmonising was completely faultless. It may have been a short song but it was amazing. It should of made the cut for the standard version of Ora. “I got to meet some amazing people and J Cole was one of them. Aside from being a big fan he did me the honours of jumping on the song. I want to sing it for you guys tonight, if you let me. Here’s a little bit of the gangster inside, coming out of me” Rita said before launching into Love & War. Just like Fall In Love J Cole wasn’t in the building and his vocals were played via backing track. Cole provided the hook to this song while Ora delivered this tune spectacularly. “This is test 2. This song is one of my favourite songs, not only to perform but it just feels good” Rita said introducing before introducing the next song as Radioactive. Even though I loved the delectable Shine Ya Light, Radioactive was a song that has massive single potential and it is one that gets me very excited. It was actually really infectious and it comes as no surprise that it received a good reception from the sold out Scala. “There’s one song that I want to sing for you guys that shows a different side of me. It kind of explains the journey of a relationship and when it’s over it’s kind of over. I just had 3 minutes to kind of explain this journey” Ora said after taking a seat on the stall that was on stage. Hello Hi Goodbye showed off a different side to Rita Ora. This was an emotional ballad and it was quite hypnotic at the same time. “There’s this one song and its got 3 letters in it. I don’t think I need to introduce this” Rita then said before RIP. This being her first solo #1 with a little help from Tinie Tempah. It was just Ora who delivered this fantastic song. RIP was a mixture of R&B and dubstep and this number went down well with the audience. Everyone was singing along to the slow paced chorus. I really liked RIP and I adored its lyrics. Ora then left the stage leaving the rest of the band playing out the song till its very end. Minutes later Rita came bursting onto the stage sporting a lime green beanie hat. The penultimate song was Uneasy and a drum was laid out for Rita to frantically hit throughout. The verses to Uneasy reminded me of The Ting Tings. “Thank you so much. This Ladies and Gentlemen is the last song and I want to say thank you all for having me tonight. I wish I could do a 5 hour set” Ora said before signing of with her most recent #1 single and this being How We Do (Party). This song borrowed lyrics from Notorious B.I.G.’s 1993 single Party and Bullshit. The best part of this song had to be its singable chorus.

SET LIST

Facemelt
Roc Da Life
Fall In Love
Shine Ya Light
Hot Right Now
Swim Good
Meet Ya
Love & War
Radioactive
Hello Hi Goodbye
RIP

ENCORE

Uneasy
How We Do (Party)

OVERALL: This was the first time I had witnessed Rita Ora live. Yes I was well aware of her material (RIP in particular). All in all her performance impressed me immensely. It was a bit of a shock to have 70 people ahead of me in the queue (from what I heard the first lot of fans arrived at 7am) which made being right at the front barrier virtually impossible. Still even being right at the back resulted me in having a tremendous view. Plus being at the back was more relaxed than what it would have been like down at the front.

As for the songs each was delivered to perfection. Rita gave the audience the task of picking the next single Radioactive or Shine Ya Light. Both are amazing and will make marvellous singles but for me Radioactive has the upper hand.

In the end it was rather special just to see an artist like Rita perform in such a small venue. Everybody loved every single second of this set and this made the atmosphere electric. I reckon that when Ora does embark on another tour round the UK she will either visit Brixton Academy or HMV Apollo.

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