JoJo @ O2 Academy Islington 7th March 2016

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The O2 Academy Islington paid host to something incredibly special. Last December the I Am JoJo tour was announced. This jaunt around Europe only consisted of one trip to the United Kingdom. As this was the first time performing here I purchased a ticket in the pre sale. Just the thought of hearing the likes of Baby It’s You, Too Little Too Late and Leave (Get Out) would be the perfect piece of nostalgia. It came as no surprise that this was a complete sell out, the fact VIP tickets were available to purchase after having went on sale was annoying. Even though there was an option to upgrade, it’s always nice to purchase a package like this all in one go.

Given the fact that the VIP ticket holders could stay in the venue after the meet and greet made me opt to go to the balcony. Being on the balcony barrier gave me a better chance of seeing something. Aside from that this delightful set consisted of 14 tunes compromising of material from The High Road and the debut self titled JoJo, the EP III was represented and you also had Can’t Take That Away From Me taken from the mix tape of the same name. Also Joanna Levesque threw in a couple of covers for good measure. Now I would describe the style of JoJo’s music being a blend of R&B meets pop which I find to be a delicious combination. Things then opened up with Baby It’s You which was an epic number and there were plenty of cheers when JoJo took to the stage. Anyhow this was both blissful and infectious as literally everyone sang along to those gorgeous lyrics. JoJo’s vocals were smooth like butter sending shivers up my spine at the same time. Once over it was then time for a mash up of tunes from the debut record. The three piece combination started off with upbeat Breezy which was both slick and extremely punchy at the same time. City Lights was rather mellowing and entrancing at the same time. Actually I found City Lights to be extremely refreshing. “You make me so so happy” Joanna said before dedicating this tasty tune to everyone in the audience. Now this being The Happy Song and other than being really gentle this song also showcased off JoJo’s impeccable vocals. Basically this was a cut which had me swaying on the spot. “I would like to take it back to where it all began” Levesque said before diving into Leave (Get Out). Even with this song being 12 years old, it sounds better than ever. This mesmerising number was spectacularly delivered and everything about this left me well and truly hooked. She definitely has a set of pipes on her as Leave was delivered with plenty of gusto. You can actually see it as being an anthem because it’s so feisty.

Following on you then have a double dose of material from the sophomore album The High Road. This has to be my favourite JoJo record and it was a surprise she only performed 2 songs from it. Before delving into the following number Joanna Levesque mentioned that a third album is on the way. Anyhow it was then time for Anything. This being a sleek R&B inspired number with catchy lyrics along with a compelling vocal delivery. Straight after it was onto Too Little Too Late. Now this was a concoction of R&B meets pop sand the outcome being this exquisite tune. Everything was simply spotless, the lyrics scream out sing along and the soothing vocals were mind blowing. Plenty of energy oozed from this dreamy number. Next it was time for Boy Without A Heart which featured on the Can’t Take That Away From Me mix tape. This being JoJo’s first independent release. Now Boy Without A Heart was a slow paced hypnotising soulful jam which captured my attention. The lyrics were incredibly beautiful. The only covers of the evening were Marvins Room by Drake and Pillowtalk by ex One Directioner Zayn Malik. At this moment in time Pillowtalk was riding high in the Official UK Single Chart. Anyhow JoJo completely owned these songs and it was especially nice to witness another artist put there stamp on it. Sandwiched in between those two covers you had Demonstrate. Having been recorded in 2012 Demonstrate will hopefully feature on the 3rd LP. It was in fact rather promising and Demonstrate was a slow sultry R&B jam aided an enchanting vocal delivery. Take Me Home was merely an interlude and straight after it was onto the MNEK produced Good Thing. Now this has to feature on the upcoming Mad Love record, now Good Thing was a feel good dance pop cut which can easily get you moving. This glittering tune was flawlessly delivered, uplifting me at the same time.

The final 3 songs were all taken from the EP III and the first being When Love Hurts. The moment JoJo got stuck into this the hairs on the back of my neck stood on edge. It showcased off her powerhouse vocals and it had a gospel feel to it. Then the band came in and When Love Hurts gained that extra oomph and it was plain to see this went down well with the audience. Meshed to the ending you then had You Make Me Feel which was a take on Sylvester’s dance influenced track. JoJo well and truly owned this number. Save My Soul was really dreamy, the vocals left me spellbound then the rest of the band came in and you could feel the power that resonated from this song. All in all this was a piece of perfection, yes there was a dash of emotion but this number hit me like a ton of bricks and my favourite part had to be the belting chorus. Things then came to an end with the extraordinary Say Love. The whimsical lyrics had everyone singing along. This cut had been well crafted and the chorus emitted plenty of energy.

After the band then left the stage, JoJo then returns to the stage and leaves everyone with preview of the upcoming record. That coming in the form of I Am and honestly just witnessing this makes me excited for this October. Anyhow this was a gentle ballad esque tune which she delivered with plenty of gusto. The dreamy lyrics were really touching and there was a sense of empowerment.

SET LIST

Baby It’s You
Breezy/ City Lights/ The Happy Song
Leave (Get Out)
Anything
Too Little Too Late
Boy Without A Heart
Marvins Room
Demonstrate
Pillowtalk
Take Me Home
Good Thing
When Love Hurts/ You Make Me Feel
Save My Soul
Say Love

ENCORE

I Am

OVERALL: I’ve been so lucky to have witnessed many of my favourite acts live. I’m proud that I can add JoJo to that list. Anyhow the set was a trip down memory lane, I simply cannot argue with it because it was pure perfection. JoJo does seriously have something special and I’m glad a new record will be coming at the end of this year. I must say I Am was literally epic.

When she does come to the UK for a tour I’ll so be there and part of me thinks that will be November/ December time.

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