Joanna Levesque is better known as JoJo and the moment she announced a show at Camden’s Koko I knew I had to get a ticket. The Islington show last March was mind blowing and there was even a sneak peak of new track I Am which had me lost for words. October 2016 saw the release of the long overdue 3rd album and this being Mad Love. This was an LP which completely captivated me and each of the 11 songs featured were well crafted.
I turned up at the venue just before 1pm expecting to see a line of people queuing. But I was so wrong, there were literally 4 people outside the venue and this was a surprise given the fact people got to that Islington show last March earlier than 1pm. The thought of the VIP Meet and Greet line made me so anxious, my dream of being 2nd row went out of the window the moment I saw 50 people were in that line. Having VIP would be amazing but at £75 made it pretty pricey. Anyhow doors eventually opened at 7.15pm and the space I secured was 4th row.
JoJo then graced the stage around 9.15 and the atmosphere was tense. The delightful set kicked off with the tasty Clovers. Now this tune was simply sensational and it comes as a surprise that this tune didn’t appear on the standard version of Mad Love. This smooth song was delivered to perfection and JoJo’s candy coated vocal tones left me completely mesmerised. Meshed to the ending you then had something from the III EP and this coming in the form of When Love Hurts. Basically this number packed a punch. When Love Hurts was a sleek jam which easily has me moving on the spot. “How you all feeling tonight” Levesque then said before taking us all back. It was then time for Leave (Get Out). This hypnotic 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. Straight after it was then time for Vibe. This new cut was out of this world, JoJo’s sizzling vocals were upbeat and the melody radiated dance vibes. All in all the captivating Vibe was a feel good number which went down a treat. “How you guys up there” Joanna then said to the people in the balcony area. It was then time for the extraordinary Say Love. The whimsical lyrics had everyone singing along. This cut had been well crafted and the chorus emitted plenty of energy.
Once over Levesque pulled a fan onstage for High Heels. The atmosphere was cranked up a notch because this interlude was sizzling hot. Basically JoJo gave the fan she pulled up on stage a lap dance. I’m sure Brian is the envy of every JoJo fan. Like That/ Like This was a slick sensual jam which oozed sass. Joanna delivered this song with plenty of gusto and her vocal tones were incredibly blissful. “Love can get a little Reckless” Levesque said before delving into Reckless. This slick R&B flavoured number had me swooning on the spot. The lyrics were incredibly dreamy and those vocals sent chills up my spine. Meshed to the ending it was time for a bit of Edibles and wow is all I can say. The whole performance was top notch, Joanna went full throttle and again this dreamy number had tinges of R&B. To cut things short Edibles left me in an utter daze.
Once over it was then time for the acoustic part of the set. This came in the form of 3 impeccable songs (1 being mash up). First up it was onto Music and this was extremely tender and the lyrics were ever so beautiful. I literally fell in love with this cut there and then. Just witnessing it completely stripped back was absolutely magical. “So I’ve been singing all night so far. Do you guys mind singing along with me for this next part? So I want to see if there any real JoJo fans here” Levesque said before taking things back to 2004. The song in question being the insatiable Baby It’s You. This cut was extremely infectious as literally everyone sang along to those gorgeous lyrics. JoJo’s vocals were smooth like butter and they made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge. “Is there anything you guys want to hear?” Joanna asked the audience before plumping for Disaster. Now this was merely a snippet of this luscious number. The lyrics were contagious and the whole vocal performance left me completely spellbound. “So when I asked about real JoJo fans. I’m talking about the ones who were down with me. The ones who helped really literally keep me alive. You supported my Mixtapes” Joanna mentioned before getting stuck into the fresh and funky We Get By. Straight after it was then time for a interpretation of Drake’s song Marvin’s Room. I’m not a massive Drake fan but JoJo completely owned this tune. Straight after it was onto Too Little Too Late. Now this was a concoction of R&B meets pop and the outcome being this exquisite infectious tune. Everything was simply spotless, the lyrics scream out sing along and the soothing vocals were mind blowing. It was then onto something for all of JoJo’s 90’s babies and this coming in the form of a majestic take of SWV’s Weak. Straight after it was time for I Am. This was a gentle ballad esque tune which she delivered with plenty of gusto. Those dreamy lyrics were really touching and there was a sense of empowerment.
“It’s a brand new year you guys 2017. Has anybody still making resolutions? Anybody like resolved to do anything different this year? Resolutions are no apparently in 2017. If you want something to maybe marinate on I can give you a tidbit to chew on. For me I just have a zero tolerance policy in 2017 for any Fake Ass Bitches” Joanna said before delving into FAB. This fierce tune was packed with a punch and those lyrics were incredibly contagious. F*ck Apologies was superbly delivered, it was a smooth sounding song which oozed plenty of fun vibes. The lyrics were so catch and the chorus hit me like a full on force. Levesque even showcased her rapping skills. “London our time together is almost at an end. You guys have been absolute legends tonight. Before I leave I need to make sure that when you walk out of here, you know that you tell everybody that JoJo has Mad Love for London”. Levesque said before ending the evening with Mad Love. Anyhow this was swooning R&B at its best. Mad Love was simply sensational and those lyrics were so hypnotising. Nearing the end she introduced the rest of her band. All in all this was an epic number which ended an impeccable evening.
She then left the stage only to return moments for an encore. Good Thing was the curtain closer and this being a pacey tune which could quite easily be a club floor filler.
When Love Hurts
Leave (Get Out)
High Heels (Interlude)
Like That/ Like This
Baby It’s You/ Disaster/ We Get By/ Marvin’s Room/ Too Little Too Late/ Weak
OVERALL: My mind was literally blown after witnessing this epic concert. JoJo is one incredible performer and she’s extremely humble as well. This evening consisted of 16 impeccable tunes the majority being taken from the new LP Mad Love. Also it was a real treat to hear oldies such as Baby It’s You, Too Little Too Late and Leave (Get Out), Disaster, Say Love, When Love Hurts and We Get By. The covers of Marvin’s Room and Weak were utterly flawless as well.
Now the mash up was incredible, the High Heels interlude could quite easily get the pulse racing but my highlight had to be the acoustic version of Music. Now that tune was ever so beautiful. But then Mad Love and the inspirational I Am were both extraordinary.
To sum things up I really enjoyed this evening and I cannot wait for the day JoJo returns to these shores.
After the show had ended a friend and I decided to wait outside in the hope of meeting Joanna leaving the venue. Quite a few people had the exact idea. Well after an hour waiting JoJo left the venue and met every single fan waiting.