Gig review: Jessie J, 02 Academy, Leeds

Jessie J at the O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff.
Jessie J at the O2 Academy Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff.
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WITH such a huge crowd crammed into the O2 Academy, I can barely see the stage. But I don’t need a perfect view to know that Jessie J is in the room.

Before I’m able to set eyes on the popstar, her voice fills the air as she shows off her powerful set of lungs.

The audience goes wild as she proudly sports a basketball shirt with ‘Leeds’ emblazoned on the front, and as the sold-out gig gets under way there are no signs of the throat infection that previously led her to cancel gigs just the week before.

Showing off her trademark trills and runs, she stomps through hits like ‘Domino’, ‘Laserlight’, ‘Burnin’ Up’ and ‘Do it Like a Dude’, and struts around the stage full of confidence, flashing a cheeky smile and oozing sassiness.

Slower album tracks such as ‘Masterpiece’ have the crowd singing and swaying along but it was an acoustic section in the middle where Jessie really showed off her talent.

Accompanied by just an acoustic guitar, the 26-year-old performed a cover of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing’, before explaining the diva gave her the confidence to ‘feel like it was OK to sing loud’.

Despite this declaration, Jessie has unbelievable control over her vocals, and whilst she injects the songs with every ounce of emotion and passion she has, you do feel like she is trying to rein in her voice sometimes, and it left me wanting to hear her belt out the loudest note she can to see if the windows shatter (which I’m sure they would, and it would totally be worth it).

Nonetheless, her title track ‘Sweet Talker’ is a sure-fire pop hit and goes down a storm, and the set is finished off with ‘Price Tag’, which she switches up with some rock and reggae sections.

Last but not least it’s the song everyone’s been waiting for - Bang Bang.

With the tongue-in-cheek tune we finally see Jessie let go and demonstrate some impressive vocal acrobatics - making her pitch-perfect singing seem effortless as she jumps around the stage.

After a previous performance in the city a couple of years ago, Jessie well and truly came back with a bang, and I hope it’s not long until we hear the singer hit the high notes back in Leeds once more.

Jessie J, O2 Academy, Leeds