By Imogen Rogers, Deputy Living Editor and Laila Freeman, Food Editor
'Okay, Coconut man, Moon head and Pea. You ready?' Laila Freeman and Imogen Rogers review Jessie J at Bristol's O2
Jessie J is back with a bang (bang) on her R.O.S.E tour after being taken down like a domino by the British media and relocating to California. We were unaware she still existed, let alone that she was still relevant, until we googled her name and found out she is dating Channing Tatum. The album is divided into four sections and this was also the structure of the concert, accompanied by costume changes and voice overs. Within the four sections - R-Realisations O-Obsession S-Sex and E- Empowerment – Jessie J sang a mixture of new songs and much-loved classics… yes, of course we are talking about Price Tag.
We arrived at the O2 and joined a queue of twelve-year olds and forty-year olds, looked around to find anyone in between those two ages and resigned ourselves to the fact that this was not the O2’s normal crowd. This was confirmed halfway through the concert when we noticed the middle-aged man next to us bawling his eyes out at 'Nobody’s Perfect'.
Between the songs, Jessie spoke a lot of self-acceptance and how she had grown to love herself, in spite of all her critics. Whilst her words were certainly heartfelt, it did seem that there was a slight discrepancy with this and her new music and image. When Jessie J burst onto the music scene, she was instantly recognisable by her jarring black fringe and her strong Essex accent. No one could deny that Jessie J had her own brand, which seemed lacking in this new tour, where her music seemed much more mainstream and Americanised.
For those that attended the concert to experience Jessie’s new music, they may have been disappointed, as over half consisted of her previous songs. But as the only two girls to put their hands up when she asked, ‘Who is only here to hear 'Price Tag'?’, we definitely were not. Her set was full of her older hits including 'Who You Are', 'Flashlight' and 'Domino'- Laila’s year eight ringtone. Nonetheless, Jessie’s vocal skills are undeniable, her powerful voice filling the small venue. Her stage presence and connection with the audience made for an enjoyable and laughter-filled evening. There were heartfelt moments, for example when she spoke about her hereditary heart condition or the sound clip of her Grandfather’s last words, as well as honest conversations about her past relationships.
Overall, although Jessie’s new album, and image, is a far-cry from the Jessie J we knew and loved back in secondary school she remains an engaging performer and hopefully this marks her return to the UK pop scene.
Featured Image:Imogen Rogers and Laila Freeman/ Epigram
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