National Stadium, Dublin
In April, one billion people tuned in to see
Jessie J triumph on a Chinese reality show. At the National Stadium, meanwhile, she’ll play to a crowd of around 2,000. To say the 30-yearold pop singer’s career has been eventful in recent times would be an understatement. Of her victory in the Chinese competition, she commented, “It was an opportunity to bridge a gap between two cultures. They could see a western performer and hear some music they’d never heard before, and vice versa.”
The British press viewed her three-month Oriental stint somewhat differently, with one tabloid headline screaming, “Jessie J will make millions after Chinese talent show win”. Undoubtedly, Jessie J’s international profile received a boost. As a result, despite this National Stadium date being billed as a purposely intimate affair, it still feels odd seeing in her in such a small room. Acknowledging the situation, the singer comments early in the evening, “I don’t mean any disrespect because I’m enjoying it, but this feels like a school assembly with a huge budget. I literally feel like my Mom and Dad are in the audience and my teachers are here to grade me.”
While Jessie J is an energetic performer, there are a few lulls, including three costume changes and an odd plea with the audience not to sing along if they’re unsure of the lyrics. The singer remains at her best when she strips back and the arrangements and croons her slower R&B tunes.
Highlights include ‘Think About That’ and debut single ‘Do It Like A Dude’, still her best tune to date. There are also some genuinely moving moments, with the singer at one point stating, “When I was nine, I was diagnosed with heart disease. I had a stroke at 17, and four years ago I was told that I probably won’t be able to have children. But I will, believe it. My health has become my biggest strength.”
Jessie J remains one of the most fascinating and charismatic performers in the pop landscape.