Na­tional Sta­dium, Dublin

Hot Press - - Live - MICHAEL KEALY

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.

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