Almost a usual at the Mtelus these days I decided to make my way to the balcony to find a seated spot. Unusually, half of the seats were chained off. A bit unusual, I thought to myself, but there must be a logical explanation. I found a standing spot close by and waited patiently for the show to begin. To my surprise, security came by and took off the chains so we could be seated, which he did at the same moment Kiana Ledé took the stage.
Dressed in flowery flowy pants with a white crop top and running shoes (which brought a bit of summer back to Mtelus), she looked as comfortable in what she was wearing as she was on stage. Her soulful voice hypnotized the audience and all eyes were on her. Accompanied by her keyboardist, she sang songs about love and heartbreak. Her cute bubbly personality brought warmth in our cold fall hearts on this October evening. I wish she would have been on stage a while longer.
Ro James arrived on stage with a voice and an energy that from across the room you could smell the charm off this guy. With a green jacket that looked inspired by something Michael Jackson would wear and gold chains that would blind anyone looking directly at him, James didn’t take long before announcing his songs which continued with tonight’s theme of love, heartbreak, and sex… lots and lots of sex. Breaking into dance moves with the audience following along, he flirted with the crowd with his words and his dance moves.
He took a break from singing to speak about his life, his journey, where he was from, and where he had been. He mentioned he has been all over the world, New York, California, and continued to name all places he had been in the United State! One of the people from the back of the stage brought about two dozen red and yellow roses and left them on the step behind him. I was curious to know what he was going to do with them ( although I had an idea). It wasn’t long before the set was over and he threw roses here and there to the ladies in the crowd. Every lady on the floor was jumping and screaming to catch her very own rose. Ro waved goodbye and left the stage.
The crowd broke into a “Jessie! Jessie!” chant anytime a sound tech walked on stage. The excitement was there and the twenty-five-minute wait was making everyone jittery. The lights dimmed, red lights illuminated, smoke crawled onto the stage and out came Jessie J.
For her first outfit of the night, sporting a see-through glittery hooded top that also covered her face she walked confidently to the front of the stage where a fan (not a person, literally a fan) was waiting for her and blew her hair while her voiced echoed through the venue. I had seen Jessie J music videos once or twice and was ecstatic to see her in person. The confidence that woman has when she walks into a room in astounding. She owns the place. Having an almost guitar-off with her guitarist while she was rocking out and playing air guitar, it was clear that she was here to give us all she’s got.
With a mic stand that matched her outfit, she grabbed it and let out vocals that I did not know could come out of her. It’s like she has three different types of singers inside of her. Unless you have seen her live, her records or music videos do not do her justice.
Her first song ended and she introduced herself “Nice to meet you, I’m Jess, and I will try to make eye contact with you as much as possible tonight”. She kept her promise as all through the night she made a point to look at the crowd, respond when someone said something to her, made a few jokes along the way, and made it a very personal experience.
Between every song, she shared her own personal stories behind the lyrics and even had audio from a voicemail that she received from her grandfather because like she said ‘”When someone gives you wisdom, you pass it on” and I think that is absolutely true.
About halfway through the show she stopped to take a look at all the signs that people were holding over their heads, took the time to read all of them (which basically all said that they wanted to sing with her) and asked their names.
She brought all three people on stage, handed them a mic, and sang “Who you are” where all three of her guests started out shy but gained confidence throughout the song and I was freaking impressed by the talent. It was beautiful to see them up there and hear their beautiful voices.
With the show coming to an end and already running over by about fifteen minutes, Jessie had to choose one last song and asked the crowd to cheer for the one they prefered. Our choices were “Pricetag”, and to be honest I don’t remember what the other choices because “Pricetag” is the one that I wanted to hear. Lucky for me and all of us who cheered for that one, we got our wish. Sadly one person that had a sign up earlier hadn’t gotten the chance to come up on stage so now was her chance, she grabbed a guitar and played “PriceTag” perfectly (well, to my ears it was anyway). She totally rocked it and sang along with Jessie and once again I was blown away. Sneaky girl while singing asked Jessie J to play “Domino” and she accepted.
What a beautiful way to end a beautiful night. The show ended forty-five minutes overtime and it didn’t feel like it was a minute longer than it should have been. The venue emptied into the street as people were still singing “Domino” and I could hear them fade into the background as I walked home.
Review – Jenny Watson
Photos – Arianne Bergeron