Review and picture by Stuart Rhodes
Jessie J at O2 Academy, Leeds
Jessie J first hit the charts in 2011 with her debut single Do It Like a Dude.
Since then she has enjoyed whirlwind success with six hit singles, three reaching number one in the charts and three album releases.
The Jessie J tour arrived in Leeds at the O2 Academy, complete with two luxury touring coaches and articulated trucks for the staging and lights parked outside the sold out venue.
The two thousand capacity crowd snaked around the venue and across the road to circle around university buildings.
The atmosphere inside was bordering on electric with the predominantly teenage crowd chanting for Jessie J at regular intervals, especially when encouraged to do so by the excellent support act, American born Luke James, who has written for the likes of Justin Beiber, had a Grammy nomination and also happens to be Jessie J’s boyfriend.
Stepping onto the stage in a shimmering black basketball vest with Leeds emblazoned across the front, and her age on the back, Jessie looked tall but thinner than expected, her jet-black hair straightened and bright red lipstick giving her a bold powerful image as she launched into songs from her latest album Sweet Talk, superbly crafted songs such as Bang Bang and Masterpiece performed with surgical precision and backed by a brilliant four piece band.
There was very little talk from the lady, focusing on connecting with the screaming crowd through her music.
For such a short career the hits have come fast and strong with songs such as Wild with Dizzee Rascal and Laser Light with David Guetta booming out across the heads of the audience Jessie works the room, striding across the stage and making sure every side of the room gets their personal share of Jessie J.
It’s not long before the big crowd pleasers such as chart topping singles Domino and Bang Bang boom out and whip everyone to a frenzy.
Whatever reservations might have been about the ability of Jessie to deliver live have been well and truly dissolved.
Eventually it time for the big number one hit Price Tag and the evening comes to a close with a sweat soaked, screamed out and very happy crowd swarming out into the cold night air and driving home with more than one car belting out Jessie J tracks.
Jessie J may have had a fast rise to the top, even finding time to be a judge on previous series of The Voice, but there can be little doubt the lady is super talented and here for the long haul.
As her latest album title says, she is a real Sweet Talker.