Turns out you can pull of an arena style show at First Avenue and yet manage for it to feel intimate. It just takes the right artist. And British singer Jessie J fit the bill perfectly. She sells out much larger venues in Europe and on her first visit to Minneapolis she packed First Avenue.
Sporting a Minneapolis t-shirt (she mentioned that now finally knows how to spell Minneapolis) and a pair of leather hot pants her stage presence took over First Ave from the first song “Ain’t been done”. The stage was packed with her band and a set of stairs which Jessie put to good use. Lights were spectacular with clean white light being dominant. She also had a manually operated spotlight on her for most of the show which brought screams of joy to the lips of the photographers in the pit.
Her command of the stage supported her great voice, songs were performed clear and strong. She clearly is an experienced performer and her connection to her fans is quite strong. She chatted between songs, mentioned a time when she misstepped, took a dive off stage and had to finish her song from the pit. When coming to First Ave, many artists pay homage to prince and Jessie had a unique idea. She had her fans sing the first refrain of “Price Tag” and on the second refrain called out for Prince to sing and held out the microphone. Turns out, Prince was not in the audience………..
Jessie also performed a cover of Whitney Houston’s “I have nothing” that was rather well done proving that her vocal skills take backseat to no one.
Jessie J’s show was one of the best pop performances I have seen recently. I walked in knowing very little about her and walked out a fan.
Ain’t Been Done
Seal Me With a Kiss
Keep Us Together
I Have Nothing (Whitney Houston cover)
Who You Are
Do It Like a Dude
Who’s Laughing Now