I have been trying to write this as quickly as possible incase I forget anything important but between me and you, I don’t think I’ll be forgetting anything of the evening for a very very long time.
I am of course talking about the I Am JoJo European Tour which I attended last night where JoJo made her final stop at London’s Islington 02 Academy. Being the fan I am I didn’t just get general admission tickets, oh hell no. I got the VIP M&G complete experience.
Myself and the other VIP attendees were giving priority entry where we met JoJo in person and were told by her team that it was one photo per person. Some took the liberty of taking two while others weren’t happy with their first shot but didn’t get a second chance. I had plans to ask JoJo what her favourite Britney Spears song was but when it came to meeting her I literally froze. I gave her a hug and kept my mouth shut, though she did say I give great hugs ( *adds accolade to C.V*).
We were then given access to the main room where JoJo would be performing and she sung ‘Weak’ and ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ for us acoustically before the doors were opened for general admission. It was such an intimate setting and to no-one’s surprise she sounded incredible.
A little while later after the opening act Mike Dignam* performed for what felt like an eternity, JoJo reappeared on stage with the venue packed from top to bottom to a rousing crowd reaction and got straight into singing ‘Baby Its You’ from her debut album. The crowd then erupted in a unified cheer chanting “JO-JO!” to the point where she just stood there and took it all in and said that it felt like a dream being so positively received in London after almost a decade since her last visit.
JoJo continued her trip down memory lane by performing ‘Happy’ and her signature song ‘Leave (Get Out)’ from her debut album. Before performing ‘Leave’, JoJo said that she now sings the song from a place of experience and heartbreak compared to when she first sang it at the age of 13. And despite the song being a decade old, it still holds up as a timeless pop song which she delivered with pristine vocals.
‘Anything’ and the song that she said “literally changed my life”, ‘Too Little Too Late’ were up next and by this point I was very aware I was singing from the top of my lungs, which can be heard on numerous videos I made during the night. And upon listening back to my singing I must say my singing voice is horrible and I apologise to anyone who suffered around me.
The ‘Red Light District’ section of the evening compromised of ‘Boy Without A Heart’ ‘Marvin’s Room’, ‘Demonstrate’ and an unapologetically sexy cover of Zayn’s ‘PILLOWTALK’. And this was the section where JoJo gave zero fucks, she was completely feeling every bit of herself and even during her performance of ‘Demonstrate’ she unzipped her denim playsuit to reveal just her bra. [I feel its important to point out there was what I assume was a 12-14 year old girl front row witnessing every bit of JoJo’s self love]
WHAT. A. WOMAN.
Focus then shifted to JoJo’s more recent music, including her ‘Tringle’ which was released in the summer of 2015. She also performed tracks from her LoveJo EPs including ‘Take Me Home’ and ‘You Make Me Feel’. It was at this point in the show where we got to see how far JoJo had come not only as an artist but as a person. She spoke about her lengthy battle with her old record label where she wasn’t able to release music- to which the entire audience [made up of a diverse bunch of grown men, grown women, black girls, white girls, Muslim girls with hijabs on, gay men etc] gave out a chorus of BOOs at the situation.
She also talked about how having something so trivial like being able to sing and release music taken away from her made her realise that performing is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. It’s her relentless determination and moxie which is why she is finally free today and now sings from a place of enteral gratitude for being able to do what she loves to do.
She closed the show with ‘Say Love’ and then made a swift exit off stage. But all concert goers know that when the act leaves the stage and the lights dim down and it seems like everything is over, you stand right there and scream ‘ENCORE!!!’ until the act returns for one proper last song. And that is exactly what JoJo did.
Before performing her last song, which was a new song from the album titled ‘I Am’, Jo told the audience how for a long time she had lost her identity and found it impossible to say or think positive things about herself. She mentioned how being stuck in her label drama caused her to fall into depression and a feeling of worthlessness.
At the point when she started belting out ‘I Am’ you couldn’t help but think that this woman, aged only 25 years old, has experienced so much struggle and hardship to get where she is today. She fought near enough a decade for her freedom and to reclaim ownership of her voice. It was impossible for me to watch her sing with so much passion and not well up with tears in my eyes.
This concert just reaffirmed everything I already knew was true about JoJo from the very start. She is an outstanding performer with an incredible voice who deserves every bit of success that is sure to come her way when she releases her third studio album, that she confirmed on stage is coming in 2016!
I still can’t quite get my head around the fact I have finally seen JoJo and even got to meet her but all I can say is she is a true talent, a gift from another world and us mere mortals are just not worthy of her. At all.
*I’d like to just say that Mike Dignam was a great opening act for the concert. Some people in front of myself were being unnecessarily rude whilst he was performing, yawning and rolling their eyes and playing on their phones. All of which I thought was incredibly stupid of them- especially when they were in the front row. I thoroughly enjoyed his set an even paid £1 for a CD of his own music after the show ended. I still have yet to listen to it but every new act has to start somewhere!
** I really wanted to add videos to this post but WordPress is being awkward about it, so I will try again soon!