Live Review: A Night with Jason Derulo
For Jason Derulo, the sky is the limit. Derulo’s music, an infusion of urban, pop and R’n’B beats, has graced the radio waves for over a year, inspiring a wave of other artists to adopt his musical style.
The audience was left waiting in anticipation as two special guests performed. A trio of good-looking, booty shaking girls was the first guest act and they put on a good performance. A shame the bass was so loud that no one could hear their voices and when they announced the name of their group, no one heard.
The second special guest was Australian artist Morgan Joanel. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a tambourine, her music did not appeal to the audience. Completely unfamiliar with her music, there were more than a few people wondering why she was there, hoping that she’d exit the stage sooner rather than later. This wasn’t helped by her appearance – peroxide blonde hair, reminiscent of Taylor Momsen (Gossip Girl). Admittedly, her voice wasn’t terrible. She may have appealed more to a different audience.
Fortunately, after two disappointing guest acts, Jason Derulo emerged like a gift from the heavens. He opened with “The Sky’s the Limit” and flashed green lasers from his fingertips, sending green beams of light streaming across Festival Hall. Immediately, the energy in the hall tripled as fans screamed and jumped.
Jason Derulo is not just a singer. He is a performer. His dancing was insane. Hip Hop dancing was evidently his preferred style. But he has also dabbled in ballet and the precision of his movements indicated the diversity of his abilities and inherent rhythm.
As well as doing his own tracks, he covered Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. While his singing was sometimes breathy during “Billie Jean”, his moonwalk was just a whisker off Michael Jackson’s. Derulo’s pelvic thrusting during “Sexy Back” also excited the female audience.
During “Encore”, Derulo slowly ripped off his t-shirt to reveal his well-defined abs eliciting more screams from the audience. With or without his shirtless physique, the song was a hit with its synthesized, high-tempo beats simulating a club-like atmosphere.
For one audience member in particular, the night was unforgettable. During “What If”, Derulo picked a girl from the audience and brought her on stage, singing the song, kissing her hand and whispering in her ear. The girl sported a homemade “we love Jason” T-shirt and looked an inch away from tears when she was pulled on stage.
Derulo performed two-versions of “Ridin’ Solo” and “In My Head”. The first time, he performed a slower, more classic R’n’B version of them. While the slower versions demonstrated Derulo’s vocal talent, this was the only point in the show where I worried the audience would leave disappointed. Fortunately, Derulo closed the show with the club-charged radio versions of his two most popular songs.
In the end, the forgettable opening acts only worked to make the audience more appreciative for the quality of Derulo’s performance. Unlike many young performers he seemed humbled by his fans enthusiastic support and his passion for performing was clear. And it was refreshing to find that he only began one song with his iconic opening, “Jaassoonn Derruulloo”.
The combination of Derulo’s vocal and dancing talents with his unbelievable energy made for an exciting performance.
w/ Morgan Joanel
November 5 & 6, 2010
Melbourne, VIC @ Festival Hall