REVIEW: Jason Derulo – SSE Arena, Belfast
In 2015 Jason Derulo released his fourth album Everything Is 4. His lead single ‘Want to Want Me’ topped the UK single charts giving Derulo his 4th UK number-one single.
On Wednesday 27th January 2016 he brought his Everything is 4 tour to the SSE arena Belfast and it certainly was an action packed night. With 11 platinum singles under his belt, the ‘Talk Dirty’ singer has certainly built up a huge fan base in the United Kingdom & Worldwide.
The first opening act for the tour was Jae Murphy who is Jason Derulo’s official DJ. Murphy certainly had a lot of stage presence and helped to build up the excitement in the arena. He played a variety of chart songs, which the majority of the audience knew and sang along too. Usually a DJ, wouldn’t be my preferred opening act however in this case, he helped to get the crowd on their feet and enjoying themselves.
Aston Merrygold, was the second act to arrive onstage and he was certainly well known by the crowd. The former JLS member created an excellent rapport with the audience and gave an exceptional performance. He give us a taster of his upcoming album with a performance of ‘One Night In Paris’. The song itself is well written and has an almost ‘sexy’ feel which Merrygold portrays perfectly.
During his opening performance, we were also treated to his popular cover of ‘Hotline Bling’ originally by Drake, which has several thousand YouTube views, despite being released under a week ago. His live vocals were also impressive especially when you take into account that he also danced for the majority of his performance. ‘Get Stupid’ was the final track that he performed which is an up-tempo pop number.
At this stage the majority of the crowd were on their feet dancing and enjoying his performance a lot. In my view, he was the perfect opening act for Jason Derulo because they both put on an energetic performance and he certainly had the crowd psyched for the headliner.
When the lights went down and the four minute countdown appeared on stage you could hear the excitement in the audience. This definitely built the atmosphere because when Jason Derulo appeared onstage the crowd went crazy. Immediately he started into his UK platinum single ‘Trumpets’ and within seconds, most of the crowd were on their feet dancing and singing along. It was refreshing to realise that Jason Derulo’s voice sounded as flawless live as it does on any of his albums. Both, his band and backup dancers, help him to put on a thrilling performance.
In terms of the setlist, he pleased the whole audience. For his older fans, we were treated to classics such as ‘Ridin’ Solo’ and ‘In My Head’ to name a few. Similarly he played tracks from his new album which such as ‘Get Ugly’ which is sure to be one of his biggest dance tracks to date.
One of the best moments during his concert was when he ran through the audience to the sound desk, close to back of the SSE Arena. I think this was such a special moment because there were a lot of younger children there with parents who obviously couldn’t see him as well. Therefore by coming out to the sound desk, he allowed everyone in the arena to get an up-close and personal view.
Although this wasn’t the only part of the concert where he built a rapport with the audience. He also got a girl on stage and performed ‘It Girl’ to her. The only slight complaint that I would have is due to the fact that the whole concert was seated. I would consider Jason Derulo to also be dance act and it would of been nice for it to have more of a dance floor feel. However I appreciate this is due to the fact that a lot of his fans are younger and it is essential to cater to them. Aside from this, the majority of fans were on their feet the whole time anyway!
To close his Belfast tour date, Derulo thanked his band, back-up singers and dancers which they deserved due to their equally amazing performances. Then he followed this with the song everyone had been waiting for ‘Want To Want Me’, his hit UK number-one single. It was an amazing close to an excellent, energetic and exciting performance. I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of Jason Derulo in the future and hopefully, it won’t be too long before he’s back in Belfast.