Jess Glynne @ Genting Arena, 18th November, 2018

Jess Glynne has only been in the music zeitgeist for five or so years, but her rise to stardom has come quickly. The pop singer intermixes catchy upbeat pop tunes with a more grounded R+B sensibility, giving her music a powerful presence that is at times missed by the candy coated pop of radio. With single after single gracing the charts her music has launched her to almost instant fame, crushing stadium and arena shows instantly. At Genting Arena Jess Glynne created a transformative atmosphere transporting fans to another dimension.

A sort of dystopian wildlife scene emerged from the darkened stage; what could only be described as icebergs dotted the expansive stage creating an identifiable scene. As the stage came to life, warmed by purple and blue lights, images of nature and sunbeams flashed on the screen. As the drum kicks filled the room with atmospheric noise, dancers crowded onto the stage moving in exceedingly energetic motion. A cannon of confetti splashed the room with glitter, and then Jess Glynne appeared. In her all white outfit she looks like an alien from another planet, a dreamscape plopped onto the stage. ‘Hold My Hand’ launched, Glynne’s voice filling the room with its warm rasp. 

Elevated pop ‘No One’ showed off Glynne’s lower vocal range, a sort of raspy edge that paralleled the dystopian pop drums. The first two songs, both uptempo and dance worthy, formed this sort of energy bubble, an atmosphere that would be sustained through the evening. 

As the dancers disappeared Glynne launched into ‘You Can Find Me.’ The gospel tinged, soul pop was broken with some funky breakdowns during the chorus, a display of Glynne’s ability to take an ordinary pop song and make it something different. The dancers flood back to the stage as pop infused ‘Rollin’ and ‘Intro’ spill through the speakers. Fan favourite and radio hit ‘These Days’ begins as a sort of subdued pop rock record, only to explode in a flurry of sound as fans sing wildly along with the chorus. 

The screens morph, revealing blooming flowers as groovy pop ‘123’ begins. The pop dies down slowly and Glynne introduces her recent acoustic release ‘Thursday.’ The song, which celebrates confidence in ones own skin and an understanding of personal self worth, gives a glimpse into the poignant pop that is needed. Sweet in its simplicity the song reveals an emotionally raw and real message, a standout moment of the night. 

Backed by an aquarium scene Glynne launches into ‘Ain’t Got Far To Go,’ ‘Hate/Love,’ and ‘Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself’ before breaking with moody power pop ballad ‘Nevermind.’ Escaping the main stage Glynne finds a singular piano in the middle of the areana. From here she plays stripped down versions of ‘Take Me Home’ and ‘Broken.’ As her sparkly blue coat reflects across the stage, fans pick up their phone to create a star map that is breathtaking, a beautifully still moment in the whirlwind show.   

Back on the main stage the energy picks back up with dance pop ‘So Real’ and ‘Real Love.’ A smash of hits ‘My Love’ and ‘Rather Be’ are followed by the closer of the night ‘All I Am.’ Glynne returns for her encore performing ‘Right Here’ and ‘I’ll Be There.’

Jess Glynne creates unique pop records that, while pulling from a pop format and structure, elevate the at times pithy genre, ultimately creating records that are wildly entertaining and purposeful. Her live shows seem to do the same, striking the balance between ridiculously overwhelming fun sugar coated glee and reflective purposeful poignancy. At Genting Arena Jess Glynne , delivered a standout show putting on full display her creative powers and genius.  

Reviewer: Kylie McCormick

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