Saturday 21 April 2018

Review: Is this really the last we'll see of JLS at the O2?

JLS, the o2, Dublin

eamon sweeney

THE shelf life of a pop career seems to get shorter with each passing year

JLS only burst on the scene in 2008, when they came second on interactive talent show The X Factor, but they soon dramatically eclipsed the popularity of eventual winner Alexandra Burke.

It appears that a runner-up place in the reality TV show can be far more lucrative in the long run than the actual top spot. One Direction came third in 2010, but they've been dramatically elevated not just to a league of their own, but an entire cultural stratosphere.

For now, it's curtains for JB, Marvin, Aston and Oritsé, although one suspects a carefully choreographed exit. There is abundance of cameras in the O2 to capture the event for the fastest DVD release in history, which hits the shelves next week.

The quartet suddenly pop out of a star-shaped stage singing 'Hottest Girl in the World.' There is a neat organised symmetry to their production with four musicians and four supplementary dancers.

If any member does as much as bat an eyelid, a cacophony of tweenage shrieking and screaming raises the roof off the O2. A typical homemade placard reads, "JLS makes me wanna Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh."

Interviews with the band are shown on four big screens as they change from their brightly coloured street wear into a sharp black and white shirt and trousers combo. They introduce a slight hint of raunchiness with a dance with canes that features some ever so gentle thrusting.

Wholesome pop stars that they are, they immediately apologise to all the mums in the audience. Seemingly, JLS are more likely to engage in a full-on twerking routine than Miley Cyrus is to make a sean nós album with Sinead O'Connor on the Aran Islands.

Four girls are plucked out of the audience and seated on thrones as the band sing 'I Know She's Got It' directly at them, which induces considerable envy in the auditorium. There is an inevitable acoustic interlude and a booming cover of Rihanna's 'Umbrella'.

The massive number one singles 'Beat Again' and 'Everybody in Love' are dispatched with aplomb.

It's a fine farewell, but begs the question if it is all just a carefully planned event in the long-term JLS master plan.

Expect the lads to announce various solo singles and projects in the New Year. If we've learnt anything about life on Planet Pop, it is that farewells and reunions are all part of the course.

It wouldn't be in the least bit surprising if an emotional reformation show has already been pencilled into the O2 schedule.

Irish Independent

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