Nick Jonas – O2 Academy Islington 17/07/15

Like every other boybander-gone-solo, Nick Jonas has been finding his footing recently as a mature solo singer, and it’s safe to say it’s been going well. Without a doubt you would have heard one of his two hits, Jealous or Chains, filling up the airwaves over the past few months.

There is an R&B, Soul and Pop cross-over with his music; essentially following in the lead of Robin Thicke before his downward spiral. With his new album finally being released in English waters, the Disney alumn took to the stage for an intimate gig at Islington’s O2 Academy.

Naturally, the album launch setlist consisted mostly of album tracks, some well-known, some not so much, some upbeat, some a little bit slower. If anything, you could sum up the entire show in one word; sexy. Since ditching the ‘conservative boybander’ image, one thing has become clear; Nick Jonas is a grown man. A grown man becoming increasingly in touch with his sexuality.

Starting things off with hard-hitting tune Wilderness and rocking a pair of Aviators, Nick looked the very image of a cool and slick R&B star. Following up with I Want You and Numb, the vibe of the set remained mostly up-beat, with Warning quickly becoming my personal favourite.

After his successes as a member of The Jonas Brothers, it comes to no surprise that Nick is an established performer. Between audience sing-a-longs, videoing himself off fans’ cellphones and comfortable small talk, the singer really knows how to work a crowd. With clear cut vocals, his falsetto range in particular was impressive. In an industry where so many artists differ between studio and live recordings, Nick Jonas’ talent truly stands tall.

To the joy of the audience, the former Disney star made sure to pay homage to some tunes from his previous solo venture, Nick Jonas and The Administration. Rose Garden and Who I Am proved to be massive hits with the obviously long-time fans. London Foolishly was one of the highlights of the evening, and a very special moment in itself, as Nick spoke about writing the song whilst performing in the West End production of Les Miserable just a few years ago. The most unexpected moment of the evening came in the form of a cover. 2003 hit Roses by Outcast is an odd choice, but also a welcomed throwback, once again setting Nick aside from all other artists performing today.

Nick Jonas is a force to be reckoned with. He can sing, he can write and he can put on a show. His audience is not limited to a person of any specific age, gender or background, and rightly so. He has an arena presence and a stadium voice. It’s only a matter of time until maybe, just maybe, he outshines the very band that put him on the map.

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