Everybody Say JLS tour: Review of The Hits tour at Sheffield Utilita Arena
The boy band were joined by support acts SHAB and Tinchy Strider on the final leg of their Everybody Say JLS: The Hits tour.
and live on Freeview channel 276
Not only was it my first concert, but it was also seeing my childhood sweethearts JLS. I was aged nine when they rose to fame on X Factor, and 15 years later I still remember the words to all of their hits.
I went with my friend Amelia, an experienced concert-goer, who recommended we get a few tinnies in our system before we set off. Pleasantly merry, but now running late, we opted for an Uber over the tram to get to Utilita Arena Sheffield.
Entering through the doors, crowds of excited people donned light-up headbands and JLS merchandise as they waited to get served at the bar. We were too excited to wait and we went straight to our seats, which were only about 10 metres from the stage. Having only ever watched bands at festivals, it felt like a real luxury to be able to see the stage and not have tall people blocking my view.
SHAB was the first of the two support acts. I’d never heard her music before but she still brought a sense of nostalgia that the whole night was about and got the crowd ready for a brilliant night. She brought Beyonce-esque divaness in her diamante mesh jumpsuit. In my opinion, she would make a great contender for next year's Eurovision.
Next came Tinchy Stryder, and the party really started. I remember the days where we used to Bluetooth songs to each other’s Blackberries and Tinchy’s Number 1 and Never Leave You were played on repeat. He was a perfect support act for JLS - he oozed confidence, and we were up on our feet singing along to his bangers.
And then it was the moment we had all been waiting for. The curtain dropped and revealed the full stage, and then Aston Merrygold, Oritsé Williams, Marvin Humes, and JB Gill appeared on stage.
With the crowd screaming, one by one the heartthrobs came under a spotlight and hit a pose until it was Aston’s turn.
Now many people will know what happened at the gig on November 11: as he stepped up to perform his trademark backflip, he somehow landed on his back with his legs flailing in the air.
While video footage caught by many in the audience showed Aston swiftly jump back up and continue with the dance, it happened in slow motion for us in the stadium, launching us all into a stunned silence.
Thankfully Aston seemed unhurt and unfazed, though I think we were all holding our breath for every subsequent backflip he (successfully) performed during the night.
The performance of every single song was outstanding. Despite them all being on the cusp of middle-aged dads now, they still aced all their sexy dances and their vocals hadn’t changed a bit. I was fangirling to levels I didn’t know were possible.
I had listened to their hit songs on repeat for a few weeks prior to the night to make sure I knew all the words to their songs, and that absolutely added more fun. My favourites Do You Feel What I Feel, Hottest Girl in the World and So Many Girls popped off. My throat was burning towards the end of the night from belting out the songs and laughing like an excited school girl who’s had too much sugar.
Around halfway through the 90-minute set, they paused the show for a slightly random DJ set with a host of bangers from the noughties and the 2010s. They then said they would bring someone else onto the stage. Me and Amelia had seen Olly Murs had been brought on at the O2 in London so we were quite excited, but instead Tinchy came back on to perform Number 1 again. I didn’t mind though as that song was worth seeing again live.
To finish off, the pop stars played Love You More and Everybody in Love - two songs we were all pining for. To make it even better, they all took their tops off leaving us all swooning over them even more. I will definitely be buying a ticket to see them again at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in August 2024.