Guest post by Catherine Trueman
I’ve been an avid fan of JLS since they found fame back in 2008 on The X Factor. The band announced they would part ways in back in April 2013, after they decided it was ‘better to go out on top’. Seeing them off in style at the JLS Farewell Tour was a must! And what better way to say farewell than in their hometown in the fabulous London O2 Arena.
Travelling with my mum for a festive weekend to London, we stayed in the elegant Radisson Blu Edwardian, Bloomsbury Street. Everything about the stay was perfect, the welcoming staff, plush velvet bed sheets, in-room entertainment and luxury breakfast. We planned to make full use of the 4pm late checkout offer, meaning we could enjoy sightseeing minus luggage the following day!
With a few hours to spare we hopped on the Original Bus Tour and planned our agenda for the afternoon. Benefitting from The Bus Tour’s special seasonal offer, we received a two day ticket for the price of one. After experiencing the magical sights and sounds on the popular open top bus, we hopped off at green park; close to The Ritz Hotel and Fortnum and Mason, and at the exclusive shopping district of Knightsbridge; the home of Harrods! Resisting Afternoon Tea in Harrods Georgian Restaurant (maybe next time) we then headed subway bound to the O2 Arena.
Inside, the Arena was a mix of families, teenagers and the crazy fools who had been with the band from the beginning. The diehard fans of us know that JLS stands for ‘Jack the Lad Swing’! When the backing track to ‘Hottest Girl in the World’ started playing, JB, Oritsé, Marvin and Aston surprised fans by running through the crowd along the edge of the arena. Arriving on stage Marvin asked “Are you ready to party with the boys one last time?” and performance started with a bang. In between outfit changes a VT appeared on the large screens describing the ‘journey’ of JLS; with the boys musing over the birth of the band through award-winning pop stardom.
I have many favourite moments of the concert – including hip gyrating, tight trousers, exhaustingly catchy lyrics and slickly executed songs. The youngest member of the band; live-wire Aston, stunned with back-flipping, chest rippling displays and received the greatest shrieks from the audience. Four lucky young girls from the audience were even invited on stage and were sat in four individual chairs whilst the band performed ‘I Know What She Likes’ whilst looking into the girls eyes. The boys kept the music going with songs including One Shot, Everybody in Love; The Club is Alive, She Makes Me Wanna, and more! They also wowed with excellent covers of Bruno Mars’s Treasure and Rihanna’s Umbrella.
With the acoustic songs showing of their strong vocals, up-tempo numbers providing an excuse to body pop and plenty of ‘connecting with the audience’ moments, there was a significant applause as JLS bowed out with the Boyz II Men classic ‘End of the Road’. It was a tearful end for many on the penultimate night of the JLS Farewell Tour.