Jamiroquai’s summer concert didn’t go ahead unfortunately due to Jay Kay undergoing back surgery, however the good news was that he made a recovery in time to put on a show for us this Christmas! Dedicating the evening to the late Toby Smith – the phenomenal co-songwriter and keyboardist during the band’s formative years – Jamiroquai’s performance proved not only to be a powerhouse of funk, but also extremely moving.
Greeted at the train station by a brilliant whiteboard sign for the fans, Hayden and I were beyond excited as we made our way inside the O2.
The opening act was a DJ whose name I didn’t catch (he made no verbal introduction) who provided standard electronic music with the odd tinge of disco thrown in. Neither hated it or loved it, it was simply forgettable background music as we witnessed the stadium slowly fill up.
Jamiroquai’s talented array of musicians and vocalists created quite the buzz as soon as the performance started. Jay Kay setting foot on stage elicited the crowd to burst into thunderous squeals of excitement, and his glowing electronic headpiece looked brilliant on stage (I’m always a fan of his eccentric headgear!).
If I had to nitpick, I must admit that his clothing choice of a black tracksuit was rather underwhelming and was not what I was expecting from a showman renowned for his sharp dress sense. Understandably Jay was still recovering from his back issues and needed to be as comfy as possible, hence the comfiest outfit he could think of, but it really did lack that stage flamboyance us fans look forward to. A custom-made multi-coloured/ornate tracksuit would have sat better with me, but hey – in the end who really cares? We’re here to see a performance, not a fashion show!
Speaking of which, here is the setlist from the night:
1. Shake It On
2. Little L
4. The Kids
5. Space Cowboy
7. Cloud 9
9. Cosmic Girl
10. (Don’t) Give Hate a Chance
11. Hey Floyd
12. Travelling Without Moving
13. Emergency on Planet Earth
14. Too Young to Die
15. Canned Heat/Revolution 1993
16. Love Foolosophy
Encore: Virtual Insanity (of course!)
I was thrilled with the inclusion of so many older classics, especially Travelling Without Moving! It’s one of my all-time favourites but I had no expectations whatsoever that I’d get to hear it amongst their setlist, colour me surprised and impressed. Hayden’s fave of the night was the ever-catchy Canned Heat (and let me tell you that there were definitely some Napoleon Dynamite-esque dance moves happening in the crowd during it!).
Flawless performance from the band, the stage lighting was dynamic and suited each song, and Jay Kay’s voice hasn’t aged a day! Was he dancing around the stage as energetically as he did back in his 20’s? Well, no of course not, but with his back the way it is ‘n’ all I think he did the best as he could and kept moving back and forth across the stage the entire night (and that’s good enough for me). I’ll certainly be back for more the next time they put on a concert here. After all, Jamiroquai is pure funk dynamite!