Review of Allstarz Party, Madejski Stadium, Reading, 1 June 2013
It’s the 1st June and the sun is out in Reading’s Madejski stadium, it has a genuine feel of the start of summer. The Allstarz Party is an event organised in conjunction with Heart FM, boasts what promises to be a stellar line-up of pop acts. From headliner Jessie J and the most successful X Factor act ever JLS through to the likes of Amelia Lily and Steve Appleton.
Walking in through the VIP entrance at the stadium we pass all the dressing rooms, most are empty but we see Steve Appleton preparing for the huge event. As the stadium begins to fill, there is a real mix in the crowd. The obvious teenage girls are there in force and screams can be heard, obviously a prelude to an avalanche of screams when the event begins.
Some decent warm up acts set the mood utilising a combination of some unique material as well as some covers.
New girlband 21 kick off their debut gig with a cover ‘Sex on Fire‘ and then follow up with their debut single ‘Its All Me’. They then finish off with a cover of the 80s classic ‘Venus’ by Bananarama. All in all the three tracks were performed pretty well, sure this isn’t the last we have heard from them.
As the supporting acts continue another new girlband Kiss Off then perform their debut single. These girls could do very well, they have a real blend of urban, pop and a bit of a rock edge. They try to get the crowd to join in but most people seem to be waiting for JLS.
We stayed in the press area for a bit and there before our eyes were X Factor‘s most successful act ever, JLS. There seemed to be an electric feel to the whole place, even in the usually blazhay press area. This demonstrates the warm feeling the boys have evoked from the public.
In terms of their set, the boys put on an incredible show. Singing loads of their hits and genuinely singing, no miming. The incredible energy got the whole stadium moving, there was a genuine feel that stars were on stage. Massive cheers were reserved for Aston‘s back flips, Marvin announcing that this is his second gig since the birth of his baby and Aston hitting the ridiculous high note in Everybody in Love. Genuine shame they are splitting.
After this the next major highlight for me was seeing both Dynamo and Wiley in pretty quick succession. Poor Dynamo wandered in the press area for a bite to eat and a drink and was swamped by press, photographers and fans. This man caused a massive stir. Can’t remember Paul Daniels getting that reaction.
Other acts to perform included Lawson, Amelia Lily, The Vamps and Steve Appleton. Perhaps the most disappointing were Union J. After the way JLS rocked Reading I had hoped Union J would show themselves as worthy successors. Now don’t get me wrong, they weren’t awful, I just don’t think they delivered to the same level as Aston, Marvin, Oritse and JB.
Other highlights included a solid set from former master of grime Wiley. He gave the crowd a real treat, providing a bit of a harder edge against the backdrop of pure pop. One thing we learned about Wiley was while he was reluctantly talking to a photographer and in a seemingly soft attempt to appease her, claimed his love for roast dinners, Yorkshires and toad in the hole. He never let that stop him as he delivered a real hard set.
The one a lot of people were waiting for was headliner Jessie J. Now we haven’t always been her biggest fan. As regular readers know we did give her a good review to her new single ‘Wild’ which featured Big Sean and Dizzee Rascal. It is that track that delivered one of the biggest highlights of the whole day. Her accapella of ‘Wild’ was simply stunning, showing a massive range to her voice and the qualities that got her all the attention at the very start. Jessie J appeared to engage really well with her audience and recreated the buzz that JLS gave to the crowd at the early stages of the day.
This was our first AllStarz Party and it was a real good day. Well organised and great pop music. Well done Reading, you should do more music events.