REVIEW: Joe McElderry, The Customs House, South Shields
Despite already doing 10 shows this week, Joe McElderry came back to his hometown to provide his fans with a night to remember.
He’s deep into his run as the lead in a UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and while he was supposed to be having a day’s rest, he came to the Customs House for a special one-off show.
I honestly don’t know how he does it. Most people would be dead on their feet after a week like that, but Joe put on a high-energy show that had everyone dancing in the aisles.
Working his way through a mixture of self-penned songs, album tracks and covers, he had the adoring crowd in the palm of his hand right from the moment he took to the stage.
He kicked things off with up-tempo tracks Hollywood and Smile, before pouring his heart into emotional songs Silence is the Loudest Cry and World Through Your Eyes.
X Factor champ Joe is an act like no other – he can have you dancing and whooping one second then fighting back tears the next as he bares his soul in a heart-rending ballad.
He earned his first standing ovation with Italian track E Penso A Te.
He perfected the singing style during his winning-stint on Popstar to Opera Star, and every time I hear him sing these songs, I’m just blown away.
Joe gave his hometown crowd an extra special surprise when he invited Joseph co-star Lucy Kay – who plays the Narrator – onto stage for duets Can’t Help Falling In Love and Time To Say Goodbye.
The pair admitted that with their hectic touring schedule, they hadn’t had as much time as they’d like to rehearse, and warned fans that their renditions might not be up to scratch.
But if that’s what they can do under the severe time constraints they were under, God only knows how incredible they would have been with ample rehearsals.
The duets were stunning and they sounded absolutely amazing together.
Their harmonies were gorgeous and their voices blended perfectly – they’re a match made in heaven.
The songs earned two more thoroughly-deserved standing ovations.
Joe took us back to his first album with title track Wide Awake, which always proves a firm favourite, before giving us a taster of Joseph with Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door.
The audience were more than happy to step in as the Joseph choir and provide backing vocals for Any Dream Will Do and the atmosphere was electric.
The stripped-back version of Close Every Door, with Joe accompanied by just a piano, was beautiful.
I heard Joe sing the song for the first time this week, and it was a goosebump-inducing performance.
Tonight was no different. The entire audience were enthralled as he belted out those huge notes. I’ve never heard anyone sing the famous song with such power and overwhelming emotion.
The 24-year-old next did his regular Jukebox Joe slot, taking requests from the audience to sing snippets of the likes of old favourite Don’t Stop Believing, the spine-tingling Nessun Dorma – which earned yet another standing ovation – Valerie and Chandelier.
Chatting with the audience throughout the show, Joe gave us an insight into his daily life and enveloped the crowd in his warm personality. He loves us as much as we love him.
Joe ended the show with a string of up-tempo hits like Fahrenheit and Ambitions, as the audience rushed forward to crowd the stage.
His big finale came in the form of his X Factor-winning single The Climb, before treating the crowd to one more, a stunning rendition of Somebody To Love.
The show was the first real chance people have had to see him perform a concert of his own in a while, and it felt extra special.
Hometown shows are always big ones for Joe, and this one was as spectacular as ever.