To an almost completely packed-out arena, The Voice Israel winner Lina opened the show with a short set which showcased not only her impressive vocal range but also several other talents including belly-dancing and piano playing. A considerable unknown to many, the Little Mix tour has seen Lina earn herself thousands more fans across the country, a fact she openly delighted in when she thanked the girls for bringing her out on the road with them and she spoke, on more than one occasion, about how kind, loving and receptive the Mixers of the UK had been towards her in recent weeks. Rounding off her time on stage with her new single “I Wore It Better”, she then proceeded to peel off her red sweater and throw it into the crowd where it was caught by a very happy fan in the first few rows.
American singer-songwriter Jessarae followed and entertained the masses with a set, and a voice, that had (and has) a very Ed-Sheeran-esque edge to it. While several of his songs sounded quite similar, that didn’t stop him thoroughly enjoying himself and standing in awe as he watched thousands of lights illuminate the huge space after he asked everyone to hold up their glow-sticks or phones.
Half an hour or so later, it was main event time and, as the lights went down, the noise level went up several notches, reaching almost ear-piercing level as Little Mix; Jesy, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jade, made their first appearance on stage. Kicking off their set with “Power”, although the quartet delighted their rather young audience from the offset, the girls did appear plagued by some sound issues, notably that for the first few numbers at least, their band and instrumentation appeared louder than they were.
Fortunately, as the show progressed, the sound issues abated and each of the girls got to show everyone present exactly why they make up the UK’s biggest girl band as, backed by an impressive group of dancers, they belted out hit after hit, including “DNA” and “Wings”, encouraging their crowd to sing-along, which they duly did, and in fine voice too.
Keen to spread the message of female empowerment, it was great to see “A woman is an army on her own” and “A Queen is a Queen with or without a King” flash across the giant screen at the back of the stage before the group launched into their smash hit “Salute.”
Mid-set, a giant walkway lowered from the ceiling allowed the girls, by now dressed in pink, white and blue sparkly outfits, to get up close and personal with the thousands of fans in the seats towards the back of the arena, something rarely done by any act let alone one as big as this quartet are. Making their way back to the stage, they then proceeded to showcase their own impressive dance skills and challenged the audience to remember the lyrics to some of their earliest material; needless to say the crowd succeeded every time.
Disappearing from view for a few minutes, and asking, via another message on screen, for the crowd to chant “Little Mix” – which they did although perhaps not as loudly as they might have expected or hoped for – the girls then made their way back on stage for an encore, which consisted of only one song, but admittedly, one of their best – the anthemic “Shout Out To My Ex.”
For almost ninety minutes, the girls danced and sang their hearts out, their passion and excitement returned ten-folded in the eyes and faces of their largely young audience. It’s rare to see a band win over thousands upon thousands of people of all ages, with several different tastes in music, but Little Mix can – and did – do it tonight in some style.