LIVE – Jessie Reyez + Deyaz @ O2 Institute, Birmingham, UK

Coverage by Robert Barrett

It’s been an incredible year for Jessie Reyez. Grammy-nominated, playing Madison Square Garden and releasing her sophomore album “YESSIE”. With three headline shows, it was time for her to give the UK a taste of the YESSIE tour.

The show was off to a great start even before Jessie hit the stage, with support act Deyaz treating the sold-out crowd to a mesmerizing solo performance. He even had time to down a drink at the audience’s request. Latest release “I’ll Scream (All the Words)” (Literally released the night before) maximized on its heartfelt lyrics and emotional chords, with the crowd illuminating the venue with phone lights all along.

Jessie’s stage was adorned with two giant hands, which was appropriate for as soon as she stepped out to play “Mood, Pt. I” the crowd were in her hands. Bras, handwritten signs and everything in-between were chucked onto the stage, with Jessie encouraging them to do so.

Her incredible ability to not only deliver the emotions required by songs such as “Break Me Down” never stopped her interacting with the crowd, showing that she really cared about her audience. At one point she even asked the crowd to make “mates” with everyone around them before carrying on.

The setlist focus remained on her latest record ‘YESSIE” with a few tracks from her debut EP “Kiddo” sprinkled in for good measure. The tempo upped in the encore with a cheeky cover of Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss” which saw jessie bouncing around the stage.

This switched up into the anthemic “Figures” which had the whole room singing their hearts out. It was heartwarming to see an artist so thankful to her audience for supporting her, and the immaculate performance she gave them felt like payback in the best way.

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