Concert Review: Leona Lewis (The Brighton Centre, Brighton)
As part of her Glassheart Tour, Leona Lewis brought her charming yet stylish show to Brighton. She sounded great in spite of her lacklustre reception opening Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend last year, something that is of no indication of Lewis’ current state as a performer. The Brighton Centre is wonderfully intimate compared to the Royal Albert Hall she has her sights on later this week. We are all reminded every now and then by Cowell and co that she’s sold over 20 million records, but what’s really important is where Leona is at right now. Never fear because she is doing fabulously and she’s proving it.
Chart dodger ‘Lovebird‘ was brushed aside tonight, leaving room for mega-hits like ‘Bleeding Love’, ‘Run’ and a funky little mash-up of ‘Better In Time’ with Rihanna’s ‘Man Down’. The best thing about Lewis’ show was that she really isn’t ashamed of her early hits. ‘A Moment Like This‘ was completely transformed and felt like an entirely new song, complementing the ‘star-crossed lovers’ theme she had going on. Let us not forget that her album Glassheart, despite what her critics have to say, has got some fantastic songs on it which Lewis was kind enough to share; the dramatic ‘I To You’, the brilliant ‘Glassheart’ and the frenzy that is ‘Sugar’ created a lush set list.
There were some obvious low points though, where Lewis took to the piano to sombrely tear apart her recent top ten hit ‘Trouble‘. When paired with a miserable cover of Bruno Mars’ ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’, Leona managed to ruin any audience enthusiasm she had summoned up until this point. It was a kink that had a knock-on effect for the following few minutes. It all perked up for ‘Bleeding Love’, but the previous segment brought to the fore the dark nature of the show. She even opened with a message laced with depression and dread, and reminded us all that she was a bit down when recording her album; ‘the heart was made to be broken’ – speak for yourself, Leona.
Production wise, it seemed a tad pantomime. The constant rising and lowering of the curtains mid-way through performance was sometimes distracting. They helped add texture to the staging, supporting remarkable projections, but the transition wasn’t overly slick. Overall, she looked and sounded gorgeous, so it’s not surprising that she’s managed to stick around as an artist for as long as she has.
There’s still interest in this X factor winner yet, seven years after her victory. We only question what she will do between now and her ten year anniversary in music. This will be the deciding era that will shape the rest of her career. It’ll either be spectacular or just more of the same. It would be a shame to say goodbye to a talent as bright as Leona.
Check out the rest of Leona’s UK tour dates at her official website.