Since becoming the youngest American Idol winner in 2007 at age 17, Jordin Sparks has opened for a few of the biggest pop acts in the known world, including Jesse McCartney, the Jonas Brothers, and Britney Spears. Now 20, the already seasoned singer and performer is showing even more star power with her first headlining tour.
Sparks performed at the Club Nokia in Los Angeles on Friday night to a packed house. The opening acts consisted of a hip-hop/rap duo featuring Sparks’ little brother PJ, acoustic rock band Days Difference, and Demi Lovato-ish singer-songwriter Ashlynne Huff.
The star jumped and spazzed to energetic pop anthems with dance and urban feels, including “Emergency (911),” “Walking on Snow,” and “Young and in Love,” and always encouraged the audience to move with her. She showed her signature vocal prowess on ballads and mid-tempos like “It Takes More” and “No Parade.” In between songs, the clean-cut Sparks made banter about being comfortable in her own skin and addressed the importance of not texting while driving (Allstate, a tour sponsor, set up a promo booth in the theater for concertgoers to make personal pledges), proving that fame hasn’t messed at all with her family-friendly values.
There were a couple of surprises in tow: Guy Sebastian, the first Australian Idol winner, made an appearance to perform on his collaboration with Sparks, the ballad “The Art of Love.” And without introducing the tune first, Sparks sang “Breathe” from the musical In the Heights to promote her appearance in the musical as Nina Rosario, from August 19 to November 14 on Broadway.
As if Sparks’ talent alone wasn’t enough, her band also proved to be their own stars throughout the show and during the encore when Sparks introduced them one-by-one for their own mini-concert. Her guitarist Jin Joo Lee was particularly impressive and flashy, rocking stick-straight hair, a sparkly black mini-dress, and a fluffy pink guitar strap. She could give Orianthi (The Michael Jackson’s This is It guitarist currently on tour with another Idol alum, Adam Lambert) a run for her money – check out her solo in the “Freeze” video below. The entire band helped translate Sparks’ album tracks to sound even better live.
From start to finish, Sparks and company delivered an intimate, yet very fun-filled show with no dull moments. Seventeen years old no more she is, but still bubbly and more talented than ever – Jordin Sparks showed that she’s a sensational headliner, and we still have a lot more to see from her.
Set list, gallery link, and videos under the cut.
“S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)”
“Watch You Go”
“It Takes More”
“Don’t Let it Go to Your Head”
“One Step at a Time”
“Walking on Snow”
“Breathe” (from In the Heights)
“The Art of Love” (duet with Guy Sebastian)
“Young and in Love”
“One Step at a Time”
“The Art of Love”