Jedward played the Regal Theatre in Perth on November 23, the Palais Theatre in Melbourne on November 30, and the Enmore Theatre in Sydney on 1 December 2013. And they are JEPIC.
I did not go to this show with the intention of reviewing it. I was certainly not there in my Important Official Reviewer Capacity™ and I have absolutely no idea of how to review music. But as there were nowhere near enough people at this show as it deserved, I feel like I have to write something about it as a public service. Because if you haven’t heard Jedward, you are missing out on something. Listening to their music is like being exploded out of a volcano of joy and excitement and surfing down a wave of sparkly lava.
The sparkles are important. Watch this. I’ll wait.
If you are one of the uninitiated and are like, “um, what is this Jedward of which you speak?” I am here to help. Jedward are John and Edward Grimes, identical twins from Ireland with very tall hair. They started out when they were only 17 on Britain’s version of The X Factor, on which Simon Cowell described them as “not very good and incredibly annoying”. (To which I say, um, Simon Cowell? How about NO? How about SHUT UP? How about WHY DO YOU HATE HAPPINESS, SIMON COWELL?) They finished sixth, got picked up by a record label, and since then have released three albums: Planet Jedward, an album of covers, and Victory and Young Love, which are their own stuff.
And if you’re like, “hmmm, these guys look familiar, but I don’t watch British X Factor in account of, you know, being in Australia and all”, then you probably saw them in the Eurovision Song Contest, where they represented Ireland in 2011 and 2012. AND THEY WERE ROBBED BOTH YEARS OMG. (I heard a rumour that if they’d won selection for 2013, they would have sung Happens in the Dark. It would have been way more awesome than the bullshit entry Ireland put up this year. Silly people.)
Eurovision was where I first encountered Jedward. If you don’t know me personally, then you might not know that Eurovision is my favourite televisual event of the year, to the extent that I lock myself away for three days, sans Internet, so no one spoils the results for me. I fell in love instantly when I saw Jedward. They are everything Eurovision should be – crazy costumes, crazy hair, and incredible enthusiasm, with wacky special effects and key changes. AND SERIOUSLY THEY ARE SO HAPPY HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE THEM. I defy anyone to listen to Waterline and not be cheered up at least fifty percent.
That is why I still love them. I don’t make a practice of going around listening to the back catalogues of Eurovision entrants unless they’re pretty damned spectacular, but Jedward are. (The other entrant I love outside of Eurovision now? Cezar the Voice, who represented Romania this year. Check him out.) Jedward’s music is like a happiness explosion. Whenever I’m in a tough spot with my thesis or I need cheering up in general, I either hit the eighties music or I crank up Jedward. They have never once failed me. Even their songs about sad things like breaking up are still incredibly cheerful – I mean, check out their latest single, Can’t Forget You. (I’m not sure if it’s actually a “single” or “song they’ve most recently made a video clip to”, but whatever.)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, while listening to Jedward is one of the best ways to lift your mood ever, actually going to one of their concerts is ELEVENTY BAZILLION TIMES BETTER. I saw them with my sister at the Enmore Theatre, and it was pathetically empty. But it was fine, because there was all the more room to dance. And dance I did. I am writing this the next day sprawled over my couch because I’m in pain from dancing too hard. All you people of Sydney that were doing things like “not being at Jedward” on Sunday night MISSED OUT, because there’s no way your evening was as fun as mine.
And you also missed out on touching their famous hair, too. (Then they brought out a can of hairspray and fixed their coiffes on stage, and it was the most gorgeous thing ever.)
Jedward played the Enmore like it was a packed out stadium. There were no support acts – just two and a half hours of these boys leaping about and doing cartwheels and belting out tunes of such spectacular cheerfulness I’m going to be smiling for at least a week. When they ran off to change costumes, they played little videos of themselves and their adventures that just... awww... bless their hearts. I adore them so much. (I would like it noted that I got 100% in the quiz in the Jedward trivia video, because who do you think you're dealing with here?) I've never seen anyone deal more good-naturedly with stage invaders, either. And one of them – I think it was Edward, but it’s hard to tell these things – was, like, totally singing to me in one of the choruses of Luminous. OMG.
Jedward’s original songs are about one third about girls, one third about being famous, and one third about outer space – sometimes about all three at the same time, sprinkled liberally with mentions of social media. They played a good mix of all three, mixed in with a bunch of covers. If there was one complaint I had, it’s that they played a few too many covers, when they could have been playing some of their INCREDIBLY PSYCHED original material, but that said, they have good taste in covers. They opened up with Icona Pop’s I Love It and it was perf. And then they launched straight into my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE of their songs, What’s Your Number?, and I knew it was going to be a great night.
Hey girl, what’s your name? what’s your number?
Do you have a boyfriend? You look like you need one
Hey girl, it’s okay, it’s okay
Just make him your ex, then – I can be your next one!
What’s your number, girl?
LYRICAL GENIUS. This song is my ringtone. No regrets.
The crowd was about 40% teenage and tweenage girls, 40% their parents, 10% hipster dudes, and 10% Eurovision fans. (Arguably, my sister and I fit into the last category, but I would put us in the separate category of TRUE DEVOTED JEDHEADS.) And everyone had an absolute blast, perhaps no one more so than the Jedward boys themselves. They mixed up the faster numbers with slower ones – probably to give themselves a bit of a breather more than anything else, because they are energetic dancers, yo. And they played a few acoustic numbers where John pulled out his guitar, including quite a lovely rendition of Delilah, and... who am I kidding. Even their slower numbers are incredibly psyched.
Jedward will be releasing another album soon-ish, which they’re hoping will be their massive global breakthrough. Personally, I don’t know why they aren’t already huuuuuuuuuge, because their music is the most incredibly cheerful thing in the entire world. When they come back to Australia – and I’m sure they will, bless their hearts – you are a fool if you don’t go. They are hella excellent performers, the most enthusiastic dancers ever, and they have the best collection of sparkly jackets in the entire world. AND JUST LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC IT IS SO CATCHY AND HAPPY.
Five million out of ten, boys.