REVIEW ROUND-UP: Mad Love w/JoJo in DC

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Spring awakens in roar of JoJo’s “Mad Love Tour” touching base in Washington, D.C. on March 28th. The very beautiful and talented singer-songwriter brought the headlining infectious and soulful show to the iconic 9:30 Club. To a sold out crowd of screaming fans from her long time supportive fan base. JoJo did no wrong with a 75 minute spectacle jam packed of hits, fan favorites, and her breathtaking stage presence. To anyone who is unfamiliar with JoJo or her story here is a little background on the “Too Little, Too Late” star.

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JoJo performed in various singing competitions as a young girl and competed on America’s Most Talented Kids in 2003. After being noticed by producer, Vincent Herbert she released her well received self titled debut album in June 2004 at just the age of 13. Her timeless debut single, “Leave (Get Out)” went #1 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart making her the youngest solo artist ever in the United States to have a number-one single. The album has went on to sell over four million copies worldwide. Two years later JoJo released her sophomore studio album, “The High Road” which featured yet another timeless single, “Too Little, Too Late” a song based off of her first relationship ever. The song peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart while the album went on to sell over three million copies worldwide. She has also released two mixtapes independently, two EPs, and a tringle containing three fan favorite singles. In 2016 JoJo released her long awaited third studio album, “Mad Love” through a new label. The 11 year wait was due to ridiculous label drama and corrupt music industry politics something that is actually common, but often swept under the rug. JoJo was finally released from her label contract chaos in 2014. This was massive news for her very supportive and dedicated fanbase.

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In 2016, JoJo opened for Fifth Harmony’s 7/27 Tour and released the first single titled, “F*** Apologies” featuring Wiz Khalifa off her highly anticipated third studio album, “Mad Love”. A few months later on October 14th of 2016 she proceeded to release the album which reached #6 on the Billboard 200 Chart, making it her first entry in ten years on the chart. The album has been critically appraised by music outlets such as Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, and Idolator. Most importantly with “Mad Love”, JoJo finally has the freedom to do what every artist deserves to do and that is to create and mark art. The response from her fans has been at an all time high proving so when she announced the 2017 “Mad Love Tour” which sold out cities across Europe and North America. Beginning in Dublin in January 2017, the tour has made stops across London, Amsterdam, Paris, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C.’s very own 9:30 Club.

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The sold out crowd began to line up outside of the 9:30 club and later on pour into the venue’s intimate space. JoJo began the evening with a up-close and personal VIP Experience for fans who purchased the special ticket to the show. She met many of her biggest supporters from the DC area and greeted them all in open arms before gracing the stage for an acoustic performance of “Honest”, a track from her “Mad Love” album that isn’t featured on the tour’s regular setlist. She proceeded to do a fan Q&A where selected fans from the intimate VIP audience got to ask JoJo questions. One question from a fan to JoJo was, “What does friendship mean to you?”. JoJo explained her answer while the audience smiled on being able to see the star in such a personal, laid back setting.

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The opening act for the tour Stanaj began a five song set shortly after 8 PM which the audience took major liking to. JoJo did a great job selecting a very talented and soulful opening act for the tour – he performed songs from both of his released EPs including the uptempo pop track “Bad Woman” and a love ballad “Romantic”. He also performed a unreleased song as a D.C. exclusive entitled “Day Four”. Stanaj should certainly be on all of our radar screens with his soulful voice and remarkable stage presence. Stanaj got the audienced warmed up just in time for JoJo to grace the stage in her full “Mad Love” glory.

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With an epic intro featuring her three piece band and two background singers JoJo entered the stage beginning her setlist with “Clovers” a track from the “Mad Love” album. The energy was alive and well as fans greeted the artist to the stage with screams and cheers. She continued with the upbeat dance anthem, “When Love Hurts” and fan favorite “Leave (Get Out)”. There was not a single person in the room not singing along at this point. The setlist continued with “Vibe” and the love empowering “Say Love”. JoJo then took time to bring one of her fans onstage for a seductive interlude of “High Heels”. A young male fan from the audience was tied up and blindfolded before JoJo gave him a lap dance. She then proceeded into a mid tempo sex jam for the ladies “Edibles”. Clearly an audience favorite moment from the show she continued with the beautiful album opener, “Music” a very personal song to JoJo. You could feel the rawness and emotion of the song when the audience had to take over during the songs last chorus. She continued with fan favorite sing-alongs such as “Baby It’s You”, “Save My Soul”, “Marvins Room” a cover by Drake that when viral in 2011, and “Too Little, Too Late”.

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JoJo went center stage to speak to the audience about self love. She explained how she struggled with self love for the longest time and began writing down on a piece of paper different characteristics about herself that she loved everyday until she believed them. JoJo explained to the crowd,

“I took out a piece of paper and wrote I am a good friend, I am a child of god, I am honest, I am special. As time went on the list got a little bit longer and I tried to add to the list every single day until I started to believe it. So we become what we believe we are and I want you to believe and know and truly understand tonight how beautiful and special and wonderful and perfect you are. You have to know it”.

The extremely inspiring speech was the introduction to one of her favorite songs from the album, “I Am”. Clearly moving the crowd, the 9:30 Club was filled with emotion. No matter who you are, where you’re from, the color of your skin, your religion, your sexuality, your interest, your occupation, etc., JoJo’s music clearly brings people all of kinds together in a remarkable way.

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After the ballad portion of the show it was time to speed things up a bit with the empowering “FAB”, an anthem about fake friends. She continued with yet another anthem, this one particularly for the haters that you’ll never be able to please – “F*** Apologies” where both JoJo and the audience saluted the sky with a middle finger. Proceeded by “Mad Love”, the album’s title track where JoJo introduced her three piece band and two background singers to the crowd. She exited the stage while the audience demanded more, chanting her name over and over again until she returned to the stage to close out with “Good Thing” an infectious dance floor banger!

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The brilliant show came to an end filled with epic live vocals, incredible stage presence, fantastic live arrangements, and love in every corner of the room. JoJo proved herself to be a leading force in the music industry with her live performance skills and self-written, authentic, and personable music. If you get the chance to see her live, take it. After seeing her live if you didn’t already have “Mad Love” for her before, you certainly will now!

For a complete list of dates to find out where you can see JoJo live CLICK HERE!

For a full gallery of pictures taken by me at the show check below:

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