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On arriving at Cardiff CIA one can only imagine what awaits inside. JLS of X Factor stardom shot straight into the limelight after smashing out two No.1 hits, picking up a couple of Brit’s and the same in Mobo Awards, they are now continuing there success by selling out stadium tours, tonight is part of a three night run at the Motorpoint Arena so it can be somewhat easy to forget these four lads were only runners up in the reality TV contest.

Tonight’s show is totally seated and combines two stages rather than just the main, front facing stage. There is the hope we are going to be in for something a little different from the average boyband with mic stands performance this evening. Titled as part of The 4th Generation Tour, as the name may suggest tonight is about taking things to the next level. It is no surprise after a lot of tension building, in a blacked out room with a sci-fi voiceover giving a count down to the moment the show commences, that these boys don’t just saunter onto stage, but instead drop from the ceiling by zip wires, landing not on the main stage but on that second smaller central stage amidst the screaming fans.

Breaking in with ‘Take You Down’ the boys risk themselves somewhat as after the first song they leave the second stage, splitting into pairs to walk through the isles, for a meet on the main stage. Three songs in and pyros are already blasting for ‘Teach Me How To Dance’. A quick costume change and they boys return even more futuristic than before, with green LED light screens on their chests, detailed to such a degree that they even have ones lit up in the palm of their hands, nothing has gone amiss tonight, production value on this tour is certainly high. “Put on your 3D glasses” the boys request, I don’t know if its just the main stage-floor that missed a trick but this is somewhat an unmet request, as I spot no-one nearby wearing any, however I can see where they would come into effect, with a triple layered video playing on the back screen unsurprising for ‘3D’.

It’s only when we get to ‘One Shot’ that the somewhat classic boyband mic stand dancing commences, it’s the first time the boys get a breather with a slightly more static song. These boys clearly thrive on their success, pointing at crowd in places to produce sectioned choir of screams, it turns somewhat into quite an amusing game. Continuing to charm the crowd, telling everyone how they are much better than last night’s crowd. Slightly overcome by the sheer volume of girls, tonight it is especially noticeable as most of them have hardly left primary school, the continual crotch grabbing and thrusting could be somewhat unnerving in this audience. A sticking point of the show comes when Labrinth’s smash hit ‘Earthquake’ is covered. Seated in the dark for a few minutes, whilst the tension in the room builds even higher, until the moment of climax whereby the boys reappear levitating over the stage with matrix style dancers, lightsabres in hand cover the floor. Pyros a plenty with lightning scenes emulated on the three triangular screens covering the back stage the boys flip, spin and do ‘superman’ poses across the sky, they too even join in with a bit of light sabre spinning.

Third outfit change and the boys arrive back mounted on a pyramid shaped rig. ‘Outta This World’ sees the foursome fly directly over the top of the crowd on the main floor, travelling back to the second stage. Such excitement could definitely result in a loss of hearing. The nineteen strong set, certainly does justice to the highly hyped tour. Five themed outfits and numerous backflips, not to forget some bare flesh to woo the ladies and this quartet certainly know how to put on a show, whether you’re a fan of JLS’s music or not, this is a production to be witnessed. As they put there success to good deed, they don’t forget to pledge their single ‘Proud’ hoping to put their fandom to good use with donations of the track supporting Sport Relief.

Words and photo: Laura Palmer