By Mary Ann Odete
As expected, at the Best Buy Theater on Oct. 22 for Jason Derulo’s show, shirts came off and the audience loved it.
Opening for Derulo was Wallpaper and Becky G. Wallpaper started off the show with great energy, great sound, and great presentation. Ricky Reed, the leader of Wallpaper, and Novena Carmel took advantage of the entire stage, and did what opening acts should: they got the audience primed for the headliner. Not only did they fulfill their duties as openers, but they also brought the uniqueness of Wallpaper to the stage and showed that, in the future, Wallpaper will be headlining their own show.
After Wallpaper, Becky G gave a decent performance. Her voice was solid, but she didn’t really give much energy back to the audience. Her style was very similar to Ariana Grande’s — good voice, but boring to watch. Her interaction with the audience was not very spirited and she relied on the many clichés.
Jason Derulo brought a performance worthy of the “So You Think You Can Dance” stage with killer choreography. With human pyramids, made in several variations, and flips done off trampolines, as well as the back flips done off the backs of other dancers, the dance moves were very inspired.
While the choreography was stellar — Derulo and the male dancers pulled five girls from the audience and had the girls lie on their backs while the dancers did pushups — some of the presentation got slightly weird. Derulo preformed a lot of his hit songs like “Wiggle,” “Talk Dirty,” and “Ridin’ Solo,” but he also graced the audience with some unexpected covers like a snippet of Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O” and a very odd Rastafarian take on Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me.”
There were also a lot of mini dance numbers to various non-Derulo songs, which could be viewed as either filler or stylistically engaging, depending on who’s judging.
Both Derulo and Becky G, as expected of those who partake in the pop-rap-hip-hop infusion, really played up the sexual appeal. While this isn’t a major criticism, it tends to distract from some of the other aspects. For Derulo, it was more of a natural flow of the performance, but for Becky G it felt a little more like a grasping at the audience and hoping they appreciate the effort. Wallpaper avoided to overuse of sex and just brought it. They might have been the highlight of the night’s performers.
Mary Ann Odete is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com