Review: Jason Derulo in Auckland

Last updated 08:30 25/04/2014
Jason Derulo
Rebekah Parsons-King/Fairfax NZ


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Jason Derulo
Vector Arena, Auckland, April 24

Jason Derulo belted an eclectic mix of soulful ballads, upbeat hip hop raps and even a rendition of Kiwi star Lorde's Royals during last night's one-off Tattoo world tour. 

The 24-year-old American pop, hip hop and R&B artist commands attention and enjoys toying with his crowd - a change of pace from when he first started his music career writing songs for other artists.

As Derulo opened to In my Head, I couldn't help but feel excitement and appreciation for the hard work he had seemingly put into making a name for himself

The near sell-out audience at Auckland's Vector Arena was made up mostly of swooning teenage girls who became envious as a shirtless Durulo and his four backup dancers pulled five shell-shocked fans up on stage.

Getting down on all fours, Derulo and his dancers positioned a girl on top of their sweaty backs and began push-ups to the beat of the music.

Showing off his toned physique was a common occurrence and on occasions I felt confused as to whether I was watching a male strip tease.

Luckily Derulo had official DJ Papo and a team of eight backup dancers to keep us entertained with impressive break dancing, backflips and twerking during his outfit changes from glitzy gold jackets to suave black tuxedos.

Riding Solo was a favourite and the star flirted with the crowd by saying "New Zealand is home to some of the most beautiful women" and "if you're not single I bet by the end of the night you'll be riding solo."

I was impressed at how Derulo managed to hold the notes while performing rigorous Michael Jackson-inspired dance moves.

As he bounced off trampolines and hung from set scaffolding it's hard to imagine Derulo was almost left paralysed after fracturing his neck during rehearsals two years ago.

He too appreciates his recovery and told fans "at one point I didn't know if I would walk again and it's a pleasure to see your faces because I know this could all be gone in an instance." 

After almost two hours of entertainment, Derulo was summoned back on stage for an encore of not one but four other songs, including his latest number, Wiggle.    

He said it was arguably the first time he performed the track live and it was another hit with the crowd who were told to throw their hands in the air upon hearing the lyrics "big fat butt."

As the lights dimmed, Derulo told his audience it had been a "pleasure" and with a simple "peace and love" disappeared backstage leaving a breathless crowd of women hopefully not jumping at the chance to leave their boyfriends.

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