Live Review – Joe McElderry Wows Harlow

X Factor winner Joe McElderry has a voice which is both beautiful and versatile. From Pop to Opera, Joe nails it all.

We caught Joe at the Harlow Playhouse in Essex last night, as part of his Evolution tour. Why Evolution? Because it covers all of Joe’s albums and music old and new.

The first half of the show was an assortment of power ballads and opera. Joe opened with a rousing performance of the Luther Vandross classic, “Dance With My Father”, before performing his post-X Factor hit “The Climb”. This went down particularly well with the diverse crowd, lots of whom had travelled to see many of his shows, and we can understand why.

The highlight of the first half was seeing Joe and his live band accompanied by Funky Voices, a local choir from the Essex area. We were treated to several songs including a beautiful performance of “Somebody To Love”.

We were soothed into the interval by a glorious rendition of “Time to Say Goodbye”, which illustrated exactly why Joe had emerged the winner from TV’s Popstar to Opera Star.

The second half was a totally different affair, Joe had promised us fun, and fun we had, in bucketloads.

We were encouraged  to get up and dance, but little encouragement was needed, as Joe powered through tracks such as The Killers hit, “Human”, Journey’s, “Don’t Stop Believin'”, as well as a fabulous cover of Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”.

For added fun, Joe opened up the set list to the audience, who called out song suggestions for him to sing. Accompanied by his excellent band, Joe displayed an impressive ability to sing any song off the cuff, even successfully attempting some he was unsure of. The selection of songs included Pop tracks such as Katy Perry’s “Firework”, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”, and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”, along with timeless classics such “Hallelujah” and “The Greatest Love of All”.  Very popular with the crowd was the track “Fahrenheit”, from Joe’s Wide Awake album, a fun track with a falsetto section that showed off his versatile voice.   

We also heard Joe’s latest self-penned track, “Hollywood”, a lively fun track, which had everyone up on their feet dancing.

After a rousing finale, the show ended all too soon, with everyone clearly having had a great time.

Nobody could deny Joe has an amazing voice and great stage chrisma. He comes over as friendly, down to earth and with a lovely sense of humour. Six years after he won the X Factor in 2009, he is as strong as ever. We can’t help but be impressed.

For details of where you can see Joe in concert visit his Official website.

About the author

Juliet is married with one daughter, a dog and a cat. She grew up in East London, but currently resides in Hertfordshire.

Having spent her formative years in the Mod scene, she has a lot of love for the 60’s...and the music of the Mod Father, Mr Paul Weller.

Juliet has always loved to write and began training to be a journalist, before ill health caused her to put her life on hold.

Two kidney transplants later, she still enjoys all kinds of writing, including poetry, and has had several poems published in various magazines and anthologies. She likes needlecraft, is big on animal rights and loves discovering brilliant new artists that the main stream media may have overlooked.

Last, but by no means least, she has a lot of love for two very talented Irish twins, you may know them as Jedward :)


  1. Thank you for a lovely review. Your conclusion is spot on: We can’t help to be impressed. His lovely personality combined with his fabulous voice, singing Uptown Funk just as easy as Time to Say Goodbye, it really is impressive. I have been to a few shows and he always blows me away. It is great to read he gets the recognition he deserves.

  2. I was at this show (one of many fans who travel all over to see Joe perform live – he’s always worth it!) & totally agree with your fantastic review of it 🙂
    My favourite part is Jukebox Joe – it sets him apart from other artists & showcases the level of his talent & that of his brilliant band. An equally talented crew handling sound & lighting help to make every show of Joe’s spectacular, together with his gorgeous voice.

    There should be a warning note in his tour programme – ‘this show is highly addictive’ ! 😀

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