It’s a challenging prospect growing up in the world of pop. Justin Bieber’s adolescent antics have sent his career into a minor meltdown, while Miley Cyrus has become a twerking controversy by quite literally stripping off her Hannah Montana outfit. That said, in some corners of the mainstream, pop acts thrive under the pressure to grow with their audience at a suitable pace. One such example are Little Mix who, as proven at their headline show in Brighton on Friday (June 6), have blossomed from wide-eyed X Factor contestants into professional pop vixens. Sure, there are still moments of corny sentimentalism with rousing ballads ‘Change Your Life’ and ‘Little Me’, but their message comes full of hope and achievement. It’s a solid message for the younger generation. Little Mix are at the point in their career where they need to capture that older demographic to maintain longevity, and their first arena tour goes some way to achieving that goal. Opening number ‘Salute’ sees them lowered on to an industrial stage set. It’s grittier than their previous setup, trading in some of that sparkle for rusty chic, in turn adding even more weight to the track’s military stomps. Their latest album Salute is a teen girl’s guide to empowerment and Little Mix’s portrayal of that message couldn’t be more clear. These are four girls who command the stage and deliver every vocal with heartfelt sincerity. ‘Nothing Feels Like You’ is an energetic carnival as they bounce around to tribal-inspired choreography, and when off-set with their glossy harmonies on betrayal track ‘Boy’, it highlights their impressive capability as both slick dancers and gifted singers.It’s easy to see why Little Mix have managed two Top 10 albums in America. Their performance style lends itself to the school of Destiny’s Child more than it does the Spice Girls or Girls Aloud. Of course, they are some way off matching the likes of Beyoncé et al, but their stage show is more deep-rooted in the precision and efficiency of US pop groups than the traditional British fare. Renditions of ‘Lover Boy’ and ‘A Different Beat’ are accomplished and effortlessly hip, the vocals and choreography never outshining the other and always at a consistently composed level. Moments of shaking off the tween sheen are most notably present during ‘DNA’. Shrouded in cloudy red and dressed in Matrix-styled leather, Little Mix are flanked by projections of roaring lions for the eerie pop number, their gothic cantillating striking a darker mood than their more sugary songs. Again, on covers of Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ and a mash-up of ‘Talk Dirty’/’Paris’/’Thrift Shop’/’Run The World (Girls)’, the group are allowed to be sexier than usual, gently walking off the pages of Bliss magazine and strutting into Cosmopolitan. It’s what makes their performance of ‘Move’ a girl group triumph - teasing, friendly, suggestive and forward-thinking in equal parts. And as a finale of chart-topping single ‘Wings’ plays out with a social media timeline of their journey so far, it’s remarkable how far they have come in little under three short years with the odds seemingly stacked against them. Little Mix have found their feet in an arena setting, and with a transformation in fruition, it’s conceivable they’ll get even better still.
posted on June 9,123 notes
sweet mother of zeus i