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Story and photos by Jeannette VanKaneganJesse McCartney has come a long way from his days with the bubble gum pop group Dreamstreet. The blonde haired blue eyes pop star melted hearts at the House of Blues on February 18th. Before the concert even started, the hall filled with piercing screams from the teenage girls waiting for him to come on stage. Before the 21 year old pop star could grace the audience with his presence, an unknown artist, Angelique performed. The opening act had no stage presence and seemed to bore the restless crowd. She was trying to hard to be Nelly Furtado, and it wasn't working.
Around 7:45pm McCartney, sporting aviators, & a grey suit, with a black tie, danced on to the stage opening with his song "Freaky." The crowd of young teenagers, and their mothers, pushed and shoved to get to the front. Being in the crowd was like being in the ocean during a storm. Waves of pushing and shoving, it became really intense, and unsafe.
McCartney sang songs from his third album Departure, "Makeup," the heavy bass filled song, with a hip hop feel, was accompanied with upbeat dance moves. "My Baby" showed off his strong falsetto, and wide vocal range. His very first single "Beautiful Soul" had the girls singing, in between the screams.
Jesse was accompanied on stage with a small band, as well as two back up singer/dancers. For the song "It's Over" Jesse and his dancers sat doing a chair dance routine. He quickly changed to a more upbeat song "Rock You," with more of a rock feel unlike the rest of his songs. It was a little more of an edgier style than the rest, being sung with more of a raspy voice. Jesse took off his suit jacket and put on a black hat. He grabbed a black cane, and the dancers joined him in a slick dance routine, to the song "Into You." He then sang another popular hit that has been featured on some movie soundtracks, "She's No You."
While Jesse did a quick wardrobe change, the background singers did their own version of the '80s hit, "Jesse's girl." As they sang, the crowd, that was too young to know the song, sang along. They scoped the crowd of beautiful girls, trying to find one lucky audience member to bring up to the stage. Jesse came back on stage and assisted in the search. They looked high and low, and finally found that lucky lady. He chose a blonde bombshell that looked like she was way older than him. Every girl wanted to be her at that moment.
Jesse quickly heated things up by singing his current single "How Do You Sleep." Every girl sang along. The final song of the evening was his biggest single yet, "Leavin." He held his microphone out while the audience in unison sang the chorus. McCartney jumped all over the stage with excitement. He left the crowd wanting more, but left them happy with the show that he put on.
If you are a teenage girl, and a pop fan, then I strongly recommend seeing Jesse McCartney in concert. I warn to proceed with caution. It can get crazy with all of the pushing and shoving of the girls trying to get closer to him. Away from that, he puts on a good show, and keeps the audience entertained the entire time. With his fourth album on the way, I am sure that he will be returning to Chicago very soon.
Jesse with Livewire reporter Jeannette
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