Since winning the X Factor in 2009, Joe McElderry has been transformed from a shy 18-year-old South Shield’s lad into a confident and pleasant young man with international appeal and acclaim.
Backed by his excellent four-piece band he opened the show predictably with Luther Vandross’ Dance With My Father to a fanfare of screams from ardent fans, followed by Somebody to Love.
He delighted his audience with his only chart topper, The Climb, and thankfully the annoying lights which had been directed outwards from the stage towards the auditorium ceased while McElderry sang Love of My Life, a ballad which suited his voice to perfection.
He treated his devotees to some opera as a nod towards the television show Pop Star to Opera Star, which he won in 2011, and went on to sing the cute I Want To Make You Mine which was his own composition.
A warm stage persona is his secret weapon, combined with natural audience interaction.
The beautiful song, Time To Say Goodbye closed the first half.
Following the interval around 100 women and several men swarmed to the front as the atmosphere took on a “hands in the air” festival vibe for the inevitable up-tempo numbers.
Dubbed ‘Jukebox Joe’ the following 10 minutes was devoted to members of the audience shouting out a song of their choice for McElderry to sing off the cuff, which he accomplished with some skill.
A nice touch by singing Happy Birthday to Jack, a 93-year-old fan, revealed his wide appeal to all ages.
The night ended with a rock section complete with nifty dance moves from this polished performer who now has five albums under his belt.
Joe is returning to Blackpool in September to star in The Who’s cult rock opera, Tommy, at The Opera House, directed by theatrical veteran, Paul Nicholas.