Injury fails to get Little Mix down

Little Mix - comprising (from far left) Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock - delivered energetic moves and impressive singing with sass.
Little Mix - comprising (from far left) Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock - delivered energetic moves and impressive singing with sass.ST PHOTO: ANJALI RAGURAMAN



The Star Theatre


Even with one member injured and in a wheelchair, British girl group Little Mix delivered high energy, saccharine personalities and fierce dance moves on stage at their first concert in Singapore on Monday.

What's more, unlike most packaged pop exports, all of the members could sing live.

But it did not quite look like it was going to be the proper pop concert that it turned out to be at first.

Flanked by muscled back-up dancers, only three members of the quartet - Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall - took to the stage at 8.50pm, suggesting that fourth member Jesy Nelson was perhaps not going to make it on stage.

She had left halfway through the Kuala Lumpur leg of their show last Saturday, after having torn a ligament in her ankle.

After two songs, Grown and Move, it was starting to look like Nelson was not going to make an appearance at all. There were noticeable gaps in the dance formations where she was meant to be.

But the crowd of 3,700, mostly screaming teenage girls and their parents, were thrilled when she was wheeled out on stage just before the quartet launched into their latest single, Hair.

Unfortunately, official pictures of the concert were vetoed because their label did not want fans to see her in a wheelchair.

For the next 90 minutes, the group went through hits from their three albums.

Change Your Life and Little Me offered the rousing singalong moments of the night.

It was also a chance to hear the singers' more-than-competent voices shine individually, but it was clear from the start that Edwards had the best chops of them all.

She handled the high notes and runs with ease and an effortless flick of her platinum-blonde hair.

On uptempo tracks such as Lightning and DNA, Nelson's wheelchair was parked at the side of the stage while the other girls went through the intricate, and borderline raunchy, choreography.

Nelson quipped, after being brought back to centre stage: "It feels like I'm watching a Little Mix concert. I want to get up and dance, but I'll just collapse."

Kudos to her for being a trouper and performing.

Still, it was amazing how Little Mix managed to reconfigure the choreography to suit a threemember group on such short notice, even though some portions looked hastily put together.

That said, the dancers and the singers did a fantastic job incorporating Nelson into the high-energy performance, wheeling her playfully across the stage on Get Weird and Love Me Like You.

There were, of course, the rehearsed lines ("You know we're all about girl power!") and banter among the quartet about how the Singapore audience was the loudest crowd they have ever had.

Either way, the "mixers" or fans, in their light-up bunny ears, merchandise booth T-shirts and homemade signs, lapped it all up, singing along to every lyric and screaming on cue.

Closing with Black Magic, the group showed what an extremely likeable bunch they are, all delivered with a side of sass.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'Injury fails to get Little Mix down'. Print Edition | Subscribe