Everybody's in love with JLS in Belfast

JLS MANIA has been sweeping Belfast over the past few days as Britain's favourite boyband have been playing at the Waterfront Hall for three sold out shows during their first UK tour.

The band; Aston Merrygold, whose family hail from Dunmurry and who were out in force to show their support at the shows, Marvin Humes, Oritse Williams and Jonathan 'JB' Gill, thrilled local fans on what was their longest run on the tour outside of London.

Multi coloured hoodies, representing each fan's favourite member of JLS, filled the venue as the Belfast crowd eagerly awaited the show, and they weren't disappointed.

JLS proved why they have gone from strength to strength since their days on the X Factor with a slick show, smooth vocals and the kind of showmanship that has them up there with the best of boybands.

Deafening screams greeted the boys as they arrived on stage atop four platforms, eyes covered with dark sunglasses and just a hint of the washboard abs boasted by the group.

Launching straight into 'Private', 'Heal This Heartbreak' and 'Kickstart', tracks from JLS' multi-platinum debut album, the Belfast crowd sang and danced along, amid the frenzy of photograph's being snapped as they tried to capture their favourite group on camera.

Taking time out to thank fans for their recent Brit Award success, where the group picked up two awards, the guys cranked up the noise another level as they performed 'Beat Again', their first single which hit the top spot last year, with its thumping rhythm filling the hall and fans dancing along with the familiar routine, screams ringing out as Aston performed his trademark backflip.

A quick costume change later and the boys were back for the slowed down, loved-up portion of the night. Looking smooth in white suits they performed an acapella version of 'If I Ever' a song they sang at their X Factor auditions, before moving onto album tracks 'Crazy For You', 'Close To You' and 'Only Making Love', the latter's dance moves driving fans wild, whilst video footage in the background added to the performance and the crowd sang every word of the songs back to the boys.

The mood was soon cranked up again as the guys paid homage to one of their favourite performers, Michael Jackson, with a medley that would have done MJ proud.

As each of the members of the band took on a solo number, showcasing their individual talents, Aston arrived on stage in a flurry to sing 'I Want You Back', mimicking Jackson's dance moves to perfection. Next up was JB with a smooth version of 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough', Oritse with a thumping version of 'Beat It' and finally Marvin with a sexy version of 'The Way You Make Me Feel', another track the guys performed during their X Factor days, sending the fans wild.

Moving on, they broke into current single 'One Shot', as well as album tracks 'Keep You' and "Only Tonight', saying their goodnights whilst the crowd chanted JLS over and over.

Returning for an encore, the boys once again gave a nod to their X Factor days as they performed a fantastic version of 'Umbrella', before reprising 'Beat Again', with their dancers performing a routine the likes of which would be seen in the 'Step Up' movies.

There was time for one more song, however, and the boys ended the night on a high as they finished with 'Everybody In Love', with the Belfast crowd eager to 'put their hands up' for JLS.

The JLS boys showed their obvious delight at all they have achieved so far, thanking their fans for their support since day one of the X Factor and constantly touching hands or waving to people, making the night for some lucky fans.

The Belfast show was made all the more special for Aston with his family, who lived in Dunmurry and Lisburn before relocating to Peterborough, attending and they said it was "brilliant" to see him perform in their home country.

The boys have just announced a second date in the Odyssey Arena next January. With the show on sale this Friday, it's easy to see why they were able to sell out their first night in the venue and judging by this performance and the reaction of the crowd, they will sell out many more nights in the city.

Everybody certainly is in love with JLS in Belfast.

stacey.heaney@ulsterstar.co.uk