Sunday, August 04, 2013

LIVE FROM NEW YORK: Little Mix Has 'Wings' & Struts Their 'DNA' with Radio Disney

Right Photo: (L to R) Perrie, Jade, Jesy & Leigh-Anne
Happy August, lovelies! Today is proving to be a pretty epic Sunday because, not only is it the beginning of Shark Week (plus I have 'True Blood' and 'The Newsroom' to look forward to), I spent my morning/afternoon at the Highline Ballroom (you might recall I was there  this past January hanging out with The Saturdays) with Jesy, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jade, better known around the world as Little Mix.

The group was in town for a free promotion held in conjunction with Radio Disney. This marks my second "official" Radio Disney event -- the last one I attended was in Albany back in 2001 (I'm dating myself here) to see another epic girl group, my girls in PYT. Their opening act happened to be a boy band known as Dream Street (aka Jesse McCartney's group). But I digress...
The line to get in to the event was literally wrapped around the entire city block by 8:30AM. The event didn't start till almost 1PM. There were teenage girls waiting in line as early as three in the morning -- WUT -- to see a girl group that is still on the cusp of a mainstream takeover here in the States. I was quickly schooled in the different types of American "Mixers": 1) teenage girls who found out about Little Mix through the British X-Factor and stan them above all else; 2) teenage girls who found out about Little Mix through their companion boy band, One Direction (and this type seemed to be the vast majority); 3) girls in their 20's who liked Little Mix for their music and style. The first type definitely resented the second type (and vocally. Wow.). And you better believe the third type was rare and hard to find -- I'm pretty sure I was one of the eldest "Mixers" there that wasn't a parent (and there were a lot of those, too. Saints, every one of them for withstanding all the waiting around.).
Basically, the crowd was a vast sea of (mostly) teenage girls, decked out in Forever 21, ASOS and Topshop -- floral crop tops, skater skirts, thigh-high socks, dramatic cat eye makeup,  long hair (don't care) that was either ombred or dip dyed (usually red/pink), and bows. Lots and lots of oversized bows. Following Little Mix's performance, the Radio Disney host asked them a few fan-sourced questions, and the one that got the biggest crowd reaction was whether or not the group would make their own clothing line. One of the three aforementioned brands should really get on that...
Once we were finally inside the Highline, all hope of being as close as I was for The Saturdays (Stage Left, flush against the stage, if you recall) was quickly dashed. The turnout for The Satz was not even comparable to Little Mix. This show sold out, to capacity and I'm pretty sure quite a few bow-bearing teens were turned away. We scrambled for the side booths (and shelled out a $10 minimum) in order to look above the swarm of heads.
After the usual hyping provided by the Radio Disney team, the ladies came out on stage to the tune of their current single, "How Ya Doin'?" (sans Missy Elliot unfortunately). The fab four looked gorgeous: Perrie (aka the blonde-ish one dating that cute one from One Direction) wore black shorts with a white t-shirt bearing a peace sign, its ends cut into pieces and frayed, with her hair in a pony; fan fave Jesy wore an oversized black jersey with shorts and thigh-high socks; Leigh-Anne also wore an oversize jersey, opting for white instead with black detail (and her curly hair looked FAB); and Jade wore an off-the-shoulder white t-shirt and red leggings with a Micky Mouse print.
Following "How Ya Doin'?", the group offered up two back-to-back covers of songs they performed during their X-Factor run: En Vogue's "Don't Let Go (Love)" (SFLDJSLFKJDSJLK::SQUEE!) and a unique take on Nicki Minaj's "Superbass". The latter got a bigger crowd reaction and considering the average age of the audience, I'm not surprised. However, I'm very picky with covers of En Vogue -- especially that song as it's such a classic -- and they smashed it. The feels. So many feels.
"DNA" was next followed by third single "Change Your Life", dedicated to their fans. Before finishing off with their debut single "Wings", the group sang a bit of the chorus acapella and encouraged the audience to sing along. After thanking everyone for coming, the group answered a few fan questions but their answers were relatively inaudible to us because of all of the persistent shrieking. Oh well. I can report they were asked if they knew how to twerk (forever shaking my head) and someone (either Jesy or Leigh-Anne) said they wanted to but couldn't. I'm leaving that alone now...
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Overall, to get to see Little Mix perform here in the States was really encouraging -- the fan reaction was overwhelmingly phenomenal and is hopefully a harbinger for bigger things for LM Stateside. All four of the girls sounded fantastic. Jesy and Leigh-Anne were both really in their element, flipping their hair and mean mugging. Jade consistently came over to  our side of the stage and was blowing kisses, grabbing hands and waving to everyone. Perrie has incredible, incredible vocal chops (perhaps that's why the Little Mix/One Direction cross-over fans allow her relationship with Zayn?) and during that operatic part in "DNA", her big melisma sounded just as good, if not better than the recorded version.
I'm appreciative for the two covers because I expected them only to do the singles -- however, had they both been replaced with "Stereo Soldier" and "Madhouse" (or even "Love Drunk"), I'd probably be over the moon. Ahh, well. Cheers to Little Mix for a fab mini-set that was beyond super well received. Can't wait for Album #2!
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