The Eden Project has escalated itself to be the hottest music venue within Cornwall, bringing in huge acts on a regular basis. We were at the latest music concert over the weekend which Eden dub 'Eden Sessions'. The headliner was the superstar that is Jessie J.
The venue is purpose built outdoors just next to the famous Eden biomes and can hold a maximum of 6,500 people. Jessie J managed to achieve sell-out concerts in her two Sessions held over the sweltering summer weekend. It's an intimate venue that has an organic beauty and an installed excitement.
Before Jessie came on stage there were two other acts. The first were Hot D'Jour, a west country Electro soul duo chosen, via Eden Sessions, by Jessie J herself. Very lucky in being chosen, they nevertheless had the hard job of starting off the evening's performance and, of course, people were still arriving. They were confident and have their own style. We're sure we'll see more of them in the future. The next act was the well-known A*M*E, the energetic 18 year-old who has a great voice and sang her notable songs City Lights and Play the Game Boy as well as Need U (100%), the Duke Dunmont number one hit which A*M*E both wrote and featured in.
Jessie J took to the stage a few minutes past 9:00 and dived into the Session with her obligatory song Price Tag. It was a bold entry in many respects to play her most well known hand at the beginning. But the flawless up-beat performance definitely infused the audience and cemented our anticipation for what was to come.
She went on to perform her other well known hits, Domino, Who's Laughing Now and Nobody's Perfect. She also covered a few classics with her own twists and rearrangements for good measure. To our surprise she debuted her new song 'Square One', we hadn't even heard this song previously but it's definitely another firm catchy hit.
The staging was very tightly executed and gave the overall show that bit more flare. Onstage sat screens which displayed mouthwatering colours, with fluid and dreamy montages at times reflecting the songs. The lighting setup complimented everything too, and the stage was vibrantly bright which was very important. As Jessie J's Session started, the sun was just setting behind the topmost rim of the Eden valley, and midway into the concert it slipped out of sight leaving the standing arena in total darkness. Jessie J was on stage, singing and moving to the music, and behind, rearing up into the night, were the incredible Eden biomes sparkling with lights reflecting the starry night.
Jessie wasn't alone in her performance, she had three incredible backing singers who enhanced the show. Her band was also brilliant and the instruments were balanced and distinguished, which is always a quality that is nice to hear with live music. One member of her band who seemed to get a lot of attention from both Jessie J and the audience, was the bass guitarist. He even knocked a notable solo out, as well as the backing singers and fellow band members on separate occasions.
Jessie J's surname is, by coincidence, Cornish. We discovered this a few days before attending the Eden Session and Jessie did have a little fun with the audience regarding this. She spoke of how she used to come to Cornwall every year on holiday with her family, to a Mullion caravan park, where she entered and won singing contests as a child. And she amused herself and sent the audience into a cheering frenzy by shouting out 'Cornish pasty' and the various places she remembered visiting - we cheered for Penzance! Jessie was distinctly charismatic throughout the concert and is particularly evangelistic about people not being put down by others and reaching for their dreams. Her next album has one more track to be recorded and Jessie stated that she'd be recording this somewhere within Cornwall. Our guess is that she'll be recording it at the unique and remote Sawmills Studios?
Because the Eden Project is situated within an old clay pit, it's built into a giant crater. This acoustically distinguishes itself from other music venues. Jessie J's voice was literally jumping off the walls.
Her vocal abilities are somewhat non-human and we mean this in the nicest way possible. Her voice is an exclusive instrument in itself. Her ability to instantly drop back and forth between crazy and spectacular high notes and deep lows is absolutely breathtaking and is truly appreciated when experienced in-person as opposed to listening to a recording. Her tone truly resonated in harmony with the atmosphere of the venue.
We walked away from watching Jessie J at the Eden Sessions intoxicated by her performance, the setting and the great feeling of intimacy that is invoked by Eden.