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Review: I Heart Joburg Music Festival

It’s pretty much unheard of in the South Africa having six international artists on one stage but that’s exactly what Steyn Entertainment wanted to change as the inaugural I Heart Joburg Music Festival. The festival saw the likes of Fall Out Boy, T-Pain, Panic! At The Disco, Jessie J, B.o.B and Jason Derulo share the stage with local artists CrashCarBurn, iFani, The Graeme Watkins Project, The Arrows and Zebra & Giraffe.

The 12-hour show had fans on their feet and although Ellis Park was rather empty, the performers put on one hell of a show. This got me thinking what they did wrong and I think it all comes down to pricing. That being said, paying R100 an artist for Golden Circle is rather reasonable to me.

Unfortunately I was interviewing Fall Out Boy at The Saxon so I missed the local acts but here are my thoughts on the internationals:


He is behind the hit single ‘Low’ (yes, that Apple Bottom Jeans song) and the rapper got the crowd going as the first international star to perform at the event. He went along the same lines that Chris Brown did back in December 2012 singing short verses of songs. I guess he wanted to get through all her many singles but it was just too much for me. It was weird seeing him without his dreads and he seemed to have left a bit of his auto-tune at home. Frankly, I’m not a fan of T-Pain and his performance was, excuse the pun, painful to watch.


Oh, how the tables turned when B.o.B. took to the stage. It’s rare to find an artist, like B.o.B., who has some great hip-hop tracks along with pop bangers. The star was a ball of energy from the moment he set foot on the stage. The rapper didn’t mind high-fiving his fans and even stage dived into the crowd. That was all before he ran through Golden Circle to say hello to the fans in General Standing. He threw out T-Shirts, hoodies and even water bottles and got everyone pumped. He performed hits such as Nothin’ On You, Magic, Out of my Mind and many more. I’m glad I got to see him live and would watch him again any day.

Panic! At The Disco

Brendon Urie and Panic! At The Disco have been going through a lot of changes in the band lately but he pulls everything together as he hits the stage. Brendon has the voice of an angel. It is strong, loud, and reaches notes many could only dream of. His stage performance was incredible and sang hits such as This Is Gospel, Time To Dance, I Write Sins Not Tragedies and Girls/Girls/Boys. He even covered Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and gave the whole crowd goosies. This was one of my best performances of the day.

Jason Derulo

Jason Derulo put on a show and a half. While he started the show with 10 minutes of horrible music from his official DJ, the pop star took to the stage singing his smash hit singles Talk Dirty, Whatcha Say, It Girl, Wiggle and The Other Side amongst many more. While Jason’s vocals were supported by incredibly high backing tracks, it sort of didn’t seem to matter because his awesome dance skills seemed to distract everyone from that. I always love a live vocal and was rather disappointed but Jason has some hits and found myself singing very loudly to all his tracks.

Jessie J

This was easily the best performance of the entire festival. I have never been so in awe of a performer in my entire life. Jessie J has the best female vocal in the entire music industry and she gave one hell of a show. With great vocals, a cheeky attitude and performing hits such as Domino, Do It Like A Dude, Wild and her new smash hit Bang Bang (which was only the second time she sang it live) how could you not love the performance. Jessie is also real and you can tell that. The way she interacted with the crowd and with her band on stage was incredible. She also performed some new songs off her upcoming album Sweet Talker which was a great treat as well. Lastly, Jessie J was joined by B.o.B. to perform her smash hit Price Tag which ended off her set. She said it was only the third or fourth time she performed it with him. I will go so far as to say that she was the best live act I have ever seen in my life. Words cannot describe it.

Fall Out Boy

I saw Fall Out Boy back in 2007 and it’s great to see how much they have matured as a band. The group played a lot of tracks off their Save Rock & Roll album but snuck in some classics such as This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race. The band took a hiatus recently but quickly released new music. While they performed well, the sound wasn’t up to standard and I heard a lot of mumbling. Another thing I didn’t like was the fact that they have a new single releasing today and they didn’t give us a performance of that.

Here are some video highlights from the show:

Feel free to comment, vote, share or tweet @ElBroide



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