Credit where it’s due to Jason Derulo for registering one of the fastest taps-affs in Glasgow concert history by stripping to the waist within scarcely a minute of being dramatically elevated into view atop a hydraulic riser. Much screaming did ensure. But it was difficult to shake the sense from then on that there’s not really a massive amount to the Floridian R&B-pop star thus-far besides a rippling torso.
Jason Derulo, Hydro, Glasgow ***
Apart from a strange penchant for tunefully saying his own name as a kind of audio ident – see a funny 57-minute-long YouTube compilation of him doing this for proof – Derulo’s unique-selling-point has always been difficult to pinpoint. He’s out-smoothed by Usher, out-danced by Justin Timberlake and out-sung by Bruno Mars. Yet give him a stage, a mic and a phalanx of ripped backing dancers for 90 minutes, and he’ll keep you solidly entertained.
The tone lurched between oversexed lothario and sensitive boy next door. Knowingly ridiculous ode to the feminine posterior Wiggle turned the Hydro into what felt a little like a very large high-concept strip club. Trumpets sounded a synth-horn fanfare to Derulo’s evidently busy libido. It Girl saw a visibly overcome young female fan plucked from the crowd and perched on stage for Derulo to croon to romantically – a genuinely sweet little moment of audience interaction.
Derulo has a handful of great songs to his name, two of which arrived in quick succession towards the end – the swaggering Swalla featuring Nicki Minaj and Want to Want Me, a bubbly synth-pop headrush of a sort Taylor Swift would surely have happily nabbed off him given half a chance.
If he only showed as much personality as he does his pecs, Derulo would be far the bigger star than he is by now. - MALCOLM JACK