Entertainment

Concert review: Rita Ora

Rita Ora
Rita Ora Bang Showbiz

ABOVE a transparent box decorated with nuclear warning signs screams the word 'Quarantine'.

Imprisoned inside, Rita Ora begins this leg of the Radioactive Tour, named after her current single, a polished pop-dance nugget with which she opens the show.

Ora may be a hot property, having chalked up three number one singles in 2012 - two solo and one guesting on DJ Fresh anthem 'Hot Right Now' - but dangerous is not her shtick.

With the singer dressed in metallic space-opera attire, the effect is more rickety Blake's 7 than Star Trek reboot, her jerry-built cell lacking a roof, though Ora's peroxide-blonde locks provide an otherworldly gleam.

The futuristic concept is soon stowed away as the box is wheeled off, leaving Ora as the girl brought up two tube stops away who can play at being Rihanna or Beyoncé with a gamine joy.

Born in Kosovo and raised in west London, Ora honed her performance skills at the Sylvia Young theatre school before signing to Jay-Z's Roc Nation in 2009.

Last year's chart-topping album, Ora, felt heavily focus-grouped and leads to some jarring changes of tone, from drum and bass club to tender balladry, plus the odd technical hiccup.

Yet having supported both rap star Drake and Coldplay last year before her first headline tour, Ora displays ice-cool composure.

"I'm gonna save my emotional shit for later," she warns, though her natural enthusiasm shines through on some trademark party-starters.

'Shine Ya Light' is raised above sub-Rihanna status as Ora rides its lilting reggae rhythm and 'How We Do (Party)' proves more celebratory than its Americanised celebration of boozing normally warrants, helped by Ora praising deceased hip hop star Biggie Smalls, whose lyrics provide its lairy chorus.

She is just as engaging when one side of the side of the stage is dressed with a rose-entwined trellis to form her "garden of love".

Sat on a chair she reduces a member of the audience to tears as she croons the limp 'Hello, Hi, Goodbye'.

Far better comes as she wraps herself around the acoustic, Alicia Keys-style ballad 'Fair', which could herald a promising new direction as she sounds underpowered against the demented beats of 'Facemelt' and barely believable entering the emotional battleground of 'Love And War' with its apocalyptic synths.

Such brain-frying fare is already starting to sound old-hat, but the stage-school trained Ora can rely on more traditional showbiz values to succeed.

Topics:  concert review, music, music tour, rita ora


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

GAME FOR ZANE: Under-18s to honour fallen clubmate

IN HONOUR: Lower Clarence will honour fallen clubman Zane Purcell in their annual #GameforZane on Sunday at Ballina.

“Zane died on the field doing what he loved for the club he loved"

$4 million announced for Ballina airport expansion

North Coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin and Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro announced the funding at Ballina Byron Gateway Airport this morning.

Airport among 10 projects to receive vital infrastructure upgrades

New Ballina chamber board looks to the future

The full Ballina Chamber of Commerce board at the Ballina Coast & Hinterland Northern Star Business Excellence Awards in 2015.

A new board have been elected for the Ballina Chamber of Commerce

Latest deals and offers

North Coast beaches cleared as sharks spotted

SWIMMERS at a number of Northern Rivers beaches were forced from the water at the weekend after a spate of shark sightings across the region.

GAME FOR ZANE: Under-18s to honour fallen clubmate

IN HONOUR: Lower Clarence will honour fallen clubman Zane Purcell in their annual #GameforZane on Sunday at Ballina.

“Zane died on the field doing what he loved for the club he loved"

$4 million announced for Ballina airport expansion

North Coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin and Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro announced the funding at Ballina Byron Gateway Airport this morning.

Airport among 10 projects to receive vital infrastructure upgrades

New Ballina chamber board looks to the future

The full Ballina Chamber of Commerce board at the Ballina Coast & Hinterland Northern Star Business Excellence Awards in 2015.

A new board have been elected for the Ballina Chamber of Commerce

Bring home the bacon at Northern Rivers festival

PIGS WILL FLY: A giant pig was joined by Alstonville Lions Club’s Les Wiles and Summerland Credit Union’s Belindar Cordery and others to promote this Sunday’s Alstonville Family Festival.

Get piggy at the Alstonville Family Festival

Welcome to Northern Rivers’ first golf course of its kind

IT’S OPEN: The Ballina Disc Golf Course at Bicentennial Gardens was officially opened last week by US-born disc golf player Jesse Amos, who pushed for the course, and Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson.

Reports of at least one hole-in-one already

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest