JLS, 02 Arena, London

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The Independent Culture

Relentless screams filled the arena as glow sticks, foam hands and cameras were ready and waiting to be thrust into the air with total abandon. As their latest album's title track, "Outta This World", boomed out of the speakers, the 2008 X Factor runners-up made their entrance in a car suspended above the audience that cruised leisurely overhead. Slightly uninspired, the audience changed their minds and sat down – the potential for un-restrained joy lost out to strategic attempts to secure eye contact with one's band member of choice, be it Aston, Marvin, JB or Oritsé.

Two tracks later, the crowd were all fired up again. The synthy hook of "Eyes Wide Shut" – accompanied by a body-popping dance routine – also featured a brief invasion from grime artist Tinie Tempah. After a short outburst of rapping, the star slumped indifferently behind the quartet (who continued to leap around like excitable puppies), then sheepishly withdrew behind the scenes. It's safe to say he didn't steal the show.

Several gravity-defying dance routines, a play fight and a playful interchange with a dancing robot later, the crowd were back on their feet for "The Club Is Alive". A vast improvement on the studio-recorded track, the band's faultless vocal delivery made the song sound less sluggish and derivative – and slightly more menacing and interesting.

A ream of costume changes followed, the most inspired of which was when the band emerged looking like Lego men in white trousers and primary-coloured sweatshirts for the encore. Complete with brightly coloured confetti, "Everybody in Love" had everyone up and swaying for the euphoric closing performance.

Alas, genuine vocal talent and a sense of fun might be enough for now, but JLS might have to produce something more outstanding than throbbing R&B and stammering club synths to keep their troops entertained for years to come.

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