British pop singer Leona Lewis won strong fan support at her first ever full-length concert Monday night, performing on familiar territory in the east London neighborhood where she grew up and still lives.
It marked a successful return to the public eye for the pop singer who was punched in the face by an emotionally distraught man at a London book signing last month.
She has performed live in the past, but limited herself to singing just a few songs as she developed the material needed for a full-length show.
Lewis told the packed house at the Hackney Empire, near where she grew up, that it was “fitting” for her to be make her full-length live debut in her hometown. She said she had first performed on that stage whenshe was 13.
Local fans gave her first show rave reviews.
Susie Marshall, 21, from Hackney said she thought Lewis was “excellent” and demonstrated “raw talent from Hackney.”
She performed her signature hit “Bleeding Love,” which topped the charts in Britain and America, and also showcased numbers from her upcoming second album “Echo,” which features R&B song “Whatever It Takes,” ballads such as the new single “Happy” and even a thumping dance tune called “Outta My Head.”
She also performed two powerful cover versions, the classic ballad “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and Snow Patrol’s song “Run,” which ended the concert with silver confetti falling down on the stage.
Standing on stage behind a large screen showing her face in a black lace mask, Lewis first appeared in a large black cloak that she threw off to reveal a Vivienne Westwood designed stage costume, a lilac top and black puffball skirt, cinched at the waist with a black shiny corset-like belt.
Lewis was joined on stage by Japanese-styled male dancers for some of the more upbeat performances.
The singer became a national figure in 2006 after winning British talent show “X Factor.” She picked up three Grammy nominations for “Bleeding Love,” which went to No. 1 in more than 35 countries in 2007.