I remember how excited I was when I heard that John Legend will be coming back to SA again and this time around I will be able to attend his concert. The visit could have not come at a better considering the huge success of his single ‘All of Me’ which takes me back to the song that made me fall inlove with him ‘Ordinary People’. The show was not not a concert but an intimate show, we got to know the man behind the music and oh my is he interesting!
I was fortunate to attend his first SA performance of the All Of Me Tour at the Grand Arena last Saturday. Before attending the concert, I tried to research the set list for the tour because I needed to make sure that he will perform ‘Ordinary People.’ Needless to say I found some nice jams I hadn’t considered on the set list that got me all excited and brushing up my vocals 🙂
The new setup at the Grand Arena is amazing, no standing Golden Circle instead we have people sitting in the Golden Circle area, perfect for the intimacy of the show. With no opening act, the star rocked up on stage singing ‘Made to love’ with approval from the screaming crowd. This guy is perfect, the vocals, the body and the stage presence is incredible. I knew right from the opening that he was about to take us on an interesting journey.
I loved how he was constantly engaging with the crowd and keeping us glued and laughing as he shared his journey. He did a musical sharing of his life, stating how he started in the corporate world, got a break when he met Lauryn Hill and they worked together on ‘Everything is everything’. I am ashamed to say I didn’t know that he is on the vocals of Alicia Key’s ‘You Don’t Know my name.’ Nothing beats leaving a concert knowing a bit more about your favourite artist.
While I was still thinking this is going to be a sit down, chill and get emotional event, he turned up the tempo with his performance of Greenlight. The whole crowd stood up and sang along as he mixed the song with some good funky old school music. A good way to get us out of the moist state.
One of my favourite moments and probably the most emotional moment of the concert was when he dedicated ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ to his late grandmother who taught him how to play the piano. The emotion in his delivery of this song and the dead silence in the arena evoked such deep emotions. He touched at our heart strings with this song and I think for anyone who has lost a valuable person in his life this was a moment of reflection.
Towards the end of the show he performed the song that made me fall inlove with him ‘Ordinary People’ . He thoroughly slowed than this song which may have been loved by most of the crowd but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the album version. On the other hand, I preferred the unplugged version of ‘You and I’ as I am not a huge fan of the recorded version.
His performance of ‘So High’ was my absolute favourite, he kept hitting all kinds of note while captivating the audience attention. John walked out of the stage saying goodbye without performing ‘All of Me’ and he actually thought we will fall for that. It is after all a All Of Me Tour. He came back, sang the song beautifully leaving the crowd pleased.
This was certainly a great show. From his amazing vocals, beautiful smile, interaction with the crowd right through to the arrogant walk he pulled while walking on and off the stage. The 2 hours seemed so short yet so fulfilling. John is a Legend!