John Legend at State Theatre, 11/19/13
Photo by Steve Cohen
with Tamar Braxton
State Theatre, Minneapolis
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
John Legend wooed the audience with his sultry performance at Tuesday night's show at the State Theatre. The man is charming, and even though he may have been stealing hearts in one respect, it seemed to be a show primarily for couples. Every day is Valentine's Day in Legend's world.
The Grammy Award winner was dressed in a sophisticated manner in all black and sat comfortably at the keys of his piano. Meanwhile, two backup vocalists executed extremely well-rehearsed hip swaying and arm movements. It felt like an vintage nightclub, only with a lot more lighting effects and cell phone photo flashes.
Legend started the show with "Made to Love." The audience was loud with excitement but still seated and staring at the stage with enamored gazes. This continued on to "Let's Get Lifted" when the group clap ensued. It was a very orderly show, conducted by Legends requests to "clap your hands" or "stand up." He wanted to appreciate the audience as much as they did him when he demanded, "House lights come up. I want to see everybody in the building tonight."
Photos by Steve Cohen
Stepping away from the piano many times, he interacted with the dancers and got up close to the front of the stage, inspiring many women to vocally express their gratitude for his dimple accented smile. And then came the solo session. The band left, and Legend sat at his piano with spotlight overhead. The singer-songwriter is extremely comfortable performing on his own, highlighting the nuances of his lyrics and the purity of his falsetto.
To preface his solo cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark," he said, "I first performed this song on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with the Roots. They were celebrating Bruce Springsteen week, so naturally they called me." Funny guy. He added that he was relieved when Springsteen himself had embraced his jazzy version of the song by inviting him to play it for the Grammys.
Before the band returned to the stage, Legend gave the people what they wanted -- an intimate rendition of "Ordinary People." Being one of the artist's most popular songs, of course everyone was singing along, couples left their seats to get up close and snap photos and/or slowly embrace and sway. House lights came up as the entire crowd sang the lyrics "Take it slow. This time we'll take it slow."
There were a lot of presumably secure men in the room, considering their significant others went crazy just at the sight of Legend taking off his jacket for the last few songs of the night. But alas, the man is taken anyway. He just got married this year and during one of the encore songs, "All of Me," the back screen lit up with a video of the astonishingly attractive couple and real footage from their wedding.
Photos by Steve Cohen
"I feel so grateful tonight," Legend said before leaving the stage. And so did the couple in front of me who proceeded to make out, slightly blocking my view for the last moments of the show.
Random Detail: The smell of cologne engulfed the room, further validating the date night aspect of the show.
Overheard in the Crowd: Among a few women: "I can't believe how different all of our outfits are, but we're at the same show." Unlike an Arcade Fire show, there was no dress code.
Made to Love
Used to Love U
Love in the Future
Open Your Eyes
Let's Get Lifted
Save the Night
Dancing in the Dark
You & I
Never Too Much
All of Me
Who Do We Think We Are
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