John Legend at Cullen Performance Hall, 5/4/14
He expressed his desire to make us feel as though he was playing a baby grand in our living room, just friends gathered around for some fun. "I wanna get to know you better, Houston!'. Of course that was met with cheers and applause by the very receptive, very enamored audience.
The coolest part of the show were the instances where he provided the insight behind some of his hits and writing process. For his first single, "Used To Love U", he told the story of working and living in New York City, showing up late for a gig and playing at the prime time slot of 4pm. But before all of that, he auditioned for LA Reid and Clive Davis and others, but it wasn't until he met rapper Kanye West that his career did take off. "You have to endure lots of no's before you get a yes" he shared.
The song "Maxine" is one of his most flirty songs, and most interesting bossa novas I've ever heard. Turns out that the name was his grandmother's middle name, although he didn't find that out until after the song was recorded. His other grandmother also inspired his career as she would be the one to first teach Legend the music of the Pentecostal Church which he attended as kid. He then dedicated an emotional version of the standard "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in her memory.
It takes a special artist to make a crowd feel the way we did last night, as if we were all running on the same heartbeat. Sure, other artists will allow their fans to complete the lines of a verse or two, but Legend had complete faith in his audience last night, allowing us to sing full verses as he smiled at the piano. Hearing the whole room sing "Ordinary People" was one of the most magical music moments I've ever experienced. Love, heartbreak, fear, happiness, and triumph were all on display.
As he took a bow and blew kissed into the crowd, the roar of the applause grew louder and louder. There was one song left, and an encore was imminent. Of course that song was "All Of Me". And that's certainly what we received...
Personal Bias: Maybe. Baby. Puffy & Jay Z. Will all be better for you, cuz all I can do is love you.
The Crowd: Well dressed and in love.
Overheard in the crowd: "That boy can sing! Hashtag: Understatement." (yes, someone actually said "hashtag". They probably did the finger gesture, too.)
Random Notebook Dump: So much better than his outing at RodeoHouston.
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