So Friday night in Durban was another of those epic evenings where music lovers got to experience an international artist with across the board appeal .”An Evening with John Legend” was indeed #legendary .
We parked our car at Suncoast and took a leisurely stroll to the stadium. But of course what we thought would be a short walk turned into opportunity to burn some calories as the entrance to the show was all the way round the stadium adding a few more metres to our ‘stroll’.
But, we had great seats and although we arrived in the rain and looked like drowned cats when we got there, the skies soon behaved and Durban weather was at its finest. (If only we’d waited just a little while longer we could’ve been dry) Promptly at 7:30pm East Coast Radio’s Carol Ralafeta was on the stage introducing the opening act, South Africa’s own LIRA.
Wow!! Lira was epic in her own right and though I’ve seen her before I sat there thinking how I neve get tired of watching her ‘live’ or listening to her voice. From “Ixesha” to “Feel Good” she sang them all. I was silently hoping she’d sing “Ngyazifela” but she didn’t and though I was a little disappointed, it was only because I love her voice that much. She had the crowd going. Her on stage energy is always on point and her voice, well, she really does have the voice of an angel. Now I must say I neither speak nor understand either Zulu or Xhosa, but I know all the words to Lira’s music.
To say she owned the stage would be an understatement, and when her set was over I wondered to myself if there were other s like me in the audience who wished she could go on just a little longer. I guess it’s no secret then that I am a fan, a huge fan.
After a short interval and the man himself took the stage, Mr John Legend. And boy, oh boy , did the crowd go crazy. Everyone was on their feet and I had a quiet chuckle to myself when the guy sitting next to me said, ‘Oh Well, here comes the guy who is going to claim my lady for the next few hours” With his crystal clear, melodic voice he had the ladies swooning and the guys singing along.
From the first note he sang, you knew you were part of something special. The crowd sang along to every song and when he told little stories in between, like how he named a song after his grandmother, Maxine, you could hear a pin drop. Well, Maxine , in the song is not really his grandmother but rather a ‘girl’ who broke his heart and cheated on him (in the song). I especially loved how he told of his rise to fame…like the fact that he arrived in New York City with a dream…too be a singer but had to settle for being a ‘suit in business’ as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group instead. Until he met the likes of Kanye West and lent his smooth voice to such hits as “All of the Lights” and Jay Z’s “Encore” and of course who can forget “Alicia Keys” “You Don’t Know My Name”. For me I was so excited to have remembered that he played keyboards for “Lauryn Hill’s” “Everything is Everything”, a song that has reached cult status. He has since collaborated or written music for many other artists like, Sergio Medez, The Black Eyed Peas, Janet Jackson and Mary J Blige
But when he settled in to the first chords of “So High”…I had goosebumps because yes, other songs like Ordinary People, Used To Love You and Greenlight are hugely popular and just as good, but this particular song is my personal favourite. And it also reminds me, of our other super talented South African artist, Khaya Mthethwa’s, 2012 Idols audition when he stole all of our hearts and eventually went on to win the season.
In all, this show was beyond outstanding and the encore of “All of Me” was nothing short of spectacular. I had to take a short video of it so you could hear the crowd in the background. Absolutely mindblowing. The cute little touch of Mr Legend taking a selfie with the crowd in the background was not lost on the audience. Sure, he does it at all his shows on this tour, but it kind of showed his appreciation for all of us who came to out to experience his performance.
The walk back to the car was not as painful as the walk to stadium, I must say, as we turned the music on and sang Lira and John Legend songs all the way back. I’m pretty sure people thought we were crazy, but hey, tone deaf and out of key we continued oblivious to the stares and mutterings of “crazy people singing zulu” or “Do they know they can’t sing” LOL.
Thank You to Big Concerts for bringing the All OF Me Tour to Durban….!