John Legend in Perth

– by Reece Hauxby

John Legend, Tuesday 16 December,  Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre

Supported by: Dami Im

He came onto the stage to thunderous applause with overwhelming presence; he brought class in a black tailored suit. He introduced himself, as if he needed to, and sat down at his piano to guide the crowd through a journey of his greatest and most passionate hits. His singing was perfectly balanced with the wonderful backing performers; humbly sharing the spotlight with a string quartet, drums, guitar and bass. In-between tracks he connected to fans with tales from his life; a touching dedication to his late grandma who fostered his love for music, to riffing quips of when he worked as a business manager. Only John Legend could make Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations sound so sexy.

John Legend is the welterweight of R+B, in the league of classic names like Barry Manilow or Michael Bublé. He is a big name, his songs always on the airwaves, and if you’re into R+B and soul you would be all-to familiar with his work. He can draw a big crowd who adore him, and rightly so. Live he provides a personal experience and the theatre provided the perfect vehicle for this aspect of his craft.  He is welterweight in the sense that he provides the right combination of confidence and power but injected with a level of graciousness and intimacy that would feel insincere playing to a stadium of a hundred thousand screaming fanatics.

John Legend certainly delivered. It was an experience that changed not only the way I listen to his music, but how I view him as an artist and person, despite the shine from his watch blinding me during most of ‘Green Light’.

For a very touching finish, congratulations to the lucky woman who was proposed to at the end of ‘All of Me’. You don’t see that happening at a Rammstein concert.

Photo Credit: John Legend Facebook

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