He headed a great live show, though a little full-on visually with constant huge screen in the background giving us a suitably cool take on the man. Sometimes grainy black-and-white footage of JL, giving him an air of history and authority, and sometimes just psychedelic 60s-type revolving graphics, and often beautiful, etheral women. He played through his well-known back-catalogue from his previous two albums (including the best-known ‘Ordinary People’ in the encore) and promoted his third, ‘Evolver’. The musicians and backing singers (including the feisty one with the seemingly sprayed-on trousers) gave great support, helping build up many of his moments-of-life songs to a rousing cresendo.
And I know it’s a sleb cliché but he did speak movingly, towards the end of the gig, about the charity in which he’s involved, helping African villages and, especially the Show Me Campaign.
Interestingly, Legend was a crucial cultural figure for the Obama campaign when he worked on the 'Yes We Can' video which became a huge viral hit on YouTube, and he also played at several Obama campaign stops.
David Sinclair’s TimesOnline review of Legend's gig on 9 March managed to captured the seductiveness of JL and his set, though ends a little unfairly, in my view - you can read it here.
If you’re curious, or just plain sycophantic, you can see some photographs from the gig here. And an interview with the man in the Mail on Sunday by Angus Batey last July 2008 here.
I, for one, enjoyed a now all too rare evening gig sans les enfants - I mean, we were out past midnight forgodsakes! Priorities have changed, an'all that, but it was good to be reminded about the richness of London's cultural offerings, and the great music which we've seen over the years.