John Legend Shares The Love At iTunes Festival
REVIEW: Vocal performance wows those at the Roundhouse in Camden...
Nine-time Grammy Award winnerJohn Legend rolled onto the stage at theiTunes Festival 2013 on Saturday (September 28) to perform a set heavily featuring tracks from his new studio album Love in the Future.
Opening with Made To Love, the second single from the album and the title of his upcoming US tour, the hugely accomplished singer/songwriter won the crowd over with his new material, mixed with a selection of his best-loved hits.
Feeling: From the moment he appeared on stage, Legend performed song after song back-to-back, racing through the start of set with barely so much as a breather. Eventually the pace settled and the crowd were treated with moments of sheer brilliance as John sat at a grand piano and belted out soulful tunes, which sounded absolutely phenomenal.
The Look: Dressed cool and casual in a black leather jacket, jeans, hi-tops and a tee, John looked smooth and very at home on the stage. The set was bare with a very simple lighting backdrop displaying spots and stripes. It’s true John is all about the music, but visually there wasn’t much to get excited about.
Tunes: Playing the large majority of the tracks from his new album, including Open Your Eyes, Save The Night, Tomorrow, Asylum, The Beginning and more, we were particularly taken with new song Dreams. The packed crowd showed their appreciation for Legend’s repertoire, but were particularly excited to hear classics Number One, Save Room and his debut single Used To Love U, which sent the masses into a head-bopping frenzy.
The crowd roared as soon as he played the first bars of Ordinary People, which launched an audience sign-along, and John jumped into the audience and had everyone waving their hands in the air. Lingering over the end of the song he finally seemed to take a breath and enjoy the moment.
After a feet-stamping demand, John returned to the stage for an encore to perform All Of Me - which he candidly revealed he sang at his wedding to model Chrissy Teigen just a couple of weeks prior. He said: “I feel the love in the air tonight”, and thanked the audience for coming before reminding the crowd to pick up his new album on iTunes – of course.
Banter: Legend hardly indulged in any chit chat at the start of the set and at times it meant the show lacked that sense of intimacy. But towards the end, the band left the stage and John said to the crowd: “We’re just going to hang out me and you for a few minutes, is that alright?” The crowd cheered and the Roundhouse instantly electrified as John made brief reference to a couple of the impressive celebs he’s worked, including Joe Jonas and Will.i.Am, while he played piano and sung. It was our highlight of the night.
Celeb Spots: None that we saw but this was a show to be at purely for the music.
Sweat Factor: Hardly. Legend’s signature style had the crowd toe-tapping and swaying.
Summary: A vocally exceptional performance from a supremely talented musician, but we’d hope there’ll be more to feast the eyes on for his US tour.
By Leigh Gower @mtvuknews
Pictures: © iTunes Festival 2013