If you know me at all, you know that while I appreciate and respect truly innovative and creative and overall GOOD music, my reasons for listening to certain artists can sometimes be quite shallow. As in “OHMYGODHEISSOATTRACTIVEUNFLOOKATHISFACEANDHISHAIRIDONTKNOWWHO
To my credit, bands with attractive members usually do end up being really talented. Unless you’re talking about One Direction- there’s all sorts of catastrophes going on there that I will not even get into right now.
Case in point, going into the Alumni Concert for John Legend, I did not have entirely pure intentions. And can you blame me? Ever since stumbling upon the video for the appropriately titled Estelle song “Let’s Fall In Love”, and hearing his sudden, strident verse smack in the middle of a song about falling in love (clearly it was a sign), it was basically all I could do not to throw my computer out the window and just lay down on the floor, facedown, crying.
I am not even exaggerating this, I literally had it on loop in my iPod for about 68 hours straight. Patheticness Scale- 50/ Magali's Dignity- 0.
But hey, if it leads me to good music, does it reeeeally matter what sign pointed me in the right direction? It’s all about the journey, after all! Isn’t that what Ghandi was always saying?
Or was it Lance Armstrong?
ANYWAY. The point is, being fully aware of every aspect of John Legend save his music (well, not really. I do know “Wake Up Everybody”. I’m not stupid, you know…), I couldn’t wait to see whether I was the only pathetic girl in the audience who scrambled to get a ticket on her hands the minute Temple announced its Alumni Weekend headliner.
I’ll going to go ahead and spoil it for you right now: I wasn’t. Not even close.
After a short opening act by Maryland rapper Dunson, the lights dropped, a spotlight appeared out of nowhere and focused on a lone man wearing all black standing smack in the middle of the audience in the floor seating area.
For a moment it was like everyone was slightly offended that this punk got a spotlight when some of us barely got a pretzel at the concession stand, and then it hit us… the punk was John Legend! In the flesh! In the middle of the audience! At his own concert! He was literally a spectator in his own performance!
I mean can you say #YOLO or…
I think it was right around then that everybody’s dignity decided to take a few hours off and there was enough screaming to put the entire Twiligt fandom to shame. It was fully ridiculous, to the point where my seat neighbors started having what any certified psychiatrist would define as “An Experience”- mainly, clutching at their hair and shouting. It didn’t exactly help that once he finished serenading the audience literally face-to-face, he sauntered over to the stage and began the show with as much ease and confidence as only somebody with 9 Grammy wins under his belt could pull off.
I don’t usually use the word “swagger” unless I’m making fun of my father, but in this case I’ll make an exception. The entire performance just reeked of it. From his backup singers, who conveyed more sass in one synchronized dance move than I will ever have in my entire life, to the seamless transitions from swaying by the mic stand to taking the piano, Legend played it all as smoothly and naturally as if he didn’t have over a thousand people screaming “I LOVE YOU JOHN LEGEND” at regular intervals throughout the stadium. I mean, you’d have though that would have at least broken his concentration a bit. But then again he’s probably used to it.
At a certain point, he even invited a fan on stage to dance with him, and they got so frisky that right about then my seat neighbors and I went from having an Experience to having a full-on meltdown that I can only describe with the help of Golden Girl Blanche Deveraux:
To be honest I’m kinda glad it wasn’t me up there because if it had been I might have done something drastic like stare at him in awe without moving and put him in an awkward situation (like personally sending me to a mental hospital, for example). Thankfully, the girl handled it expertly and simply swayed along like it was no big deal, which to be frank is suspicious, judging from the amount of people having heart attacks simply from watching this. And when he gave her a rose at the end of their dance, everyone was basically gone.
Beyond the adventures of the Sexually Frustrated for John Legend Club, the performances given were pretty amazing. Although the sound quality was poor at times, and the speakers were angled in a way that it was tough to hear certain words, I don’t think anybody had any trouble hearing him when at one point he wailed “I DON’T WANT TO BE ALOOOOOONE TONIIIIIIIGHT”.
Honestly, it’s like he knows.
Sound quality withstanding, highlight songs included “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)”, a rousing performance of “So High” (click the link for a video of the concert!), “Wake Up Everybody”, and a closing rendition of “Green Light” in which Legend fully walked into the audience again, came back on stage, stood on top of his beloved grand piano singing, and thanked everyone for a wonderful night.
This was our only response: