JOHN LEGEND // THE SSE HYDRO, GLASGOW
JOHN LEGEND BRINGS HIS "DARKNESS AND LIGHT" TOUR TO GLASGOW
Taking to the massive SSE Hydro stage armed with an acoustic guitar and his backing band, tonight's opener Jack Savoretti encapsulates the audience from the very beginning. His husky, soulful voice fills the room brilliantly, and the way the audience react gives you the impression that he may well be headlining venues this size himself in the not too distant future. Highlight of the set comes in the form of "Home" from his 2015 release "Written In Scars", with the audience getting fully involved with a beautiful singalong. As openers go, it doesn't get much better than this man.
Opening the set with "I Know Better" from the "Darkness and Light" album, which this tour draws it's name from, John Legend appears through an oval shaped gap left in the massive LCD screens which take over the stage. Immediately the whole audience are hit with probably the most amazing voice on the music scene these days, with the strength of his vocals resounding around the arena. Strutting around the stage like he owns it, and let's be honest, judging by the screams tonight...he does, he bursts into "Love Me Now" to keep things flowing.
Along with his amazing voice, one thing Mr Legend also has is incredible stage presence and wit. Informing the crowd that he is well aware the majority of them are on 'date night', he advises them that he's trying to "sex you up, so don't f**k it up!"
Highlight of the night, for crowd member Gillian in particular, is when she is pulled onstage for a dance with the man himself. The glee in her eyes oozes and you can tell this has made her year, and will be a difficult moment to top.
On with the rest of the show and we're treated to a cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly", with John telling us the reason this is in the set is because when his daughter was born, this song was playing on his playlist at that exact time. Adding a nice personal touch, the onstage screens show pictures of his home life with his wife and new child.
One of the highlights of the night is Top 10 hit "Ordinary People", with an extended vocal solo at the end to once again show off his amazing talent. "Green Light" sees John mount his piano for a mass singalong, and the main set is then rounded off with the wonderful "So High".
With the crowd not leaving anytime soon, John reappears for an emotional rendition of "All Of Me" and finishes the night off with "Glory", written for the film "Selma" which deals with the Martin Luther King Jr led march for voting rights between Selma and Montgomery. This is accompanied by old video clips of the Black Lives Matter movement, demonstrating how John relates to his cultures history.
One thing which is apparent over the whole evening, is the sheer vocal strength and talent of this man. Regardless of your musical taste in general, if you get a chance to go and see him on this tour...take it!
JOHN LEGEND'S TOUR CONTINUES
SEPTEMBER 9 - METRO RADIO ARENA- NEWCASTLE, UK
SEPTEMBER 10 - MOTORPOINT ARENA - NOTTINGHAM, UK
SEPTEMBER 12 - O2 ARENA - LONDON, UK
SEPTEMBER 15 - FIRST DIRECT ARENA - LEEDS, UK
SEPTEMBER 16 - MANCHESTER ARENA - MANCHESTER, UK
SEPTEMBER 17 - ECHO ARENA - LIVERPOOL, UK
SEPTEMBER 19 - MOTORPOINT ARENA - CARDIFF, UK
SEPTEMBER 20 - BARCLAYCARD ARENA - BIRMINGHAM, UK
PHOTOS BY: STUART WESTWOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
REVIEW BY: PAUL STORR