Category Archives: Out & About

Radio Music Society at The Howard Theatre

The experience included a classy ambience, a historic venue, friendly people, and brilliantly talented musicians.  This past Saturday was honestly the most enjoyable outing I have had in the three years I have lived in Washington, DC.  So, let’s go on with the story.

Esperanza Spalding, whom I have praised a number of times here and here, is currently on tour for her recent album “Radio Music Society.”  I attended her concert on May 12th at The Howard Theatre and was blown away.

Source: dcist.com

Let’s begin with the venue.  The Howard Theatre re-opened this past April after two years – $29 million – of renovations.  It originally opened in 1910 and was dubbed as the “Theater of the People.”  In its heyday the theatre hosted performances by Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and many others.  The restoration, architecture, and design were created by Martinez + Johnson Architecture and Marshall Moya Design.  In my opinion, they did a magnificent job with the theatre.  They were able to revive its historical value and authentic character with a modern flair of elegance and soul.

Source: architecturenewsplus.com

Before you enter the building, a red carpet and a friendly gentleman wearing a sharp suit is waiting to direct you to the entrance.  The lobby is wall-to-wall marble.  The box office is adorned with two large portraits of Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.  As you continue following the red carpet, a large flat screen shows images of upcoming performances.  The groove of neo-soul and happy chatter gradually becomes louder as you enter the main floor to give your ticket to another gentleman wearing a sharp suit.  You then have the option of turning left into the main room or taking the stairs to the right.  I chose to start at the left.

I honestly felt as if I was stepping into another realm.  Every intricate detail of the space was designed to contribute to the overall experience.  The lighting was dim enough to not need sunglasses but still radiant to prevent accidentally walking into a wall.  The sound system was fabulous and had a great playlist of old and new favorites ranging from jazz to soul to R&B.   Elegant booths line both sides of the ground floor, all of which were taken by the time I got there.  The bar is decorated with marble and two large portraits of James Brown and B.B. King.  The center of the room holds the dance floor, which leads to a stage draped with blue velvet curtains.  I then decided to check upstairs.

The second floor also has an elegant bar with two large portraits of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald.  There are two tiers of booths situated on an incline so that everyone has a clear view of the stage regardless of where they are seated or standing.  I did not eat, but there were some delicious plates walking around, including steak, shrimp cocktail, and salads.  This venue really has everything covered for a full experience.  Everyone who works there are very helpful and personable.  They are also great with compliments.

Now for the performance.  If you are at any event where Esperanza Spalding is set to appear, you are guaranteed a great time.  This was extra special because I was standing right next to the stage for the entire show.  Granted I did not realize I would be standing the whole time, thus I was literally leaning on the stage due to the platform heels I was sporting, but it was completely worth it.  The stage was set with a large facade of a radio that served as the music stand for all the wind instruments.

Esperanza and her band are so talented.  In my opinion, jazz is a genre that emphasizes and personifies the art of music in regards to collective harmonies and individual improvisation while leaving a little room to expand in any direction the artist chooses.  I think one of the reasons why Esperanza has such a large and devoted following is because she takes that room for expansion and raises it to another level that is refreshing and enjoyable.  Her most recent album has more of an upbeat character and a conscious message.  I loved how she transitioned each song as if they were all segments of a main story.  We were even educated on the numbers of people who currently are enslaved and the reality of the Trayvon Martin case.  Seamlessly playing the bass, singing, and conducting the band, Esperanza had each of her band members showcase their solo skills, as if they were sharing their own story through music.  The audience, if you already guessed, enjoyed every moment of it.

 Once the show ended, I went back to the lobby to buy a poster.  A portion of the proceeds of her merchandise go to an organization called Free the Slaves.  While I was in line I overheard many people mentioning that she will be upstairs doing autographs.  I went upstairs to find a pretty full line.  After a little wait, Esperanza came out, sat down at a little table with a tea-cup, and started signing autographs.  When it was my turn she exclaimed, “Oh my. I love your hair.”  She then touched my hair, after asking of course.  I now know that my hair will definitely grow as long and beautiful as hers.  She was so nice and down-to-earth.  I of course praised her show and music while she was signing my poster.  She said “thank you” and blew me kiss.  This marks the first time I meet one of my inspirations and get an autograph.  It was wonderful.

If you are into good music and/or classy venues, I highly recommend you check out The Howard Theatre in Washington, DC and see Esperanza Spalding in your area.  If you are lucky to experience both at the same time, you are in for a very special treat.

Below are some photographs I took at the event.

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DCFW: Eco Fashion Kick Off Event

 As a fellow fashionista, my inspiration bug knows when its time to welcome a new collection of style.  February was filled with fashion showcases across the globe.  Washington, DC hosted DC Fashion Week from February 20th to 25th at various locations in the city.  I had the pleasure of attending the Eco-Fashion Kick Off Event on February 20th at Woolly Mammoth Theater.

In my opinion, this theater was a very good choice.  As you enter the theater, the lobby has a very high ceiling with large windows.  A number of vendors are set up with 5-hour-energy drinks, jewelry, and accessories.  Once you walk further into the theater, a stair case leads to the main attraction – the runway.  Aligned with two rows of chairs on either side, the white runway is the center focus of the room.  Up on the lobby level is a balcony on either side of the runway.  I took my spot up on the balcony and got a pretty good view of the show.  The DJ was spinning some smooth and funky adaptations to popular tunes and traditional runway music.

With about 30 minutes to spare before the show, I had the opportunity to spy a number of fashion statements.  For women, heels similar to Lady Gaga seem to be the trend.  For men, skinny jeans with Vans or Loafers are the trend.  For both genders, retro with a modern twist is still in fashion.  I really loved the diversity in the room.  One could tell there were real fashionista present because the majority of the patrons did not look like mannequins but designers of their own wardrobe.

The show began with a presentation on the use of blue wrap from hospitals.  We then saw two designers adaptation of fashion using blue wrap as the foundation material for their outfits.  Some of these outfits were pretty creative.

The two designers that stood out to me were Estella Couture and Elizabeth St John.  Estella Couture had a unique take on Eco-Fashion, incorporating geometric shapes, sparkles, and afro-centric patterns.  I liked how her outfits had a futuristic feel to them.  Elizabeth St John, whom I interviewed here, definitely stole the show.  She had the largest and most diverse collection, including three adorable girls among her models.  The colors and texture of her dresses showcased the polished version of eco fashion.

Along with the designers and models, many photographers, bloggers, and fashion enthusiasts attended this event.  I was spotted by a number of photographers and bloggers.  You can check out the article here and the pictures here.

Overall, I’m glad I was able to attend this event.  I had fun.  Next on my list is New York Fashion Week…than Paris Fashion Week.  I will keep you posted on my progress.

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A New Chapter for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently introduced a new director to the company.  After 21 years, Judith Jamison has stepped down and Robert Battle has taken her place as artistic director. I was excited and intrigued to see how Battle will influence the company.  It was difficult for me to for see how anyone but Jamison could maintain AAADT’s legacy.  I attended their performance at the Kennedy Center on February 11th and I am happy to say I was not disappointed.

The first routine was “Arden Court.”  Choreographed by Paul Taylor in 1981, this piece had a classic ballet feel.  Dancing solely to string instruments, the technique and formations were very fluid and romantic.  It also had a very happy demeanor.

The second routine was “Home.”  Choreographed by Renee Harris in 2011, this piece was inspired by stories of people living with or affected by HIV.  Dancing to gospel house music, this routine definitely had the theater jamming.  Fusing hip-hop with jazz and lyrical dance, the attitude and soul was really contagious.

The third piece was “Takademe.”  Choreographed by Robert Battle in 1999, this was a one-man show.  The dancer is dressed in red pants standing alone on stage.  His movements were so fast and mechanical yet still fluid and full of character.  The routine was influenced by Indian Kathak dance rhythms.  I loved how they fused modern dance with comedy.

The final piece was of course “Revelations.” Choreographed by Alvin Ailey in 1960, no AAADT performance is complete without this number.   As usual, it took us to church and uplifted our souls.  Regardless of how many times I have seen this routine, it always does something to me.

This would be my third AADT performance.  Each of them have been a different experience, but this particular concert really showcased their diversity.  Each act was completely different and impeccably executed.  I must admit I was beaming with pride the whole time.  I think this new chapter for AAADT is a guaranteed success with more great work to come.

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Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil and Michael Jackson…a perfect combination…for the most part.  Two brilliant entities that have always taken entertainment and humanitarianism to an out-of-this-world level have decided to collaborate and create Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.

Being a fan of both of them, I followed the developments of this project very closely.  Believe it or not I auditioned to be a dancer for this show.  It took a lot of time and effort to create the application DVD with performance footage and introductions.  Obviously, I did not get in, but it was a fulfilling and learning experience.  Initially, my plan was to see the show at its Las Vegas premiere in the summer of 2012, however that was postponed till 2013 because they are planning to build a theater for the show…which takes a little more time.  So I decided to catch the tour in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay.  I don’t want to give away all the surprises, so I will describe a few aspects of the performance and later give my critique of the entire production.

The events center at Mandalay Bay has cramped seating.  The stage has an extended piece that leads to a circular stage in the middle of the arena.  As we waited for show time, a medley of Michael Jackson songs filled the arena with a large curtain depicting a tree and MJ initials.  Fog was continuously sprayed to maintain the magical atmosphere.  Finally, the lights dimmed and the audience applauded.

 The show begins with an extended version of “Working Day and Night.”  Four men, dressed as Michael Jackson fans, appear within the audience and walk on stage.  They proceed to paint a wall, which is actually a large screen, while the music is playing.  They do a few acrobatics on the screen and dance routines on stage.  At the end of the song, a painting of one of Michael’s signature poses is on the screen.  The four guys leave the stage as another character appears on the extended side of the stage.  Dressed in a sparkling silver jump suit, a silver cap, and white face paint, he starts robotically dancing.  He moves toward the painting while it starts to dissolve.  The music changes with the sound of a clock.  Then the rest of the stage lights up and multiple screens depict a kaleidoscope of Michael’s music videos and performances.  This of course ends with a flash and a bang.

 The silver character returns to the stage as the gates to Neverland Ranch are positioned.  Statues of children come to life as Michael sings “Childhood.”  The dance routine brings the statues and the silver character to the extended part of the stage as a large hot-air balloon floats towards them.  A large window with a puppet like depiction of a 9 year-old Michael is on the main part of the stage watching the hot-air balloon.  The silver character takes the heart that is attached to the hot air balloon while the statues return to the gate.  The silver character makes his way to the main stage and disappears into the floor.  The Neverland gates move and close on each other to create a tree trunk.

 The lights change color and we awaken by the energy of “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.”  Their version has more of a jungle feel, not only with the music, but the dancers and acrobats were dressed as miniature trees….or something of that nature.  A drummer appears on the extended stage and plays an array of bongo drums that are attached to his shoulders.  While he is jamming, the miniature trees are running around, balancing on the tree trunk, and dancing.  With more lights on stage, the audience finally gets to see the rest of the band, who are elevated at the back of the stage.  At the end, the drummer disappears and the lights dim again.

 Fast forward to “They Don’t Care About Us,” a futuristic army of soldiers march with the same footage from the This Is It Tour.  Descending towards the front of the stage a question mark glows on each soldiers chest.  As the song progresses, footage of the prison version music video is depicted on the large screens.  The back up singers walk towards the extended stage as the soldiers glow a peace sign.  The singers chant “they don’t care about us” and try to get the audience to sing and clap along.  The music continues and the soldiers continue with a really cool routine combining the original choreography with an added twist.  At the end, the soldiers glow a heart.

 The last song I am going to mention is the Immortal Mega Mix, which includes “Can You Feel It,” “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.” “Billie Jean,” and “Black or White.”  Dancing on top of a fixture of lights is Bubbles the Chimp, while acrobats swing left to right underneath him.  Then a group of dancers with glowing jump suits make their way to the extended stage and start dancing.  Then more people run through the audience with flags to end with “Black or White.”  This routine really showed how much fun the band was having, as if they were having their own party.

In terms of production, there are two aspects – music direction and creative direction.  In regards to the music, which was directed by Greg Phillinganes and designed by Kevin Antunes, it was beyond remarkable.  Every song felt like a new and exclusive experience.  Michael’s voice conducted the entire show, without any distortions or edits.  The music adaptations fitted perfectly without overshadowing or clashing with his voice.  It truly was the best tribute I have ever heard to Michael’s legacy as a vocalist and composer.  I was happy to learn that Phillinganes was the same keyboardist who started working with Michael during the “Bad Tour.”  Counting down to the Tour premiere in October, Phillinganes posted videos to introduce the band members and the music designer and had everyone explain their connection to Michael and why they are on the tour.  Antunes had access to the master tracks of Michael’s entire catalogue and was able to manipulate the composition while staying true to the original.  I congratulate both of them for a job well done.

On the other hand, the creative direction is still in need of some work.  Jamie King was the writer and director and Chantal Tremblay was the director of creation.  I could see where they were trying to weave a story into the soundtrack.  A large giving tree, which didn’t fully appear in the show I saw, is supposed to go through multiple transformations determined by Michael’s mood in the song: from youth, to destruction, to rebirth.  Fragments of Michael’s signature choreography was featured, but it did not seem enough.  The main character, in the silver costume, tried to dance like Michael and conduct the other characters, but he did not seem to have enough energy, nor could move as well as Michael.  Surprisingly, I found Thriller a disappointment.  Throughout the show there were too many empty spaces and disjointed routines.  The costumes were lovely, but what they were doing in the costumes was not up to par.  Basically, the absence of Michael’s presence, energy, and showmanship was strikingly present.

 Overall, Cirque du Soleil put together a nice tribute to Michael, but there is room for a lot more.  Compared to clips of their Beatles and Elvis tributes, I’m not sure what caused the Michael Jackson show to be less than those productions.  I’m definitely planning to see the permanent production in 2013, which according to Cirque du Soleil, will be a completely different performance compared to the tour.  Hopefully they can fill in some of the holes by that time.

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Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle Expo

Source: dc50tv.com

I am now proud to announce that I have finally attended a Fashion Expo.

Thanks to a heads-up from one of my fellow fashionistas, I went (and had a pretty good time) to the DC50 Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle Expo at the Washington DC Convention Center on September 10th.  Special guests included Nigel Barker and Korto Momolu as the hosts, Jaslene Gonzalez as one of the models, and DJ Neekola providing the fashion ambiance through music.

There were several vendors present, ranging from hair salons, jewelry, vintage clothing, and model agencies.  Everything was being sold at a discount price.  I was primarily drawn to the vintage booths.  I snagged a blue and white plaid bow tie, vintage big yellow earrings, and a white – poetic – top.   I will have to do a lookbook shoot with these pieces soon.

Several designers were showcased on the runway.  The two I loved were Tsyndyma and Korto Momolu. (sorry for the blurry photos)

TSYNDYMA

Korto Momolu

Korto Momolu

 There were also a few celebrities I got to take pictures with.

Paul Wharton is fashion, modeling, and lifestyle expert and is featured in multiple television and magazine fashion pieces.  He was very personable and funny.  It was almost like everyone who approached him was an old friend he was glad to see.  At the expo he hosted a “Runway Walk Off” where volunteers could compete on the runway.  Guess who won?  Me!  There were about 20 contestants and the audience voted for me.  It was pretty fun.  I won two free workshops with the Great Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce and a surprise gift card (which I have yet to receive).

Source: dc50tv.com

Nigel Barker is an English author, spokesperson, filmmaker, and fashion photographer.  I must admit that I did not know who he was before I attended the event, I just really liked how he looked in his suit and his accent.  Of course, I later learned about his part on American’s Next Top Model and the documentaries he has produced.  He too was very personable during the two seconds it took to take our photo.  He said, “I love your hair.”  I said, “Thank you,” (in mind – excuse me while I mop myself back together).  I am now an official fan.  At the expo he was one of the hosts, which he has done every year for this particular expo in DC.  He is a natural on stage.

 In regards to the organization of the event, there is room for some improvement.  Even though the majority of the vendors were offering discounts, only a few were within a price range that seemed reasonable…in my opinion.  If the discount price is $130, I’m scared to imagine what the original price must be.  I don’t believe being fashionable entails being broke.  Secondly, the scheduling of the fashion shows and speakers were a little too dispersed.  Once you have walked by all the vendors, we ended up wandering around until the next showcase.  Along those lines, there were no chairs.  I understand that mingling and viewing the merchandise was encouraged, but standing the entire time can get pretty tiring.  There were also some segments that could have been omitted or better prepared.  For example, there was a segment that chose random people as worst dressed by a stylist who would give recommendations.  If the stylist had a wardrobe to provide the volunteers so that the audience could benefit from viewing the transformation, then it might have been worth it.  However, the stylist only had one sweater and a belt.  Her suggestions were not very helpful either.

 I enjoyed the experience.  It was nice to observe the different fashion statements and showcases.  My next step is to try to attend an event similar to this in a bigger fashion spot, such as New York City.   I will keep you posted as that plan progresses.

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Green: the Original Vogue. Welcome to Eco Couture.

Source: Elizabeth St John

Washington, DC designer Elizabeth St John follows the philosophy of eco couture.  I caught up with her at her most recent showcase for the Art Soiree/Nuit De La Mode event at the Hillwood Estates.   With a background in environmental studies and a childhood surrounded by fashion and construction, Elizabeth St John designs bridal and evening wear and is President of the Universal Strategic Services Foundation.  She graciously accepted to do an interview with me and discussed her design philosophy, the fashion industry, and her charity work.

Fashion is generally seen as something celebrities waste money on and tween girls waste time on.  A lesser form of art that leads to anorexia, drugs, and self-image issues.  Although this is the underbelly of the fashion industry, its impact on society is undeniable.  There is a deeper layer to this impact that not many are knowledgeable about.  Eco couture.  A design philosophy that supports environmentalism and sustainable responsibility, eco fashion has been nourishing our planet way before the current green trend.

“I like the challenge of greening a business,” said Elizabeth St John.  Defining her collection as “Refined. Glamorous. Green,” she tries to dispel the negative connotation of green collections.  To those who think eco fashion is just a fad, Elizabeth St John considers them to be misinformed with a limited vision of green collections as recycling old pieces to new pieces.  “Couture is French for hand dressmaking,” says Elizabeth St John, “there is nothing more green than doing things by hand.”  She explains that eco fashion is based on the roots of apparel production and moving forward due to its environmental impact.

Source: Elizabeth St John

Referring to her design process, Elizabeth St John considers herself unorthodox.  She sources her material first, such as finding a piece of silk she really likes.  Then she develops a design around that piece of material.  “I actually don’t sketch,” she said, “so I do it kind of in reverse.”

To enhance her background and interest in the environment, Elizabeth St John and a few of her colleagues founded the Universal Strategic Services Foundation in Washington, DC to establish green projects for business in third world countries.  “I used to work for conservation organizations in the Amazon for inventory on plants and animals,” she said, “and I started to miss direct hands on work with countries over seas and other subjects that are important.”

The foundation is currently developing two initiatives.  First, bringing solar energy to very remote parts of the world, such as villages in West Africa, which allows them to run schools, internet, and refrigeration for medicine.  Second, establishing a vocational school for women in Afghanistan “to provide life skills they won’t have other wise to support their families,” said Elizabeth St John.  They are partnering with some government organizations so that these women will be hired to guarantee employment.

Source: Elizabeth St John

Returning to the fashion initiative in the United States, Elizabeth St John remarks that the current economic situation has moved a large part of the industry’s apparel production abroad, primarily to Asia.  As of recently, a lot of those companies are slowly moving back to the US due to the “problems with production quality and shipping” from Asia.  “I think going forward,” said Elizabeth St John, “you will see more ‘Made in the USA’ labels.”

Elizabeth St John is a fan of the Louis XVI of France era, “the skill involved in making those pieces is just spectacular.”  She also likes “the clean and feminine lines of the late 1950s and early 1960s.  The tailoring is timeless.”

Looking forward, Elizabeth St John is very excited about her upcoming evening collection.  “I get to be more creative and ratchet up the sexy factor,” she said.  The collection is due to premiere October 31st.

To view her collections and learn more about her work, visit www.elizabethstjohn.com

Source: Elizabeth St John

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Sade World Tour 2011

Sade World Tour 2011 started its US portion in June of 2011.  With special guest John Legend and fantastic stage effects, all critiques have given a phenomenal rating.  I attended the concert in Houston, Texas at Toyota Center on the 23rd of July.

My sister & I waiting for Sade

Waiting outside for the doors to open, I was able to indulge in a short period of people-watching.  Some of the fashion statements were not easy.  Since we were in Texas and outside at 6:30pm, it was very warm and still sunny.  Some guests had to arrive with a chauffeur to help them out of their vehicles.  Two ladies stepped out of one car with bold blue, platform heel, booties with 70s frills reaching the floor.  They wore leather skirts to match and I think their hair was a unique shade of orange.  Another couple wore matching shades of light blue, her blue and grey dress and his pin stripe suit.  They were cute.  Compared to other major cities, such as Atlanta, GA or New York City, the styles were not very impressive, but they did try. 

Once we got in, everyone headed straight to the concession stand for a drink due to how hot it was outside.  I got water…of course.  Next stop was the merchandise table.  I was glad to see a large assortment of t-shirts, posters, and key chains.  However, none of the stuff had Sade and John Legend together.  There were only two t-shirts with John Legend and about ten shirts with different shots of Sade.  Each t-shirt had a list of the tour cities on the back.  There were two posters of Sade and one name tag chain.  I bought a t-shirt and a program, a great addition to my concert memorabilia collection.  I then bought a Papa John’s cheese pizza.

We found our seats and settled down.  My pizza was delicious, not sure if it was the pizza or my hunger.  The music playing while we waited ranged from The Brother’s Johnson to Notorious B.I.G.  The crowd belonged to a slightly older demographic – I think my sister and I were the youngest ones there.  It was also very diverse.  I think every ethnicity was represented, with mixed couples included.

As the lights in the arena dimmed and a slight hush went over the audience, the stage lit up and the band began to play.  Walking to the front of the stage wearing a white suit and  a charming grin was John Legend.  With a grand piano to his left and three back up singers swaying to his right, he began singing “Rolling in the Deep” – made famous by Adele.  For the next hour, John Legend had the audience rocking to “Let’s Get Lifted,” “Green Light,” and his other popular hits.  We sang along with every song and harmonized quite well in “Ordinary People.”  He flawlessly played the piano and reached every note vocally.  There were three men sitting behind us that I would vote as the loudest singers…they knew every John Legend song.

An intermission of about 30 minutes occurred while the crew dismantled John Legend’s stage set and installed Sade’s stage set.  There was some impressive equipment being rolled on the stage and each member of the crew seemed to work with such precision.  During the intermission, the majority of the audience decided to purchase some more snacks and/or merchandise.

Then it was time for Sade.  The stage production was phenomenal.  Their entrance was to the tune of “Soldier of Love,” where they rose from the ground as if a storm of flames brought them there.  The entire back wall of the stage was a huge screen, which showed footage from the music video and other clips made for the show.  The acoustics were perfect and the group did not miss a note.  For the next two and a half hours, the ultimate collection of Sade records were showcased in a wonderful blend of talent, special effects, and friendship.

Sade’s voice is timeless with its unique sound and pitch.  Each song she performed resonates with so much emotion that each lyric sounded brand new.  She also dances so gracefully.  There was no heavy panting or choreography, but it went so smoothly with the music.  The band is awesome.  I liked how each member had the opportunity to showcase their talent and personality within each song.  You could also tell that they were all having a good time.  My top favorite is the saxophone player – who also plays the guitar.  He just looks so cool and really knows how to make that saxophone sing, which is one of my favorite instruments to listen to.  When they performed “Jezebel,” the back screen depicted a larger-than-life video of Stuart Matthewman playing along with the real Stuart on stage.  His solo always gives me chills…the good kind.

I thoroughly enjoyed this show.  One thing I thought would happen was a collaboration or duet with Sade and John Legend, but it turned out to be two shows in one.  The audience seemed to be more of a Sade audience then a John Legend audience because the arena was not packed during John Legend’s segment.  The main difference I saw between the two is the connection between the band and the vocalist.  In John Legend’s case, he is an exceptional musician and singer, but his band and backup singers do not convey the same vibe.  It seems they are just performing for the show and then will go their separate ways afterwards.  Thus, John Legend’s segment did not come across as the complete package, but he was still great.  On the other hand, Sade was more of a group production, where everyone was showcased individually and collectively.  This was reinforced when they performed “All About Our Love,” where clips of the group ranging from the 80s to now showed them performing and hanging out together.

It truly is amazing how long this group has remained together.  Sade is an English R&B band that formed in 1983.  It is named after their British-Nigerian lead vocalist, Sade Adu.  The idea for the band began in 1982, when members of a Latin Soul band called Pride – Sade Adu, Stuart Matthewman, and Paul Denman – along with Paul Anthony Cook formed a break-away group and started writing their own material.   Their debut album, Diamond Life, with the single “Your Love is King” was released in 1984 in the United Kingdom and peaked at #2 on the UK Charts.  That same year, their first US single was “Hang On To Your Love.”  Now with six studio albums, four compilation albums, and six world tours, Sade is definitely a victorious soldier of love.

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