Words by Manila Concert Scene
Photos by Kris Rocha
Simplicity, they say, is the ultimate form of sophistication. And this, ladies and gentlemen, rang true during John Legend’s sold out show. Devoid of dancers, fireworks, confetti and other theatrics, the singer/songwriter kept things intimate – and this intimacy brought about potency. His songs were in their best form when stripped from glossy stage production. Just a nod to honest and wonderful song-writing.
Going for a stripped back set-up, John Legend’s voice and showmanship were held front and center. Together with a string quartet, plus 2 guitarists and a percussionist, the man intricately weaved in and out of his discography with such grace. But despite this laid back vibe, Legend made sure there were no silences, playing soft piano interludes as he quipped jokes and warmly shared stories, from one song to the next.
And then, there were the songs.
Choosing a hodgepodge of pieces ranging from tracks off his debut album such as the soaring “Used to Love U” to the sleek “PDA” and “Tonight”, the Ohio native kept it on point. A few surprises were presented with a suave cover of “Rock With You” and a poignant take on “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Of course, what would a John Legend show be without him sampling his biggest hits like “Ordinary People” and “Save Room” – given the unplugged treatment, the songs sounded fresh as ever. And ultimately, the man ended his show with the monster ballad, “All of Me”. With the Araneta crowd as his back-up singers, everybody went into the chorus in a beautiful unison. Legendary.
Truly, Mister Legend, all of us love all of you.
An Evening With JOHN LEGEND The All Of Me Tour 2014 Live in Manila is presented by BoardWorks Media & Wilbros Live.