Fall swept the chillier weather into Louisville early last week but on Friday night Sade and John Legend put the heat on at the YUM! Center, starting the weekend off right.
John Legend took center stage first in a bright white suit, running through an impressive live performance of his catalog with such hits as “Ordinary People” and “Used to Love U”. The YUM! Center was almost half full by this point but was starting to rock along with Legend and his band as they jammed, setting the stage perfectly for the main event that followed.
The anticipation was building the whole night and you could sense the crowd getting restless as final preparations were being made on stage. Sade made a dramatic entrance from beneath the stage, stepping up through a bright spotlight and easing into her hit from last year "Soldier of Love".
Her production team used the large screen behind the stage to project images, videos and silhouettes, increasing the dramatic effect of the song. This was a technique they used effectively throughout the show, making use of big screens on either side of the stage and of a sheer curtain that would be lowered off and on throughout the show.
As far as the music itself, Sade and her talented band did not disappoint. She had the crowd up and dancing throughout, willing people to their feet with “Smooth Operator”, “Paradise” and “No Ordinary Love”.
Sade, at 52, is still a strikingly beautiful woman with a talent and nuance that many of today’s stars would be lucky to possess. As she went through a number of costume changes, she seemed to glow brighter with each transformation. From the all black, tight fitting uniform she started with to the pant suit with white shirt that she wore to serenade the crowd, sitting on the front of the stage singing “Jezebel”.
Another change produced a wondrous, barefoot woman in a full length, form fitting white dress performing “The Sweetest Taboo” and finally onto the finale standing at the top of an elevated column in a stunning red dress singing her encore song “Cherish the Day”.
The night was definitely one to warm your soul and get your blood pumping; both John Legend and Sade, and their respective bands, were up to the task of entertaining a lively crowd and did not disappoint their many fans.
*Photos by Ross Lister
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