Friday, April 4, 2008

Getting Lifted with John Legend and Co.

photos by Chris Polk

A long line formed outside of the Vic Theatre last night huddled against the sudden cold, clustering around the guest list and showing their Sidekicks for VIP access. The one-night concert—featuring Colbie Caillat, Cat Power, and John Legend—was in celebration of the GRAMMY’s 50th Anniversary, kicking off the GRAMMY Concert Tour which will hit up New York, Miami, Dallas, and Los Angeles later this month. The theatre was aglow in pink and white lights as people milled about in the VIP section (with barmaid service, seating and Sidekicks in display cases) or pushed up front to get a good view of the night’s performers.

The night started very quickly, with little fanfare, as Colbie Caillat took the stage. Sweet and with a slightly embarrassed “gee-golly” smile on her face, Caillat went through many of the can’t-help-but-sing-along poppy hits from her debut Coco. The crowd swayed along with Caillat as she sang her newest single “Realize,” “Tied Down,” and her debut single “Bubbly.” Caillat also wins for having quite possibly the cutest band in history.

Cat Power was up next, repeating “Chicago, Chicago” to herself as she paced across the stage. Her gravelly voice and tiny frame confused those unfamiliar with her (“Whoa,” a guy next to me exclaimed. “Her voice is deeper than mine.”) After her band settled behind their instruments, Cat Power launched into a set made surreal by her onstage antics: staggering back and forth, her arms akimbo and mouth twisted in equal parts pain and derangement. She continued her “Chicago, Chicago” refrain in between songs from her second cover album, Jukebox (“New York, New York” and “Rambling (Wo)man” stood out) before making out with the microphone (no, seriously) after her last song.

When John Legend’s crew rolled out his shiny, black grand piano during the last intermission of the night, it was clear most people were there for the final act. A cheer rose from the audience that hadn’t been heard during Colbie Caillat’s serene set and Cat Power’s Frankensteinian performance. Legend burst onto stage with enough energy and sex appeal to send every woman (and a few men, I’m sure) swooning. The five-time GRAMMY winner and his electric band and back up singers delivered songs from his sophomore album Once Again (“Save Room,” “Slow Dance”) and debut Get Lifted (“Used To Love You,” “Ordinary People”) that left fans wanting more even as the concert was scheduled to end. Legend obliged, singing a new song called “Good Morning” to a captivated audience.

Now if you excuse me, I have to write a Missed Connection. I mean, the way John looked at me during “Slow Dance”? There’s obviously something there. Hot model girlfriend be damned. --Anthonia Akitunde



Kimberly said...

Anthonia, there was nothing missed in that connection. I could see it all the way from the balcony. He looooves you.

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