Sunday, November 05, 2006

Live Notes: John Legend (w/ Robin Thicke & Consequence)

You know I really like Robin Thicke. I saved the New York Times article from the time that he (then recording as just Thicke) and Justin Timberlake were both releasing their first albums. The article focused on the return of blue-eyed soul and I privately rooted for him. While Justin had multi-platinum success with Justified, Thicke never cracked the Billboard 100 though he made some ripples on the Heatseekers charts.

Fast forward a couple of years, add his first name, a hook up with Star Trak, and a more stylish wardrobe and haircut, and you have Robin Thicke in his current incarnation. Of course I got a snippet of the new album and was rocking "Got 2 Be Down" featuring Faith Evans till my hall got sick of it. Which is why I decided to see if he was performing any time soon. Lo and behold a date with John Legend. I like John Legend. I'll pay 25 beans for that show.

Funny though that Boston public transit system. Red line down? Shuttle bus? Uhhhhhhhh.

So since Boston wants to be all timely with it's shows, I actually missed a chunk of his set. And I missed Consequence who must have got on even before the advertised showtime. But as a walked in I was treated to that awesome falsetto. And he is quite the showman. I'd like to see him in a more intimate club setting with people who are crazy for the music. He did rock it last night with the short time I did see him.

So next up was Mr. Legend. The last time I saw him live he was still John Stephens and I had only gone to that show because he did a decent Stevie cover at an open mic and his was one of the names I remembered. Wow from little underground hole to Best New Artist Grammy and multiplatinum sales. I don't know why I feel a kinship with Legend. Well actually I do. Both black. Both attended Ivy institutions, though he graduated. And for some reason I can tell he loves the old school, but actually does throw on some Dipset sometime, and I kinda feel the same way.

Anyway, he came in and funked up the place for his first two songs. From that point on he never lost his energy. By the end of the night the dude looked like he visibly lost weight. He did a pretty good representation of what pleases the people, an underrated task even though he only has two albums of material. The second one almost doesn't count cause it just came out two weeks ago so the populace wasn't as familiar. But he did such a great job of seamlessly weaving in and out of the new songs that you wanted to go buy the new joint right then and there.

He says he got the name Legend because his contemporaries said his voice sounded like something from the old school. I really cannot deny this. Something in that voice is warm. There's a subtle warble that brings soul to every note. I wonder if it is smoke tinged. It sounds aged though so I totally understand the Legendary connection. And from the way he rocked out and had church and moved hearts, it would be a shame if people weren't be likened to him in 20 years.

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