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John Legend

John Legend

John Legend
@ Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
11 May 2007

Click an image to enlarge.

The beauty and charm of Pigeon Island during the day, or night, never fails to excite the senses. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side, the Caribbean Sea on the other, delicately lit palm trees gently kissing the sky, combined with the anticipation of a tremendous musical experience is surely enough to warm the coolest hearts.

Mother Nature is constantly reminding us that ‘she is in control’. In 2005, Babyface and attending Pigeon Island patrons were soaked by torrential rain. His gig was eventually cancelled. Thankfully Mother Nature relented in 2006, allowing a smiling Babyface to return to the Pigeon Island stage to finish what he had started.

Tonight’s show was a confirmed sell out at least three days earlier (a rare feat for a weekday performance so I was told). But with Grammy Award winning John Legend headlining, the rush for tickets was no surprise.

The rain came...

The overcast sky, still, ultra humid air was enough evidence of what Mother Nature had in store. The question on most sky gazers lips this evening was, when? How long? And what a shame if! Stagehands and mixing engineers worked frantically to set up for the accomplished Blue Mango who where poised to start this evening’s proceedings. Patrons tentatively filled the neatly organised plastic chairs…
then the rain came.

Our new umbrellas

The once neatly organised plastic chairs were instantly transformed into umbrellas. Caring patrons shared large golfing umbrellas. Patrons without hand held protection huddled into the sound mixing area or stage front protected by the overhanging tarpaulin.

 

 

Singing and dancing in the rain...

All who were left simply danced to the soulful tunes blasting from stage speakers. Thankfully the rain did stop. And fifteen minutes later any newcomers to Pigeon Island would not have even been aware of the downpour. (Such is the power of a hot climate).

John Legend strategically strutted onto stage to rapturous applause and screams from a largely female crowd… or perhaps the men had been forced to the back? His broad smile (or tight tee-shirt and trousers) seemed to cast a spell over the female throng who had surged forward forcing press, photographers and even security teams to one side. Legend bravely flirted and teased with the many female hands that reached up and out to grab as he, and his fans sang “Do U Wanna Ride”! Eventually he sat at the centre stage grand piano, still smiling, playing, and teasing his awe-struck audience into submission.

Legend ‘s acclaimed albums “Get Lifted” and the recently released “Once Again” are filled with soulful, hip-hop, gospel enthused gems, which skilfully pay homage to many soul legends still with us, and those from the past. Tonight, it seemed as though every song was carefully written for every woman at Pigeon Island (single, attached, young and almost young). “Heaven (Only Knows)” “I’ll Take You High” and the Latin enthused “Alright” receiving full vocal attention from all who recognised his songs within the first few words.

Legend continued his stage strut, microphone in hand wooing his audience. Perhaps the earlier rain was literally heaven sent. Perhaps Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom knew the young ladies at stage front would need cooling down. Legend himself had also worked up a sweat, at one point threatening to throw his soaked waistcoat into the crowd. The heat continued to rise as Legend finally held onto a hand reaching up from the throng below. A lucky Nicola Worrell was guided onto the stage hugging, caressing and wining with a now dripping wet John Legend. What more could a young woman ask for… to come all the way from London to share the stage with John Legend in St. Lucia? A smiling Nicola Worrell was eventually led off the stage thanking everyone and everything in sight.

Legend, the showman, had the audience in the palm of his hand from the outset. The stage, and the audience truly belonged to him. Yet, he never took things for granted. He continued to work until the very last note was played (or sung). His audience screamed, begged and cried for more. They were rewarded with “So High”. A fitting finale to an amazing show.

Musicians:
John Legend – vocals / piano

Report by Robin Francis & Carole Clemesha
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.

John Legend & Nicola Worrell

John Legend & Nicola Worrell John Legend & Nicola Worrell

John Legend & Nicola Worrell

John Legend & Nicola Worrell John Legend & Nicola Worrell

Pigon Island patron

Pigon Island patron Pigon Island patron

John Legend

John Legend John Legend

 

 

 

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend

John Legend


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Once Again Get Lifted

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