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Review: John Legend at Newcastle City Hall

Rhian Lubin enjoyed seeing John Legend make his fully fledged debut in Newcastle at the City Hall

****
John Legend
John Legend

The balcony shook from the dancing crowd at John Legend’s All of Me world tour at Newcastle City Hall on Tuesday night.

The smooth singer played to a sell out crowd, promising fans: “Tonight’s the night! I’m gonna be the best you ever had.”

And he certainly lived up to his word.

Looking cool in a suave black suit, the singer strutted on stage, grinning at the audience who were already on their feet with excitement.

It was the Grammy Award-winner’s first time in Newcastle and he promised it would not be his last.

Opening with Made to Love, the string quartet and percussion carried Legend’s soothing vocals.

The star didn’t hold back on telling his own story. He talked of when he was discovered by Kanye West, when he sang with Alicia Keys and performed with Usher.

The Ohio-born musician is a talented pianist and made it look effortless as he casually talked about his life while he played.

There was never a silence throughout his performance. Even when Legend was speaking, his voice was melodic and danced over the subtle piano underneath.

He told of his humble childhood in Springfield, Ohio, where he’d learn gospel piano from his grandmother.

For his rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water, dedicated to his late-grandmother, the lights were dimmed and the spotlight was on Legend.

His haunting vocals rang out across the hall, sending sent shivers down the spine.

Crowd-pleasers like Green Light and Ordinary People had the audience dancing along, but the most poignant moment were when Legend was singing solo.

Towards the end the singer quipped: “Love is in the air tonight” and finished with his number one hit All of Me, which was met with a standing ovation.

Legend will simply have to keep his promise and come back soon.

Rhian Lubin

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