Monday, September 3, 2007

Bumberblog 2007: Stone-cold Legend

Lorelei back with you and, after waiting for a few journalists to log off from the free wi-fi in the Press Room, I’m live once again. Joss Stone and John Legend are clearly Seattle faves – the mainstage was packed to the rafters, and not just on the shady side of the stadium. Monday afternoon is mellower than on other days: folks stayed quietly seated on the floor until a mere five minutes before showtime. Then, of course, it was pandemonium as usual.

Joss Stone’s choreographed back-up singers and crew were color-coordinated in vibrant reds; the singer followed suit in jeans, a red tank and double-breasted skin-tight black vest. Her purple- and blue-streaked dark hair were also nods to her new punkier image, while her bare feet and the purple scarf tied to her mic were throwbacks to her earthier, hippy-like start in the soul scene.

She pulled out all of the stops, playing a broad sample of her albums, noticeably heavy on her latest (Introducing Joss Stone). It was a solid, tight set, including "Baby Baby Baby," "You Had Me," "Bruised But Not Broken," and "Girl They Won't Believe It." Her “final” song, “Tell Me ‘Bout It,” gave a nice spotlight to her band’s musicians and back-up singers. She returned for an encore of "Right to Be Wrong," throwing purple roses out to her audience and throwing in a bit of “No Woman, No Cry.”

There was no rest for the crowd that stayed for John Legend: we pushed closer to the stage, hoping, as it got hotter, to catch a little of the warm water splattering from the hoses. (Personally, I was hoping not to get hit in the head by a giant inflatable ball. No such luck.) Legend came to the stage dressed in white pants and a gray short-sleeved button-down shirt, which was quickly drenched. He seemed delighted and a little surprised to see the huge afternoon crowd as he encouraged Seattle several times to make some noise. Oh, we did.

The water cannons were cruelly absent during Legend’s set, which included hits like "Heaven," "Ordinary People," "Stereo" and "Lifted." He called up a young woman to the stage to rub up against ... er, I mean dance with him on "Slow Dance," and he confused a lot of teenagers when he wove one of his tunes into the Beatles’ “I Want You.” Inevitably, and much to the delight of the audience, Legend removed his shirt before beginning "We Just Don't Care," otherwise known as "The PDA song." Sorry, boys: he had a white tank underneath, which he left on. Sigh.

Must dash - want to try to catch Steve Earle's mini-performance. I'll be back one last time with a wrap-up of Labor Day's B'shootage. TTFN.

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