Show Review

John Legend – Arad Fort

March 11 - 17, 2015
Gulf Weekly John Legend – Arad Fort

The man came with a mission, to spread a little bit of love in a troubled world and, despite facing criticism from the normal Bahrain-bashers around the globe, delivered a sophisticated set to an enthralled capacity Spring of Culture audience.

The Arad Fort is a fabulous venue, acoustically supreme and this artist appeared to revel in the cosiness of the surroundings, which was great for those lucky enough to get hold of a ticket for the show.

Just a few days before he took to the stage, Legend was receiving an Oscar for Selma theme Glory and he was happy to be back in the kingdom doing what he does best.

His last visit involved a trip to the BIC to take part in a celebrity race as part of an Aussie V8 weekend which he performed miserably in because he had only driven automatic cars before and even former Radio Bahrain presenter Krazy Kev managed to beat him by a nose. The drive was actually won by an Olympic Gold British rower who recorded a race victory for the first time ‘facing’ a finishing line … think about it.

The best bits of Legend’s stage show was when he sat at the piano. He promised members of the audience they would enjoy Tonight (Best You Ever Had) and he meant it.

His band was sensational too, boasting a punchy brass section which added to the groove, plus two well-co-ordinated backing singers, although their figure-hugging dresses looked a touch unflattering.

An absolute crowd-pleaser was a soulful cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, dedicated to the singter’s late grandmother who first taught him a US gospel-style of piano-playing and his record label should sincerely think of releasing this version as a single.

But he left the best for last. We all came to hear him perform his All of Me monster hit and he did not disappoint with a powerful rendition of this romantic masterpiece after leaving the stage and coming back for a final number.

He gave all of himself and for that we must be thankful. The man truly is a legend.

– Stan Szecowka

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