Tuesday, September 6, 2011



I was a little disappointed that I didn't get a chance to catch one of the three L.A. Sade shows at the Staples Center but luckily a friend managed to get tickets (through Groupon) for the August 31st show at the Honda Center in Anaheim. It was over an hour away (with plenty of hellish traffic) from where I live but this concert was well worth the trip.

It's been ten years since Sade last toured and judging from the wildly, enthusiastic reaction from the audience that evening, the band was most certainly missed.

The stage floor opened up with a bright white light bursting through and Sade Adu emerged from it, looking incredible wearing a skintight black catsuit. The band kicked off the show with the title track off their latest album, "Soldier of Love". After the song, Ms Adu thanked the audience, seeming surprisingly shy, then announced that this evening's show was being recorded.

Sade continued on with my personal favorite, "Your Love Is King (Remastered Version)" and then proceeded to cover many of their classic songs from throughout their long career. They were no surprise covers or any obscure songs from their back-catalog performed as the band knew exactly what everyone had come to hear.

They were many magical moments throughout the show but the highlight had to be the performance of "Is It A Crime (Remastered Version)? " as the other members of the band, Paul Denman on bass, Andrew Hale on keyboards and Stuart Matthewman on the sax, were each given a spotlight to really show off their stuff on this song.

Sade's stage show was much like a stadium rock concert that featured an amazing combination of lights, shadows,and fog, as well as the obligatory projected images on large video screens but they also placed them on a full-length sheer scrim that covered the entire set for a very striking, dramatic effect,  All of this was certainly quite dazzling to see but Sade seems to be a band more comfortable in the "less is more" camp as all of the grand production was more of a distraction to their intimate, slow-groove sounds but the group definitely was able to adjust to performing on a much larger scale.

Best known as a r&b balladeer, John Legend opened the concert and while I can't say I'm a huge fan but he did put on a good show with his hit song, "Green Light" getting the audience dancing in the aisles.

Despite the unnecessary excess, Sade put on quite a memorable and entertaining show and in fact, it is certainly one of the best concerts I have seen in a long time, perhaps ever.

To give you an idea of the concert, here is the music video for Sade's latest single, "Love Is Found" which just happens to be a performance from the tour:


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