I’m flashing back to the year 2005 and the celebration of one of my thirty-something birthdays with my twin sister. We were in Madison Square Garden for an Alicia Keys concert, and that evening’s opening act was John Legend. We’d become familiar with his music by way of his Get Lifted album, and it was a treat to start off the evening with this gifted and talented artist at the piano, just at the inception of his promising career. Well, I’m here to tell you that with the release of his latest album Love in the Future and its tour, John Legend has not only arrived, but he’s giving us all the reasons to pray to the music gods that he stays around for a long, long time.
John Legend was pure magic on Monday night at the Beacon Theater, but before I go any further with my John Legend worship, I have to address the fire starter of the night, Tamar Braxton. Tamar looked smoking hot in her black and bejeweled leg-baring ensemble, and she set the tone for her set by commanding the stage flanked with two agile and animated male backup dancers and banging out “She Did That” off her chart-topping album Love and War, which she immediately followed with one of this summer’s finer jams, “The One.”
Before the show started, I spotted the man who helps Tamar create her music magic, her husband Vince, standing directly across from me behind the sound booth and I smiled at this display of a couple loving hard and working hard, together. Tamar worked the crowd just as much with her wig-tossing, neck-rolling, hip-popping choreography as her over-the-top, in-your-face, keeping-it-real commentary like, “I’m one selfish heffer and if you love me give me all of you. If I can’t have all of you, I don’t want none of you, because I ain’t got time for that!” Tamar’s performances of “Stay and Fight,” “White Candle,” “Where It Hurts,” and the Tamartian national anthem “Love and War” did not disappoint, but her shining moment of the night came with her performance of “Hot Sugar” – with this song Tamar Braxton turned it up, took it there, and told us all that she’s got her very own shine and she’s having the time of her life basking in it.