John Legend and Tamar Braxton Do The Damn Thing at the Beacon Theater

  • John Legend and Tamar Braxton In Concert – New York, NY

    NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 28: Tamar Braxton performs in concert at Beacon Theatre on October 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

  • John Legend and Tamar Braxton In Concert – New York, NY

    NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 28: Tamar Braxton performs in concert at Beacon Theatre on October 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

  • John Legend and Tamar Braxton In Concert – New York, NY

    NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 28: Tamar Braxton performs in concert at Beacon Theatre on October 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

  • John Legend and Tamar Braxton In Concert – New York, NY

    NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 28: Tamar Braxton performs in concert at Beacon Theatre on October 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

  • John Legend and Tamar Braxton In Concert – New York, NY

    NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 28: John Legend performs in concert at Beacon Theatre on October 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

  • John Legend and Tamar Braxton In Concert – New York, NY

    NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 28: John Legend performs in concert at Beacon Theatre on October 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

  • John Legend and Tamar Braxton In Concert – New York, NY

    NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 28: John Legend performs in concert at Beacon Theatre on October 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

  • John Legend and Tamar Braxton In Concert – New York, NY

    NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 28: John Legend performs in concert at Beacon Theatre on October 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

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.

Speaking of time of your life, John Legend seems to be having one of those very moments – and it’s a great look on him. I knew from that concert in 2005 that John was gifted, talented and bound to go very far in the industry, but as I watched him make his way onto the stage and work the crowd into a feel-good groove I kept having the same thought: When did John Legend go and get sexy on us? I mean, it was a definite—and welcomed!—departure from the John Legend I saw back in 2005 at the Garden.

This John started off at the piano but by his third song was up and at the mic, softly gyrating his hips and imploring us to get up out of our seats and join him in the good time he was hellbent on having. John shined bright on Monday, but he allowed others to shine as well, namely recording artist Natalie Imani, who provided heavenly backup vocals along with another phenomenal singer with equal parts stage presence, poise and prettiness, Ashley Rodriguez. Rising star Stacy Barthe also glowed as she joined John onstage for a rendition of Anita Baker’s “Angel.”

As Legend belted out his classics “Ordinary People,” “Let’s Get Lifted,” “So High” and “Green Light,” it felt like a celebration of life, love and music in full swing. The sleek stage design and mood-enhancing visuals displayed on a backdrop that encompassed the breadth and width of the entire stage elevated the “John Legend Experience” by degrees that matter. John quickly and seemingly effortlessly bolstered himself into that pocket of performance where the grown and sexy reign, conjuring up images of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and even Bruce Springsteen as he performed a rendition of “Dancing in the Dark.” But John Legend is his own man, a musical genius who is comfortable in his own skin, and has found lasting love in the form of Chrissy Teigen. And most importantly, as witnessed by his closing songs of the night, “All of Me” and “Who Do We Think We Are,” he seems to be having the time of his life.

[Photo Credits: Getty Images]