Oh. My. God, Houston. I am soooo embarrassed. Multi-Grammy, and now Oscar award winner John Legend came to the Rodeo to sing to us Friday night, and all 69,500 of us were completely underdressed.
I was wearing jeans. You were wearing jeans. I even saw several of you in some sort of flannel checkered ensemble and don’t tell me it was because you were steer wrestling earlier because unless the word steer is the new euphemism for funnel cake, all of you would be lying.
Yet there was John Legend, crooning the night away, never breaking a sweat in his crisp, blue/grey suit, black tie and dress shoes so shiny they blinded us whenever that spotlight hit them. He was so beautiful, and we looked like something the bull had just dragged in.
When he walked onto that rodeo center stage, owning it within seconds, did he once mention how we hadn’t even bothered to sweep up our dirt floor after letting all the sheep run loose? No, he did not because he is a gentleman. He just took one breath and dived into making sweet, sweet vocal love with “Made to Love.”
John Legend was so beautiful, and we looked like something the bull had just dragged in.
The Legend origin tale tells us that it was poet J. Ivy who first decided John Roger Stephens should take the last name Legend because his voice and songs were so much like those old school, legendary performers, and that’s what he brought to NRG Stadium Friday night, a caressing touch of old school class, style and perhaps even a bit of magic.
Wasn't it magic when late into the performance Legend broke into “So High,” the lights dimmed and soft spotlights swirled on that dirt floor, and it seemed just for a moment he had transported us across time and space to the most elegant of dance halls.
Like those classic performers he took us on a ride through the highs and lows of love and life from “Let’s Get Lifted” and “So High” to “Hard Times” and “Ordinary People.” Present and past even merged with his cover of Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You” that gave us memories of young Michael while being all Legend.
Still, I think he liked us. Don’t you think he liked us? He kept saying how happy he was to spend the evening here, and he called Houston a beautiful city. Then there were the times he asked us to sing along, even letting us take over during “All of Me” as he looked out at us with adoring eyes. When ended with his Oscar winning “Glory” and talked of Selma, I think there were tears in all our eyes.
OK, I know his first love is that gorgeous piano he couldn’t keep his hands off of for more than one song, probably followed closely by his wife Chrissy Teigen, but I’m pretty sure he liked us too. He’ll be back. I know it.
Just next time, Houston, let's text each other what we’re wearing before we go. It’s black tie and gowns only for our man John Legend.
John Legend's Rodeo Set List:
Made to Love
Let’s Get Lifted
Used to Love You
Save the Night
Rock with You
All of Me