Music matters

No need for oysters before this show: Sade and John Legend bring the love to Toyota Center

No need for oysters before this show: Sade and John Legend bring the love to Toyota Center

Looking for a can't miss love cocktail for the weekend? 

Take one part Sade and add just a smidgen of John Legend. Shake it up on Saturday night downtown at the Toyota Center and let the sparks fly where they may.

Back in May I predicted in the summer concert preview that the Sade/John Legend swoon-fest that is about to descend on Houston would be the can't-miss live music performance of the season. Some thought I had I had finally huffed too many Sharpie fumes.

 Few other concerts on the summer calendar, however, have a one-two punch built to perfectly draw a multi-generational, multi-cultural crowd.

 With Britney Spears, Rihanna, Motley Crue and a slew of other hot shot pop stars and classic rock legends playing in the area this summer, how dare I dub this night of "smooth jazz"oldies (a radio term for which I have yet to find a plausible definition) and soulful piano refrains the best? Even CultureMap Editor-in-Chief Clifford Pugh gave me the e-mail equivalent of a raised eyebrow.

(Which was funny, because he's witnessed me say — and write — far more ridiculous declarations than this one over the years.)

Nearly three months later and I am standing by my statement.

True, many of these other shows had a lot of flash, glitz and pretty people posing as the cooed catchy choruses that we all like to sing-along with. Few other concerts on the calendar, however, have a one-two punch built to perfectly draw a multi-generational, multi-cultural crowd. Some ticket holders will be more excited about Grammy-winning, ivory-tickling, velvet-croon of opener John Legend than they will be for the 27 years of  "quiet storm" — that's another term that I have trouble putting my ears around —hits by headliner Sade.

But the one thing that none of those other shows have is the pitch-perfect delivery, exotic beauty and ageless sexiness that has defined Sade's multi-Grammy, multi-platinum career.

Sade is to beauty what Chuck Norris is to toughness or that Dos Equis pitchman The Most Interesting Man in the World is to being... well, interesting.

In that vein, I even thought up a couple of bon mots to describe Sade's sensuality.

- Sade doesn't step up to a microphone to sing. The microphone eagerly sacrifices itself to her.

- When Sade walks across a concert stage, the boards under her feet mute her graceful steps in gratitude.

- Though Sade has sold millions of albums and enjoyed many successful singles like "Smooth Operator" and "The Sweetest Taboo," over the years, she has never enjoyed a chart-topping single. I guess there had to be something that stopped her from ascending to the heavens as a perfect angel.

You can see where I'm going with this.

But don't take my word for it. Go. Arrive early. Enjoy the show. And afterward I ask you acknowledge that this is not only one of the most surprising concerts of the year, but one of the most memorable.

Sade with special guest John Legend, Saturday 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Center

Tickets: $49.50-$149.50
News_John Legend
John Legend Photo courtesy of John Legend