Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
May 23, 2017
We oftentimes take the people we love the most for granted.
This isn’t news, really. We all do it. Friends, family and significant others all fall victim to our obliviousness – and the tables can turn, leaving us feeling unappreciated by those closest to us.
Thankfully, John Legend makes music. And that music, by and large, serves to remind us all to slow-dance every once in a while. Regularly, if we can manage it.
“Sometimes we forget to tell each other how much we love each other,” Legend said on a cool Tuesday evening in The Woodlands. “We forget to savor the moments – to call mom and dad, to call grandma. And we’ve got to do that sometimes, Houston.”
The Ohio native turned Oscar-winning national treasure went on to remind the crowd that most of us will be remembered not for our finances or our accomplishments at work, but for who we loved and how we took the time to do it.
For many of us, there’s no better way to mitigate the stresses of daily life than through live music. And Legend’s performances are known to be especially cathartic – sentimental one moment, sexy the next and altogether celebratory of all things related to the heart.
So Tuesday night seemed as good a time as any to sit back with a loved one and enjoy some quality time together.
Despite a flurry of rain as fans were making their way into the venue, Legend’s performance at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion did not disappoint. The singer-songwriter was his typically charming and talented self on tour in support of his fifth studio album, Darkness and Light.
Following a slight weather delay, Legend emerged with an 11-member band in tow. A brass section, three female vocalists, two drummers, a bassist and a guitarist joined him onstage, where a black piano sat quietly at the center awaiting the star.
Legend began his set with two of the best tracks from his latest album – “I Know Better” and “Penthouse Floor” – before backsliding into the most braggadocious song in his repertoire, “Tonight (Best You Ever Had).” But even when he was boasting, Legend managed to seem coy and genuine.
During “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” a song that addresses the limited amount of time we have with our loved ones, an attendee near the stage proposed to his girlfriend as fans cheered him on. Later in the set, a young woman who was celebrating her two-year anniversary was brought onstage to dance with Legend, and she just about cried tears of joy over the experience.
Before covering Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly,” Legend told the crowd his daughter had been born while the song was playing in the delivery room. He had put it on after being relegated to DJ duty since both his wife’s mother and sister were present, leaving him with little to do.
"Some things should remain mysterious," he said of the experience.
One of the most touching moments of the evening came before Legend performed “Right By You (Luna’s Song),” which he wrote for his infant daughter shortly after her birth. He and his wife aren’t really sure what they’re doing, he said of being a parent, but they’re learning as they go.
If his parenting is half as sweet as his music, Luna’s in good hands.
Personal Bias: I’m getting married in another country in nine days, but I’ll never be too busy for a John Legend concert. At least I hope I won’t be.
Random Notebook Dump: In the wake of the Monday night attack on concertgoers at Manchester Arena, the Pavilion has instituted a new policy regarding handbags. If they are larger than an 8"x11" piece of paper, they aren’t allowed inside the venue. The policy was put into effect immediately, and a number of fans were sent back to their cars to drop off their purses before Tuesday night’s show.
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SHOW ME HOW
I Know Better
Tonight (Best You Ever Had)
Love Me Now
Made to Love
Darkness and Light
What You Do to Me
Used to Love U
Save the Night
Like I’m Gonna Lose You
Superfly (Curtis Mayfield cover)
Wake Up Everybody (Teddy Pendergrass cover)
Right By You (For Luna)
God Only Knows (The Beach Boys cover)
Who Do We Think We Are
You & I (Nobody in the World)
All of Me