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Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre           Tuscaloosa, AL.  May 16, 2017

Under the unfortunately-seasonable warm setting sun, the Tuscaloosa Ampitheatre came alive. This is Grammy award-winner John Legend’s first time to Amphitheater and he did not disappoint. 

 

Opening the night’s performances is Maryland native Gallant. A voice just as smooth and sexy as John Legend himself. Could Legend be grooming Gallant for his own headling tour in the future? Both sensual and soulfull, Gallant paraded around stage singing his heart out despite the 85+ degree temperatures. 

 

As the sun faded and Gallant’s set came to a close, an almost hour long set-change provided ample time to observe the crowd. One thing about John Legend is his incredible age range of fans.It’s usually pretty obvious what generation an artist will bring out but with Legend, there was a mix of both young, old, and every age in between. Even local celebrities such as Deontay Wilder, the reigning WBC heavyweight champion, and University of Alabama head basketball coach Avery Johnson made it out for the night. 

 

Just as the sun had set over the Tuscaloosa horizon, John Legend opened his set atop a floating piano in the middle of the stage surrounded by soft lighting and psychedelic graphics. The piano slowly lowered to the floor while Legend belts “There are kings in my past / Things no one can be proud of / But I stand in the light I've casted / And turn away from any lack of love”  from I Know Better off his 2016 album Darkness and Light. 

 

Who else could cascade playing a piano and singing a love ballad without even flinching? 

Once safely on the floor, John continued his set with a full band of live musicians, three incredible backup singers, and one massive set production. 

 

The night carried on with hits like “Love Me Now”, “Ordinary People” and of course, “All of Me” - Although the Disney nerd in me was a little disappointed not to hear his recent title track off of Beauty and the Beast but the 26 song set ended with “Glory” from the major motion picture Selma. Which is eerily perfect for the small Alabama town of Tuscaloosa. 

Photos by: Ashley Thomas

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