Review: John Legend @ Palais Theatre Melbourne

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John Legend @ Palais Theatre, Melbourne on April 26, 2011. By Jordana Borensztajn.

When John Legend opened his show with a soulful and stripped-back Adele cover, it was obvious he would put on one hell of a performance.

The nine-time Grammy Award winner oozed flavour and expression into "Rolling in the Deep," revealing a far more vulnerable and exposed side to the track than we normally see when the UK songbird performs it.

Donning a black suit and tie with a thin white singlet and dark grey sneakers, John Legend was poised, calm and confident as he began his 1.5 hour journey with his Melbourne fans.

Boasting expert rhythm, unbelievable sex appeal and unparalleled groove and style, it was blatantly obvious why Legend tickets sold out almost as soon as they went on sale.

While Melbourne crowds traditionally have a reputation for getting carried away when international artists perform, the participation roused by Legend was unbelievably impressive, and almost effortless.

A few smooth words and some simple hand moves ensured the majority of the crowd was dancing and singing through most of his show.

Plenty of artists these days invest big bucks into enormous stage productions, oversized stage props, blinding light shows and over-the-top choreography -- but not Legend.

The only thing he wanted fans to focus on – and the only thing worth focusing on – is his music and everything it embodies.

Legend promoted themes of love through his gig, proving that romance is far from dead. He told fans they needed to stop every so often for a ‘slow-dance’and even invited a very enthusiastic fan on stage, treating her to a dance and gifting her with a single red rose.

Legend lovers went wild for "Used To Love U," "Green Light," "This Time," "Everybody Knows" and "Stay With You” and well as one of his final songs of the night, “Ordinary People.”

In a music world that’s dominated by mass marketing and over-production, artists like John Legend help balance out the spectrum.

Seeing him live isn’t only a reminder of why music holds such power, but it’s a reminder of why life is so much richer when it’s filled with the rhythm, soul and funk of R&B.

Smooth Legend, very smooth.

Photo: Getty/ Getty Images Entertainment/ Mark Metcalfe

Artists: John Legend

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