John Legend + Laura Izibor @ Birmingham Academy – 14th March 2009

Posted by Bianca on Saturday Mar 14, 2009 Under R&B/Soul

John Legend
I can’t help but wonder what it’s like to go from playing to the Hollywood elite at the Oscars to a bunch of rowdy Brummies at the 02 Academy in Birmingham? My guess is that the latter is more enjoyable. There’s no question that John Legend is a music heavy-weight. He’s a platinum selling artist, weighed down with celebrity friends and a six time Grammy award winner. It’s no wonder the gig was a sell out, he could probably have packed out the NEC, but the choice of venue was a definite bonus for his fans who got to see the soul star in a more intimate location.
Laura Izibor
Legend’s support act Laura Izibor was the sassiest and best support act I have ever seen.
Laura Izibor
I can’t think of the last time I saw a support that even warranted a mention but Laura captivated the crowd within seconds of her appearance with her powerful and absorbing voice. The stunning Irish girl who has previously supported Aretha Franklin and Estelle works with a mix of modern R&B, Jazz and Funk. She is definitely one to watch. Her debut album “Let The Truth Be Told” is to be released sometime next month.
Laura Izibor
I imagined a relatively reserved occasion with Legend centre stage, sat at his grand piano, suited and booted with a single spotlight picking him out. I was completely off the mark!  Sharing the stage with him were three backing singers, a drummer, a guitarist, a saxophonist, a trumpet player, a trombonist and a DJ. Legend came out to massive (and I do mean massive) applause and burst into “Used to Love You” wearing a leather jacket, leather fingerless gloves, shades and black scarf, he had an unsuspected essence of Usher!
John Legend
The words of the song came right back at him from his fans, for the first verse of the song you couldn’t even hear him singing the response was so loud. The sound is my only criticism of the gig, unless you were bang in the middle of the venue the sound was poor. There was a lot of feedback and on some songs the level of the instruments drowned out John’s vocals. Not that it did anything to lower the excitement levels in the room.  The crowd which was made up mostly of men were totally behind every song and loving every minute of the performance.
John Legend
The set was made up of songs from all three of his albums with highlights being ‘Number 1’, the hugely popular  ‘Lets Get Lifted’ the more mellow ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Green Light’ which featured Andre 3000 on the single. One seriously envied girl was pulled from the front row onto the stage at his request; the poor girl looked like a frightened rabbit as John sang to her while playing with her hair.  You could hear sighs of “Lucky B*@%*h” from the girls in the crowd.  Live, John Legend plays to his Pop side more than his Soul side. Although the soul is there in his voice and performance this tour is loud and a lot of fun. Well worth a trip into the cold to see.
John Legend
Set List
Used to love u
Satisfaction
It’s over
Alright
Heaven
Stereo
Let’s get lifted
Where did my baby go?
Good morning
Turn the lights down low
No other love
Slow dance
PDA
Stay with you
Number 1
Save room
I can change
I want you
Everybody knows
This time/ Love you love/ Adore/ So high
Green Light
Ordinary people
If you’re out there
John Legend
Words by Cherry Barrett
Photos by Bianca Barrett

11 Responses to “John Legend + Laura Izibor @ Birmingham Academy – 14th March 2009”

  1. Lee Allen Says:

    These are amazing…best pictures on the site this year! true fact

  2. Lucy Says:

    I agree they look beautiful!!!

  3. michelle stiddard Says:

    Pictures are great.I was at the venue and it was my first concert in a long time but boy was it worth it.John was everything you could hope for,as well as being totally sexy he sounded as good live as he does on cd. Hope he does more concerts in the future,i will definately be there!!!!!!!

  4. Gil Says:

    John won six grammy now.

  5. Gil Says:

    2006(performances+awards broadcasted)Best Male R&B Vocal Performance;Best R&B Album;Best New Artist
    2007(performances broadcasted)Best Male R&B Vocal Performance;Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group
    2009(he’s absent)Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group shared with Al Green

  6. Chris B Says:

    Saw John here at the weekend, definatly enjoyed it. Glad to see his little brother VA playing with him, although he did come across a bit miffed later on when he was backing for John! Big brother’s for you i suppose.
    Pictures here are great. We were on the barrier, right next to him. Glad it was such an intimate gig, much more enjoyable that way.
    Miss Izibor was really good too, enjoyed watching and listening to her, bit jealous she’s sung with the likes of Aretha Franklin and James Brown :( lol, and she’s only 21!

  7. Bianca Says:

    Hey everyone, thanks for dropping by and telling us what you thought of the John Legend gig :)

    Also thanks Gil for the Grammys correction, (you sure do know your stuff!) Thanks.

    Thanks again! Bianca x

  8. nicolala Says:

    i went 2 c john @ apollo manchester on 13th mar 09 he was amazin!!!! i love him, he is so good live and the gig is 1 of the best i’ve been 2, cant wait till he’s back again.

  9. Spreader Says:

    Pictures are splendid! Really captures the spirit of the gig and makes me wish I’d have been there. Wicked!

  10. rinohele Says:

    hm.. amazing :)

  11. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » John Legend at The NIA, Birmingham, UK – 12th October 2014 Says:

    […] a complete turn around from the Birmingham Academy gig we covered in 2009 the ‘All of Me Tour’ is stripped back and unplugged, with more subtle musical backing and stage […]

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