EVENT REVIEW: John Legend And Tamar Braxton Rocks This Years iTunes Festival
Last Saturday TSG were invited down to the iTunes Festival to watch the incomparable John Legend and singer turned reality star turned singer Tamar Braxton. With a surname more synonymous with R and B than the slow grind itself, Ms Braxton already has a little. Her journey to her recent iTunes number one single “Love and War” has been documented on the hit shows the Braxton Family Values and Tamar and Vince. Clearly her reality grind hasn't done anything to hurt her musical standing (her album debuted at number two in the billboard charts) or growing posse of Tamartians who could be found front row- despite no official release in the UK. To fans of the show much of the material performed was familiar.
From the fun filled “Hot Sugar” to the Lady Gaga co-signed “Love and War”. Tamar definitely served up an entertaining show with full on routines and backing dancers but clearly struggled through a damaged vocal cord. Whilst her family legacy shone through in her lower register as usual the highs sounded a little strained- something I’m sure the vocal force was well aware of. Despite this it seemed as though she pleased her Tamartians and could have nabbed herself a few new fans!
The main draw of the night was crooner John Legend. Bouncing on the stage in leather jacket and all black, the newly married star looked 10 years younger in the flesh. He opened the set with new banger “Made To Love”. It was at this point I looked over to my friend in awe of the sound coming out of this mans mouth. He delivered the most perfect vocals I have heard face to face- ever. I had originally thought he would fall victim to the age old singers problem that is fatigue but to my surprise he continued this stellar showing throughout the night. He is a beast! However, the vocal probably was the highlight of the evening- something the general public didn't seem to appreciate too much.
Gradually throughout the night people filtered out the doors noticeably bored by the lack of hits presented. For a hardcore fan I’m sure the intimate nature of the gig would have been perfect, but for those of us who don't obsess over his material there was a lack of traction in the set. Highlights definitely included strong opener “Made to Love” and some of the tracks off of the new album that contain heavier Kanye-esque production and on the total opposite scale I loved when he stripped everything back to just voice and piano. During the stripped back set he made the ultimate mistake of the night- he played his biggest hit “Ordinary People” 6 songs before the end! After the crowd swayed and filmed the moment on their phones many of them left leaving John to play the remainder of the set to a half filled venue.
Overall I just think he needs a few more big hits under his belt to be able to carry a full on show, especially for a crowd full of non-fans. However, I have to stress again how amazing his vocals were. A MTV unplugged from this man would be epic!