Took another drive to Nashville yesterday, this time with Honey to see John Legend at the Ryman. We left around 2:00 so that we could take our time and bum around town a bit before the concert started.
Once arriving in Music City, we went to the Opry Mills mall and checked out the huge indoor fish tank at the Bass Pro Shop. Those guys are smart, because that’s the only way they are probably going to get the two of us in a hunting/fishing store!
After leaving the mall, we decided to head downtown, where my inner “skyscraper fanatic” was promptly revealed. We parked in the lot where the new Signature Tower will be constructed and I was excited to see large billboards advertising the building. It was also interesting to see a new 14 story complex under construction next to the Ryman, where a huge hole had been a little over a year ago.
We arrived at the venue and were soon let inside to take our seats. Although we had a great view of center stage, we were on the extreme right and had a limited view of the band and backdrop. Still, these were good seats and we settled in to wait (with much anticipation) for the arrival of the opening act, Corinne Bailey Rae.
Another artist, Ryan Shaw, appeared on stage around 7:30 to get the crowd going. His voice had exceptional range and he was definitely entertaining. I kept expecting him to relinquish the stage to Rae, but as his set stretched on for 45 minutes, we soon realized that Corinne would not be making an appearance. At that point, I was not only disappointed, but also a little angry. She was touted as the opener when I purchased the tickets, and I don’t think I would have bought them had I known she wouldn’t perform.
John Legend soon took the stage to thunderous applause around 9:00, and performed a two-hour set of very retro-inspired songs including “Save Room”, “She Only Loves In Stereo” and “Heaven”. The very racially-diverse audience was on their feet much of the time, dancing and singing. John even entered the crowd at one point, gyrating on top of the wooden pews as fans cheered him on. One lucky lady was even chosen for a slow dance with Legend on stage.
John ended his concert with “Coming Home”, which he performed with much soul and conviction. It was, by far, my favorite song of the evening. We began to exit the auditorium as he left the stage, but the crowd had clearly not had enough and began screaming and stomping their feet for an encore.
By the time Legend came back out for another two songs, we were standing at the back of the top balcony on the way out. This vantage point actually provided a better view than our seats, because we could see the video backdrop. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time.
All in all, a nice trip and a good concert. I’m still in the dumps about Corinne, but I guess that’s just show business. ;)