When the “Soldier of Love” project was released in 2010, anticipation’s thirst was quenched, for it had been “ten” years since the release of “Lover’s Rock”, by the creative and artistic concept known as, Sade. It’s release spawned another set of songs to add to the soundtrack of my life, and I shared this excitement without restraint to others who have enjoyed the Sade sound as much as I over the years.
Well, the feedback I received about the latest offering from Sade did not match the excitement I had about it’s release. The lackluster comments about the CD not being any good fell on deaf ears to me because the intriguing bite I received years ago still had an everlasting effect on me. Once an artists’ musicality captures my attention, I am a fan for life.
Now, because the CD had dropped I was geared up to purchase a ticket to the concert because, surly, there had to be one to support the release of the CD. Well, there was indeed hype that correlated with the release — television appearances galore but, guess what, no concert was announced. Needless to say, I was disappointed until I heard the announcement that Sade tickets were going on sale.
That’s when I emailed my friend, Kelly, and before I had a chance to ask if she wanted to go; BAM! She sent me a response email stating that we would be attending the show because she had just purchased the tickets. I was floored. But I was even more taken aback when I learned that the show wouldn’t occur until one year later.
Well, Kelly and I have been to Las Vegas and back. We haven even been to Bimbo’s in San Francisco a couple of times to see another of our favorites, Basia, but we wouldn’t be seeing Sade until Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 8:00PM.
Yeah, I know, but good things truly come to those who wait, and wait we did. We kept each other hyped as the months passed, anticipating the moment that we would be taking our seats to witness something rare. You see, a concept like Sade doesn’t follow the predictable and boring guidelines of an industry driven by that mean green — no, there’s is true artistry inspired by the heart.
Now, I have to be honest and tell you that my enthusiasm had wavered a bit because I was over tired from the physical job I have, but there was no way I would even consider not showing up to an event that my friend and I had been waiting for so long to see.
The day of the concert I piddled around my room procrastinating until the last minute, wondering what I was going to wear and if I needed to take a coat, but just like clock work I pulled it together, showered, shaved, got dressed, and sprayed on some “smell-good”. By the time I finished getting myself together I found something that I didn’t know I could find at that moment — my excitement!
Around 6:00PM, my friend showed up looking beautiful as ever, jazzed about the event that we had waited so long to see. On the way to the concert we chatted about the concerts we had seen and in her car’s CD player was our theme for the evening — Sade.
By the time we arrived to the San Jose Arena there was a huge crowd of people standing in line, waiting their turn to get in and that excitement I found earlier increased. The crowd was an assorted array of cultural diversity that warmed my heart. That’s what I love so much about music — it brings people together. For a brief moment in life we can forget all of our worries and stresses. That for me is a priceless experience.
Parking wasn’t too bad, however, the $25 fee to park hit a raw nerve with my friend — and in all honesty, I couldn’t blame her, but we recovered and found a $15 lot a few blocks away. It seemed that everything was working in our favor. We even met a couple celebrating the anniversary of their marriage, and we engaged in a friendly conversation with them, congratulating them on their marital “mainstay”. They had been together for six years.
As we stood at the red light, waiting to cross the street I noticed some people carrying picket signs and wondered who could be picketing a Sade concert. I didn’t have to wonder as I got closer — it was a group of individuals spouting of religious banters from a bullhorn. I was puzzled about their activity because Sade’s music has nothing to do with religion, but I deposited those thoughts in a place far away. I am a spiritual person, but left the collective organization long ago for personal reasons.
But anyway, moving on.
At the door a dapper older gentleman, who looked like the legendary blues man, B. B. King, took our tickets and scanned them. When I told him who I thought he looked like, he said he looked like another performer I didn’t know. I wasn’t familiar with the name, but we all got a chuckle out of it.
Once inside, the entire aura was relaxing and calm. People were purchasing Sade memorabilia, booze & food — you know, activity befitting concert goers. Me? Well, my pockets were a little thin so I had to observe rather than participate. Even though our pockets were tight, we did get a soft drink and a hot dog — hey, we had to eat didn’t we? – LOL
Okay, so, now the most exciting part. Like clock work the lights dimmed at 8:00PM and John Legend took the stage, dressed impeccably well in what looked to be a white, 3-piece, linen suit. I have to be honest, I wasn’t really a follower of his music, however, I can honestly say, the “brotha” is an amazing entertainer. As an opening act, he was one class act. The reaction of the crowd assured me that he is a superstar for a reason.
After John’s electric performance, there was a slight intermission as the stage was reassembled for the main event. Sade. My eyes scanned the crowded arena and when I saw the wave of nationalities assembled, a peace engulfed me and I felt so lucky and blessed to be able to partake in such a wonderful event.
The rearrangement of the stage didn’t take long at all and then without warning, the lights dimmed. It got everyone’s attention and soon the crowd began to chant in unison, calling for the main event by name.
The cries of the crowd were answered immediately with the powerful intro to “Soldier of Love”. In the thralls of the thumping beat she emerged into our line of sight, moving subtly to the rhythms as if she were part of the instrumentation.
A lady knows how to make an entrance.
From that moment on, we were all whisked away into the musical legacy that only comes from true artistry. Song after song, we were pulled deeper into a moment in time that would forever be cemented in time and, you know what, nobody seemed to care.
From “Jezebel”, to “Paradise”, to “Love Is Stronger Than Pride, we were immersed in the music without guilt or shame.
From “The Sweetest Taboo” to “Is it a Crime”, “Your Love Is King” to “Nothing Can Come Between Us”, “By Your Side” to “The Sky & The Moon”, “Pearls” (Yeah, Kelly cried) to “Smooth Operator” — we were all treated to a performance ten years in the making.
She explored every emotion with sincerity and honesty as if the songs were written during them. Then, in perfect alignment, “Love is Found”, entered the consciousness like a bullet. Those of us truly in tune with what was happening were silent and enthralled as we witnessed creativity at it’s finest.
At some point I realized that ending was immanent, but I didn’t want to let go. After experiencing something as wonderful as I had, how could I proceed? Well, now, you know GD is a tad bit dramatic, but that’s how much I loved this concert. Her classy entrance was followed by an even classier departure, as she introduced us to every member of the Sade Concept. If you have witnessed any of her concerts you know that most, if not all, of the names being called out have been there since the beginning — including that fine “brotha” who resembles a young Sidney Poiter.
After the beautiful flowers floated downward to the stage, we chanted for just one more song and after a few moments the band re-emerged for one last song:
“Cherish The Day”
And yes, I will always, cherish the day…
(Love you, Kelly — one of the brightest spirits that has graced my life)
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Author G. D. Grace reserves all rights and reproduction without written permission is not permitted. If found, legal action will be taken against the person(s) or company(s) that have cut or pasted (Plagiarized) any portion of this written document. Author, G. D. Grace; Published © 2011 August