Sade' Live Greensboro Coliseum>>>
I was about to give up on her/them when last year (2010) the buzz began about a concert tour. At first I thought that it was pure conjecture but the rumors were too numerous. And then it happened; euphoria, eureka, and not Aretha Franklin
but another Sade'
hit blazed the airways in 2010
. A Soldier of Love
was released as part of their brand new and much anticipated sixth studio album, with a follow-up album this year entitled The Ultimate Collection
. The rumors had now been confirmed that one of the greatest unsung-hero bands of our generation was to embark on another world tour. I was so excited that I had forgotten how long it had been since I last saw Sade'
live in the early 1990's
in Charlotte, NC
. I then became very concerned that perhaps their long state of dormancy had gotten the best of them like some of the older acts from the 1960's
whose voices are not nearly as strong as they used to be - can I get a witness? I was even more concerned after their live performance on the Today Show
earlier this year (2011) proved to be far less immaculate as before; and Helen/Sade's
voice was week and un-discernable. Yikes I thought; how could this happen to my all-time favorite female vocalist? I actually felt pity for them and soon became dissuaded at the notion of seeing them live again. As the saying goes, "Out of sight, out of mind."
I missed their performance in Charlotte, NC
, this past July
, and really did not think about it as much as I anticipated. I guess deep down inside I was still upset at the sudden disappearance of my favorite vocal artist coupled with their poor performance on the Today Show
earlier this year - 2011
Some things, however, are just meant to be, and when that is the case, hell or high water cannot stop your destiny! As faith would have it, I was listening to the radio when they announced that Sade' would play the Greensboro, NC, Coliseum on Saturday September 10, 2011. Well, well, well I thought; this is my sign to get to that show and see what you missed in Charlotte. After purchasing my ticket online the thought came to me to share my experience with the readers of Trend Magazine Online™ and since she was my favorite singer I was well equipped to impart to you my reasons for loving her/their music.
<<<Sade' Live Greensboro Coliseum
I arrived at the Greensboro Coliseum
just after 9 PM
. I was pushed for time because I had a late QCT Charlotte Daily City Tour
that ended just before 7 PM
. I quickly switch from my touring clothing into my concert clothing in the parking lot. Why is it that you end up parking next to the only family leaving the place just when you are getting dressed? I was inside the coliseum by 9:30 PM
which means that I missed the opening act - John Legend
. I was quite surprised when Tom Joyner
actually had the audacity to question why Mr. Legend
was opening under Sade'
. Even John
thought that the question was highly inappropriate and did the right thing by setting Tom
straight as to the gravity of and history of her and her band's legacy. It just shows how much he (Tom) doesn't know about good music.
My adventure started off with a plus as my nose-bleed seats - Due to budget constraints - were upgraded to lower level seats at the ticket office. I guess they recognized me? - Not really! I must have been living right? It had been over two decades since I attended a concert in this arena. I think I went to see Atlantic Star
back in the day. I was told by the usher that Sade'
was expected to join the stage at about 9:45 PM
and perform for two straight hours. Wow! How is that possible? She also told me to listen for Bob Marley's
classic "Three Little Bird's" a.k.a. "Don't Worry about a Thing, Cause Every Little Thing Gonna be All Right,"
to cue her entrance. Well it was 9:45 PM
and sure as shoot the cue/song was played and shortly thereafter The Lady Shard
ascended from underneath the stage as a phoenix rising from the ashes/abyss to re-claim her throne as my all-time favorite female vocalist. To my surprise, she opened with her latest hit, "Soldier of Love,"
from the album of the same name. This song hits home with me and makes me want to suit up again and jump out of a perfectly good aircraft while in flight - not! The video is the bomb and shows a more commanding side of the 5'7"
divorced natural diva. It was way cool when she saluted each side of the audience towards the end of the song. She wore a skin-tight sexy black outfit to open their show. It was very moving to hear her apologize for being away so long and that sealed the deal for me as I was back on their bandwagon - get it, huh?
Sade' Live Greensboro Coliseum>>>
After that they broke into Your Love is King
, from their first album Diamond Life
(1984). She was in great physical shape for a women in her early fifties and displayed her trademark sultry and sexy moves that leave much to the imagination of many salivating men, including myself. It was indeed a pleasure to hear that her voice had been returned to its previous state of strong and distinctive smoothness which earned her trademark status as a genuine diva. In other words, she sounded just like the record - just like the late Luther Vandross
(May he R.I.P.). The band was back to its usual form of musical perfection as well. I am a former first trumpeter, French horn, and baritone player, so I am not blowing smoke up your wazoo! They are really that good! So good that this brotha in the audience could not contain himself any longer and yelled out "we love you Sade'!"
I cannot player hate because I did the same thing when I first saw her live - and I was there with a date.
The next treat was Kiss of Life
from their Stronger Than Pride
album in 1988
. This song was accompanied by a larger-than-life size video at the back of the stage. The stage was also transformed right before our eyes as a huge curtain was lowered from above which also featured video footage to add to the audience's delight. It was like watching a movie/video live! The stage then recessed after the first set and the band broke into Smooth Operator
, her signature hit from Diamond Life
(1984). I was a bit disappointed in the band initially on this one because the first sax solo by Matthewman
was a bit off kilter and breaking up/too choppy. The guitar solo, by Denman
, however, was on point as well as the second sax solo by Matthewman
. I now figured out how she was going to perform for two hours straight as I saw her rushed down the steps and behind the stage towards the end of the song before for a wardrobe change. She emerged a short time later wearing a black and white pant/coat outfit that I have seen in one of her videos. The band was dressed quite smartly as well wearing black and white old-timey gangsta garbs.
<<<Sade' Live Greensboro Coliseum
I was quite impressed at the demographic make-up of the audience as it consisted of Black and white, and the younger as well as the more mature crowds. Next up was Jezebel
taken from their Promise Album
. This time Matthewman
was on point from the start with his alluring sax solo. I loved the way they isolated and projected each musician on the larger-than-life screen behind the stage --especially the upright bass - while The Lady Shard
crooned while seated on the front of the stage. This song invoked intermittent screams from the audience as she and Matthewman
collaborated so effortlessly as they serenated us all. Their performance was greatly enhanced by the lowering of a full white linen see-through curtain which I had seen before during her concert in the early 1990's
. They followed that slow jam with another one "Is it a Crime
" from the same Promise Album
(1985). For this hit the stage transformed again by the lowering of red-draped curtains on each side accompanied by a mist of smoke emanating from the back of the stage. For a fleeting moment I forgot that I was watching Sade'
live and thought to myself-- Is it a crime that she is so sexy? Back to the matter at hand, the sax, piano, and guitar solos by Matthewman
, and company (Respectively) were as Sharon Osborne
would say "Spot on;"
even the women in the audience found themselves standing and waving their arms while these titans of entertainment entertained. In fact, most of the audience was on their feet at the end of this powerhouse performance.
Then came one of my favorite Sade'
tunes; Stronger Than Pride
, from the same named album in 1988
. This is when it dawned on me that The Lady Shard
- Who likes to perform barefoot - was indeed back as she mesmerized the crowd with her uniquely sultry and smooth vocals with equally smooth and tempting moves. Unlike some younger performing artist of today, she does not have to vigorously gyrate and concoct wardrobe malfunctions to get attention; which simply means that she will be popular and a hit well into her twilight years. Listen and learn young buckettes! This song was accompanied by a video diary of her life with the band played out on the larger-than-life video screen at the back of the stage. It was about this time in the show when I began to plot my way into a better spot to get a better camera shot. I was told earlier by my usher that I could not move over to the section to my right to get a shot of the big screen which displayed a large clear image of Sade'
and her band. I waited for the right moment to make my move which was during the song from their Stronger Than Pride
album in 1988
. This song had everyone on their feet especially when they heard that bass guitar rip - Bu ba de Bon be - played by Denman
. On this hit she does a cute dance step with her background singers. I sometimes pretend that I am one of them. Anyhow, this was my prime opportunity to weasel my way closer to the big screen for a closer and clearer picture of Sade'
. This time I found a much nicer usher who permitted me to get into the right spot for my digital pics. I snapped away until she (The usher) told me that it was time to leave as other meaner ushers were watching.
I left the coliseum with thirty minutes performance time to go in order to beat the traffic but not after accomplishing my mission both on a personal and professional level. It was indeed a pleasure to share this experience with you in hopes that it with brighten your day especially if you missed Sade' Live 2011
. One can only hope and pray that they will not disappear again leaving someone else to write and perform a tune entitled "Whatever happened to Sade?"