That’s the approximate number of times I’ve seen Sade inconcert.
And I remember each one.
The first instance, I was a concert newbie. It was 1990 something andI was still in high school. I vaguely recall the opening acts (Digable Planetsand, according to my sister who attended with me, Boyz II Men). The main thingI recollect about that show? It was the best concert ever!
Up until that point, I think the only other concert I had attendedwas New Edition (that was 1989 and I only know this because I still have theprogram). Between Sade and New Edition, I don’t know who I loved more.
As a child of the 80s, Sade was one artist on constant play in mycassette player. As I reminisce, I wonder what I knew about love being a crimein the fifth grade, but back then you could catch me belting out Is It A Crime like the boy in my social studies class had mistreated my poor10-year-old heart.
But back to the second time I attended a Sade show. It was Sept.18, 2001 – The Lover’s Rock Tour (at this stage of my life, I kept concert stubs.Maybe I knew one day I would need to refer to it because blogging would be animportant aspect of my life).
Seven days prior, hijackers changed America forever, so the moodwas somber.
India.Arie, who was a relatively newcomer, opened the show. I wasalready in love with her, so to see both women on the same stage had me in heaven.
There was only one problem – I was on the lawn at the ChroniclePavilion. Afterwards, I realized that I will never, EVER again sit on the lawn.Sade looked like an ant and jumbo screens weren’t that effective in translatingwhat was really happening on stage.
You know what I remember most about this show? It was, again, theBEST concert I had ever been to! Sade’s stage presence was mesmerizing; the show justleft you speechless. There isn’t an artist out then (or now) that can put on aconcert like Sade. Absolutely, positively NO ONE!
(Well, maybe Michael Jackson, but I’ll never know because, well, Ididn’t get a chance to see him in action before he, well, you know.)
Ten years later, I still stand by that statement. Sade doesn’tneed back up dancers; she doesn’t have to fly through the air or dance from oneend of the stage to the other in four-inch stilettos.
She is pure entertainment just standing on stage, holding amicrophone and singing from her gut. Sade has a stage presence that simplycaptivates you. Her moves are simple, yet fluid.
But they are enough.
Ten years is a long time for an artist to be away. Would Sadestill have it? Could she still put on a performance that I had previously proclaimedto be the best shows I had ever witnessed?
Aug. 27, 2011 was I received the answer to thosequestions.
As I sit here listening to the playlist I created in iTunes of Sade’s setlist from her Solider ofLove Tour, I feel chills running through my body once again – all these monthslater.
From the first beat of Solider of Love to the encore, Sade kept the crowd mesmerized and on our feet.
The best way to describe her vocals is to say they are pureperfection. She sounds exactly like the CD – and I do mean exactly – only 100times better. The same can be said for the rest of the band. While Sade is thefront woman, the band deserves as much credit as she does for creating suchtimeless music.
Besides the music, what makes this show so incredible are the stage transformations.I can’t even begin to depict what takes place in the background, so I won’teven make an attempt. I will say, Sade becomes one with the stage at a certainpoint and you’re left wondering how it’s even possible.
The setlist (see below) was a great mix from all albums. Lover’s Rock was the only song missingthat I really wanted to hear. She blew the roof off the house with Is It A Crime (which just happens to bemy all-time favorite Sade song. Remember the fifth grade?). When she hit thatlast note – whew is all I can say!
You know a concert is beyond anything you’ve ever experienced whenyou are conversing with a fellow concertgoer and neither one of you can putinto words exactly what you saw, but you know you experienced something that wastruly amazing and will never be forgotten.
So, it’s official. I still have yet to experience anything like aSade concert (and I say this having seen A LOT of artists). She still has itand I just hope it’s not another 10 years before I get to have these warm, glowing feelings again.
One last thing, Sade looked absolutely stunning! At age 52, she blowsa lot of these young girls out the water!
Favoritemoment: Sade’s introductions of the band were cute and very personal.
Concertsetlist: Soldier of Love, Your Love is King, Skin, Kiss of Life, Love IsFound, In Another Time, Smooth Operator, Jezebel, Bring Me Home, Is It a Crime,Love Is Stronger Than Pride, After All This Time, Paradise, Nothing Can ComeBetween Us, Morning Bird, King of Sorrow, Sweetest Taboo, The Moon and the Sky,Pearls, No Ordinary Love, By Your Side, Cherish the Day
Sidenote: While working on this blog, I did a search for some of the lyricsto her songs.
In that search, I came across the words on her own Web site and Ican’t tell you how much I appreciate that! Knowing the “right” words to songsis so important to me, so to have an artist post the words on their officialsite is fabulous!