John Legend celebrated Home on Tour with Ashley + Pandora at The Shrine Expo Hall Friday night, playing a free show to fans who enjoyed tunes from 2020 album Bigger Love to Legend’s 2004 breakthrough debut Get Lifted.
Prior to the 45-minute performance, the pre-party event found guests reveling with drinks in hand while taking selfies at designated floral and home-themed bedroom and living room backdrops. The tone was further set with fans discovering personalized activations for keepsakes such as a DIY succulent bar, an infuser kit for flavored alcohol and a scented oil diffuser for inviting aromas for the home.
As for the music, it was packed with hits and favorites, with John Legend taking the stage silhouetted saying “I want to be the best you ever had”. He kicked off with the song that lyric references “Tonight (Best You Ever Had)” with the perfect falsetto, styling in a crisp pink suit against deep cobalt lighting (with a lively signing interpreter matching his look). The crowd cheered on the final chorus as Legend fluttered the keys and held out a major note at the end, driving fans crazy.
Legend’s recent upbeat tune “Love Me Now” started with the piano maestro hitting the keys with gusto, blending some deep notes with other triumphant ones as he commanded the stage solo for the entire set.
“How’s everybody doing tonight?”, asked Legend. “It’s so good to be playing for you here in Los Angeles. Thank you Ashley and Pandora for bringing me. I’m just here myself so I’m going to need some help tonight. I didn’t bring my band or my backup singers so I’ll need you to be my backup singers”.
Legend asked for a shout from his fans who were with him since the beginning and got the audience joining in on early hit “Used to Love U” with the all the “la la la la la las”. Next up was the powerful ballad “Wild” with massive chords on the song’s bridge and incredible falsetto leadings to cheers from fans. Legend’s timeless material continued with the Jhené Aiko-featured duet “U Move, I Move”, offering a sweet and romantic vibe.
John Legend said “you know this one” before going into classic “Ordinary People”, with deep, beautiful chords. He raised his hand at one point like he was conducting his crowd while everyone sang, “take it slow, oh-oh, this time we’ll take it slow” in unison, offering massive runs and truly milking it with an extended version followed by a huge applause.
“Green Light” was surprisingly danceable given a piano-only version, holding out the big notes on this funky track. “Conversations in the Dark” was yet another timeless new tune, the ballad connecting with fans as glow sticks swayed in the air with Legend singing “movies that we’ve both already seen, I ain’t even looking at the screen, it’s true, I got my eyes on you”.
“I grew up in Springfield, Ohio and my grandfather was a pastor and my grandmother was the church organist”, said Legend. “She passed away at a young age so she didn’t get to see all of this happen but I dedicate this song to her”. He played a heartfelt and powerful cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” while the glow sticks shined throughout The Shrine. The night concluded with John Legend covered in white spotlights for his superstar-making “All Of Me”, leaving the audience to sing an entire section of the chorus like his very own choir.
The multi-platinum artist, who also happens to be the first African-American man to earn an EGOT had a rather busy Oscars week, first playing a medley of hits alongside fellow piano singer Charlie Puth at the iHeart Music Awards before playing a snippet of their new collaboration, “Dope”. He attended the Vanity Fair Oscar Party with his wife Chrissy Teigen last night and this coming weekend, the 12-time Grammy winner is set to receive the first-ever Global Impact Award at the inaugural Black Music Collective event, honoring Legend’s personal and professional accomplishments across music, philanthropy and activism.