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The Best and Worst of John Legend at Count Basie Theatre

I was fortunate enough to be able to check out John Legend’s sold out show at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank last night.

There were some amazingly good moments during the show…and some not so good.


To start, the ‘All of Me’ singer is awesomely talented. He mostly sat at the piano and played while singing, which is impressive in and of itself, but his voice is just downright beautiful. He’s truly gifted.

My favorite moments of the night? I had four.

  • Covering the Boss – Legend performed a slow, soulful version of ‘Dancing in the Dark.’ Duzzy and I were both hoping for an appearance by Bruce Springsteen during the song, but no such luck. Regardless, it was a very cool cover of the song, and naturally it had the crowd going nuts.
  • The tribute to his grandmother – Part musician, part storyteller, Legend talked about his grandmother, who taught him how to play piano. He then dedicated ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ to her. It legitimately gave me chills. I was absolutely captivated.
  • Serenading our Selfie winner – Tessy Simoes, the ‘woman with monkey’ winner of our ‘Legendary Selfie‘ contest was, as promised, sitting on a couch on stage with her husband. At one point during the show, Legend got up and sat with them, asked them a few questions, and then dedicated his new single, ‘You and I’ to them. Cute!
  • The Red Lobster story – Legend was telling a story about how every now and then his father would call a baby sitter, get dressed up, and take his mother out for a special night…at Red Lobster. He continued, saying, ‘My father taught me the way to a woman’s heart… all-you-can-eat shrimp.’ Hilarious.

So, that was the best? The worst?

Well, it had nothing to do with John Legend at all, and maybe that’s the problem. There were countless people in the audience just being downright rude and inconsiderate of those around them.

  • Rude – After what I would imagine was 20 minutes of having to watch the show through the phone screens of two young girls in front of them, a fed-up woman two rows behind me asked them to stop with the phones, which then turned into a whole distracting ordeal with the adults around them. Those adults proceeded to play musical chairs, so the girls were further away from said fed-up woman. The ‘adults’ then proceeded to sit so as to purposely block the view of Fed-Up Woman and Friend, until she eventually got up and moved into some open seats in front of me. (Listen, I’m all for taking pics on your phone during a show, obviously I took one, just be considerate of those around you!)
  • More rude – As for those ‘adults’ behind me? They proceeded to talk…loudly…for the duration of the show. I don’t know if they were drunk, rude, or both, but it was beyond obnoxious. Eventually the couple seated next to me, who were directly in front of the talkers, turned around and told them to stop talking. Well, the talkers did NOT like that. I heard at LEAST one F-bomb, but luckily, after that, they seemed to finally shut up. (The couple apologized profusely to me for causing a distraction. Psh, I’m so grateful they said something!)
  • I’m a crotchety old lady – There were two couples (teenagers or early 20-somethings) two rows in front of me who were clearly not interested in watching the performance live. They took videos, selfies, laughed, poked eachother, and generally distracted themselves (and everyone else around them) the entire time. I’m sure their Instagram feeds will be very popular today.

Luckily, despite all of the talking, phone-using, and generally distracting stuff going on around me, I truly enjoyed the show. John Legend is incredibly talented, and he’s funny to boot. I’d highly recommend checking him out live the next time his tour comes around!

Oh, and in case you were wondering why he rescheduled the show from May 24th to last night, apparently he had to perform the first dance song at some celebrity wedding in Italy. (It’s ALWAYS about Kimye.)

What would you do if there were rude people around you at a show? Confront them? Ignore them? Complain to staff? Tell us in the comment section below!

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