LIVE: John Legend, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff (19/9/17)

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John Legend, Cardiff, 19/9/17 (photos: Becca Egerstrom)

You only have to consider his list of collaborations to get the measure of John Legend. The Ohio-born singer’s roll call of team-ups has seen him working with the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lauryn Hill, Britney Spears and Magnetic Man over the years – among many others.

His current Darkness and Light tour has seen him take his breathtaking showmanship around the world this year and he was in top form for this Cardiff stop-off. Of course, his well-known hits figured prominently in the set, including Used to Love U, Ordinary People and All of Me. A dazzling backdrop of graphics and illusions accompanied him throughout, sometimes using visuals to emphasise some of the more serious points he wanted to convey, including his support of the Black Lives Matter movement during Wake Up Everybody.

He also showed off his incredible vocal range with a cover of Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down, getting everyone in the mood by encouraging all the couples in the crowd to get up and slow dance. But as much as he is great at setting the tone to be slow and sensual, much of his material is considerably more uptempo, and Legend’s stage presence is formidable, with him happy to fall to his knees or throw his mic stand in all directions when the moment takes him.

His live show is particularly impressive. With an energetic and near-faultless stage performance and superb vocals, he certainly goes some way towards living up to his (stage) surname).

Photos: Becca Egerstrom

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