Exclusive: Sade Kicks off Her U.S. Tour in Baltimore w/ a Perfect 10
Bringin’ it to Baltimore: American fans haven’t seen the British singer perform in 10 years, but she looked like she hadn’t aged a day, stepping out on stage wearing a black turtleneck, black pants, and her signature red lipstick. More importantly, her voice also hadn’t aged a day. She was calm, gracious and elegant, proving that she’s ready for her return to the stage. The packed arena roared as she kicked off her set with the title track to her 2010 album, Soldier of Love. Big, burly men and glammed up ladies sang along, with an infectious, childlike enthusiasm.
The simple approach: These days, pop stars strutting the stage in barely-there thongs and doing crotch-grabbing routines are common. So it was refreshing to see a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice just simply singing. “It’s just beautiful, honest music,” says Richard Sawyers of Washington. Sade’s performance of Pearlswas one of the most stunning numbers of the night, just her and her voice on stage.
A little elaboration: As beautiful as Sade is, she needed more to fill out the stage at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore. And her people did. Her elaborate stage sets included a feast for the eyes. During All About Our Love, an archival video montage of the band touring over the years, added power to the song. A Broadway-worthy city scenescape underscored the lonely, seedy feeling of Smooth Operator. A dancer silhouetted behind a white screen gave a thrilling performance. ForMorningBird, a gauzy, white scrim surrounded Sade as she sang. When the gauze was pulled away, she stepped out in an elegant, sequined white gown, breaking into a powerful King of Sorrow.
Welcome back, Sade: In her long absence from stage and the studio, Sade’s music had begun to melt into the background as “mood music.” Playing No Ordinary Lovewas a go-to on a date, and Smooth Operator is an oft-used karaoke tune. Her triumphant return to the stage is sure to reinvigorate fans’ faith in her. Don’t give up, she’s still got plenty left to give.