Artists like Sade Adu are born once every quarter century; and it is fair to say that there will not be another female who can be classified under the same category as she for a very long time. Sade exudes an aura so powerful and magical that the people who go out to see her are diverse in age and ethnicity. Perhaps that is the reason why her band can fill up a stadium with ease, as she did on this unforgettable night at Miami’s American Airlines Arena.
Just for argument’s sake, a week ago she and pop star Rihanna performed in Atlanta on the same week. The latter performed at a venue which held 6,700 people for one night. Sade? Well, she sold out a two-night run at a 16,000 seat arena. And her performance was just as impressive.
When she emerged from underneath the stage to rock the first track, “Soldier of Love,” it wasn’t a huge surprise that the arena in South Beach erupted into an outright uproar. Sporting a tight-fitted black military-inspired outfit with stiletto heels, Sade glided through the stage sensually and effortlessly. Comprised of original band members Stuart Matthewman (guitar and saxophone), Andrew Hale (Keyboards) and Paul Denman (bass), Sade took us back in time with radio hits like “Your Love is King,” “Smooth Operator” and “No Ordinary Love.” For longtime fans, hearing new songs like “Love is Found” with its heavier drum syncopations and snares reminiscent of a today’s R&B may take some getting used to since most have always been accustom to hearing her voice over jazzy tinged tracks. But it works. Her voice oftentimes makes one feel melancholy.
Yet, what’s truly sad is that this tour will end soon and Sade will retreat into her little private cocoon once again. I just hope that it won’t take another ten years before we see her morph into the butterfly that she truly is.
(Photo: UPI/Michael Bush/LANDOV)