Black Woman Blogging

One black woman's views on race, gender, politics, family, life and the world.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

See Sade in Concert, 'Cause She Sings When She Wants To

She is reclusive, mysterious, breathtakingly beautiful, with a singing voice like no other that you recognize the instant you hear it. If you are a Sade fan like I am, do not miss this once-in-a-decade opportunity to see Sade (the singer AND the phenomenal band of the same name), because, and these are not my words:

"The bitch sings when she wants to."

Let me clarify. According to an article in The Sunday Times, Sade (the band) guitarist Stuart Matthewman saw a graffiti poster of Sade (the singer) in New York with the caption, "The bitch sings when she wants to." Supposedly she found it humorous.

Perhaps because it's true.

Sade has/have not been on tour in over ten years. The singer is the most successful British female singer of all time. She is notoriously reclusive, and 2010's "Soldier of Love" was her/their first CD in ten years. She does not want for money, doesn't particularly care for it, and lives a simple life with her daughter, partner and stepson. She feels as if she's won the lottery because she can do what she loves on her own terms. I would hazard a guess that that also means she can do it on her own schedule.

I know Sade (the singer) has her detractors. They are, in my estimation, unable to appreciate the beauty of a simple, haunting voice that conveys more emotion in a few notes than all the caterwauling, trills and runs of today's R&B divas. As far as I'm concerned, Sade is my generation's Billie Holiday. Folks who hate on Sade would have probably dismissed Billie Holiday back in the day, too.

The Sade performance at the Power Balance Pavilion was nothing short of spectacular, visually and otherwise. I hope opener John Legend was watching; he could pick up a few tips on how to put on a good show that appeals to the senses of both sight and sound. I won't even begin to describe it because I just don't think I can do it justice. If you consider yourself a Sade fan, you just need to go hear and see for yourself. Fly if you must.

There are artists I never saw in concert because, well, I always thought they'd be there: Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Etta James (now diagnosed with Alzheimer's), Ella Fitzgerald. Now they're not, and I'll never know how well they performed in person. The good thing about Sade (the singer) is that she gives you no illusion whatsoever that she'll always be there, that she'll always be touring.

So if you want to hear Sade (the singer) live, you best get your tickets, 'cause she sings when she wants to. And that might not be for another decade.

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Anonymous Kirk said...

Great notes and ideas here. I'm a white guy - not quite yet 50 - and my favorite singer of all time is Billie Holliday. I wish that I could see her live, but naturally, that's not possible. I can think about what that would be like though.

I have been lucky enough to see Sade live twice though. Seattle around 2001, and San Jose 2011. She is mesmerizing. Due to health issues, I never go to concerts anymore. But if Sade tours again, I will make an exception even if I have to go in a wheelchair.

Kirk, San Francisco

January 21, 2012 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger blackwomanblogging said...

Hey Kirk,

True Sade fans stick together! If she comes to San Francisco or Oakland again, let's ride together!

Black Woman Blogging

January 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Kirk said...


I think that I might call myself WMB from now on!

Hey, that would be great. I'm certainly game for that, although I believe that the last tour will be Sade's last. Why? She tends to tour every 10 years (which I believe you made note of already), which would make her 60 at least next time. She's obviously in great shape, but if I were in her shoes, I'd say, "Time to retire!"

Hopefully I'm wrong though. I put both of her shows easily in my top five all time, and I've seen many artists, from jazz (I love Lee Ritenour) to yes, metal (Scorpions put on a great show) to classical (wish Andres Segovia were still with us). I just can't do country though! Well, Scotty McCreery is not bad. . . .

Kirk Radeck
San Francisco

January 25, 2012 at 6:24 AM  
Blogger blackwomanblogging said...

Hey Kirk,

If Sade tours in Northern California before 2021, you've got a date! Well, actually, two dates, since BMNB will probably want to come along since he paid for our Sade tickets and I owe him one.

I put her up there with Dianne Reeves, the late Phoebe Snow (one of the best outdoor concerts ever!), and Prince, one of the best concerts ever.


January 25, 2012 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Kirk said...


I'll bring WWNB as well. Outside of Facebook (which I use as little as possible) she doesn't like to post comments too much. But she has gone to both Sade concerts with me.

Wow. Prince? I remember someone telling me about 25 or 30 years ago, "You've got to see this guy Prince. He's amazing." I was a metalhead at that point - I listen more to jazz now in my pre-golden years - and I said, "Whatever." But then I saw "Purple Rain" and thought, "Who is this guy?!?" I think that, like Mozart, people will be talking about Prince in 100 years from now. Unbelievable talent and range. But I have not seen him live, unfortunately. I have no idea why.

So yes, it is a date in 2021. I'm hoping that Sade tours again, but unfortunately, my gut is telling me that she will ride off into the sunset. . . .

San Francisco

January 25, 2012 at 11:38 AM  

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