Skip to main content

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.


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
Hey Kirk,

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

Black Woman Blogging
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
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.

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

Popular posts from this blog

When You Leave The Ghetto, Don't Bring It With You

NBA player Gilbert Arenas brings a gun to an NBA locker room. NBA player Ron Artest lets his pit bulls run wild and free in Loomis, California while playing for the Sacramento Kings. NFL player Michael Vick did time for fighting dogs. And NFL player Plaxico Burress is doing time for shooting his damn self.

What do all these men have in common? BMNB would say an inability to make a profound paradigm shift. I’m less eloquent than BMNB is, so I’ll say it differently: The inability to leave the ghetto behind.

Yes, call me saditty, bourgie, elitist, stuck-up, whatever. I don’t care. Until you’ve had a tweaker ruin your Thanksgiving turkey, you don’t even know (more on that later), and I’m not trying to hear you.

Living in Western Placer County, my husband and I continue to hear stories from folks like us who had to flee “those who can’t leave the ghetto behind.” You know these people, and they come in all races. In our case, we had returned to Sacramento in 2004 and 2005, respective…

Black Woman Blogging's Gun Control Proposal

Thanks to a relative who sent me death threats, I became a gun owner. Reluctantly.  What can I say.  You don't choose your family.

That said, I'm for gun control.

As far as I'm concerned, America lost its moral compass when we didn't do squat after Sandy Hook.  If you can allow a madman to murder children and not be moved to do nothing, you have no moral compass.  Period.

Now that we've broken an unfortunate record for the number of people killed in a mass shooting, perhaps we as a country are ready to get our minds right about gun control.  Perhaps.  So in that spirit, I offer my gun control proposal.

First, we need to agree on some real (not alternative) facts and principles:

1.  There is no such thing as an unlimited right.  Yes, people, there are no unlimited rights protected under the Constitution.  Your right to free speech?  Well, not all speech is protected under the First Amendment and even protected speech can be limited by time, place and manner.  Your…

Retired Man Walking: Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Take Shit

A while back I ran into a friend and fellow professional employed by the State of California, and he offered me his perspective on State employment as a tail-end Baby Boomer like myself -- someone who can't retire because he lacks the requisite age or years of service, but, unlike myself, is tired of taking shit from superiors who don't know what to do with you.

Although my friend gave his permission for me to use his name in this blog entry, I decline to do so because what he does is so specialized that it would not be hard for anyone to identify him as one of the few African American men, if not the only African-American man, in California state civil service who does what he does. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as he now refers to himself:  Retired Man Walking.

Retired Man Walking, or RMW, has an interesting philosophy he applies to working for the State as a professional who isn't old enough to retire but has been around long enough to know the s…