John Legend Illuminates Pandora Showcase with 'Darkness And Light' Performance

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Pandora Media
John Legend performs onstage at Pandora Presents on Dec. 8, 2016 in New York City.

A week after the release of his fifth studio effort, Darkness and Light, John Legend delivered a medley of his latest album's highlights mixed with his catalog classics within the walls of New York City's Angel Orensanz Center, a gothic synagogue that has transformed into a magnificent event space typically reserved for weddings and fancy formal balls.

On Thursday night (Dec. 8), the former New York transplant (now based in Los Angeles with wife, Chrissy Teigen, and their baby daughter, Luna) presided over a crowd of couples, R&B junkies and staffers from the night's host, Pandora, which launched its streaming service earlier this week. 

Legend opened his set with "Penthouse Floor" (sans collaborator Chance The Rapper) followed by "Darkness And Light" (his collaboration with Alabama Shakes' powerhouse Brittany Howard), the sexy Miguel duet "Overload" and the chest-pounding "What You Do To Me." The Ohio native and University of Pennsylvania alum then reflected on his time living in the Empire state, listing his "first apartment was on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street, my second apartment was on 3rd street between 1st avenue and 2nd avenue, my third apartment was on 4th and Bowery, and his fourth apartment was Mott and Broome" before declaring "this is my neighborhood." 

The crowd welcomed Legend back to his second home by singing along to more familiar offerings like his 2004 breakout "Used To Love U" -- produced by his former roommate's cousin, Kanye West -- 2005's "Ordinary People," 2006's "Save Room," 2008's "Green Light" and 2012's "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)." His live band -- which included a pair of drummers, a pair of guitar players, a saxophone player, two backup singers and a percussionist -- enhanced the nostalgia. After shedding his black bomber, Legend -- who was visibly perspiring from bouncing back and forth between working the stage to playing a black grand piano -- wrapped his candlelit set with the 2014 Hot 100 chart-topper "All of Me," a proper finale for a romantic evening. 


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