What Did John Legend Do To Fans At Ravinia?



Dramatic intros. Screaming ladies. Sensual slowdancing. Climatic encore sing-a-longs.  The live concert experience is full of peaks and valleys, polarizing contrasts and extreme synergy. And John Legend’s show at Ravinia in July had it all.  

And since what we see and what we hear  both play a role in creating live music, I have for you 4 videos (with extra embedded annotations) that I took during the concert. From start to finish, each video captures a few of the peaks during Legend’s performance–during which fan emotions rocketed to the heavens.

As you travel through each video, in following Live Fix Experiment, you’ll see how one fan’s adoring expression can be another fan’s extreme pain and irritation; how a crowd can travel through a show and experience a wide range of emotions (together and then completely divided); and how, in the end, fans can leave the venue in complete harmony.

The Dramatic Entrance

Sometimes you just can’t see it coming.  And John Legend knows how to make a dramatic entrance.  He started the show with a tribute via Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” by appearing at the top of the pavilion and then walked through the crowd towards the stage.  I wasn’t sure if the fans would let him get to the stage. But, somehow,  he found his way there.

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The Screaming Lady

Do women scream more than men at concerts?  Is female screaming at concerts a primal sexual likeness showing through? If so, why do those screams  of such genuine expression and adoration cause such pain and irritation for other fans? By screaming, are female fans trying to send sexual messages to their male targets on stage?

Whatever the case, or sociological roots, this female fan held nothing back in responding back to John Legend’s call to “get revved up” for “Green Light.”  She let it loosed and screamed him a  message of unmistakable love–while making everyone around her cringe and eventually leave in disgust.


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The Sensual Slowdance

When this female fan was plucked from the crowd to dance with Legend on stage, I wondered if it was Totally Random or Planned Fandom?  I’m sure it was a great moment for her, but I questioned it because this fan had such good grooves and was so comfortable. It seemed as if her and Legend had rehearsed their moves earlier in the day.  Nonetheless, their grinding propelled waves of pheromones through the crowd. And it all climaxed when Legend gave the woman a rose kissed her and sent floating back to her seat.

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No Ordinary Sing-a-long Encore

Legend left for a quick costume change and  then returned in a gleaming white suit to lead fans in a sing-a-long encore. It was a encore that gave me a glimpse to what it might have been like to sit in the pew during Legend’s church choir leading days in high school.  Everyone left humming the chorus and the unifying  harmonies of “Ordinary People.”


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