Concert Review: John Legend at Petco Park’s Western Metal Theatre

John Legend performing at Petco Park's Western Metal Theater on November 6th (photo by Tom Roth)

John Legend’s and The Roots latest collaboration album Wake Up! deserves a special concert and a special concert, it got. Following stellar openings by San Diego’s own Bedford Grove and R n’ B superstar Macy Gray, Legend took the stage at Petco Park’s Western Metal Theatre and served up precisely what the audience wanted: spankin’ new rhythms from Wake Up! mixed with classic Legend croonings

Legend started the show in fine form with a run up to the stage from deep within the seating area. The confusion and head-turning this caused was soon settled as he dived headfirst into his set. Attention-getting tracks from Wake Up! like “Our Generation” and “Wake Up Everybody” kept things compelling and the die-hard fans in attendance were placated with ballads from Get Lifted and Once Again like “Let’s Get Lifted” and “Save Room”. Because Legend does not tour with The Roots, the effectiveness of Wake Up!’s tracks was slightly lost. Accompaniment from Legend’s regular band only goes so far on tracks like “Hard Times” and the heavy-felt “I Can’t Write Left Handed”. A highlight of the concert preceded “Slow Dance”. Expressing a desire to “dance with someone”, Legend selected a lucky middle-aged woman to join him onstage for a dance and  – judging by her expression – she would forever evaluate her life in terms of “before” and “after” Legend’s performance.

While the performance was unique in itself, it also marked the inauguration of Petco Park’s Western Metal Theatre as a San Diego concert venue. The 6,000 seat theatre can be installed directly on the outfield of Petco Park, utilizing the Western Metal building as an entrance. Adding to this commemorative night was the benefit aspect of the concert. Combining with the proceeds from the preceding night’s Colbie Calait concert, all income from John Legend’s performance went to the Stand Up 2 Cancer organization, which also partners with the San Diego Padres.

For more information on John Legend, visit

For more information on Stand Up 2 Cancer, visit

For more information on Petco Park and the Western Metal Theatre, visit