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Comfortable chairs by the Borgata's outdoor pool.

GOSSIP & RUMORS: John Legend Atlantic City concert review: Where to buy tickets

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John Legend is a minimalist with maximum talent.

On Friday, June 21, the 45-year-old EGOT winner headlined at Atlantic City’s intimate yet spacious and cozy yet comfortable Borgata Casino Event Center as part of his ongoing, nationwide ‘An Evening with John Legend Tour.’ Most impressively, Legend decided to forgo a backing band and backup singers, reducing his entertaining one-man show to its most essential elements: just John Legend and a piano.

Yes, for nearly two hours — including a 15-minute intermission — it was just Legend, a Yamaha, his songs and his stories.

No, it was never dull.

Similar to Springsteen on Broadway, the affable showman opts to dig deep into his expansive back catalog, delivering familiar hits, deep cuts and soul-stirring covers while weaving in feel-good stories from his life to explain each track’s significance.

It’s a difficult high-wire act to take the stage all by yourself, but Legend is a seasoned pro — he not only put the audience at ease, he made the sold-out crowd feel as if we were chatting with him at an invite only cocktail party.

To start, the concert began a little after its 8 p.m. showtime. Lights dimmed on the smoky stage and Legend sauntered to the foreground. He waved a little wave, smiled, took a bow, jumped on the piano bench and got to work on the keys.

When Legend’s legendary brassy baritone kicked in on the evening’s opening track “Save Room,” it was clear the Atlantic City audience was in good hands. His effortless, soulful vocals are more than an auditory pleasure to witness live. For our money, hearing him linger on hook-y choruses live like “just a little” is a hair-raising luxury.

Following the jazzy opener, Legend jumped into his 2008 hit “Green Light.” However, when played live, Legend reimagines the electro-funk R&B smash instead as an upbeat piano ballad, turning it into a musical theater stomper, complete with a chorus call and response with the crowd. In no time, the all-ages crowd was taking turns singing “I’m ready to go right now” with the “The Voice” judge.

Now that he’d officially won us over, Legend switched things up and pivoted into storytelling mode.

“Let’s go back in time to the beginning,” our headliner announced. “Who’s been with me since ‘Get Lifted’?” The crowd roared.

Cheerful snapshots of a happy, sheltered childhood where he was homeschooled by his mother and raised in the church led to the night’s big punchline:

“(I’m) definitely going to hell for the songs I sang tonight.”

These humorous and occasionally heavy interstitials provided the glue for the evening. And while they were entertaining, Legend knew why his audience had paid top dollar to see him live — they wanted to hear him belt.

And belt he did.

Most impressively, he made classic rock anthems “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “God Only Knows” and “Dancin’ In The Dark” all his own. If there were ever a Karaoke Hall of Fame, Legend would clearly be a first-ballot inductee. The man could sing about mortgage refinancing and it would work. His voice is that good.

As great as the music and stories were, day-one fans will likely walk away from the show shaking their heads at all the unbelievable fun facts Legend shares about Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Jay Z, Oprah and more.

Rather than spoil the night’s juiciest jaw-dropping details, we’d recommend you see Legend in person. The music, the stories, the jokes, the name drops and the unflinching political hot takes all make for an incredible live experience that you won’t want to miss when he comes to a venue near you (hint, hint, New York readers: he’ll be in Saratoga Springs on Aug. 7).

While his wife Chrissy Teigen didn’t show up (at least at our show), Legend sure does. Over nearly two hours, he leaves everything he can and more on the stage.

Not bad for a minimalist.

Final verdict: As Marc Maron so succinctly put it on Legend’s 2020 WTF episode, “Multi(ple) generations can listen to a John Legend song and enjoy it the same way.”

He’s not wrong.

While ‘An Evening with John Legend’ often feels at times like it’s an audition for a Vegas residency, Legend never resorts to cheese or gimmicks. Like a great scene in a film just needs two actors and a conflict, all this extraordinary performer needs is his voice and his Yamaha.

Close your eyes, lose yourself in the music and ‘Get Lifted.’

John Legend tour schedule 2024

A complete calendar including all ‘An Evening with John Legend’ tour dates, venues and links to buy tickets can be found below.

John Legend tour dates
July 7 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN
July 8 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN
July 20 at the Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, WA
July 21 at the Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, WA
July 23 at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, CA
July 24 at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, CA
Aug. 2 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA
Aug. 3 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA
Aug. 7 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY
Aug. 8 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Aug. 10 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino Event Center in Verona, NY
Aug. 11 at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC
Aug. 15 at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park in San Diego, CA
Aug. 16 at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, CA
Aug. 24 at the Dailys Place Amphitheater in Jacksonville, FL
Aug. 25 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, FL
Sept. 7 at the Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis, MO
Sept. 9 at the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, GA
Sept. 10 at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
Oct. 8 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, HI
Oct. 13 at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL

About the Borgata in Atlantic City

Located in the heart of the marina district of Atlantic City, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is a premium entertainment, fine dining, gambling and relaxation destination.

The New York Post toured the recently-renovated resort and found ourselves impressed with its multiple theaters —the Casino Event Center hosts the big names, the Music Box Theater features up-and-coming artists, classic stars and comedians — nine (!) restaurants (including the exquisite B Prime steakhouse featuring New Jersey’s first certified Kobe beef and famed chef Aram Mardigian’s mouth-watering American Bar and Grille) and handful of pools.

Basically, it was all our travel love languages housed in a mammoth 161,000 square foot space.

And we haven’t even mentioned the crème brûlée cheesecake, churro French toast and tiramisu pancakes on the premises yet, either. Honestly, we can’t wait to go back.

Sound like the perfect summer getaway?

You can book a stay at the Borgata here.

Steve Freihorn

John Legend set list

At the show the New York Post attended, Legend performed a whopping 26 tracks without missing a beat.

For a closer look, here’s what he took to the Borgata stage on June 21:

01.) “Prelude”

02.) “Save Room”

03.) “PDA or Greenlight”

04.) “Tonight”

05.) “Take My Hand Precious Lord”

06.) “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Simon and Garfunkel cover)

07.) “Ribbon in the Sky” (Stevie Wonder cover)

08.) “Everything Is Everything” (Lauryn Hill cover)

09.) “Stay With You”

15-minute intermission

10.) “God Only Knows” (Beach Boys cover)

11.) “Dancing In The Dark” (Bruce Springsteen cover)

12.) Kanye medley

13.) “Jesus Walks” (Kanye West cover)

14.) “Never Let Me Down”

15.) “Encore” (Jay Z cover)

16.) “Selfish” (Slum Village cover)

17.) “You Don’t Know My Name” (Alicia Keys cover)

18.) “American Boy” (Estelle cover)

19.) “Used to Love U”

20.) “She Don’t Have To Know”

21.) “Ordinary People”

22.) “Wonder Woman”

23.) “Redemption Song” (Bob Marley cover)

24.) “Glory”

25.) “Good Morning”

26.) “All of Me”

27.) “Wild”

Huge artists coming to the Borgata in 2024

Legend isn’t the only major artist headlining at the Borgata this year.

Here are just five of our favorites you won’t want to miss when they swing into Atlantic City these next few months.

• Boyz II Men (Aug. 16)

• Gabriel Iglesias (Aug. 31)

Bachman Turner Overdrive (Sept. 13)

• Grand Funk Railroad (Oct. 5)

• Jerry Seinfeld (Dec. 6)

This article was written by Matt Levy, New York Post live events reporter. Levy stays up-to-date on all the latest tour announcements from your favorite musical artists and comedians, as well as Broadway openings, sporting events and more live shows – and finds great ticket prices online. Since he started his tenure at the Post in 2022, Levy has reviewed Bruce Springsteen and interviewed Melissa Villaseñor of SNL fame, to name a few. Please note that deals can expire, and all prices are subject to change.

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