Saturday To-Do: John Legend | Rock Candy

Saturday To-Do: John Legend

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JOHN LEGEND
8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $232.

It's a banner season for soul music fans. The symphony just offered a tribute to Motown, long-absent Maxwell comes to Verizon Arena in October and on Saturday we get John Legend, probably the most acclaimed performer in contemporary soul music, making his first ever appearance in Little Rock. He comes armed with a short career's worth of material that's already netted him six Grammies, a couple of platinum albums and enough hit singles to fill a mixtape (you'd definitely want to include MSTRKRFT's “Heartbreaker,” to which he lends guest vocals; it's one of the best singles of the year). “Evolver” is his latest album. It finds the crooner — whose stage name reflects his throwback sound — playing against type: enlisting, for the first time, a hip-hop guest star (Andre 3000 on the single “Green Light”), working in chunky synth lines, flexing a new bravado. Fittingly, as he told me in an interview (read it on page 55) last month, his tour is bolder than in the past, with a 10-piece backing band and energetic production. Laura Izibor opens.

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