Sunday, July 14, 2019

Concert Review: Seal at Mountain Winery

Some people seem as if they were born suave, exiting the womb with aplomb and blessing the world with their presence. Seal is one of these people. His voice has declined with age, and he's no longer able to do his exquisite "Prayer for the Dying" as well as he used to, but he more than made up for it by prefacing the song with a story about three near-death experiences, then wading through the crowd during his performance. 
The rules of mere mortals do not apply to Seal. He interacted with the crowd constantly, creating a spectacle that was part-messiah (look at the awed audience), part-DJ, and part-motivational speaker. While performing at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA, he mentioned he does not drink alcohol. He told various individuals as well as the crowd he loved them, prompting one to respond, "We love you, too!" He communicated his love verbally and by Ryu-style hadukens from his chest, actions that would be deemed insincere if done by other musicians, but this is Seal, comprenez vous? By the end of the performance, everyone was on their feet, trying to match the energy of the 56 year-old Los Angeles immigrant with a posh British accent. ("Seal" was born Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel in Paddington, London.) 
His best new song was "Morning After," and of course he sang the old favorites, "Crazy" and "Kiss from a Rose." I've been a fan ever since I heard "Crazy," and I'm still a fan. May we all be so lucky to be half as cool as Seal when we're in our fifties. 

© Matthew Mehdi Rafat 

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