To see John Legend was one of the reasons I went to Houston (well, besides the obvious).
Just skip below if you want to read about John Legend because I need to just quickly write up about the rodeo so I cover this as being a rodeo post and all…
As soon as we entered the rodeo area I was on the hunt for rodeo junk food. Deep fried sweets in particular.
I hadn’t eaten dinner yet but all I wanted was deep-fried cheesecake.
Once I found a stall that was selling it, I just left the group I traveled with and went and lined up. Gambit is used to this behaviour so it’s not out of the ordinary.
Whether it was because I didn’t speak clearly, whether the lady who took my order expected a different type of voice to come out of my mouth, but when I ordered a deep fried chocolate chip cheesecake dipped in red velvet batter but came away with deep fried chocolate chip cookie batter dipped in red velvet batter, I simply went up to the lady and she told me to keep the cookie batter (I’d taken a chunk out of it anyway) and gave me the cheesecake. No extra charge – that’s Southern hospitality for y’all.
The cookie batter was OK. I couldn’t eat more than a bite because it was really just raw cookie batter covered in red velvet batter.
The cheesecake however, was great. I ate pretty much the whole thing until I saw I could get deep fried Oreos and deep fried Snickers.
And both of them were great.
Oh and there were loads of BBQ places. The usual ribs and all. But I went there on a mission for deep fried sweets.
Before the John Legend concert was the actual rodeo. Figures.
I guess some people came for this and not the concert. Tickets were about $22 by the way, so it was a very cheap night worth of entertainment.
The rodeo featured a whole bunch of events such as bareback riding, team roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, bull riding, chuck wagon races, calf scramble and mutton bustin’.
Since I took a bit longer than expected to find my deep fried friends and consume them, and then line up for a margarita, I only watched the bull riding event onwards.
Bull riding: men trying to stay on a bull that is wearing a flank strap (rope tied around bull’s flank to encourage it to use its hind legs more in a bucking motion) for more than 8 secs. It was OK to watch and some bits were nail biting moments.
Chuck wagon races: a horse race with horses pulling chuck wagons. It’s those wagons you kind of see in country western movies. Except these wagons have sponsor stickers plastered all over them.
Calf scramble: 30 kids, 15 calves – all released into the arena and each kid that catches a calf and ropes it in, wins $1,500 to go towards purchasing a registered beef heifer or market steer to show at the Houston Livestock Show in 2016. This was fun to watch but not sure how scary it would be if you were one of the calves.
Mutton Bustin’: 5 and 6 year old boys and girls cling onto a sheep for a ride. Whichever kid holds on the longest receives a prize. This was super cute to watch as it didn’t seem like either the kid or sheep were in too much danger. Although there were some tears. From the kids, not the sheep.
Friday, 6 March 2015, 8:30pm and John Legend sets foot on stage and this is his set list:
Made to Love
Let’s Get Lifted
Used to Love You
Save the Night
Rock with You
All of Me
I am not sure how many people actually knew any of his songs other than Ordinary People and All of Me. But then again, I don’t think most people created a Spotify list 3 weeks in advance to re-listen to all his albums.
I thought the concert was great. His voice soared throughout the arena and I felt so lucky to be there. I liked how it started and ended with indoor fireworks. I tried to take a snap during each song but to be honest, my focus wasn’t on taking a good photo at the time.
But it was John Legend’s message at the end of the concert that made it all that more special for me.
John Legend spoke about the hope for equality, for all races, all genders.
He spoke about Bloody Sunday (1965), only 50 years ago, where peaceful protesters marched east out of Selma and were instead brutally injured by police. They were protesting for the rights for Blacks to vote.
And although he spoke about how sad this incident was, with how many lives were put to the line, he was grateful for these brave people to make such a sacrifice as it eventually engaged more support for the cause and helped the law for Blacks to have voting rights passed.
Most people don’t probably want to be preached at the end of a concert but I found his words were incredibly topical.
Would I return to the rodeo only? Probably not, there would need to be someone playing that was as good as John Legend.