The anticipation was high with Macy Gray opening for Seal at Wolf Trap. Unfortunately for those who were seated in the lawn – it rained most of the night. However, a large crowd weathered the storm and watched a fantastic show. Macy Gray warmed the crowd with a 50-minute set. Gray’s set was a nice mix of covers and originals. The set made sense since her last album was a collection of covers called Covers. Highlights included an appropriate cover of “Here Comes the Rain Again.” She finished with her hit “Sexual Revolution” and “I Try.”
Seal started a tad late but still squeezed in a solid 90-minute set. Seal’s set also included a spectacular light show. They had the typical fog machines and colored lights that shoot into the audience. They also had several screens that displayed lights or images on the back of the stage wall. At one point a large disco ball was even lowered from the ceiling. Whoever put the light show together did an incredible job. It was among the best I have seen at Wolf Trap.
The light show only added to the energy Seal released when he hit the stage. He was dancing and strutting all across the stage. He also was really connected with his fans. Reaching out to them and shaking hands throughout the evening. His set list was well crafted loaded with songs from his Soul and Soul 2 albums; he still managed to represent his extensive catalog, He performed at least one song from his eight releases.
The set list included “A Kiss from a Rose” a song that won Seal three GRAMMY Awards and his only US number one hit. He also performed “Crazy” – a top ten hit for him and “Prayer for the Dying” which peaked at #21. Some of the songs he chose - “Lost My Faith,” “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” and “Let’s Stay Together” – carried a bit of irony considering his recent separation with Heidi Klum. However, Seal said he is “happy now,” and so were several adoring fans in the audience.
Yes – he performed the hits and the covers from his Soul albums but he also dug deeper. He performed “Killer” from his first album, which was a huge hit in England. He also sang “State of Grace” from Human Beings.
During his encore Seal left the stage to sing among the crowd in various spots inside the pavilion. Throughout the night Seal tied to make the evening more intimate for his fans. He threw a couple of towels into the crowd during the show. When he started the encore on stage he tossed out a few bottles of water. Earlier, he went out of his way to give a high-five to a young fan on his Dad’s shoulders. It is always nice to see an artist do a little extra.
Seal delivered a great performance showing his voice and energy has not diminished during a 21 year career. Soul songs, recent songs, or vintage songs it did not matter because when Seal sang them he made you want to get up and dance.
Running time: Approximately 3 hours with a 20 minute intermission between Macy Gray’s set and Seal.