By Chelsea Harvey
On Sunday, August 28th, I had the pleasure of attending Seal’s Greatest Hit’s tour at Ravinia in Highland Park. And he, nor Ravinia, did not disappoint!
If you have never experienced Ravinia, make sure to put it on your to-do list. If it’s not one of your summer-end events, please make it a must for next year! Although I had Pavilion seating I love the entire lawn experience, so my crew and I got there extra early and grabbed an AWESOME lawn spot right up front! First-timers may be overwhelmed by some of the other concertgoers’ spreads which include – but certainly NOT limited to – huge candelabras, floral displays, decorative lights, inflated chairs, I could go on and on! Also (and perhaps most important) when selecting your Ravinia crew, make sure that they are as fancy as you are. Trust me when I say I have an incredible group that loves, flowers, lights and great food. Once we set up, we poured ourselves a tasty libation and toasted to the expectation of an awesome performance!
With no opening act (and he didn’t need one) Seal hit the stage wearing a blazer, slacks with bright yellow boots. With just a superb guitarist (doubling as a backup singer) and his long-time, acclaimed producer/DJ, Seal succeeded in giving a performance more than worthy of Ravinia’s Pavilion. He captivated the audience of Ravini -ites by commanding and working the entire stage.
Seal was on fire! Moving from one side of the stage to the other, grooving with the crowd, at times it seemed like he was in his own world jamming and with a heightened level of energy! At one point he took off his blazer and showed his amazing physique, he was sweating his butt off but still kept going! At one point, Seal made his way thru the audience stopping to dance with fans along the way until he reached the center. He then stood on a chair and jammed with the audience singing his Life on the Dance Floor hit released in 2015, while fans screamed and captured videos and selfies with him. Two ladies in front of me were yelling and waving “…Come to our side, come to our side..!”
Seal performed a tribute song to Prince by singing Hot Thing by Prince’s 1987 album Sign of the times, which I thought with his range he could have selected a better song choice to celebrate our Paisley Prince, but anywho! He rocked to it and the crowd moved to it, I just would have loved to hear him do something else. Seal told the audience that before he really gets into his performance he likes to bring them the audience in and bond with them it is the only way it works for him. He shared various stories with the audience one in particular he spoke of how at age 53, in order to stay in shape he is an avid runner and how he ran into a Chicago Police Officer while out looking for a place to run. The officer directed him to an area along the lake in our beautiful city and although he asked for an area with no hills he took the challenge and said his key words to himself were LAKE, LOGIC and EXECUTE! Great run, still sore but was ready to give the audience a great show! But apologized in advance just in case he tired out from his “no hill run.”
As Seal continued to give it to us! I wondered, When is he going to sing my fav’s??? Then, as if hearing my wonder, he began singing Prayer for the Dying, a 1994 release, and I and the rest of the audience proceeded to go wild! This transitioned to my other favorite, “Kiss from a Rose,” the multi-million selling, triple-Grammy winning pop hit from the soundtrack of the 1995 film Batman Forever. As he exited the stage we all continued to clap and cheer. The stage went dark. Seal returned. We were in store for a crowd-pleasing encore performance – “Crazy” – I and the rest of the Ravini-ites did just that! As we exited the Pavilion I was indeed impressed! The sound and tone of Seal’s voice, never disappoints…
Cheers to another awesome Ravinia experience!