Pic Playback: Seal Makes A Splash While Captivating The Washington DC Wharf

Wednesday evening, May 10, was relatively quiet and peaceful in the District of Columbia until we felt a big splash down in one of the newest entertainment hubs of the city.

The movement at the area’s beloved venue The Anthem was caused by Grammy Award Winning, and multi-platinum artist Seal, who was in town as part of his 30th anniversary World Tour. Wow, I had to let that sit and sink in as I typed it…30th anniversary tour. It’s hard to believe that it’s been THAT LONG since he dropped his first and second albums “Seal” and “Seal II“, because mentally it almost feels like just yesterday when I heard the singles from each respective album in constant rotation on the radio.

Not only was this a trek to celebrate a huge point in his career, but it also marked his first time back on the road since 2018, AND a reunion with his longtime collaborator and original musical director Trevor Horn.

Horn being a part of this tour was two-fold since he had to serve double duty, as not only the MD for Seal, but his band The Buggles were the special guests and openers for the show. With a thirty minute set that was purely an ode to the 80s, the music felt truly authentic during songs “Living in the Plastic Age” and “Elstree“, while also paying homage to some songs that were produced by Horn, when a cover of the band Yes’ “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” was performed. The group’s biggest song to date, which was also the song to launch MTV, “Video Killed The Radio Star” would close out their set.

A video montage highlighting many iconic moments in Seal’s career played as the arena went black, before a dramatic Kabuki Drape drop revealed the man of the hour in a clean, all cream suit. The insanely intoxicating guitar rift for “Crazy” kicked in as the lead song on his set list. Although the overall theme of the show was to be a greatest hits display, Seal made the wise decision of delivering some deep cuts as well. One of my favorites of the night was the more up-tempo “The Beginning“, where we were instructed that the music would take us round and round, and that it did, inside the depths of his back catalog.

There literally was something for every fan of Seal, no matter what juncture in the road that you may have met him at. Day one fans of the first album got exactly what they wanted when he lifted “Violet” and “Future Love Paradise” in their purest form since Horn had ensured them all that they would be reliving the sounds they know and love. For the folks who jumped on the bandwagon around the time where he went fully mainstream, then “Prayer For The Dying” and “Don’t Cry” spoke to your soul. He even had a treat for the late adapters who discovered him beyond the new millennium, with the 2002 single “Get It Together.”

Towards the end of the show Seal walked down off the stage and became one with the audience, as he roamed the aisles while singing “Killer.” With the magnitude of how huge a hit “Kiss From A Rose” became, there was no surprise that it was the most emotion filled moment of the night and received the biggest reaction, when I glanced around and saw tears falling from the faces of a few folks in the the crowd. It honestly could have served as the closing number and we wouldn’t have even been mad about it.


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