November 15, 2012

The closest I’ve come to a religious experience is hearing John Legend sing “Here Comes the Sun” accompanied by master pianist Lang Lang in a grand old church on Park Avenue. Hosted by Dom Pérignon, the black tie affair was a celebration of the “Power of Creation,” which in this case referred to the creation of two of the world’s greatest pleasures: music and champagne.

The intoxicating blend of Legend and Lang Lang was more impressive than the 1966 Dom Pérignon vintage being poured at Chef Josh Capon’s dinner, which followed the performance. “We both want you to feel something,” Legend said before the performance. I think I speak for all the impeccably dressed attendees, who included K’Naan, Kelly Rutherford and Annabelle Dexter Jones, when I say we most certainly did. Legend’s signature emotive voice coupled with Lang Lang’s ability to make a piano emit melodies beyond your wildest imagination was, for lack of a less cheesy word, magical.

Legend kicked off their set with an unexpected cover of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” before welcoming Lang Lang to join him on stage. Their four-song set included a love song from Legend’s upcoming album, “All of Me,” likely directed at Chrissy Teigen, Legend’s stunning fiance who sat proudly in the front row.

Legend felt comfortable in the magnificent venue. “I grew up playing in churches,” he says. “But the churches I played in were a little less elegant and grandiose. When you get the chance to play here it does half your job for you. It puts people in an inspired mood with its history and beauty and it sounds so good in here. Our job is not to mess it up.” He also felt comfortable with the evening’s beverage of choice, as he admittedly indulges in a glass of champagne several times a week.

Richard Geoffroy, Dom Pérignon’s Chef de Cave, knows a thing or two about creation as he has been travelling the world creating luxurious wine for years. To him, Dom Pérignon is much more than wine and that extends to evenings such as this. “To me, a Dom Pérignon occasion is always about an experience,” he says. From the outstanding performance to the decadent vintage wine, to simply getting to see John Legend in a tuxedo, this certainly was an experience.

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