The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Atlantic City 

July 2-3, 2005

I guess I'll be the first review of Atlantic City - the rest of you are probably still stuck in the holiday traffic!  LOL  (Actually, my drive was surprisingly good - I didn't even have any problems on the Belt Parkway.  And those of you from around here already knows that's something that never happens!  LOL)

I guess the best place to start is with the set list:

I Will Survive
Flashdance
Upside Down
Gloria

......  and if you believe that, you are completely in  the wrong place!  LOL  The REAL set list went like this:

Overture by the band
She Works Hard For The Money
Once Upon A Time
I Love You
MacArthur Park
Smile
Dim All The Lights
On The Radio
Natural Woman
Lé Imaginé Café
(Bruce's solo)
My Man Medley
Enough Is Enough
(duet with Mary)
Nights In White Satin
Cold Love
Bad Girls
Hot Stuff
Last Dance

I got to the theater nice and early - partly to keep myself from throwing any more cash back into the slot machines! So that made me one of the two dorks at the head of the line - way ahead of everyone else. ;-)  I don't know how many of you have ever been to Caesar's in Atlantic City, but for those who haven't - in general, there is no assigned seating.  Your ticket gets you into the theater, but then you have to rely on timing and the good graces of the theater staff to get good seats.  The front half of the theater is reserved for guests of the casino, high rollers, etc, and the back is for the rest of us.  Being at the head of the line, we got a table in the front of the back half of the theater - which is the best I'm ever going to do there unless I develop that serious gambling addiction I've never wanted.  LOL   But it was good - we had a good view of the stage from where we were, and the other people at our table were cool.  (Sometimes at a casino, you end up sitting next to some pretty..... um..... interesting people - but we lucked out this time.  :-)  Of course that means I have no weird stories to tell this time.  LOL)

I think the Atlantic City show was a bit shorter than some of the previous ones - of course that's par for the course there.  The casino would rather have us out losing money on the games instead of enjoying a show!  LOL  But that didn't make it any less awesome.  This tour, the band is augmented with strings and brass, and I don't remember if I said this when I wrote about Newark, but the strings are AWESOME!  They add so much to the songs - especially Smile and Nights In White Satin.  (I should probably mention that I have always been a sucker for strings..... no matter what genre of music I happen to be listening to.  Brass is nice too, but strings always seem to reach my soul. But I digress....)  

After an instrumental overture by the band, Donna came out to do She Works Hard For The Money. Now you have to picture the stage set up for this. Towards the back of the stage, in the center, was a raised platform with a very ornate grand piano and staircases on either side  that looked like piano keys. I took a couple of pictures - but quite frankly, they suck.  LOL   I haven't mastered concert pictures with my digital camera yet - I should have brought my trusty film camera!  You can get kind of an idea if you look at John's pictures on the Chicago page.  So try to picture this in your mind - as the song starts, Donna is raised  up through the middle of the piano. (At least that's how it looks.)  It's a very cool entrance!

I'm not going to talk about the show song by song, but I'll mention a few highlights. First of all, it was really cool to hear Once Upon A Time live - I've never heard that in person (well, unless you count the eight billion times I've played Live & More over the years.  LOL) Natural Woman was ever better than it was in Newark - now near the end of the song, Donna speeds it up a bit. And maybe I'm just mental, but my immediate thought was that a recording of that could be very easily fan-mixed into something else.  And I loved hearing Cold Love live - granted, a lot of the Atlantic City audience didn't know the song, but it ROCKED!  I may have to pull out The Wanderer again and play it a few dozen times.   ;-)  And I can't go away without mentioning Nights In White Satin.  It is just amazing!  There just are no words to adequately describe it - you just have to hear it.  If you need a reason to go to one of the shows this year, Nights is it. 

Donna was not the only singer of the evening.  She was joined by her sister Mary for Enough Is Enough.  They've done that in the past, which has always been cool - but this year it's a little different.  This year, Mary gets to tell the story that leads into the song. (And no, it's not the red Ferrari!  LOL) We also got to hear Bruce sing Lé Imaginé Café from his album Rainy Day Soul.  (Hey Nathan - if you are videotaping stuff, you should tape that and stream it off one of the sites!)  If you haven't checked out Bruce's album yet, you really need to - there's lots of good stuff there.

I also want to take a little side trip here to talk just a bit about On The Radio.  As I'm sure most of you know by now, Donna pulls people out of the audience to sing backup for her. (This year the victims are also required to dance a little bit as well - so practice!  LOL)  Now I know that there are quite a few of you who would sell your mothers to be one of the people who gets to go up there - but after seeing how hard some of you try to be noticed, I figure it's time to point out a couple of things.  First of all, unless you are sitting in one of the first few rows - there is no way Donna can pick you.  Partly that's because she needs to grab people who can get to the stage quickly - if you are sitting in the back, it would take too long to get up front.  The other thing is - think about the theater a minute.  The house lights are down and Donna has spotlights pointing in her face.  I would be very surprised if Donna could even see anyone who was further back than the first couple of rows under those conditions.  (Just watch next time she picks people - she shades her eyes a bit as she looks for likely victims.)  So if you are yelling your head off and jumping on your chair, and you are not up close - don't be disappointed when Donna doesn't pick you.  She just can't.  (And to my fellow dork at the head of the line ;-) - that's why I didn't start yelling and pointing to get you picked.  I knew we were too far back.  But if it makes you feel better, I enjoyed the fact that you were willing to stand on your chair.  LOL)  End of side trip.

I could probably say a lot more about the show - but I'm looking at this and it's already getting too long, so I'll save some stuff for Boston and Long Island.  ;-)  So let me just wrap this up by saying - GO SEE THE SHOW! Whoa!  Just as I typed that a commercial came on NBC for the concerts at Jones Beach and PNC.  Synchronicity or what?  :-)  

See you guys in Boston!

- Cathy, from here of course

Donna in AC: From Dork #2 Donna was at peak performance in AC this past weekend. As you have already read Cathy's review about Saturdays show, let me tell you about Sundays show. Although I was at both shows Sundays show was hot as well as the highlight of my summer so far. My partner and I thought the show started at 9 so we showed up at 7:50 to our surprise while waiting to get in the overture started to play -- the show started at 8!!. At this point I thought we will be sitting in the back row. Instead, the maitre'd brought us right up to the front of the theater fist table!!. As Cathy states it's all about luck and timing. Donna was in rare form the audience wouldn't let her sing past She Works Hard For The Money. They were yelling out lovely accolades to the diva and Donna was loving it. She must have said thank you a hundred times and joked that we all had a few too many drinks. After the banter she was allowed to perform. The audience was in sync with her all the way. The highlights: Donna nailed Natural Woman and Smile. The audience went nuts. Natural Woman was a little better the second night for she seemed to control the dance part of the song much better. Some yelled out sing the Italian song and she sang I Will Go With You accapella in Italian--it was amazing. As for my highlight well I didn't need to stand on a chair to become one of the DIVOS. She picked me to be a dancer and singer with her on stage. I thought my heart was in my month but it wasn't---it fell out LOL. Once on stage I realized Donna can't see past the first few people how she saw me I don't know. I was with three other men and we were instructed to dance and sing. Donna was very gracious and seems to have a great time with us there. (If anybody was at the show and took photos of the DIVO part I would love to get a hold of my "claim to fame" my email is muzicisthekey@aol.com) The show lasted nearly two hours, although the line up of songs were the same, Donna's relationship with the crowd was amazing. It was quite a show not because I got to sing with the diva rather she was having so much fun on stage it was contagious. It was a summer night to remember.

-Angelo from LI and the front of the line

First of all, Donna Summer's voice as amazing in person as on her studio recordings. She is a truly a great singer.

The show started with an instrumental medley of her hits performed by the orchestra, followed by her slowly rising from the inside of a piano, underneath a disco ball.

That's when the magic began. One by one, she performed her greatest hits, with strength and energy - making them sound as fresh as they did when they topped the charts.

The highlight of the show for me was the audience participation segment, where she picked a few guys from the audience to join her on stage while she performed "On The Radio"

I was actually the first guy she picked!! The experience was thrilling and still feels surreal. Beyond my wildest dreams!

Other highlights were Mac Arthur Park, Bad Girls-Hot Stuff, Dim All the Lights and surprisingly, her unbelievable version of Nights In White Satin....and finally Last Dance.

The show changed directions a few times, showcasing her versatility as an artist. Transitioning from disco, to rock, to classic show tunes and back to pop. Her voice and energy is amazing she handled each genre with ease.

The entire show was great and I left with my feet off the ground. I'll never forget it.

Thank you Donna

- Richard

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