|It's Raining - It's Pouring.....
It was a rainy and stormy night in the Tampa Bay area last night, but Donna packed Ruth Eckerd Hall and gave her fans a night we so desperately needed. My friends and I had great seats - 6th row - so you know I was excited!
The orchestra (yes I said orchestra) and band begin teasing the crowd at 8:15 with a medley of Donna hits. Then the announcement came - ladies and gentlemen - Donna Summer!!! Donna walked on the stage wearing her signature black suit jacket and pants and opened with a powerful MacArthur Park. The crowd went crazy and she smiled from ear to ear thanking everyone. You could just see and feel her appreciation.
Donna was so comfortable with everyone and did a lot of talking, asked where people were from, told different stories, and she even gave us a history lesson about the king's English vs. American English. She told us "she is a school teacher at heart." She gave us an update on Bruce, his CD and her daughters' careers. When talking about Amanda, she mentioned that Amanda had just finished doing commercials for ..... and she turned to Bruce for help. I yelled "Levis" and she looked over at me with a funny face and the crowd started laughing!
The show continued with Could It Be Magic. She also told us that she never listens to the television before a show so she is not distracted - but her sister was gathered around a TV and she heard a lot of whispering. Donna told her to shut it off - but then her curiosity peaked. She was told that there was a tornado warning for Clearwater area and Donna said - "great - a tornado warning and people are driving to see my show - I don't want anyone to get hurt - I would come back you know" - everyone cheered.
She told us that she was getting over the flu and her voice was not exactly on pitch (who would have known????). She laughed and pointed at the audience telling the music critics not to run to the chat boards and start saying "did you hear that note in that one song was not on pitch". She said I know you are out there talking about me - I do read the chat boards!!!
She told us how honored she was to be with us. Someone yelled "we're honored" and she said thank you - but no - she was truly the honored one. She continued with I Love You, Enough Is Enough (telling a modified and very funny story from past shows), She Works Hard for the Money, Try Me I Know We Can Make It, Once Upon A Time. She got serious for a moment and talked about having to face adversity, heartache and she mentioned her father's recent passing. She told us how at heart - she is a clown and loves to make people laugh and smile. She then told us about a Charlie Chaplin song called Smile - which she performed perfectly. It was practically acapella and her voice soared flawlessly. It was the highlight of the show for me. Hearing her voice perform this way is why I love Donna so! There is no reason songs like this can't make it to a best-selling adult contemporary CD.
She introduced a new song - I guess you would call it "Make Them Work For It." The sound was definitely 2005 - R&B / urban Beyonce sounding - something you could hear on the radio today! There is hope everyone!
She mentioned she had won 5 Grammy awards including one for rock n roll - so she performed Cold Love - what a treat! Songs that followed included Con Te Partiro (beginning slow in Italian and then getting fast in English), I Feel Love, Love To Love You Baby and On The Radio (yes she brought up three ladies -even though a few men tried to go). The show culminated with everyone on their feet - Hot Stuff, Bad Girls and of course and encore appearance for Last Dance.
I know I don't have the songs in exactly the order they were performed - sorry. I was my usual mesmerized self and couldn't take such exact notes. Donna gave us another magical mystical night!
Chris is St. Petersburg
|Considering the lame venue it was in-- the concert was great...Donna was definitely in rare form. acting really silly at times , it was great to see her so comfortable. she performed all her classics and really surprised the audience with Once Upon a Time & Try Me , I Love You.....and then everyone hit their feet when the opening to Love to Love You Baby started...it sounded great and the entire building was singing along..
She has added a new song , Don't Give It Up.... I really liked it...great beat... she did the classic "SMILE" which sounded incredible and a treat with CON TE' PARTIRO , where she opened in Italian and then completed it in English. then was the usual mix of BAD GIRLS & HOT STUFF and a few other oldies then to Last Dance.
All in all it was a wonderful show , Donna Summer is a beautiful person....I would like to see her hire a wardrobe person-- The (2) outfits were very boring , opening in a black suit--that did nothing for her only to change the black jacket to a white jacket at the end for last dance...alot of people were commenting on that--the wardrobe was just wrong ,but the concert was just right.
I will say this about the Ruth Eckerd Hall.....if you don't have to go there then don't . it is a horrible prehistoric venue with a very snobby & rude staff. the only thing that made that building shine was Donna Summer.
|Donna Summer was great. I was lucky enough to buy a last minute single ticket that was in the fourth row on the end. It was as if I was watching the VH1 concert live on an IMAX screen – I was so close!! I’m sure the other reviewers can provide a detailed set list. The orchestra started with an instrumental medley of all her hits, then they started MacArthur Park and DS came out. After MP, she talked for several minutes, welcoming the crowd and explaining that she’d be singing some of her old hits as well as stuff we had never heard her sing before.
Her husband Bruce was singing backup, as well has her daughter I believe and another female named Yvonne.
I don’t remember what the order of songs was, but I remember hearing On the Radio (she called three ladies to the stage to be backup singer – I raised my hand furiously and Donna saw me and said sorry, she could only use girls), Hot Stuff, She Works Hard (3/4 through she stopped and introduced the band), I Feel Love, Love to Love You Baby, I Love You, Con Te Partiro (piano only intro and sung in Italian – after which launching into the dance version and English – also sung in a lower key according to Donna since she had a cold – she also said she follows the internet chat rooms about her singing in lower keys, etc.) and Last Dance. She also sang one of her old old hits which I didn’t recognize. There were a few other songs I didn’t recognize (sorry – I started following Donna with Con Te Partiro). I believe one of the cover tunes was “Smile,” something associated with Charlie Chaplin. Another song (not sure if it was cover tune or new song) had the lines “kneel down” a lot or something like that. It was R&Bish, not dance, but not slow ballad either.
She talked to the audience a bit after every few songs. Her singing voice was in top condition. She danced and grooved quite a lot. I was standing and dancing the whole time – fortunate enough to be in a seat where there were no other seats behind me. She told they crowd they could get up and dance anytime they wanted. There was a slow song right before that, so I happened to be sitting. I took that as an order – Donna Summer telling the crowd to get up and dance – you better obey!!
After the show, I snuck back into the theatre with the son and friends of the trumpet player, hoping to try to meet Donna. The trumpet player said that Donna had already left the theatre. Not sure if that was true, but I wouldn’t doubt it.
Overall, it was an amazing experience seeing Donna live for the first time. I felt as if this was a one of kind experience. It was truly a treat seeing the greatest disco singer live and up close and in such top condition.
Kevin from Chicago
|Me and Donna Summer's music spent a lot of time together in 1993 and 1994. That summer, me and my punk friend Kristin spent the whole summer driving around and collecting Donna's music. This was before the net, so it wasn't as easy to get CDs as it is now!
Throughout the years, I have always loved Donna, but due to her lack of new material, I don't listen to her quite as much. When i FINALLY got ahold of "I'm a Rainbow" in 1997 I listened to it solid for months and months on end. Being how important Donna's music was to me during a very formative period of my life, it was essential I hear her sing live when she came to my city.
The day was a rainy day. I was feeling a bit glum. I turned 30 this year and it's kinda tough. Letting go of the youth... The drive to Clearwater was kinda scary. I have a tiny Festiva, and the wind and rain were constant. But I chugged along... On the way to concerts, I used to listen to the music of the artist I was about to see. I don't do that anymore, I like to keep it fresh. I did play one Donna song on the way--"Work that Magic" -- that's always been a very emotional song to me and close to my heart.
I entered Ruth Eckerd Hall and found my seat, way in the back but dead center. I was sitting next to a really funny sarcastic fellow queen, and I knew this was going to be a good time. I tend to like to go to shows alone, that way I'm not self-conscious when the tears flow and I get into the music.
Before Donna even hit the stage, when a Donna look-alike drag-queen walked in the, the whole hall started applauding and clapping and going crazy. That was FABULOUS!
From the other reviews, y'all already know the set lists and the stuff like that. But here's my thoughts---I couldn't believe some of the songs she played. "COLD LOVE"!!!! The Wanderer is my fave Summer CD, next to I'm a Rainbow. I couldn't believe she did Cold Love. When she did the songs from Once Upon A Time I literally started crying. Hearing "I Love You" live with "Once Upon A Time' was totally unexpected and so freaking amazing. That voice, singing songs that meant so much to me, live. I love Donna's hit songs, but I have a more intimate connection with her amazing hidden album tracks...the musical moments the whole public hasn't heard. Also, I can't BELIEVE Donna did songs from "A Love Trilogy" --what a classic album that people don't think about very often...
Hmm what else...I must admit I haven't been a huge fan of a lot of the new songs Donna throws out here and there lately. But she sang a new song she wrote for her daughter...it was catchy, cute, and really awesome. She has GOT to make a new album sometime!
I'd also like to add how shocked I was by how talkative, genuine, and personable Donna was in concert. It truly was like having an old friend in front of us. She really unified the audience and made us feel like a group, like we were a family. And truthfully, as Summer fans we are.
Since other people said the songs they wished she sang, here's my top 4 wish list: "Running For Cover" "Melody Of Love" "Grand Illusion" and "Sweet Emotion" --- I would have cried like a baby had any of those songs gotten played!
Would I see Donna again live? In a New York heartbeat....a herd of wild horses could not keep me away....