The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Florida Fan Reviews 

March 2005

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West Palm Beach  March 3

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Hey!
I just got back from seeing Donna for the FOURTH TIME since 1996!

she was again literally down the street from my house downtown at the kravis center
(the last time she was here she sang directly across the street at the then auditorium as a benefit concert for ballet florida)

anyway i was surprised to hear her sing love to love you baby considering i think she stated she would never sing it again

she had a string section which really added to the mix quite nicely.

again disappointed that she didn't sing anything past this time i know its for real, but then again most of the people in there were probably not familiar with any of the more recent material. the kravis center is a performing arts center, that hold about 3000 people, from the looks of it it appeared to be a full house!
people dancing everywhere, and the guards were pretty flexible about letting people stand.

she opened with macarthur park my all time fav song hehe!

but boy can she still sing! I managed to get right up to the stage and be within eyeshot of my childhood idol (i'm 30)


eddie walker
in west palm beach (have seen her each time she's been in south florida since she did the mother's day concert for the king world's king brother's benefit for the miami foundation, except the private new yrs concert at mara laga!)
well i just got in from the show...it was a great one too!
first let me say it was sold out....and the kravis center in west palm is very, very nice theater. the concert started promptly at eight and went for 1 hr and 45 minutes.
donna was as usual in great voice (and so was i, yelling out every chance i could...hehe!!) with a full band including strings and brass section (wow!) she opened with macpark with bridge and blowout note in the end...the place went crazy!!! next was (to my delight!) could it be magic....dim all the lights which actually started off as this time i know, donna fumbled that but turned to the band and made funny faces....very cute....followed by dim all the lights, my man melody, enough is enough and the usuals...but she did do smile and talked about her dad and family at which time i yelled out bruce and mary....you know trying to work it so maybe after seven times seeing her i could get back stage...hmmm!.....cold love, try me, i feel love, georgia on my mind.....and when she did love to love you baby it was over for that place.....everyone was on their feet.....next was hard for the money and from that point on no one sat....i was in the seventh row....great seats but when she disappeared for a change of clothes i made my way to the stage....i was in heaven.... donna is very charming and people could not get enough....yelling how much they missed her and love her that she had to say several times....they are going to kick us outta here if we don't finish the show on time. now the only beef i have now is that i always try very hard but very politely to get to talk with bruce or mary so that maybe i met get to see her face to face....i went to the sound guys...security...valet...and finally my boyfriend said....ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! maybe in melbourne i will be more lucky...and i will go for a ride! 

bobby
How do I start!? While its fresh in my mind!?

The evening was cloudy and started to rain. I got stuck in traffic coming from Miami to Palm Beach. To those of you who live in the fl area - you know this is not a pleasant moment! I live in palm beach but my job requires me to go to Miami a few times a week and that day (Donna's day) I had to do it. Needless to say by 6 PM and still in traffic my nerves and stress were taking the best part of me.

Short story - I made it in time! 8 o'clock I was at the auditorium - beautiful place by the way! - and "more than ready for her"!!!

Lights started to dim and there on the stage was "her orchestra"! I was surprised i didn't expect a small professional orchestra to accompany her with a band leader performing a few of her songs -as to "feed us" with a bit of intensity and at the same time "teasing us" with "here she comes" - wait a few minutes" and all of the sudden there she was! Appearing on stage from the right corner. The crowd went wild and we applauded and screamed her name. I think she was taken back a bit. Palm beach is regarded as a "mild manner - serious town - and by looking around i could see a lot of "older/senior citizens" and here we were all together standing and applauding her, and telling her we loved her. Was Donald Trump in the audience!? Mmm most likely - Mar A Lago is a stone throw away from the Kravis center!
I am not going to go into how she looked: that has been done enough already! Yes, she is "plump", yes, she looks big but she looks "beautiful, joyful, perfect smile and most importantly a boundless graciousness and class" that goes perfectly with her thundering voice!

She started with MacArthur Park. The "full house" was singing along (of course! By now we know her words to the exact pitch don't we!? :-)... Then she went on to could it be magic and was very sexy while she spoke a part of the song and flirted with the orchestra's section of the audience! Smiling, flirting, whispering and then back to her powerful voice. After this, Time I Know Its For Real - and we kept dancing and clapping. The energy was thrilling/exciting. She sang Dim All The Lights, My Man Medley, and then, at least to my surprise she sang Try Me! Talk about going back in time and one of my all time favorites, I Feel Love! Oh was I in love! She went on and talked about Beyonce including Love To Love You Baby in one her songs so she thought she might as well sing the "original version"..... Well Cathy I have never ever saw her perform this song! Ever! What an unexpected pleasure! The groans, the moans, the movements - and we were moaning along with her. I thought it was one "very fascinating events of the evening" - perfect unison between artist and audience. With On The Radio we all started dancing and even more so when she picked 3 ladies from the audience to be her chorus girls - one in particular "Ana Maria" was perfect! Ana Maria if you are reading this "good for you!" you showed what a true "fan" is like! She talked about finding the right man for the enough is enough intro ad she kept being interrupted by us man crying out "here I am - stop the search!" :-) "We love you Donna! We miss you Donna!" were also shouted repeatedly... And she kept laughing, and saying she loved us back.

She talked about her family, her daughters, what she was up to these days. She acknowledged the fact that she was "big" 'cause among other things her Italian man likes "meat on her bones" - the crowd laughed and applauded her for her self-deprecating humor and the fact that "who really cares" as long as she keeps singing like that! Right Cathy!? One particularly moment that I thought showed her humor and artistry was when she explained that pretty soon she will have to start singing "hot flashes" instead of "hot stuff"!!! :-) only women can relate to me on this she said, so why are you all laughing!? And she laughed right back at us. She talked about her father passing away and went on to sing Smile and then Georgia as a tribute to Ray Charles. She sang Cold Love - one of my favorites songs from The Wanderer album but I must admit that perhaps she lost a few people here. Then She Works Hard For The Money, Bad Girls, Hot Stuff what a glory it was! The lights, the visual imagery behind her orchestra - it all made perfect sense and a fun filled event! At the end she sang Last Dance and we all stood up (were we ever sitting?! I don't think so!) And danced with her.

I knew the end was almost here and I kept looking around, trying to capture everything, but most importantly Cathy, Donna "sounds incredible"! Her powerful voice seems deeper/clearer! Her intensity magnificent. When she kept a distance the microphone and picked it up and carried it around I could only imagine what we might have heard had she not done that. It was an incredible evening. We were all smiling and dancing at the end of the concert. She "once more" brought joy to our lives! She reminded us to keep dancing, to keep smiling throughout life in spite of anything, despite life's obstacles.

I hope that she reads your site Cathy so that when she is down she can read and realize that we are all behind her, that we are "still in love with her" and that we are there for her.

Long lives the queen of disco - long lives Donna!
I just wanted to add how I also thought Thursday night in West Palm was SO special! I am 40 years old and have been dying to hear that voice in person all my life, and finally that dream came true. I went with high expectations, only to have her meet every one of them. Kudos to everyone who has said "who cares" regarding her weight. My friend and I joked on the way to the show that there were two guarantees: That we would hear "Last Dance" and that we would NOT hear "Love to Love You Baby"! What an EXCELLENT shock that was! Her voice has been my favorite for as long as I have been a music fan, and last night was definitely one of those "now I can die happy" nights! THANK YOU DONNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kevin, Fort Lauderdale

The West Palm Beach show. Where do I begin?

Quick personal note, I've been a fan (hardcore) since I first found out that she sang "This Time I Know It's For Real (only 1 typo!). I used to hear it at work and enjoy it. Before that I always liked her. "Hot Stuff", "She Works Hard for the Money" and wondering why the folks said I was too young for them to play that record with the woman on the front with the title "Love to Love You Baby". ;) I've been hooked ever since.

Enough about me. LOL

The night was wonderful...everything I imagined and more. Even forgot about the 5 hr drive from Tampa (freakin' road work!). I just knew I was going to miss the beginning. Luckily, my hotel was close enough the concert hall...and things started a few minutes late. All the drama vanished when the band started. I think she should always have the mini-orchestra...I feel it added a lot, especially to the older songs. It was a nice little tease of what was to come. Throbbing beat...I think I even heard people singing along...with must the orchestra.

Then the all-to-familiar start to MacArthur Park began. Amazing. I actually welled up a little. I've been waiting for the opportunity to see her live ever since Live and More Encore came out. It was surreal in some ways. I'm hardcore. I've actually gotten some friends tired of me because I inundate them with Donna songs at every opportunity! One even said he was glad I got it out of my system now that I saw her live! Out of my system? If anything it's stuck more than ever! LOL

What a voice, I was literally speechless.

Then she went into "Could it Be Magic". I was (pleasantly) surprised to see her get into it. Singing a little breathy, speaking a little breathy ("you're the greatest lover!"...what?) and being suggestive. She may not be the best dancer...but she can still move to a good groove! Go Donna!

After that (forgive me, if I don't get the order 100% correct, but I should be close) came "Dim All the Lights" and "This Time I Know It's For Real". After that, she went into a standard that she loved. Come to find out she did the "My Man Medley". Hey, I'm a youngster...I don't think I'd ever heard it. But she nailed it. Based on that collection and then her rendition of "Smile" and "Georgia On My Mind"...she really needs to do a standards album.

On to the classics. "Try Me" was a nice treat. Nice to see her having fun and getting into some of the older "sexier" songs. "Love to Love You Baby", don't even get me started. I think I'd have liked the "tease-leading-up-to-it" they did the first few times a "little" more...but a great treat. Never thought I'd hear that one. Well worth the wait. Then "Cold Love". The crowd didn't get too into that one...I think it's a little obscure for the crowd that I was sitting near (lots of seniors on the floor! LOL) but I noticed more than a few bodies bobbing along in their seats.

Then I guess to the climax of the show...the real get-up-and-dance portion. "She Works Hard for the Money" really got 'em up. Same with "Bad Girls" and "Hot Stuff". Boy, she still rocks on that one. Amazing.

Then of course..."Hot Stuff" was the "last song" when she thanked everyone...yada yada. Still, even though we knew better...we cheered at the top or our lungs just to hear "You want one more? Ok, hit it boys". This time I went up the aisle, closer to the stage...even though people had been doing it all night. I just had to get the closest look possible. Even more beautiful 15 rows closer! :)

It was also nice to see her interact with people. I personally enjoyed the part where she acknowledged her weight and that she DIDN'T care. Best line was "I work hard to feed these hips" and then she got a little saucy again talking about how her husband is "Italian and he likes a little meat on his woman...ya know what I'm sayin' girls?" Too funny! Another cute moment was when she was saying she's going to permanently change the title of "Hot Stuff" to Hot Flashes and then asked why all the men were laughing. Another poignant moment was when she talked of her father and how sometimes it's hard to work when you don't feel like it (amen!) and then she sang "Smile"...I found it very uplifting and inspirational. And also the kind words about Ray Charles. And of course it was also nice to see her speak glowingly of her daughters and all that they have been up to. I just wish part of that moment included "and next year, I'll be putting out a new CD". LOL We'll wait as long as it takes, right? Just hope we don't have to wait much longer.

It was just such a wonderful evening. My only regret is that I went solo. Granted, let me enjoy it on my own...but I know it would've been even more fun with a friend or two or more... although, even though I was SURROUNDED by a lot of older folks...they were getting down pretty well, too. Though a few also left when she really started rocking the place. Guess they didn't know what they were getting into. And Donna has the best fans. I've only been to a few concerts...but I've never seen fans get so into a performance as that night...and have the artist acknowledge so graciously and so FREQUENTLY. We were a bit relentless! ;)

Keep it up Donna. I look forward to seeing you live again. Look forward to much more!

Bill

 

Melbourne March 13

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Where do i start but to tell you....and everyone else too....Donna Summer made me proud to be a fan....This show was very tight....and lots and lots of fun.
The real treats of the night came early in the show....and my friends unknown these were real treasures!

Donna opened with a very strong mcpark! Wearing her now casual suit theme with a white jacket she lead into could it be magic (donna....it very well could be....wink!)
BUT NEXT....and i could not believe my ears....the bars of once upon a time but wait it wasn't stopping....oh my goooosh!....donna summer is singing once upon a time.....now are you ready she threw me out of my seat cause next she did I LOVE YOU.....you read that right. And Donna was shining!!!

Dim all the lights soon followed and next was on the radio....and this song like many in this show had very bright glimpses into the real person of Donna Summer.

as she has been doing....she called some ladies on the stage to sing "back up"....but this time four very young girls came up and i met donna the grandmother....just as she was to start singing the girls afraid of the mic all backed away and she stopped and came over to them and was directing them "closer to the mike girls......you see it really is hard to be a diva" 
then after that enough is enough.....alot of people on there feet.

she talks about when she is on the road she writes alot of songs with her band a introduces a brand new song....not sure of the exact title but the chorus said something about "making them work for it....don't give away too easily....make 'em work for it....very good song....nice beat but not disco....very fresh part of the show.

at this point i was satisfied with the rest of the hits to close the show.....but she was not done with me yet.....she tells us how for her now.....to have the chance to do some of her favorite songs is a special part of the show for her....and donna sings in italian.....get ready.....con te patiro......i was in heaven....so was everyone else!

what would come next was OVER THE TOP!!! Donna treated us to Knights in white Satin.....can you believe...with strings and her passion for the new material....Donna Summer was making a very strong connection with hardcore fans....a couple of time s several people were shouting out songs and she said that her new band does not know them YET.....she sang a piece of faster and faster....and i yelled spring affair...she heard and said....i didn't know anyone would want to hear those songs....and then she cooooed....oooo....something's coming over me.....and i was having a great night with my favorite singer.....Donna Summer.....this was a very, very good show!!

Bobby

Bobby did a great job of detailing the concert already-
It was an amazing concert.
The hall was very nice- I was somewhat surprised at how nice it was, as it was kind of in the middle of a small city. I drove forever to get there from Orlando, but it was worth it!

As many have said, the strings and the brass add a lot to the concert- and the arrangements have a fresh feel to them.

Donna did an amazing "Dim All the Lights" early in the concert- the audience responded with a rousing cheer at the beginning- and danced through the entire song. At the end of the song- the crowd burst into a standing ovation.- and would not stop- Donna couldn't even be heard (even with the microphone) to try to gain control of the crowd again. She looked back at Mary and Bruce, and then back at the crowd- and said "Don't you all make me cry"- with real tears welling in her eyes. The love this crowd showed her was amazing! It was so nice- so, thank you Melbourne for being so great to Donna! It made for one of the best concerts I have ever seen with Donna.

A few other things- Donna had great "atmospheric" stuff going on with her lights behind her, and then with Hot Stuff and Last Dance- she has some special lighting - I won't spoil it for those of you who will be seeing her in the future, but it was really nice!

Brent, Kansas City

 

Clearwater  March 16

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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.

Adrian P

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....

Jeremy Gloff
jeremygloff.com

 

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