|I just saw Donna in Kettering, Ohio on Saturday. She was absolutely fantastic. I have seen her several times now & she always amazes me with how strong her voice is. I was excited to see her in Kettering, especially after seeing her in Chicago, (as I stood behind 40,000 fans who were all singing along, out of tune...ha ha ha), but also because this time I had seventh row seats & was armed with a camera. Having read all the reviews of past shows, I already knew the basic song list. I couldn't wait to hear Once Upon a Time, as the original Live & More album was the very first Donna album I owned. Actually it was the very first album (period) that I ever owned AND it was a gift for my 10th birthday! LOL I don't think my mom knew who Donna Summer was at the time or that she was the one who sang THAT song. (You know the one with all the moans!) To think that I was going to hear her sing Once Upon a Time & I Love You after 27 years of listening to that very first live album was beyond my comprehension.
The Fraze Pavilion was an awesome venue, much better than I expected. The crowd was as diverse as I've ever seen at a Donna concert. People of all ages, colors, gay, straight, you name it, they were all represented. The crowd was very excited, chanting Donna, Donna, Donna long before she took the stage. Finally, the lights came on, the curtain came up & her band, (with Bruce high above the stage on Piano), burst into a loud, fast-paced, adrenaline pumping instrumental medley of a zillion of her songs, including She Works Hard for the $$$, Sunset People, Enough is Enough, Hot Stuff, etc. The crowd was on their feet at once, knowing that Donna was on her way! The band went right into Hard for the Money & before I knew what was happening, a large disco ball quickly began to rise from Bruce's huge sequined piano, where it had been resting. And as the ball rose, there was Donna, rising up through the piano & some fog. It was unbelievable, seeing her standing on top of the piano! Everybody went wild. It was the coolest entrance I have ever seen. She walked over the piano with Bruce's help & down the stairs, belting it out all the while. Then she sang the songs from Once Upon a Time & she did not disappoint! She nailed both of them, dedicating I Love You to the crowd, like she's done in other cities. She looked very comfortable & very energetic, making jokes between songs. During her “twins” introduction to Natural Woman, a guy in the audience shouted “I love your twins!” Her reaction was so funny! She grinned, then smiled bigger, laughing & then called him a “naughty, naughty boy.” She then said she already wrote “Bad Girls” and that perhaps she would have to write a song called “Naughty Boys”. Everybody died laughing! It was very spontaneous & she looked so cute as she reacted to it. She sang Smile beautifully & the audience was very receptive, clapping several times through the short song. She also did “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends”, which I
believe led up to On The Radio. I was hoping I would be just within eyesight & that she would pick me as one of her “divos” to help her sing the chorus. I literally scared my 2 friends half to death as they didn't know what she was going to do & I suddenly started to shout & wave my newly purchased “Hot Stuff” t-shirt in the air, desperately trying to get her attention. Ha ha. Needless to say, she didn't pick me, but that's ok, because I probably would have had a heart attack anyway. Nights in White Satin was so much better than in Chicago. She was very dramatic, head thrown back, arms in the air, her white sleeves flowing in the breeze. Donna rocked during Bad Girls/Hot Stuff. I brought 2 friends that night & the looks on the faces were priceless. I don't think they were expecting Donna to have as much energy or rock as much as she did. But She did! Carrying the microphone stand above her head like she always
does & gyrating all over the place. She was in full control & everybody knew it! I don't know what to else to say that hasn't been said. The song list was pretty much the same as the other dates. In no particular order:
She Works Hard
Mac Arthur Park (she even explained the meaning of the cake)
Once upon a time
I love you
Could it be magic
Dim All The Lights
On the radio
My man medley
Enough is enough
I’ll get by with a little help from my friends
Nights in White Satin
I was slightly disappointed that she didn't sing I Feel Love, Heaven Knows, Love To Love You, or Try Me, as she did in Chicago, but I really can’t complain, because she was just awesome.
*A tip for anyone else going to see her is to buy an inexpensive pair of digital camera binoculars at your local sporting goods store. The pictures came out pretty good considering I really didn't know how to use them.
- Jeff from Columbus, Ohio