The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Kettering, OH 

July 30, 2005

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
Smile
On the radio
My man medley
Enough is enough 
I’ll get by with a little help from my friends
Nights in White Satin
Natural Woman
Cold Love
Hot stuff
Bad Girls
Last Dance

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 

I just wanted to comment on Donna's concert ,held July 30th at the Fraze pavilion in Kettering, Ohio , I have seen Donna on three other occasions and I must say that this is by and large the best Donna concert I have ever attended. Donna's vocals were top form like I have never heard them before. Her voice has truly gotten better with age, and she looked amazingly beautiful. Her outfits were very up to date and very flattering to her full figure. I had been reading about her dramatic entrance, coming up through the piano, which was good, but I found her exit through the piano top be far more dramatic because the lights were up and you could see it better. Her choice of songs was excellent, especially her rendition of Nights In White Satin. Oh my God, I'm still singing it and getting goosebumps. Her take on Smile, I have never heard her voice so big before, she almost sounded like she was singing opera. It was very obvious that Donna worked very hard on this tour and she deserves all the praises that she gets. If this is any reflection on her new cd ,then its a sure winner. Thank you Donna.

- Kenny from Cleveland

Let me first say that the Fraze Pavilion was a wonderful venue. It was very well maintained and intimate with about 5000 people. There wasn't a bad seat in the house. Even though I was near the back of the seating area, I had a great shot of the stage and Donna was magnificent in beauty and voice! Donna commented how in the last couple concerts, it had been so HOT she needed oxygen available. This night was perfect!

All the folks surrounding me were newcomers to the Donna Summer experience. They weren't expecting much, but were totally taken in to the fold. Afterwards, several turned to me and said, “You were right! She's amazing!” Everyone danced when they were suppose to and respectfully listened to all the cover songs. I heard “OOHS and AAHS “ after Smile, Natural Woman, and Nights. The only negative was that some commented about the loud background vocals and band, but many Mary's Mary’s talent during No More Tears. The set and lighting were 

Donna mentioned I Got Your Love and it was played before and after the concert. The audience loved it and I saw many getting their groove on. If this song doesn't become a hit, there isn't any justice in the world. One of the Divos got a little carried away during On The Radio and I heard Donna (teasingly) say, “Get him off the stage.” 

All the hits were well received, but many did not know Once Upon A Time and Cold Love. Cold Love sounded great and I was surprised that more people didn't get out of their seat. The cover songs were my favorite because they highlighted Donna's magnificent voice and her ability to interpret a song. No Love To Love You Baby, I Feel Love, or Try Me I Know We Can Make It. By the time Last Dance began, the audience was so loud, that I couldn't hear the violin solo. She should add Love On & On as a perfectly suited second encore.

I could have stayed all night, but as always it went way too fast. She did about a 90- minute concert and everyone left very excited. I was thrilled with the concert, but hope that one day, she will organize a backstage “meet and greet” with her devoted fans. She said she would come back next year! I can’t wait and I hope she has a new album of original material to promote. 

- Tony

Sorry this took so long. I'll send a pic when I remember to pick them up at work. One bad thing about those disposable cameras...or even regular I guess...it did no justice for where we were seated! She looks so far away...one came out alright, though. 

Anyway, there seems to be a pattern whenever I go see Donna. Granted, I've only seen her twice...but both times have been this year. When I went to the West Palm Beach show, I was stuck in construction zones that added 2 hours to what should've been a 3 hour drive from Tampa and this time we left Indy and got stuck in 3 zones that added an hour and a half! Luckily, we planned to stay in Dayton, so we left early enough to check into the hotel and head to the concert.

We got seated (9 rows from the stage!) around 7:30 and patiently waited. I got a little nervous because it really hadn't filled up too much by 8, when the show was supposed to start...that and the Muzak they were playing was about to put us to sleep! Until a familiar beat started. I Got Your Love! Only a snippet, but wow, what a treat! The crowd seemed to enjoy it also. Even better "live" then when I blast it in the car. LOL. Then we were treated to a local comedian, who did a pretty good job. A few of us were less than pleased that we had to wait longer for our Diva...but finally, around 9 the orchestra started. I have to say, I was a little worried about being outside...but, it still sounded great. She performed with the Fraze orchestra, they did well.

Then it started. Donna came up from the piano during She Works Hard for the Money, the crowd went wild and we were on our feet immediately. She looked amazing, not that she's ever looked anything but...but she looks to have slimmed down since I saw her last. Just beautiful. Then came MacArthur Park. This is the one song that my partner actually cheered out for, one of his faves. She sounded amazing, I still can't believe how strong her voice is live. Then came Once Upon A Time and I Love You (the latter which sounded almost exactly like the original recording!). Next up was the song I've been waiting for since West Palm...Could it Be Magic, which sounds FANTASTIC live...better than the original. Still blew me away. She didn't get as suggestive with the mike...but still had fun with it.

I won't go through the entire set. I liked the little skit before Enough is Enough and the covers were all great as well. New this time (to me) were Get By With a Little Help from My Friends, Nights in White Satin, and Natural Woman (love the disco-fied ending!). I'm telling you...Donna needs to do a "new" album (because we've been waiting so long and she can do it!) and a standards album. Show 'em how it's done!

Donna also interacted a lot more with the crowd...meaning she did more than tell stories. And there were a few guys near the front that gave her a run for her money. They were all too willing to mention how they loved her "twins". And she gave that coy "don't go there" look MANY times. I think she was even dumbstruck a couple of times and just looked at us like "what did you just say?" LOL Even the Divo's. I don't think she knew what she was getting into when she started picking guys. Us queens will try to upstage ANYONE. Then again, I'm sure the FL crowd remembers Anna Maria's twirling. LOL

One more cute thing was when they started Cold Love. Even before the first set of guitar riffs finished, this young kid (had to be EARLY 20's) jumped up and was SO excited and motioned to his friends to get up with him. I mean, he was literally the first person in our section to stand up (of course, we all followed!)...I just thought it was cute. Especially for a slightly obscure song.

And Bruce! He sang Le Imagine Cafe! Nice to hear the story about how she got him to sing it...what a nice 25th anniversary gift than to sing your wife's favorite song in front of thousands of people...LOL. It sounded great, hope he keeps doing it!

It was a great night, we're looking for another opportunity to see her again this year...though I'm sure by now most good seats in various cities are gone. I'm kicking myself for not bringing my video OTUC (available at your local CVS)...I saw a few people recording the show...and "I" was afraid to take the four pics I got!

And on the way out...I Got Your Love again! What a diverse crowd, too. Young, older (we're never OLD), gay, straight, male and female. And all ready to have a good time.

I could go on all night, and this is getting pretty long...so I'll end it by saying this (as I've told everyone I know): If you ever have the chance to see Donna live...you HAVE to go. It's truly an experience and a half, and her voice is better live/in person than you could ever imagine. So full, so flawless and so much fun! It just fills you up.

Donna...you've got OUR love, it's all we ever think about.

- Bill from Indy

ps - COME TO INDY...WE'VE GOT THE PERFECT VENUE! The Murat. (wink)

 

Photos from Jeff
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