The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Toronto 

June 30, 2005

So....Donna's concert on Thursday night at Casino Rama - AMAZING! of course...is there such a thing as a bad Donna Summer concert? LOL  Nights in White Satin, gotta have that on CD immediately, DVD, whatever, I NEED this. It's one of the best!

-Toronto Fan

What an incredible night, Donna was in top form at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario. If her concert there two years ago was something, this one went right through the roof. The evening was nothing short of surprises As the concert began, the curtains on the stage opened and revealed the set. Two long staircases leading up to a huge grand piano. Two guitarists stepped out on to the staircases and played a medley of her hits backed by her band and a 9 piece orchestra. Then through some sort of elevating device Donna came up through the piano and opened with She Works Hard for the Money. Bruce played the piano as she sang. She then sang Once Upon a Time and I love You. She then welcomed the crowd and talked about what's with the cake thing in Macarthur Park that everyone keeps asking her about. This of course led into Macarthur Park. She then talked about the passing of her dad and performed a terrific version of Smile. She then followed up with Could it be Magic, Heaven Knows (another surprise) On the Radio where she pulled 4 young guys from the audience and she had a ball with them. She was hilarious, making fun of herself and of her breasts, kind of raunchy actually, but in a good way. The audience was in stitches. As part of their 25th wedding anniversary, Bruce came out and performed Lé Imaginé Café (I think that's the name) he's quite good. Next came Enough is Enough with her sister, Dim All the lights and a great version of Aretha's Natural Woman. Probably the biggest surprise of the night, Knights in White Satin. (Do we hear an album of standards coming out soon? Hint, hint) The next set included a medley of Try Me, I Feel Love and Love to Love you Baby (She had the audience groan and sing along with this one). The big finale then was Bad Girls/Hot Stuff, and the the huge encore of Last Dance. Not one person was left sitting towards the end. One of the best concerts I've ever been to, lots of costume changes, lighting, a great set and Donna did some dancing, there was more choreography this time around. - what an enjoyable night to start off the Canada Day long weekend with! Can't wait for the next one!!

- Anthony A

I forget to mention the " MY man Medley " which she performed on top of the patio holding a champagne glass and wearing an evening dress. Also, there was no one left sitting towards the end, not no one left standing as I wrote. Actually throughout the show, people were always on their feet. 

[Editor's note: Oops - I should have caught that sitting/standing thing when I posted it yesterday. I knew what you meant though.  LOL I fixed it now.]

Here is my quick rundown of the Casino Rama show on June 30th.

It was a long drive from upstate NY. Took about 8.5 hours with traffic, considering the Canadian holiday, Canada Day that is celebrated on July 1st. Plus, it turns out that Live 8 was in the town of Berrie, that is only 10 miles from the casino!

Anyway, we did manage to drive into the casino at 7:50... Just 10 minutes to change in the parking lot, and run into the entertainment section of the casino. This place is beautiful. The parking was not bad at all.

We got in there with no problem, took our seats, which were on the aisle, back row of the front center section. Not bad at all. After being seated, not more than waiting 10 minutes, Donna's band starts playing a nice intro for Donna, Up she comes in a cloud of fog
from a piano situated highest on the stage. The strings were on the left, the horns on the right, and dual piano steps on either side. I was scared for Donna as she made her way down the steps in heels, fearing that she might fall. She did not look like she was very comfortable, until she made the base of the stage. 

I must say that the crowd was a unique one, lots of Asian and Indians from the surrounding area, and when I spoke with some of them, they remarked that the tickets were gambling comps. But my brother Dave and I were there for Donna, and not for the gambling, for sure. Our last time seeing Donna was in 1982 in Atlantic City. We were bummed that we did not see any Donna merchandise for sale, but since we were late we
could've missed the tables? 

So Donna comes out and does a killer "Hard for the Money" which to me sounded fab. It was a great open to a wonderful show. The set list, since it is very similar to the last few shows goes like this, with my comments....

Hard for the Money- tight with high energy, some audience dancing Once Upon A Time - great, a good surprise! My fave into I Love You -great just like "Live and More" but short

Donna says welcome to the audience, and to get up and dance, my future depends on it....asks where everyone is from, people shout out "Toronto," "Hamilton," and someone shouted, "Nova Scotia" and Donna said her grandparents were from there...but she has never visited there...

Killer MacArthur Park- YAY Donna says, "I like it good and loud! Have a good time
and spend lots of money at the casino!"

Could it Be Magic - again, YAY! Donna says that she has been in the biz for 25 years,
and thanks the girls, Maybelline , Max Factor... all the girls that make me look good. She sadly tells of her father who passed, sick... time to go with the Lord. This song helps her. Charlie Chaplin's "Smile"..... It was so beautiful. Excellent. Donna had to hold the mic far from her during her solid notes. So strong!

Heaven Knows (not sure Bruce on backup? could not tell since you could not see him????)

Dim all the Lights Solo, "I Get High with a Little Help From my Friends...." Beatles. cute, going into asking 3-4 guys from the audience to
help....

On the Radio. Donna talked about her kids: Brooklyn on TV, Amanda
modeling, and Mimi has 2 kids. "I'm a grandmother, and I love it...." Being a grandmother is great, but I have my own twins, call them my redheads.... real or not mine make me feel like a natural woman....  You Make Me Feel... Like a Natural Woman

Donna tells how she's been married 25 years with Bruce and she loves when he sings to her, and it's his time.... 

Bruce: Imagine Cafe- great. the audience loved it. Bruce had on a cool Spanish looking shirt, and donned a guitar. He was awesome. HOT

Donna said she wanted him to sing... only part of the gift.... Donna on piano with pillows wearing a hot sparkly dress.... singing The Man I Love, Some of These Days, I Got it Bad, and that Ain't Good.... SO GOOD.

Mary comes out, with the comment of her boy Oscar, Enough is Enough

Donna says how when she had hard times, the song that made her get back to reality was Nights in White Satin (excellent, and the band was great - especially the flute)

Try Me, Try Me, Try Me, I know We Can Make it... YES! GREAT! And so like the original recording into, I Feel Love, the audience was really into this, and everyone was dancing now! into, Love to Love You... YAY! Donna did a cool little fun whisper w/ her guitarist.

Intro to the band... they were great, and considering that it was early in the tour,  not many flubs, just some sound problems, but not bad at all. They ROCK!

Finally Bad Girls - Hot Stuff - Ending with the violin intro to Last Dance ( my fave song of all) (it was nice and unique), finally my brother Dave and I bombarded down the aisle to front stage and enjoyed the final song "Last Dance" which made our night. I stood center stage, with my arms leaning on the black hard wooden stage front. Seeing Donna so upfront, and her singing to us, was special. The entire show was pumped, but realistic, and not too crazy. We were happy that we were able to enjoy the final song right up front. And nobody gave us trouble as we merged up front to the stage.

Donna looked great, sounded great, and gave fans like us a reason to be there. For her, and for us. It was worth the long ass trip, the hotel room, the traffic jams, and the Live 8 avoidance strategy we were so lucky to avoid. But my only question is, why didn't Donna do Live 8? She was right there? I don't think she had time between gigs? She would have been the class act there. Our only focus was to see Donna, and did not realize until last minute that Live 8 was so obnoxiously close to where Donna was performing. So I guess I get my answer. Who cares? We saw Donna Live! Although, for the world to see her, and for such a great cause, she would have shined like a star on a hot summer night, just like she did at our night at the Casino Rama. BRAVO!

- Steven

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