The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Las Vegas Fan Reviews

September 3 and 4, 2005

Vegas “SUMMER” Nights

There’s a saying, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” But. The secret is out! Hotter then any day in July and a voice like a supernatural entity Donna Summer owned Las Vegas September 3rd, 2005 at The Hilton. Let me just start by saying “Donna is real Hot Stuff” and last night reminded us that she put the “D” in Diva. Although I got my ticket at the last minute I was lucky enough to still get a good seat in row Q that actually was closer then I thought it would be right next to the sound booth. I have to admit I did move to the second row after a few songs, I couldn’t be that far from Donna plus taking pictures of the big TV screens just wasn’t cutting it. 

Well anyway, as I sit in my original seat and wait very impatiently for the concert to begin I met a few of the fans that came out from various parts of the world. It’s always great to network with Donna peoples anytime and I’ll expand on that later in this review. So finally just after 9 p.m. the theater lights dimmed and the curtain went up, the conducted orchestra thundered throughout the theater an opening medley of Donna hits including MacArthur Park as a dazzling light show took place. Everyone waited with anticipation wondering how will she enter and then boom Donna rises up from the stage. Beautiful and glamorous in a sparkly light brown summer style dress equipped with a train attached to her hand like an angels wing Donna belts out the lyrics to She Works Hard For The Money, opening the show with a bang and finally I’m right where I wanna be. As I danced in my seat I could feel Donna was very excited and happy to see yet another sold out audience with so much enthusiasm. 

She then transitioned to the epic Once Upon A Time, which she explained was written for Mimi when she was just seven years old and now Mimi, has a seven year old. The Hit I Love You was Donna’s next number and special dedication to the audience, her voice was superb this night crystal clear and powerful. Donna didn’t miss one single note or cue the whole night, which is exactly what I expected from our Number One Diva. 

Of course Donna being the comedian that she is started to clown around with the folks asking where everyone was from because no one is from Las Vegas “(chuckles)”, even doing the hula after someone said they were from Hawaii. How often do you get to see Donna doing the hula? It was great fun! And yes Could It Be Magic, Dim All The Lights, and MacArthur park were the next 3 numbers that got the house rocking all over again, with a huge applause after. 

Donna then toned things down and sent her Prayers to everyone who suffered from Hurricane Katrina and asked that we give and pray to help the recovery efforts. I think it’s wonderful that Donna used her star power to reach out and create awareness in this horrifying time of need. Dedicating Amazing Grace as a prayer from all of us was heartfelt and Donna wiped her tears at the end. Charlie Chaplin’s Smile was next on the line up. Donna explained that this song has helped her through some tough times and you could tell she performed it with a heavy heart. 

Well it was now that time. Time for a little help from us, Donna sang the beginning to the Wonder Years Song and asked five People to get onstage and do the back up to oh yes, On The Radio! The whole place was dancing and singing and I noticed a certain Australian was one of Donna’s back up singers, lucky guy! The brand new I Got Your Love was next it got a great response from the audience even those hearing it for the first time found themselves bouncing to this catchier then a cold tune. After humorously introducing us to the twins “(wink)”  Natural Woman was performed turning into a remix version halfway through. Wonderful! 

Donna’s hubby Bruce Sudano then took the stage to perform his new single Le Imagine Café, which let me tell you is excellently done. If you have not yet heard this song you are missing out. Returning from her short break in what seemed to be one of her vintage gowns possibly (?).  It was floor length and fitted and rays of light shot off of the sparkly stones, which adorned the dress. Donna performed a song (s) I never thought I’d ever see her perform live in my lifetime My Man Medley, straight from live and more with a twist in the monologue. 

Speaking of monologue’s Mary, Donna’s sister and back up singer told us a little story about her man Oscar. It was a very funny skit about a low down guy that lead the perfect intro for No More Tears (Enough is Enough) a duet sung by Donna and her sister Mary. Recently changed into a stunning white outfit Donna then performed Nights In White Satin, Donna said she had this on her turntable when she was touring with Hair and would listen to it. Getting close to the end of the show Donna was still throwing out the surprises, Performing Try Me I Know We Can Make It, I Feel Love, Love To Love You Baby and a little Cold Love, four classics that reenergized the crowd and got us ready for the finale. 

By this time I was a little high off Donna so I started dancing and stopped taking notes and joined other Donna fans up front to party with them in her final moments with us onstage. Hot Stuff was the song of the night everyone was up dancing and getting into it. Sad but the night was coming to a close and Donna left the stage. The Fans were all screaming and whistling I could hear Donna Donna Donna being chanted over and over again. A violinist took the stage to do a solo performance. While the violinist was playing Donna walks up to her and you hear the first notes of Last Dance start, it was now time. Our last chance to spend a moment with Donna. Everyone sang along and danced in the aisles as Donna captivated our ears and filled us with song. She gracefully left the stage and it was over sad but true. 

I waited around a bit to try and get a photo with her but no luck. The Merchandise counter was overloaded with people after the show, they even ran out of the Journey CD’s but I was able to pick up one of the black tour shirts with Donna’s new photo on the front and tour listing on the back for $30.00. Donna’s Book, Hats that read Hot Stuff were also available along with tank tops with rhinestones, a 14kt gold picture of Donna and her photo etched in silver were also for sale. 

Although the concert had ended the night was still young and there was more Donna fun to be had. I invited all the fans with the help of Cathy and her site to the club I DJ at called Hamburger Mary’s for a Donna Summer Tribute party. I didn’t think many would show but the turn out was excellent. Thank you all for coming it was a blast and great to meet everyone you guys rock stay in touch. Some names in attendance were Jonathan, Michael, John, Wade and so many more I’m sorry I wish I could remember all the names. I played Donna for 2 hours straight through, some highlights were, Bad Girls Demo, No More Tears (Q’s shits and sticks remix), The Power Of One (Tommy Musto mix), One Of A Kind, Dream A Lots Theme (Carlybabes anthem mix) and so many more. I think Donna needs her own Las Vegas show so we can do things like this everyday but overall the night was fabulous very entertaining and a great success wonderful to see Donna back in action. I have many pictures if anybody wants them just drop me a line at DJKLIVE-at-yahoo-dot-com.

- Keith (DJK) Richko

i went to the vegas show on sep 3rd and donna was FANTASTIC! i enjoyed when donna talked about her days in "hair" and the songs that came from that show - she used this as an introduction to "knights in white satin." she also asked us all to join her in singing "amazing grace" for the victims of hurricane katrina - and i did - i sang at the top of my lungs along with donna! she wiped tears from her eyes at the end of the song. at the end of the show she received a standing ovation. there was no encore after "last dance." she sang "try me, i know we can make it/i feel love/love to love you baby" medley (orgasms and all!)" that medley was my personal fave! i sang along with those ones too! at the top of my lungs! she also sang "smile" "natural woman (she told the story of her "twins!)" - i sang along with this one too! - except for the word "woman." and 2 lines from taste of honey's "boogie oogie oogie" when she introduced her bass player! she also sang my man medley and was fabulous! other songs that she sang were "macarthur park (full version)" "could it be magic," "dim all the lights," "on the radio," "hot stuff/bad girls," and "enough is enough" (with her sister mary - who explained that she was tired of men who promised they would call for a date - but never do - so when she finally had tickets to a "donna summer concert" - the "concert of the century" - he finally called her so he could go with her! then donna appeared on the stage and said "enough is enough!" the skit was cute. her husband also sang a song from his album that sounded quite familiar - and good! the show opened with an instrumental medley -  i LOVE hearing "sunset people" in that medley - it was a great way to start the concert! i also have photos from the show and some friends that i met after the show (i met michael campbell from australia who mentioned your site! - and he was one of the "helpers" for on the radio) that i will share as soon as i figure out how to get them from verizon

- Curtis

oh yeah - she also sang I GOT YOUR LOVE (one verse and one chorus) and encouraged the audience to visit "itunes."

I attended the Donna Summer concert at the Las Vegas Hilton on September 3, 2005. 

Donna's entrance was one of the best to date - rising from the baby grand piano, hand up stretched barely grazing the huge "disco ball" - Donna nailed the term DIVA. She held the audience in the palm of her hand. The crowd was as diverse as Donna's talents - gay, straight, black, white, young and old, all gyrating and basking in the power radiating from Donna's song. 

Her band and the backing orchestra was amazing. The violin player who segued Donna into Last Dance was incredible. Her sister Mary has a voice as incredible as Donna's - guess it 's a family thing!

There is no doubt that Donna has wrestled with some issues in the past concerning her music and image. She seems to have resolved all these as her show was definitely for her fans. She gave us a retrospective that left many of us wondering why did disco ever fade from the mainstream. Donna camped and batted her beautiful brown eyes at her audience. She wiggled and giggled and joked and teased. She would tilt her head back and give us that famous "Live and More" album cover. 

She is definitely more comfortable with her audience and doesn't seem to mind the old sex symbol image because all of us who were there know that was just "hype" - we all knew Donna was always way more than that. Hey, it's not her fault she has the looks and the voice and the talent. Casablanca knew that from the get go. 

The crowd didn't know some of the songs, Cold Love in particular and I am suprised that there was not more of a reaction to her performance of Love to Love You. She had me and my friends in a state of euphoria when she cooed her way through her early hits and I was jumping up and down (and probably annoying others) when she did I Feel Love. 

The audience couldn't control itself when she sang Bad Girls and from there it was sheer Donna frenzy as she belted out Hot Stuff and closed with her signature song Last Dance. 

Her gowns were awesome - all tailored and showing off her fuller figure. My favorite being the gown she wore to sing the "My Man Medley". The hair - GREAT! - curly and loose, with just a hint of the Once Upon a Time style.

Her renditions of Smile and Natural Woman rocked the house and Amazing Grace, dedicated to the victims of hurricane Katrina, had more than a few of us "teary eyed". At that moment, I knew what she meant when she said her voice was a "gift" from God. If there was a voice to reach to a "higher power" it would be hers. 

If there was any "flaw" in the concert, it would be that she didn't include any newer material, but as I said before, this concert tour was for "The Fans". 

I truly hope that Donna records Knights in White Satin. She did it, as she does everything, fabulously. 

Donna Summer, our multi talented Diva Supreme, took us all on "a magical mystical journey trough time and love" and in the end, we all left the theater with love in our hearts for all. 

Thank you Donna Summer. You're "One of a Kind".

- Paul from Chicago and El Paso

I was at both shows for Las Vegas, joined by my friend Raul from Boston. Though Sunday was my 6th show this tour, I thought Donna did an absolute exceptional job. Usually Vegas audiences are not as enthusiastic. These were by far the most enthusiastic Vegas audiences I have ever seen ! 

Donna was playful and full of humor both nights, especially the last night on the 4th.She was a bit naughty at times too. There was a time in between songs when the audience was yelling out songs for her to sing and she did a quick bit of "Spring Affair". During Bad Girls on Sunday's show, she had Mary, Yvonne and two other ladies lined up behind her singing back up. They all were camping up and having so much fun. I also noticed that on the Saturday night show, when Mary was answering the phone for the dialog before Enough is Enough, instead of Yvonne calling, it was Oscar's big sister "Stacy". This you could tell was a practical joke and Mary kept asking, Who is this ?? Eventually she simply asked his sister to go to the Donna Summer concert and she would ditch Oscar once and for all. You could tell it was a man's voice and that made it even funnier. On Sunday, it was actually Oscar calling Mary and he was talking fast and explaining how he is broke and just got his Ferrari repossessed. This got a lot of laughs, but even more the night before. 

Donna's tribute to New Orleans was very touching with the rendition of Amazing Grace. I think it was a very emotional part in the concert, as the next song was Smile, and she spoke of how she sang it to herself when he Father was ill. Love the With a little Help from my Friends before On the Radio segment with the audience participating. A Friend I met, Michael from Sydney, got on stage on the Saturday show and really had a blast ! Was the most animated and danced it up quite a bit. Even took a bow when it was over ! Donna felt at home and it was wonderful to see how many people had come to her shows and give Donna the warm welcome she deserves In Vegas or at any venue for that matter. The only thing, if anything, I could have wished for was a finale after Last Dance with State of Independence as she did for all of us at the Universal concert in LA. 

Saturday night's concert was topped off with more Donna at Hamburger Mary's. Michael, Ryan, Raul and I all met up with other fan's to have a toast to Donna and party some more. Many Thanks to DJ Keith who had invited us to the party. He was playing awesome mixes of Donna for over 2 hours. YOU ROCK !! Before and after both shows, I had the pleasure of meeting Michael from Australia, Gareth and Tim from England, as well as Andrew from England, along with Sander and Marcel from Holland. One familiar face who was sitting in my row on the Sunday show night was Mary Wilson from the Supremes !

- Jonathan, Los Angeles

Well, jetlagged still but whilst it is still (and always shall be) fresh in my memory, let me just say that Vegas was everything I knew it would be. The song list was eternal and wonderful; I couldn't have asked for more. And lets face it, team; if she did every number we wanted to hear, we would still be there!!!!!! And believe me, I would rather still be there than sitting in court, working.

I will try and attach some photos here as well for the site, hopefully they will come out okay. And of course the DVD of "On the Radio" with my outrageous dancing that earned me Donna's phrase "Wow, take a bow", made the whole thing worth it. To have been selected to go on stage, sing, dance AND give the Diva herself a hug and kiss is something that I'll never forget. I think what amazed me most was that even though Donna made jokes about "Max Factor" and the work it takes to create "Donna" - when I actually got close up to her, she is truly beautiful and there wasn't as much makeup as I anticipated. And, contrary to something I read yesterday, Donna actually had her blue contact lenses in, a la "Mistaken Identity". She smelled lovely, though I know not what perfume she was wearing. In a day and age where performing artists seem to go on stage and we feel we never get our money's worth, it was exactly the opposite for Donna. She must have been truly exhausted after those shows because she really gave it her all. I was exhausted for her. Mind you, the screaming and shouting on my part didn't help. 

The crowd of new friends I met were extraordinary. Thank you to Gareth, Tim, Jonathon, Ryan, Sander, Marcel (particularly for the DVD of on the radio), Raul and Keith - you were all fantastic and I look forward to remaining in contact. And a special thank you to Cathy for all your efforts; we all take our hats off to you; you are indeed a Diva in your own right.

To the powers that be: Whether it was by luck or by design (I suspect the latter), thank you for having me on stage and bringing my dream to reality. I'll treasure it as long as I live. I'm so blessed. I hope the family enjoy my aussie pack. Shall be speaking to Marcia Hines this week to give her the news. Also, the Sydney newspaper are doing a follow up story of my trip, so I shall let you ALL know for the link!!!!!

- Michael from Sydney


Photos from Las Vegas

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