The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Las Vegas Fan Reviews 

June 23 and 24, 2006

I happened to be in Las Vegas on business. I was very excited because Donna Summer was playing at the Hilton on Friday night. Even though I could only stay for about 45 minutes into the show, I decided to get tickets. I know her music very well and she was the first pop star whose records I always bought. I've never had the opportunity to see her live. 

Tough break:
The show didn't begin on time which was heart breaking for me, especially since I was only going to stay for 45 minutes. At about 9:30 (30 minutes after the show was supposed to begin) they said that "due to technical difficulties the show would begin in fifteen minutes" I didn't know if they said fifteen or fifty. My heart sank. I'm pretty sure that they had difficulties with the white piano mechanism where she comes out of. Tough news: People were very, very angry about the delay and didn't have any shame hiding it. I thought my one chance to see her was gone.

The Payoff:
Lucky it was fifteen (not fifty minutes). So, I got to see her perform two songs, but then had to leave. It was worth it see her. She sang SWHFTM and then M Park. Great voice as always. People seemed to be really floored at how great her voice was. You never know if Bob and Martha from Wisconsin really know that they came to see a true superstar. When Donna starting singing, everyone in the house knew it. When I was leaving I could see big smiles on peoples faces, including the ushers. Wish I could have seen more of the show. 

Side note:
In that type setting (Vegas) you never know if people really know her music or are there for the ride i.e. would Bob and Martha show up if Charo was playing the hotel that night? I say that because, I heard someone say in line, "Do you think she'll do 'I Will Survive". I think that Donna Summer is the one superstar whose music gets mistaken for other stars more than anyone else---one of my friends said recently she really knows and likes DS's music, especially 'Upside Down' I think someday Donna should do "Laura Branigan's Gloria' in concert just to see people's reaction. 

Bottom line: I was so glad I went, she sounded great, people seemed so happy to see here, she seemed like she was it great spirits and she looked great. More than worth every penny. 

- Mpdphp from Colorado Springs

Hello! It's Josh from San Francisco reporting back on tonight's show at the Las Vegas Hilton. I saw Donna in 1977 when I was 7 and I have been waiting for this concert for almost 30 years!!

Donna started 45 minutes late because of technical problems, and it was the kind of Vegas crowd that reminds you why performers like Madonna hate to play Vegas: as soon as the hardcore Donna fans stood up to welcome her to Vegas at the beginning of the show, people behind us were telling us to "sit down." My response to them was inappropriate for your elegant website, but very appropriate for the free-ticket geriatric Las Vegas Hilton crowd. I couldn't believe it. I guess the main thing, though, is it didn't seem to bother Donna. Then, again, she must have been a little bothered that for 75% of the show, people were sitting.

Donna hit all the high notes, didn't miss a single one. I've heard that she's left a lot of those to her sister, but not tonight. Donna really rocked, brought tears to my eyes, in fact. She looks fabulous, and a lot of people told her so. She couldn't get through a monologue without people screaming at her how much they love her!

Here's tonight's playlist. It think it's pretty accurate...but I may have whacked some of the song names. Sorry!

Macarthur Park Medley intro
Macarthur Park
Once Upon a Time
I Love You
Little Help from my Friends
On the Radio
Smile (Charlie Chaplin song)
Natural Woman
Le Imagine Cafe (by her husband Bruce)
My Man/
Some of These Days
Enough is enough
Bad Girls
Hot Stuff
Dim all the lights

I'm going to see her again at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga and I hope the crowd there doesn't suck like this one. Donna is in credible, that's all there is to it.

- Josh from San Francisco

As Josh has already said- the crowd was LAME. I had what I thought was a drag queen (turned out to be a real woman...eek) that was sitting behind have the nerve to actually grab my arm and try to force me back into my seat as I stood up to greet Donna when she came out on Friday night. She got a decidedly nasty response from my boyfriend!

After that, though- Donna was great and due to the fact that crowd sucked I got to have a LOT of interaction with Donna- she was over on our side winking and playing to us as we were the ONLY ones singing along and dancing (in our seats for the most of the show!) She really noticed us during "Cold Love" and at one point during the "tell me why" part I pointed at her and then she pointed back at was AWESOME!

Donna was in especially fine voice on Friday- she did hit all of the high notes and even though she had a considerable amount of trouble with her headphones, she hit every note. As others have said- "Pearls" was amazing- I had goosebumps all through it, especially the "hallelujah" part. This is why I love her - her voice resonates through to and with my soul.
Amazing concert as always. Oh, and Donna looked amazing! Cathy, you are right- the white dress is AMAZING and no photo that I have seen does it justice.

- Brent from Kansas City

Was one of the many who waited the long extra 45 minutes for Donna to appear at the LV Hilton on Friday 23rd June. Had travelled over from the UK especially for the concert having managed to get front row tickets. Of course, with it being Vegas, just had to make a week of it!

Had only managed to get a brief experience of Donna singing live 2 years ago at the recording of the DiscoMania show in London, but that was 3 songs to a backing track so did nothing to prepare me for the spectacle of Donna with a full supporting orchestra. Trust me, it was worth the 29 year wait since I first became a fan and vowed to see her live when I got the chance.

Was worried that the late start might mean a short set and judging by some of the reports from other shows, was unfortunately proved right. We didn't get TTIKIFR, no Try Me/I Feel Love/LTLYB medley, although Josh's review did miss out the fact that we did get SWHFTM, Pearls & Last Dance.

Being in the front row, I'd agree with Josh that the majority of the audience made standing to dance a little uncomfortable - but a 29 year wait didn't stop me spending a large part of the show on my feet. What I did find astounding was the number of people getting up to get drinks and visit the restrooms DURING the performance -even those in the front row. Obviously they were not the die hards like me who didn't want to miss a second! Did think I saw Donna give them a few disdainful glances but they didn't distract her from her professionalism. Nor did problems with her earpiece. Very entertaining seeing her performing with a sound engineer's hand inside the back of her dress! Even more amusing seeing him straighten out the locks of her long wig while she continued to sing! 

Donna's voice was amazing - lost count of the number of shivers that went down my spine. The monologues were entertaining.

I was sat next to Jonathan & Julio from LA who had been following Donna on the whole tour (and last year!). As if that didn't make them lucky enough, Jonathan's luck got even better when he was invited up on stage for On the Radio. Thanks for the company guys and enjoy the rest of the tour.

One last thing to mention - an ad I saw in Vegas and the LV Hilton website show Donna returning on 3rd & 4th November. Unfortunately (?) I'll be in Bali so no 2nd chance yet. Let's hope Europe is on the agenda soon!!!!!

- Keith P from Southampton, UK

This is not a review concert.... this is little story about one of the most important part of my entire life! Thanks Raul C, Jon and Julio.

Kchito… THANKS, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

Jun 23, 2006, Las Vegas NV.

“… after the show I was standing there, waiting in line to see Donna!!! In that moment I thought I was dreaming, maybe I’m sleeping and just when she arrives I’m gonna wake up! PLEASE NO!!!!!!!

First Mary Ellen came and talked with us a few minutes, she is a very kind person! We (Jon, Julio and I) took a picture with her.

Waiting keep beating my heart… and this could be no good because last march I suffer a little heart attack and doctor’s order was: “no hard emotions, no stress”, but c’mon! is Donna the soul I’m waiting for! Meeting her in person for the first time!

I was dreaming with this moment since 1976 when I first hear “A Love Trilogy” Album and when “Live & More” came into my hands and my ears see her in concert was like a mission, but here in Mexico this could be difficult, but not impossible!

In Feb 1994 she did three nights in concert before she goes to Viña Del Mar in Chile, I was there on Saturday Feb 12… She send me a kiss after my yell “I LOVE YOU DONNA!” and when she told us to ask her for songs, she went in front of me and said: “…you, ask me for a song, what song do you want me to sing for you”…. My mouth and my brain was disconnected… but after a few shakes from my friend I could speak just the name of one song: “All through the night” and she did accapella the chorus part… “All through the night, lay your head on my shoulder you can make love to my mind… and if you feel the magic , don’t be afraid…” I was in heaven! But one thing was missing… I wanted to shake her hand, give her a kiss, tell her how important she has been in my life! This was not possible that time…

In 1997 I first worked to convince the president of the radio company I work for that Donna could be a big success in concert in this big city… He said “OK, let’s do it, do what you have to do to bring her”, William Morris Agency, Stan Moress and a lot of people, telephone calls, e-mails, fax… the venue, publicity, legal permissions… I really worked hard… they said at least three nights, ok… two in Auditorio Nacional (10000 seats capacity) in Mexico city and one more in Monterrey in November 1997, everything was done! The publicity campaign start in August, OK!!!!! But…. a telephone call from William Morris Agency last days of July destroy everything! “Donna is not available for November, she has to cancel this Mexico concerts… She’s gonna be grandmother by those days! End of the project! The dream of see her in person was vanished again!

… a lot of scenes came into my mind when I was waiting in line, Donna and I posing for a picture, shaking her hands and telling her how much important she has been with her music in my life, this is gonna be real in a few minutes!!! Suddenly it happens!! A big curtain at the end of the hall opens…. a security guy walking … and behind him… DONNA!!! “Hi guys, how are you?” 30 years of waiting was ending! She raise her right hand and ask me: “what’s your name, where are you from?” “hi Donna, I’m Raul, I’m from Mexico city and I came to Las Vegas just to see your both shows…” “..thanks darling”… I took her both hands and it was impossible to contain my tears…. “..oh, don’t cry boy…” and she holds me!!!! “..Donna, I’ve been waiting for this moment for almost 30 years…. Thank you for your talent, for your music, thanks for being part of my life!” “…no, thank you for being a loyal fan, I love you” and another hug… “do you want a picture?” “of course Donna”, Julio has my camera and he focus Donna and me… in this few seconds I told Donna almost in her ear: “Donna, when a new cd is coming out?” “…what?” “yes Donna, we need a new cd”, “… as soon as I finish to recording it”, “ok, but, are you recording it?”, “yes, I’m…”.

This Time It Was For Real.

- Raul Mondragón, Ra

I saw the Donna Summer concert in Las Vegas on June 30. Our show started with only a 5-minute delay and the show was wonderful. As the others wrote, Donna hit all the notes and performed many songs by other artists that also revealed her voice's range. Donna performed most of her songs too. In all fairness to Donna, Las Vegas shows are routinely 90 minutes long. It does not have anything to do with the Vegas audience's attention span; rather, because Vegas is a union city and the 90 minute limit is directly tied to that arrangement. I have seen Donna many times in LA and she always performs considerably longer than in Vegas. Given the 90-minute limit (she actually performed 95 minutes), Donna appropriately selected her own material and that of other artists. This was one of the best performances I have ever seen from Donna, primarily because her voice was even more refined. Indeed, like a good wine, Donna just gets better with time!

By the way, I observed the theatre on Friday night, at the gift shop. I could see the delay because the theatre doors were open until past 9:30. I was gambling nearby and noted that the audience exited after the full 90 minutes she was allocated by the confines of a Vegas show.

- Bill from Los Angeles


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