The Sinatra Theater/Sunrise ,Florida-February 16th and 17th:
Though I had seen several of Donna's shows in the the last 3 years, I wanted to be present at the last leg of her tour. I still enjoyed every minute of the concerts !! The set list of songs that Donna sang were: Hard for The Money, Macarthur Park, This Time I Know It's For Real, Could it Be Magic, A Little Help From My Friends (intro)/On The Radio, Once Upon a Time/I Love You, Smile, Natural Women, Love to Love You (quick teaser), introduction of Bruce and Le' Imagine' Cafe, My Man Medley, Enough is Enough, Pearls, Dim All the Lights, Bad Girls/Hot Stuff, and Last Dance. Yes, same set list but it was great she did bring back the Man Man and Once Upon a Time/I Love You medley's. Donna did mention the new CD and that it would be available (for sure) in May. She spoke how proud she was of it after being nearly 17 years since her last full album...and also saying "You will Love-Love-Love this new CD". When she spoke about it's title, she mentioned how when you started Kindergarten and got a new box of crayons. She said "Remember you got the box and did not know what to do with them?...well this CD is definitely OUT OF THE BOX" !! Sunday's night concert was not as crowded as Saturday's, but the energy was a lot better with the crowd and of course with Donna. She called her niece on stage on Sunday, during On the Radio. As a matter of fact she picked 3 guys AND 3 girls that evening (Saturday was 3 girls and then picked 1 guy). Pearls was not performed on Sunday night, so it was a shorter show also starting right on time unlike the night before starting 20 minutes later. All in all It was with great pleasure being at these final 2 shows of this tour. It will be quite exciting to see what Donna has in store for us with the new CD and up coming tour to promote it !!
- Jonathan Weitz-Los Angeles,CA
CONCERT REVIEW: MIAMI/LAUDERDALE, 2-16-08
I'd like to pen my review with a request: Please play nice, because I have never before written a fan review of anything I really cared about--let alone, of this magnitude. The guys preceded me with great technical reports of the critical night's events (thank you! I needed help remembering the set list) and I wanted to write something a bit different. I had never before seen Donna live, and might not get to again. And a tip of the hat to the girls in the back row balcony who encouraged me, grin! That said:
It was to a lush, balmy Florida sunset that I walked into the theater, my mind a blank slate. I knew I would be entertained, that I would be thrilled to see her--and that she probably still sounded very good. I also knew this was the last weekend of her old show. I first noticed they did not appear to be playing Donna over the sound-system as had been the case with every other concert I went to (of the featured artist's songs being played beforehand). Conclusion: I thought so but couldn't be sure because I could not discern vocals--now I'm almost certain it was in fact IAF [editor's note: I'm A Fire for those still catching up on the news]. I loved it--whatever it was. I had waited thirty years to see her in concert.
The show opened with the band playing a medley of Hard For the Money and other hits--beginning my trip into fairyland. I went convinced Donna has a magnificent voice, but I was completely unprepared for what I heard. You could have knocked me over with a feather! I was shocked. As she appeared and the familiar notes of MacArthur Park began, the music caught and carried me while her voice swirled around the notes like a long-lost lover. I was stunned by her smoky tones, effortless slide across whole octaves and the raw power and focus she wielded with her instrument. I have never heard anything like this, and it is utterly beyond compare. I thought I could write, too but no words do her justice.
This Time I Know Its For Real was a whirligig of glorious light and sound! I was so grateful to hear such unfettered joy in her voice. And the orchestra backing her was a fantasy come to life. As the D*i*s*c*o ball spun lazy convolutions into the shadows catapulting me poof! into the way back machine as if it were once again 1970-something, I heard my first surprise: Could it Be Magic! Oh yes, it can--and it was. I lost whatever remnants of composure I thought I had, as the lights flashed rainbow brilliance on her thundering voice and the shiny things scattering the front of her gown glowed iridescent rainbows echoing my tears of gratitude for the privilege of being there.
I was soaring so high by this time that it was almost impossible to sit still--or even, to sit at all!--when she spun into With A Little Help, to which the crowd sang along. Having lost all sense of time or sequence I don't know when precisely it occurred or exactly what she said; but she made a little speech (which I'm sure many have heard before, 'knowing' Donna, probably many times before) but she gestured to her breast eloquently and said to the effect of, that in the past (inferring the 1970s and before) it wasn't as easy to buy new twins. If I wasn't on cloud nine before--. That was sooo sexy! She looked gorgeous, I was well pleased by her weight obviously she has made a real effort and it showed. Donna just glowed, she was radiant and her energy was infectious as she launched into On the Radio, drawing me in like a master storyteller--I was mesmerized. Throughout, her wit, intelligence, and sensitivity were breathtaking. I believe this woman is brilliant, and that she misses nothing. She was tuned in to her audience and to her fans; showing exceptional savvy.
Once Upon A Time was another surprise for me, as I had not really known all of what she'd sing. I floated, happily lost in music surrounded by a sea of strangers in the most intimate moments of my life. By the time she got to I Love You, I was ready for this anthem--her voice ringing to the rafters and in tones colored and candy-coated with layers of textured complexity like the many facets of an exquisite jewel. Smile was lovely; her rendition of Pearls, heartfelt. Natural Woman was wondrous, her projection phenomenal. I did not dare to hope for what came next. (Probably, me!). She did it. Well, a tiny bit of it. On this magical mystical night she took me on a journey through time and love with a preternatural teaser of the one song dearest to my heart: Love to Love You Baby,! Dear Donna, thank you for making my dream come true.
Medley/Enough is Enough--pure Donna, and a tour de force. In a day when most so-called singers seldom perform live, lip synch, etc. it strikes me as rare for any artist to sound "almost as good" live as on their recordings. But I felt like I was sitting in her studio, hearing her record. If she missed a single note I did not hear any. What I heard was perfect pitch, perfect timing and brilliant delivery full of emotion, passion, and indescribable power. She positively thundered. And she sounded so much better live than on CD--I didn't know what to do with myself. Donna Summer's destiny was and is to sing.
Dim All the Lights felt like the calm before the storm; a slow build rife with sparkling energy, catapulting me into ecstasy yet again. Its another personal favorite and I was enchanted to hear and to see her sing it; mesmerized by her hands and her thousand-watt smile that has lit up my life for as long as I can remember.
Bad Girls/Hot Stuff, was blazing hot! Somebody bring me some water,!
Last Dance was a beatific melody making me wonder whether the 1970's have finally ended, or whether, for me, they will never end because Donna's is the beloved voice which defined that magic era for me in all my dreams...as Giorgio once said: From here to eternity. To come home and hear I'm A Fire, was the perfect encore. Long live our Queen, and may you always continue to sing.