The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Oakland 

August 16, 2008

Do not read ANY of these fan reports if you want to be surprised when you see the show!

You have been warned!  ;-)

If you heard a song you liked at the show, why not buy a download of the original?

 

 

Donna's performance at the Paramount in Oakland was a real scorcher. It was a searing performance! Donna was well-rested and very energetic, and she Donna sang with brilliance and resonance. Donna, the musicians and the crew, served up a big feast, complete with fresh Donna from the Crayons album, and accompanied with fine vintage Donna, from the past. It was absolutely delicious, and the presentation was fabulous. 

The Paramount venue was absolutely beautiful. The crowd was very friendly, and nice and mixed. When I ran into some acquaintances from a class I took at Laney College, I really felt at home. I was proud that Donna had come to visit my new hometown, Oakland, California. The soft amber lighting, and the art deco details, really complimented the event. Having been initiated as a true Oaklander (I won't frighten you with any details here), I can only hope and pray that everything at the Paramount is bolted down, because it is all so beautiful. And in Oakland, I hear that "if it ain't bolted down, it's for sale." I digress. Again, it was a truly beautiful and magnificent art deco venue, fit for a Queen. 

I basked in the brilliance of Donna's performance at the Paramount. The performance at the Paramount was full-on, from beginning to end. It was unbelievably energetic. If you are reading this, I know you love Donna for her extraordinary musical talent and her unique, beautiful voice. If you have never seen her live, you must see her, and you will know that she really is that great. Donna's sister, Mary Ellen Bernard, also gave a great solo performance. She sang with lightness and strength. I found her voice to be as big as Donna's with a lighter effect on the high notes. If you have the chance to see Donna perform live, I highly recommend it. You must hold audience with the Queen! It was a pearl of a performance, and I left feeling much more cultured! 

After the show, the West Coast Team, led by Eduardo Hanke, held a reception for the Donna, Bruce, the King, and all of their Subjects. I had heard about the fancy footwork Eduardo had to do to make arrangements for the Oakland Cake Party, including ordering and transporting the cake, and I think he did an excellent job, with a little help from Armin. The cake was beautiful, and so was Donna. After Eduardo made a heartfelt speech. I could have sworn I heard the Queen say, "Let them eat cake!" And we did.

KEN FLETCHER
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

My memory isn't the best but the set list looks like what Ben posted. I got my tickets late (long story) but the seats were 4 rows from the stage close to the center. Perfect!! Donna was only a few feet away. It was my first time to see Donna live and she was just awesome!! Been a fan since the Bad Girl/On the Radio days.

Her vocals were outstanding. But we all know that! Donna was her personable self and spoke a little making the audience laugh. Then there were all the costume changes, the three great male dancers, and the three panel screens and the LEDs on the platforms. It was just a multitude of eye candy and then there's the Queen. LOL. It was so different from the VH-1 Live and More Encore concert which I just loved too. I think this tour definitely appeals to people who attend concerts these days with dancers and big screens. It all worked so seamlessly. I had only seen two songs from the concert via YouTube (Sand on My Feet and Stamp Your Feet) but that was it. I wanted to be surprised and indeed I was. I wasn't expecting Slide Over Backwards and the great Hattie Mae lead up to it. She dared to call out Mary's entire name including "Sealy Posteurpedic." Donna can be such a "bad girl." It took many listens for me to be OK with Slide Over Backwards but it's wonderful live.

I feel the same for Bring Down the Reign. It just ignites live on stage. And she performed Fame (The Game) and it looked really cool with the celebrity images from the past and Hollywood sign, the dancers as paparazzi and Donna all glammed up. Fame was another song that just sounded so much better live. I'm a Fire, well, just burned down the house! No Con te Partiro. Those of you who heard Donna perform that one are lucky. No Be Myself Again.--not my favorite track from Crayons anyway. OK, count me as one of those crazy fans for Science of Love. Killer hook! I wish she had performed that one but alas, no luck. The title track was very energetic. Love it. Fun one onstage as well. Sand on My Feet (a favorite track of mine) was a beautifully relaxing change-of-pace. Mr. Music brought out the hilarious IDON players and dancers mimicking the iTunes ads. Stamp Your Feet brought out a silly football skit but it was very fun. And of course there were all of her greatest hits! Fabulous!

The place the concert was held, the Paramount, is a beautiful art deco venue. Large but still intimate. I've never been there before.

The audience was a mixed bunch which I think was good--a lot of old-timers, gay men, black, white, etc. I thought the crowd was enthusiastic. People were clapping and getting out of their seats and staying out of their seats for all the dance songs (me too!). I'm one of the few who knew the new stuff from Crayons. :-) 

The concert was over in about 2 hours. Man, that time just flew by. I was hoping there would be an encore after Last Dance but no such luck. Also, what's a guy have to do to get in on the Meet and Greet with Donna? I’d almost faint if I had the chance to meet and take a photo with Donna.

I looked at all the merchandise but really could only afford and use the black Crayons cap so I picked that up. I helped a casual fan decide on the album TV shirt and told her to get the CD too. I'm doing my part. I took some great pics with a flash. Hope to post a few here soon. 

Thanks to Hector, I visited the Bench and Bar and checked out some of the music, line dances and drag show for free.

Again, it was a great show. I had to tell a friend all about it. 

Because I was late, I missed out on the first song which I discovered afterwards was The Queen is Back and missed the beginning of I Feel Love. I was left with no choice but to see Donna again the next night in Santa Rosa. LOL. Read my report there.

- Dave, San Francisco

Well, for any of the Bay Area folks that were fortunate enough to see THE QUEEN at "The Paramount Theatre" in Oakland on Saturday night, 08-16-08...ALL were treated to yet another HOT SUMMER NIGHT of some of our FAVORITE Donna Summer nostalgic tunes and "memories" such as Bad Girls, Hot Stuff, On The Radio, McArthur Park, I Feel Love, and Last Dance...AND to hear some of her NEW HITS such as Stamp Your Feet, Crayons, Sand On My Feet, Bring Down The Reign, Mr. Music, I'm A Fire, Slide Over Backwards, and Fame The Game was TRULY PHENOMENAL!!!!!!

Donna opened the concert with "THE QUEEN IS BACK" and certainly did prove to the nearly sold out crowd that she is indeed....back!!!!!!!!!!! Her voice is a gift to us all from God....and this voice is as ever powerful and magical as it was nearly 35 years ago, so difficult to even fathom we have been blessed with her miraculous voice for this long!!!! One can only describe this "HISTORIC BAY AREA EVENT" as a resounding success and we will ALL look forward to the grace and wonder of OUR DIVA'S future appearances here and EVERYWHERE...(!!!!)

MANY thanks to our dear, new friend - Eduardo Hanke who helped both my partner (Jimmy Morrow) and myself, Tom Stewart realize a DREAM COME TRUE, when we and the rest of the "SF Street Team" were granted a personal audience with Her Majesty - when we presented her with a beautiful cake, as a dedication of all of our appreciation for such a GRAND EVENING.... One might have asked..."Could It Be Magic"???? Oh, YES it was... LONG LIVE "THE QUEEN"!!!!!

- Tom Stewart "SF Street Team"

Let me first just give you the set list for Paramount:

[Intro: Electronic Beethoven's Fifth / Changing of the Guards.)
The Queen is Back
I Feel Love
Dim all the Lights
I'm a Fire
Sand on my Feet
On the Radio
Mr. Music
Crayons
--- Intermission ---
No More Tears (Enough is Enough)
MacArthur Park
Bring Down the Reign
Slide Over Backwards
Selah [Mary Ellen Bernard]
She Works Hard for the Money
Bad Girls
Hot Stuff
Fame (the Game)!!! [Encore]
Last Dance [Encore]

Let me focus on the positives --
- It was a essentially a sold out crowd.
- The theatre is high Deco and palatial and fit well for the return of the Queen.
- Of course, Donna gave a stellar performance!
- I think everyone had a great time. Everyone was on their feet for the fast songs. People who sat next to me were impressed with the new songs even though they haven't heard them before.
- I know now that the Mountain Winery (Saratoga) has a truncated version of the stage settings. They LED effects were even more impressive at the Paramount.
- This time there were some African arts on the LED screens during BDTR. At the very end, Donna flashed out the logo for Savedarfur.org. I think the audience were touched by her plea.
- It was incredible that she did FAME (the game). I was surprised.

- Ben

 

Photos from Dave

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Pictures from Ben. Click for larger versions. ben-oak5.jpg (18011 bytes)
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Photo from Kenneth

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