|Well, I saw Donna perform at the Coliseum in Caesars Windsor yesterday, and I just have to say…it was Fan-Bloody-Tastic! As I expected, the majority of the people seemed to be the casino crowd, a lot of elderly people with a few younger in the mix. I had a prime seat, centre section, eight rows from the front, near the centre of the row. Couldn’t ask for a better seat -- it pays to book your show ticket on the day it comes out. The Coliseum holds around 5000 people, and in my estimation, the room was packed to the rafters.
It was a 2-hour performance all told, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much of the show was dedicated to tracks from Crayons -- pretty much a 50-50 split between new songs and old classics. In fact, the only songs from Crayons that weren’t performed were Brazil, Science Of Love and Be Myself Again. I loved the digital screens that projected different things (such as flames during her performance of I’m A Fire), they were definitely used to good effect.
Donna looked fabulous, and she sounded awesome, it blew me away. I loved the fact that she changed outfits about 5 times during the show. My favourite was the multicoloured dress she wore after the first costume change. And as for the crowd response, they responded extremely well to her hits, getting up and dancing like nobody's business. It must be said, there’s nothing more amusing than the sight of an elderly grey-haired lady getting up on her feet and dancing her heart out to Donna.
For the most part, unfortunately, the new songs weren’t working their magic on the crowd -- probably because most of the patrons are just there for the free tickets and may only be familiar with her hits, but I did notice a couple of the songs did seem to get audience approval. I could definitely tell there were Donna fans in the audience. One guy was all dolled up in a suit holding a vinyl copy of “On The Radio” and a young guy a few rows in front was wearing a shirt with a recent picture of Donna with the word “EMPRESS” in silver sequins over the picture. Made me laugh.
Here’s a run through of the set list. As I said, the show went about 2 hrs (from 8pm to 10pm)…
1. Changing Of The Guard
2. The Queen Is Back
3. I Feel Love
4. Dim All The Lights
5. I’m A Fire
6. Sand On My Feet
7. On The Radio
8. Mr. Music
10. Enough Is Enough
11. MacArthur Park
12. Bring Down The Reign
13. Stamp Your Feet
14. Slide Over Backwards
15. Selah (Mary’s solo)
16. She Works Hard For The Money
17. Bad Girls
18. Hot Stuff
19. Fame (The Game)
20. Last Dance
A few notes about the new songs…
I loved Donna’s entrance during the intro to QIB. The purple screen rotated and she was frozen in a pose as it revolved around. The thing I noticed is how great most of the new Crayons songs sound live. I was especially thrilled she performed Fame, as I didn’t expect her to sing so many new tracks. I also loved her rendition of Sand On My Feet, which she performed in a bit slower tempo, absolutely lovely. Sadly, I was least impressed with her performance of Crayons, mainly because she seemed to have forgotten the words to the first verse, but she did recover in the end.. I loved the “iDons” during Mr. Music. Though I have to say the dancers were a bit distracting during some of the songs (not to say they weren‘t good, they were pretty acrobatic), but I did like the parody they did of the iPod “shadow people”. The crowd really liked Stamp Your Feet, and I thought it was a fine performance. Bring Down The Reign was very nice done live, and it did seem a genuinely heart-felt performance. I really liked how Donna did Slide Over Backwards as Hattie Mae. Mary and the other girls told us the back story of “Hattie Mae” and then Donna came out and performed. After that, Mary performed her song Selah, after also getting an even more ridiculous name than “Hattie Mae Blanche Dubois” (sadly I can’t remember the names, I lost count after the 10th name frankly). Mary performed well, and I really liked the song. And as for Fame (The Game), I loved it, Donna really nailed it.
I was so impressed with Donna’s performance, and I was so happy to have gotten as good a seat as I did. It was a joy to see the crowd up and dancing and having a great old time! And she’s got one more show in Windsor tonight. I wonder if it’ll be as good as it was yesterday. It’ll be pretty hard to top!
P.S. Though photography wasn’t allowed at the venue, I snuck my camera in (I’m so naughty, naughty!) and managed to take a couple really good pics of Donna, I was actually blown away considering the lighting isn’t exactly optimal and even being 8 rows back it isn’t super close to the stage, not to mention that I didn’t use my flash. I wasn’t the only one to take a camera, the people on either side of me had one too. So I was in good company. Sadly I only got about as far as halfway through the show when I stopped snapping. I was too nervous about being spotted that I put the camera away. I did manage to get a good two dozen or so shots thankfully.
One other thing: Before the concert, I noticed the lady next to me wearing a Crayons t-shirt. I found out they were selling merchandise and completely missed it on my way down to the Coliseum. I high-tailed it back there and bought one for myself. They did have that hoodie, but it was a bit too rich for my blood -- as it was this t-shirt was $35. Ouch. But how could I not see a Donna show and not buy a t-shirt.
I think I need a lie-down now from all the excitement!