The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Paris 

July 7, 2009

 

Donna Summer „Live in Paris” - on the 7h of July 2009

Dear Cathy and everyone who´s concerned or interested – And let me say this first: This is only a very personal description of Donna´s show from the way I experienced it, my own point of view….I can´t describe all of it anyway…..I´d just like to let you know about my impressions and thought …and inform YOU ALL how just GOOD and FANTASTIC THE QUEEN sorry THE EMPRESS was! 

If you haven´t heard about Donna´s show in Paris yet. And there are already numerous videos on youtube that confirm Donna´s concert but to be honest I think hardly any of it can capture the magical, mystical moments of Donnas´ performance that night! Let me just say this!

This was the very first time in my life I experienced a full Donna Summer concert ever…can you imagine? I had to wait for about 33 years for this moment to arrive (laughs) and see Donna Summer live!!! (Me) living in Germany meant I had to travel to Paris to make my dream come true…and so I did. 

Well, where can I start..? The venue (Palais de Congres de Paris) is a very nice and elegant place where superstars like Elton John, Diana Ross and Liza Minelli had already performed. That was just good enough for Donna Summer ..I thought. 

When I arrived there, I immediately met guys from the forum – die hard Donna fans and we took photos a.s.o. We had to wait about 2 h and 30 minutes until the entrance to the big amphitheatre was opened. When the gates opened ( around the cloak room area) they sold Donna t-shirts and huge Donna posters (from the crayons session) at one stand. I definitely had to get me one after the show..) All sorts of people; of all ages, men and women, young and old, gay or straight, black or white came to see Donna. 

I was lucky to exchange my Donna ticket into a better one, where I´d be closer to her and see much more due to an offer from a Dutch Donna fan, who had an extra ticket. Well, I took my seat in the 8th or 9th row and then around 21:15 Donna´s show started. 

The band members entered one after the other on stage ..and people started applauding, yelling and screaming for Donna! Then when all of them where there, one of the musicians gave signs like: come on scream for Donna welcome her! Everyone in the audience I guess, did so…

Then it really started they dimmed the lights and the show began…..
The guards appeared and I knew it won´t take long and until I see Donna! 
Donnas´ entrance was so boombastic..fantastic, she started of course with 

The Queen is back ….I guess then came…..
I feel love 
Could it be magic

When she did I feel love and Could it be magic, I just couldn´t believe it´s true …seeing her doing these songs in a row…wow! Donna looked and sounded awesome …just gorgeous (I know people keep writing this often, but it´s absolutely true) in reality she looks even better than on recent live-pics. Donna was so passionately performing “I feel love and could it be magic”…but then later in the evening she even performed Love to love you, baby. .this was all beyond my dreams…seeing her live doing all these sexy songs of her career in one concert. 
She sang an excellent rendition of “Smile” for the late Michael Jackson and explained that she knew him very well and that she was supposed to attend the ceremony for him (all along showing pics of Michael´s) but she had a concert to do!!!! Thank god she did so!!!

Donna also sang passionately “La vie en rose” pointing out to her youngest daughter´s wedding and showing numerous photos of Amanda and her husband. I would say it was something like a historical moment for some fans who love this Donna song that she recorded many years ago. Donna also pointed out that Paris was the city of love and that Amanda was asked by her husband (in Paris) to marry her! I think Donna´s live performance of La vie en rose was way superior to her studio recording. 

As most of you probably know Donna also did “dim all the lights, she works hard for the money , bad girls, hot stuff and of course “Last dance” (as an encore). Not to forget: Stamp your feet, Crayons (it seemed that everyone really liked this song) Very moving and beautiful from my point of view was “Be myself again” Donna explained that sometimes it´s very hard to carry on if the ones you love are gone…and lead into the song. She sang this one with so much pureness and honesty…it really moved me…On the other hand she can be so funny, nice, diva –ish and lady like …all at the same time. Donna never fails to surprise me!!!!

Speaking of surprises: I had the extraordinary chance to meet Mary Bernard and the other 2 ladies of the show who did the back up vocals for Donna (no kidding). Mary said, that Donna is preparing a little surprice for the German fans in Berlin…  So make sure not to miss that show!!!! 

Greetings to all the Donna fans! (A few pics of my Donna evening are added)
Raph

[Editor's note - photos are below]

After much planning, and the near-heartstopping news that the show might not happen, the evening was upon us, and my boyfiend and I set off in the rain,in a taxi to Le Palais de Congress.

Once there, we quickly entered and got ourselves a drink. There were T shirts and posters on sale. (Not the same merchandise as in the US, but Limited editions for the one-off French show.

The audience was mainly made up of gay men (of a certain age), younger gay men, and straight couples. Once inside the auditorium, the atmosphere was electric. You could tell everyone there were really looking forward to seeing Donna. I felt very nervous, with excitement, but also wanting Donna to enjoy herself too. The theatre was sold out, which in itself was really lovely to witness. Donna deserved no less.

The show was ticketed to start at 8.30 prompt, but people were still being seated by 8.45. The audience began clapping, which grew and grew, until finally the band took their places, to HUGE cheers.

Finally, the lights went down, and THE QUEEN IS BACK began. Unlike the show I saw in Jones Beach, the screen went up, instead of revolving, to reveal Donna.

She came out to a huge cheer, and was wearing a floor-length black sparkley dress, not the purple dress with gloves she normally starts in. She looked AMAZING. Her hair and face looked radient, and she was looking trimmer than when I saw her in Jones Beach. Her make up was gorgeous. She looked iconic. I love her.

The crowd were soon on their feet. (We had to move, as the people behind us were complaining they couldn’t see!!!! What do they expect at a DONNA SUMMER concert??!!)

So we stood in the aisle, and had a blast.

Donna then spoke to the crowd, joking in mock French.

She looked very at ease, and the crowd, made up of mainly French, but with a sprinkling of people from Holland, Germany, the UK. Etc.

She eased seamlessly into COULD IT BE MAGIC. This went down a storm.

Things get a bit blurry, now. I’m writing this six days later, and the set list might be slightly out of order.

Donna talked about having a new album out last year, and did a few tracks. The set list was totally different to gigs in the US.

She performed BE MYSELF AGAIN, which was very touching. And she sang MR MUSIC, and STAMP YOUR FEET. And I’M A FIRE. Again, she used the three dancers, as in the US shows.

But there were far fewer costume changes, and on ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, Mary DIDN’T change into her blue outfit, to echo Donna’s red. She remained in her black “backing singer” outfit. As there were fewer costume changes, Mary DID not perform her solo. SLIDE OVER BACKWARDS was omitted. (Thankfully...I love Donna, but I’m not keen on SOB.)

Many of these renditions are already on YouTube...check them out.

I’d said to my boyfriend she wouldn’t do LOVE TO LOVE YOU, BABY....but guess what...she did....and brought the house down. She talked about Paris, and indeed France being...”very good to DONNA SUMMER”, and that a certain song was a huge hit for her in France...then went into LTLYB.

Two high points was when Donna paid tribute to Michael Jackson, and sang a LOVELY version of SMILE, and Donna sang LA VIE EN ROSE, with a red flower in her hair, like she used to wear a flower in her hair in the old days. VIE EN ROSE went down a storm!!! We loved that!

HOT STUFF, BAD GIRLS, Mac ARTHUR PARK, DIM ALL THE LIGHTS were all performed in great voice. I never fail to be amazed at Donna’s live voice...INCREDIBLE!!!!!

Donna changed a few times, into the very pretty multi-coloured /orange flowing dress, the red outfit for ENOUGH IS...And Mac ARTHUR PARK, ending in the black long dress with sliver side panels, and a black/sequinned shawl.

As always, Donna ended with LAST DANCE..... and then it was over ...all to soon.

I may have left a few tracks out, sorry. But my overall sense of the evening is that the crowd absolutely LOVED Donna, and she loved us back. The room was FULL, and that meant a lot to me, to see her fans out in strength. I cannot stress enough how electric the atmosphere was. I only wish she would come to London.

It was indeed a magical, mystical night!

We took a taxi back into the rainy night, having a few drinks in the gay bars of Paris. It was lovely to see groups of gay men, young, and not so young, wearing their new DONNA SUMMER T-shirts, clutching their posters, and talking excitedly about Donna’s visit to Paris!!

Merci Donna!

Chris (London)
The whole audience (3,500 people, sold out) loves Donna so much. Right from the first second, Donna got standing ovations.

Ouverture 5th of Beethoven
The Queen Is Back
I Feel Love
Could It Be Magic
Dim All The Lights
I'm A Fire
Smile
On The Radio
Mr Music
Crayons
No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
MacArthur Park
Be Myself Again
Stamp Your Feet
She Works Hard For The Money
La Vie En Rose
Love To Love You Baby
Bad Girls
Hot Stuff
Last Dance

The audience love her music really, but they were just as much deeply impressed by her voice. They listen e.g. very carefully to "Be Myself Again". She sang so emotional. She is going to make it now in the public eye from the "Undisputed Queen of Disco" to "The Voice" who influences the electronic pop genre.

(Paris showed that "Feelin' Love: The Donna Summer Story" on BBC Radio 2 was absolutely right. It's a must to add the Julia Migenes comment about Donna's voice to my music biography! Also to my summary.)

Her voice is so over the top that you didn't really notice the problems they had with the sound equipment from time to time during the Paris concert.

Wolfgang from Germany

[Editor's note: This is our Wolfgang - the man behind the German discography.  :-) ]

This is my first time in the beautiful city of Paris and the Parisian audience was fantastic. They showed Donna a lot of amour. From the moment Donna started singing "The Queen Is Back" there were constant standing ovations. She did not sing as many songs from "Crayons" and the audience did not seem familiar with the "Crayons" songs. Of course, the most poignant song of the evening was Donna's heartfelt tribute to Michael Jackson. Donna said that she was supposed to be at the memorial service for Michael, but had to be in Paris instead. She chose "Smile" because it was Michael's favorite song. When the song was over, Donna was in tears and the audience fell silent and then gave a thunderous standing ovation. Donna also mentioned throughout the night that she is a composer. Before she performed "On The Radio" she told the story about how she came up with the line "It must have fallen out of your old brown overcoat." Also, when she did "She Works Hard For The Money" she explained to the audience about the cleaning woman in the restaurant and said "I thought I work hard for the money but she really does! " Donna then told the story of when Amanda and Abner visited Paris six months ago, he proposed to her on the Alexander Bridge. Then the screens showed the wedding photos. Donna had a red flower in her hair and started to sing "La Vie en Rose." Jose Casas did a beautiful job of translating in French for the audience. After that, Donna told the story about how "Love To Love You" became so famous around the world. She started to sing and the audience went wild. This was such an enjoyable show. Donna did not disappoint. She performs like no one else!

Veronica from New Jersey
I went to see Donna
Summer in Paris july 7th, needless to say it was more than we could have expected and i've been following Donna's career for 25 years (I'm 45). She did a very nice and touching Michael Jackson's Tribute and performed also an amazing La Vie en Rose to celebrate her daughter's (Amanda) engagement 6 months ago in Paris. It was so romantic.. I'm going to send you pictures of the show. Here is the list of the songs she performed that night :

The Queen is back
I feel love
Could it be magic
Dim all the lights
Smile (tribute to Michael Jackson)
On the radio
I'm a fire
Mr. Music
Crayons
Enough is enough (Duet with her sister)
Stamp your feet
She works hard for the money
Bad Girls
Hot stuff
Love to love you baby
La vie en rose
Be myself again
Last Dance


Patrice

And then he added this part in another email:

I forgot one song though to add on the list I gave you : "Mac Arthur Park" right after "Enough is enough"

And just to keep smiling here is a little story donna told us that night to introduce "She works hard for the money"
She said : "You can create good songs when you have a subject. One day I went to my hotel ladys' room and I noticed
that woman keeping the place clean really working hard for her money : How do you say lady's room in french ? she asked
the crowd. "Toilettes" answered the audience. "Oh my God it's so beautiful in french, everything is nicer in french even Toilettes, I could fall in love with Toilettes" and sometimes let me tell you you are really in love with Toilettes... She has a big sense of humour the crowd went hysterical !

She is a very simple and nice person and she gave to the concert that night a truly human dimension. Never got that feeling in any other concerts before.

See the photos below

I'm just coming back from Paris where I saw Donna's show at le Palais des congrès last night.

First of all I'd like to say that it was truly a Magical evening where the 3000 + fans sang and danced all night.

Everybody was on his feet and Donna really embraced the palais des congrès.

People came from everywhere, France, Holland, Spain, Germany, Italy and a few American fans were also there.

It was the "stamp your feet" tour show with a little changes.

Donna was absolutely lovely and more gracious than ever . She was beautiful with many costume changes (5or6) and beautiful outfits.

She first appear on the stage with a wonderful dress with strass (Swarovski???) and opened the show with the queen is back.

Here's is the list of the songs she performed. Great surprises you will see!

QUEEN IS BACK
I FEEL LOVE
COULD IT BE MAGIC (IT REALLY WAS! )
DIM ALL THE LIGHTS
I'M A FIRE
SMILE ( AS A TRIBUTE TO M. JACKSON) DONNA SAID SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN TO LA FOR THE FUNERALS BUT THAT SHE HAD TO COME TO PARIS. WE THANKED HER. SHE SANG FROM THE BOTTOM OF HER HEART AND IT WAS FULL OF EMOTION. MANY TEARS WERE
DROPPED...
ON THE RADIO
MR MUSIC
CRAYONS (THE 3 YOUNG DANCERS MADE A GREAT JOB WHEN EVERYBODY WAS DANCING AND SINGING OH OH OH OH...)
NO MORE TEARS (WITH MARY)
MAC ARTHUR PARK (EXTENDED VERSION WITH BRIDGE)
BE MYSELF AGAIN (AMAZING)!
STAMP YOUR FEET
SHE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY (BIG LAUGHS IN THE AUDIENCE WHEN DONNA ASKED HOW WE SAID "LADIES ROOM" IN FRENCH AND SHE FELL IN LOVE WITH THE WORD "TOILETTES"... LOL
INTRODUCING THE BAND...
LA VIE EN ROSE (DONNA EXPLAINED THAT AMANDA' S HUSBAND ASKED HER IF SHE WANTED TO BE HER WIFE ON BRIDGE ALEXANDER III IN PARIS... PARIS IS THE CITY OF LOVE SHE SAID...) SHE SANG THE ENGLISH VERSION OF THE SONG
LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY WOW!!!! DONNA DID IT SOFTLY BUT TRULY!!!!!!!! A GREAT SURPRISE!!!
BAD GIRLS/HOT STUFF
LAST DANCE (SADLY 1 H 30 HAD GONE AND IT WAS TOO SHORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SEE YOU SOON DONNA. WE LOVE YOU!

As you can see many surprises happened and it was wonderful to hear all these good songs live in Paris.

Etienne

Hi there

Finally it's my turn to tell you all about a Donna Summer concert. I'm a Dane, living in Copenhage, Denmark. Me and my man went to Paris to see Donna Summer (and beautiful Paris as well). I've been a fan since "The wanderer" in 1980 - my first DS album. I saw Donna last year in Minneapolis, with the (almost) same show. Last year was good, but this time it was for real.

We we're at the fifth row, a little left from the stage, and the seats were good. I guess there are room for about 6.000 to 7.000 people, and it looked like at sold out show.

She started with "The queen is back, in a silver dress (like a disco ball), and it worked all right. When the song was over, everybody was on their feet cheering the Queen - we were screaming for a long time. She didn't walk down the stairs, but came walking from behind the orchestra. She was happy and started "I feel love". Though there were problems with the screens and her mike, it was alright, and we were dancing. But just for a little while, it was a short version. She did her moves though, and they still look good. Then she thanked us for coming, she joked about the French language, and said it was going to be a magic night. And then it all started for real. She sang "Could it be magic", and it was magic. Everybody was dancing, and we all danced until the very end of this wonderful concert, only in our seats when she talked and sang the ballads. Wow, her pitch is still perfect, and her moves we're like those she did in the 70's. Also her voice and the ad lip in the end of "Could it be magic" was so intense and really, really sensual. She even moaned a little. "I'm a fire" was next and she blew us all away. When she sang "you're like water on my chocolate" she made sexy mature, clever and fun, and showed that disco still is her ting, and only hers. No one could ever get away with that like Donna does.

Now I loose track of the set list, because I was really into every minute of the Diva. She talked about Michael Jackson, and she sang "Smile" because it was one of Michaels favorite songs - Donna told us. She nailed it completely, and it was heartfelt and the response from the audience was really a huge roar. Then she talked about how she always gets inspirations from other people, when she writes her songs. She pointed at a person in the crowed and said: "you might be my next victim....", and then sang "On the radio". She looked so happy and proud, and sounded clear and really into her song, and into us. We we're, when the chorus came, singing louder than Donna.

She told us about her reason to write "Be myself again", and sang it with a breathtaking honesty and she was very moved too. "Mr Music" does not work on record or live - but that was the only mistake in a very, very warm and sensual concert. "Love to love you, baby" was terrific, she's a little shy when she does it, but she seems to enjoy it and it was wonderful to hear it live, and really cool to let us, the audience, do the moaning....

She did "la vie en rose" accapella with all of herself in the song. It sounded wonderful and I cannot imagine anything greater than just listening to Donna Summer singing accapella right there in front of me - it was GREAT. I do not know what it feels like for a French (me being Danish) to hear such a well-known French song, in a English Donna version, but it seemed that most of us loved it. A lot of people were singing along in French. I think she did a very good cover version, and it did the song, and her reasons to sing it, a lot of good that it was just her and her voice singing "La vie en rose"

I could go on and on, but I'm out of time, and my English is not very good, but believe me, Donna Summer is the one and only Diva. Seeing her and hearing her live, is one of the best things I have ever done. And I have seen lots, and lots af Divas in my long life. And also a huge thanks to all the wonderful and beautiful French people at the concert - they sure know how to be a part of a concert and make a night magic.

I've been a fan for a lifetime, and I have had my doubts about the Queen of disco, but today I'm a proud fan, and a fan forever.

Love

Erik 
I would like to share my "French Experience" with you and with all the DS Addicts (our gorgeous drug). My first Donna concert was in Antwerp in 2005 (October 31), and the name of that night was "Sometimes Dreams Come True": violins, brass, mirror balls and Donna in front of me. 

My second chance has been Paris (the third would be Berlin!), and this time the title was "Touch and Go!": I've had no time, no vacation, only 24 hours to go to Paris and return, and I did it. I'm a fool? Yes, a fool and happy man that saw a wonderful concert and lived an intense experience (hard to tell in English!). A man that is still dancing and singing and crying and sweating, remembering that night and looking to the fantastic videos on Youtube posted by Ingresso Libero.

The other Fans Reports have said everything was to say about the concert. I just want to assert that Donna is the great artist we all know, her voice is better day to day; she's amazing, fascinating, witty, enthusiastic, and all the things that a real artist has to be.
The audience was fantastic too: a real party, a celebration of a woman, and her work, that comes with us since 1975.

So, thank you Mrs LaDonna Gaines, your Donny Boys love to love you!
(And thanks to Francois and Said, my friends in Paris, that have seen "Meteor Enzo" for a couple of minutes!)

Love & Respect
Enzo from Rome

I think all has been said through the many fan reports - just my two cents: Donna in Paris was such an awesome experience for both of us, you can put into line with other unforgettable live concerts we had the chance to attend in the last 20 years or so - and I am talking about Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and so on.. Its simply her vocal and glowing personal performance that easily puts her into that height. What can I say - she is a diva!

Thank you Donna, for coming to Europe at last and giving us such a memorable night in Paris!!

Michael + Helge from Bremerhaven, Germany
7th of July 2009 - it was like a dream come true. I also had to wait 33 years to see her live on stage! The show was so fantastic and even better as I thought it will be! I was enormously proud of Donna as I brought some other friends from Germany to see her live on stage. And they were on Donna fans until that evening - she convinced me and all my friends. BE MYSELF AGAIN and SMILE were highlights. LA VIE EN ROSE also a very strong performance. To hear Love to love you baby - unbelievable. I had the feeling
she is over this point that she feels ashamed of this song. She made it into a nice sing along part of the show. Sorry that she had to leave at the end of the show so quickly. I had the feeling she had some time pressure as she very quickly left even LAST DANCE was still running. I missed FAME and CHEMISTRY OF LOVE - and loved DIM ALL THE LIGHTS. I FEEL LOVE is a very big hit all over the world but I think that it is 'live' a little boring and therefore, should be skipped. What do you guys think? I also missed POWER OF ONE. Did she ever sing it live? Well, well, well ... it was SUCH A GREAT NIGHT and I cannot wait to see her again on Thursday in BERLIN!!! Yes, I will be there, and guess what. I was the one who bought the very first ticket for this show the guy on the phone told me! I will keep you all informed, too. And soon you will see my Donna Summer - Paris videos on you tube soon.

Robert, from Hamburg, Germany.

 

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