The Donna Summer Tribute Site

VH1 and KTU present:


Live in concert at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom February 4, 1999


Ok guys here's your fair warning - I have Summer fever and I've got it BAD!!! (And that IS good! LOL)

Hammerstein - where to start? I guess the beginning is always the best right? My story starts at 3:30 on show night. That's when some of us insane Donna Summer fans lined up outside the Manhattan Center. (Hey we wanted to make sure we got close to the stage!) And I have to say, even though it was cold and there was no place to sit we had fun just waiting around together. It was a chance to finally put the faces with some of the email addresses I see all the time. I would list names, but there are so many that I know I will forget someone and I don't want to do that. The three hours on line went fairly quickly and soon we were allowed into the theater.

Some of you may be familiar with the Hammerstein Ballroom. Well, we were not in the main ballroom - we were sent to a smaller room upstairs which VH1 had decorated very nicely.(The rest of the building was being renovated - so that wasn't so nice.) Needless to say, all the diehard fans who had been waiting so patiently out front were the first ones in and the ones who got to stand closest to the stage. (And yes I did say "stand" - there were NO seats.) Once everyone was in the theater a stage manager came out and gave us the ground rules. (No ties, no cameras, ignore the VH1 TV crews, etc.) Then he told us a little enthusiasm would be appreciated. Ha! A LITTLE enthusiasm? I think this stage manager was about to get the surprise of his life! Then the band started to get ready. There were cheers and waves for both Mary and Bruce when they came out and FINALLY the lights dimmed and the music started.

Donna opened with MacArthur Park and as soon as we saw her - we all started screaming and clapping and just making noise. And usually once Donna starts singing we settle down to listen. Not this time - we just kept cheering and yelling and going crazy. And you could see that Donna appreciated it. She looked so happy! :-)

And speaking of  looks - Donna has a new one. Her hair was short (yes I said short) a lighter shade than usual and just fabulous. If some one would have said to me that Donna would be in short hair I would have said that they lost their mind. But let me tell you I LIKE the new look. It is very flattering. She came out in a nicely tailored black outfit and her jewelry was simple, elegant (and yes, probably VERY expensive! LOL She IS a diva after all!) I mean she just looked so good - better than I have seen her look in years.

But of course I wasn't there to see the clothes, I was there to hear the music. I probably should have taken notes, but since I didn't I will have to try to remember the song list (brain don't fail me now! LOL) I may be a little off with the order of the songs, but I'll do my best. Let's see, it was MacArthur Park, This Time I Know It's For Real, I Feel Love, On The Radio (with the audience as her back up singers!), a new one from Ordinary Girl called If There Is No Music or If There Is Music There - none of us can seem to remember the exact title - but it was VERY good!!! Donna was so into that song that even SHE had tears in her eyes. Let's see, what else? She did Someone To Watch Over Me and No More Tears. I have to say something about No More Tears. For this song they brought out fellow Sony recording artist Tina Arena to do the duet.(Did I get that name right? I seem to have a mental block with her name.) Now don't get me wrong, Tina was okay, and I understand why they brought her out. But as a veteran of many (too many?) concerts, I am used to seeing Mary sing the duet with Donna. And I was a little disappointed that she didn't get to do it this time too. And I am not alone in that feeling. After all Mary deserves her moment in the spotlight too even if it's only to show off her  JC Pen-yay's dress. LOL (For those of you who didn't get that joke - go watch the Hot Summer Night video from 1983) Let's see, then there was Riding Through The Storm, I Don't Wanna Work That Hard - and Donna made reference to the number of diehard fans she saw when she said, "I know some of you already know this song..." Yes Donna - some of us do know it - BY HEART!!!! :-) Then she made "guinea pigs" out of us by trying out a new song called "Nobody Loves You Like I Do" which she dedicated to the fans. After that was Dim All The Lights (the Rod Stewart version and the dance version), She Works Hard For The Money, Bad Girls, Hot Stuff, My Life and  Last Dance. By the time she finished Last Dance we were screaming so loudly that Donna wouldn't leave the stage. After a brief discussion with the musical director, Mike Hanna, they did Last Dance all over again as an encore. The rumor at the time was that VH1 wanted her to do it again to get more crowd shots, but I learned later from a VERY reliable source that Donna was the one who decided to do it again - for US! Thank you Donna!!! :-) It was probably the BEST Donna Summer concert I've ever been to! (This one and Carnegie Hall are definitely the top 2!!)

I did want to mention that there was one particular fan in the audience who got his moment in the spotlight too. The Fabulous Albert brought a bouquet of 50 white roses to the show to present to Donna. (Well, okay - he didn't actually bring them - he made his fabulous office boy deliver them to him while we were online. LOL) The flowers were beautiful and they got the attention of VH1. Apparently while I was in the ladies room, the Fab One was spotted by VH1 and interviewed briefly. Hopefully that makes it to the video! But even if that doesn't, you should all get to see him hand the flowers to Donna during the show. I think Donna was pleased with the flowers and she even remarked that this wasn't staged. LOL (Of course it wasn't - only a handful of people knew Albert was bringing flowers.) So for those of you in the newly formed internet Fabulous Albert fanclub - watch for him when the concert airs.

And that brings me to the things I've learned since the concert. First of all on show night someone had heard that the concert would air in April. Well, not I've heard from 3 different and reliable sources that it won't air until August. (And yes that is driving me crazy too!!!!! I WANT THAT TAPE!!!!!  LOL) Also, the rumor is that Donna totally blew away the VH1 people because she did the whole concert in one take. We had been warned in advance that perhaps some songs would have to be shot twice - but Donna nailed it first time out! What can I say? She's a total pro!!! :-) What I am also hearing is that the CD will be out the day after the concert airs and that it will most likely be released on home video too. I can't wait!!! (I have just one plea to make to VH1 - PLEASE DON'T CUT THE SHOW TO PIECES!!!! Leave EVERYTHING in!!!!! ESPECIALLY the new songs!!!!)




I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of the people who made this night so special. Matthew at VH1 for getting me in, KTU and Jammin' Oldies for making it possible for so many fans to win tickets, Tom at the fan club for coming through at the last minute for some more fans, Albert for being Fabulous and for mentioning my name, Patty for driving, Phil for not being contagious (hmmm - you must have had the onion, right?), Joe for keeping his hands off Phil, Angelo for keeping his hands off Bruce, the other Tom for leaving the sign at home, Chester for being close enough to the front to  hopefully be on camera (and don't think for a second that I won't point you out to the Endless Summer crowd! LOL), Stephen for the poster, all the "insiders" who have kept me posted all along - you guys make this site, everyone who came up and introduced themselves to me - you made me feel like a real diva instead of just an ordinary one ;-)

.....and above all I would like to thank DONNA SUMMER for putting on such a great show!!!! You're the best! :-)

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