The Donna Summer Tribute Site

1999  Concert Reviews - by YOU!

Jump to reviews for: Cleveland, ILLos Angeles, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Denver, CO, Warwick, RIChattanooga, TN, Oprah taping, Dallas, TX, Wilmington NC, or Biloxi MS.

 


I forgot which show Millie saw, but I couldn't resist posting the review. :-)

Guys I cannot possibly tell you how many emotions swept over me last night, In the course of 75 minutes I laughed, cried, and felt extremely grounded but yet flying above everyone. I have seen many concerts in my lifetime but I've never seen or experienced someone who made my palms sweat and my breath heavy and my eyes well up with tears and my heart fill with so much love. She was powerful, beautiful, and captivating and I felt both special and humbled in her presence. She opened with a brief Italian version of I Will Go With You and then started singing it in English, she then went to MacArthur Park. She also did Carry On and If There Is Music There and A Different Road. As I sit here it's hard to post this without crying, I'm so sorry but I gotta go I just can't post anymore right now about it, maybe later when I've calmed down a bit if that happens. I do know one thing for sure-this wasn't the last time I'll be seeing her! (by Millie, posted on Endless Summer)

 


Cleveland, OH August 11, 1999

Ok guys just wanted to mention a few things that Donna said at the Cleveland show...First of all she is such a trooper. I could tell Donna was very tired from how she was breathing between songs...but she still was putting a lot into the show, more than even when I saw her at Jones Beach...at one point Donna busted out in this sexy dance that is reminiscent of those of back in the day, I mean she was really going with this serious straight on focused look...she was moving that body like crazy for about a minute or so and the crowd went wild...she then stopped and laughed at herself and laughed with us.. It was a great moment! Hadn't seen her do that before ever in the 8 times I've seen her. She really loved the Cleveland crowd! In fact at one point she said she was thinking of moving to Cleveland 'cause she didn't know it was so beautiful there by the lake. (Not sure if she was serious) She it was a huge lake that you couldn't see where it ended. She said she liked that! Also she mentioned that she wrote a song about Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. As the crowd begged her to sing it, she turned to her band and said, "You better not play it." But the crowd persisted so she finally gave in and gave us two lines accapella! Sounded really cool! Donna even included the name Cleveland into Last Dance several times and the end. One highlight was when she said "YOU CALL YOURSELF ROCK AND ROLL CITY, C'MON THEN." and she busted into "Hot Stuff!" The highlight for me was when she sang "If there is music." She sang it very strong and clear. Also she really explained the song more than ever before...she would explain, like "My husband said: (and then sing ) 'I've done no wrong...'" and then I said, a (And she'd sing) "If there is music..."and she did that through the first couple of versus. Really cool! At the end she picked up a suitcase and walked off the back platform with the lights shining on her and turned to the crowd and said, "I did Love you!" The crowd went wild....some lady in front of me said "My God what a voice!" It was Amanda Grace's 17th birthday!! The girls looked so beautiful! Well just thought I share a few things that were different from other shows!!! (By SAJoe, posted on AOL)

 


Los Angeles, CA August 7, 1999

Well...I have just returned from the fine Los Angeles eatery called "Pinks".. where I downed a coleslaw dog with cheese and onions.. an order of onion rings and a coke. I had to indulge after all the energy I expended at the Universal Amphitheatre witnessing Miss Donna Summer for the 19th time in my life!!! This New Yorker hates to admit it...but this was the rowdiest randiest crowd of Donna-starved maniacs I have yet to be apart of!! I think I can safely say that LA is STARVED for Donna Summer. Hello.....LA radio!!!!! Get with the program!!!!

It seemed to be back to the AC format...with the brilliant and flawless Italian opener...with a newly arranged I Will Go With You. It was non-stop from that point on. However Donna seemed to take her "break" during She Works Hard For The Money.. letting Mary Ellen do most of the work...instead of during Carry On.. as she did at Jones Beach. Everything was perfect as always. Gorgeous...sexy...energetic. Donna seemed extra naughty during her Love To Love You break during Bad Girls. Oh yea...a new gown during the opening numbers too!!

One thing different was a very funny monologue Donna did telling us how she often goes to bed...hoping she will wake up looking like Naomi Campbell. But she said this all comes after "a peanut butter sandwich at 11....oreos at 7....all following a huge pasta dinner!!!" I guess ya had to be there...but she brought the house down.

LA...you guys rocked. (by Eldo, posted on AOL)

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I'm sure u will be hearing more about this show...I'll start by saying DONNA ------TORE THE------ HOUSE ------UP REBUILT----- IT------ AND----- BROUGHT IT DOWN AGAIN!!!!.

BABY.....The woman is Gorgeous...My guest kept commenting on the "Purity" of her voice and wanted every Dress Donna was pored into....SHE WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD.

My mind wandered for a few minutes to the inside cover of the "Live and More Album" --- HOUSE SOLD OUT AND EVERYBODY UP AND JAMMIN...IT WAS TRULY "SUMMER 99" Here in LA Last night. (by Genery, posted on AOL)

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Yes Donna's LA performance was more than exciting...it was truly entertaining. She was more interactive than in her Boston concert which I also saw. She chatted and showed how humorous and lighthearted she can be. As I was standing there at the front of the stage (!) I realized how relaxed she was and she was in a very good mood. All night long her comments between and during songs kept lifting the energy higher and higher. She even got Bruce to pop his eyes wide when she announced him as her main man, her love, her strength, etc. (She does this at the end of She Works Hard For The Money as she exits for a costume change.) And the audience...loud, happy and as Donna commented "you are a rowdy bunch".

For those who were there, I had the LAST DANCE white t-shirt (of my license plate) and meeting all of you was great. A special thanks to Jose, Desiree, Joyce and Michael for helping me "entertain" the crowd outside before and after the show. And to Joyce, for slow dancing at the Last Dance intro...we got Donna smiling. And to Mega 100.3 for listening to my ranting about playing her more and more on the radio. And to the many anonymous who followed my advice (rather orders) to buy her new CD.. and you did.

Now, for those going to the San Diego show...let's do the same...... (by Paul Martin, posted on Endless Summer)

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Just wanted to share my experience with you about the Donna Summer concert at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles this past Saturday. I saw Donna a few years ago in Cerritos and I must say that though it was a great concert, this recent concert surpassed all of my expectations. Donna really outdid herself. But then what more could I expect from this "true Diva"? Donna, as usual sounded great and had us all on our feet for the majority of the concert. She drove the crowd crazy with her "Love To Love You" tidbit in the middle of "Hot Stuff". After her energetic Bad Girls/Hot Stuff set she went into one of her "Ordinary Girl" ballads but had to stop suddenly just saying "just a minute please". Donna stood there with her head down and hand to her head. The silence was eerie. This went on for about 45 seconds. Then she said, "I'm sorry, I had a little dizzy spell - I was out of breath. Will you forgive me?" Needless to say, that last remark brought the house down before she continued her song. Donna did three encores before ending the concert. Excellent concert and money well spent on my part. It' something that I will remember for a long, long time.

THERE IS ONLY ONE DONNA! (by Raul Barajas, exclusive to this site)

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I just wanted to give you a quick run down on Donna's concert on Saturday, August 7th, Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles. It was quite an experience to start.

She opened with the Italian version of "I Will Go With You". Then 'This Time I Know Its For Real'. When things got started it was in a word 'Disastrous' for Donna and I would have killed the technicians. You couldn't hear her singing but you could hear the roar of the bass and drums blowing your ear drums into oblivion. Then they turned the music down and all you could hear was this crackling voice over the speakers. At one point she just kind of stopped and said "My microphone isn't working, I'm sorry, I need to get another one". I must say this concert didn't have the same energy as others I've attended but it appeared that she wasn't really feeling well She started to sing then took the microphone from the stand and mumbled words that made no sense. She stopped singing completely and then it looked as though she had forgotten the words to the song but she recovered and said she was dizzy and there was no air up there. I personally thought she was going to faint and everyone just waited to scream 911, it was kind of scary. She apologized and started singing again but I paid more attention to her movements then listening to her sing. I guess I thought I could run up on the stage and catch her before she hit the floor - yeah, me and a small stampede of about 1000 other people. Some idiots behind me were saying 'she's boring' but I felt she was putting a lot of new music out to us. It seems that she wants to move on but the fans want to keep her singing her old songs, I really don't think they grasp the concept of Donna and music. I guess we as a group of fans are having trouble letting her grow as a entertainer. I wanted kill the tech's running the sound system and when the smucks finally got it together Donna belted out some of the old favorites "Bad Girls (Sample of Love To Love You Baby, which of course the microphone cut out again and you couldn't hear her) Hot Stuff, She Works Hard For The Money, Love Is A Healer and Last Dance" So many people wanted to hear this song or that song. Ya can't please everyone Donna so don't try! When the microphone did work Donna's voice was in perfect form and touched by God. I'm still in awh. The people who were complaining, I would just simply ask this question: Did the concert seem to go by quickly? Did it leave you wanting to hear more? If the answer is 'yes' to either of those questions then that was a good concert no matter what energy level you were at. Donna can't make you feel good if you don't feel good already so lighten up. A word for those attending her concerts...Donna wants to grow, wants to give us new things.....embrace them and grow with her. (By Robert Yesko, exclusive to this site)

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Here's the blow by blow! (sorry if I ramble on too much) It was a sold out event! The on call line (just in case a ticket became available) was about 100 people long! This was a rowdy crowd too! (the opening act never stood a chance) First, I must say the sound was fine EXCEPT for Donna's mic. (you'll see later what a problem that was) I am 5th row center! (I aways seem to get these seats and only paid $600.00) Lights out! Red curtain with DONNA light projected on it. I will go with you intro (piano only) and what! is she saying! is she, yes! she was saying something but her mic is too low! oh s--t! Curtain up, stage setup is a rounded short wall to the left, on right a rounded platform, middle has a sweeping slope coming down, light on piano man, behind the short wall, purple background, Donna's silhouette on the slope, spotlight on Donna in a black two piece gown (I can only describe as "Catwoman" dress) stunning! Patient leather bustier with two cat claws pointing up and in towards Donna's neck (made a great cleavage!) She's singing in Italian and stops! (you know it's time to ROCK) the drummer pops up! then the keyboard player pops up! percussion guy pops up! bass player, guitar......(I really liked this pop up effect! I don't think I noticed where/when the backup singers came in) Donna comes down the ramp singing I Will Go With You! Short hair, puffed up a bit, great make up! The Girls are dancing, one on each side (really cute, great moves, a little distracting just cause I know who they are, nobody in my area knew!). Her mic is still too low! Mac Arthur park, This time I know it's for real, No more tears (her mic was so low you couldn't hear her intro her sister after), "where you all from.....well did you see my behind the music special on vh1? well as bad as they made it look, it was much worse than that. I was a black girl living in Germany, plucked out and dropped in HOLLYWIERD to be a DIVA."  You've gotta be rich (I really liked it!), Carry On (not the words I know?), black jacket with gold clips in front, black high waisted pants, red beaded camisole, still mic trouble, Donna removes her jacket (the crowd coaxes her to keep it off) and a tech fiddles with her backpack, leaves with jacket. If there is music there (a highlight!), And they fiddle with the back pack again, On the radio, with 3 audience members (usually one of my favs, but the additional people on stage, were distracting even to Donna, she gets the words wrong), "did you see me on The View? those girls are crazy! I met Oprah! I was biting my nails, fake nails off my fingers, but you know what? Oprah was too! ha ha don't tell anyone. Have you ever wished you could be someone else for just one day? I wish I could be Naomi Campbell.......her body with my voice." Different Road (another highlight!) this is a DONNA SUMMER song! She works hard for the money (at this point I think donna is tired or has something on her mind and the band is very low key for their solos. Bruce commented "that's it?"), Bad Girls with a Love To Love You tease!, Donna's in a sheer black dress with a red under slip. A little sheer black jacket with black feathers (very 50's French hooker looking), Hot Stuff (let's revamp please), faintly I hear "you want more?" Love is the healer, her mic is really bad now, Donna is not even heard at some points of the song, My Life, Donna jumbles the words then stops to compose herself, "I just had a dizzy spell and lost my breath, I'm sorry" she starts over (I had noticed something earlier, I've seen her so many times I know when she's off a little) no problem after that (a highlight! again), you could faintly hear her saying "more, you want more?" (I only noticed because I know she always does it), Last Dance begins and Donna looks like she has had it! even her "ARE YOU READY!?!" is flat, she is in a black dress with silver beads, again, she looks STUNNING! She finished with the usual ending, but suddenly seemed like she wanted to stay longer(?) Over all I love to see Donna Anytime, great or good. I think she is growing tired of the old songs or just the arrangements. She really nails the new ballads and they were the highlights of this show. Bad girls has a new spark with the Love To Love You tease. Hot stuff needs to be reworked (maybe back to basics?). Donna seemed like she was a little distracted, and everyone else looked mad or disturbed (LOL) my partner noticed that! I THINK THE MIC WAS THE REAL PROBLEM!!!!!!! I can't wait for next time! (by Carl Perez, exclusive to this site)

 


Phoenix, AZ August 6, 1999

Saw Donna last Fri. 8-6-99 at the Celebrity Theatre--an intimate venue in that even the farthest seat from the stage is still pretty good. I was in the sixth row so I was pretty close. She looked fantastic. She came out with a long black coat with red pants and blouse underneath. She followed the songs just as you described when you listed the new arrangement of songs in the concert. She did go into an explanation b4 each of the Ordinary Girl songs--she also sang happy birthday to some lucky guy in the audience. When she mentioned Ordinary Girl she said, "Hopefully by this time next year the play will be playing....it's very complicated getting a play out...more than I ever knew when I first started with this project." She did "I Will Go With You" next to the last song with "Last Dance" being the last song. It was great seeing her so close and hearing her power. The crowd was electrified and couldn't get enough--they refused to believe she was done after Last Dance and kept changing "Diva" or "Donna" for quite some time before finally admitting defeat and realizing she was not coming back out. I bought a T-Shirt with the VH1 CD cover image on it---All the CD's and Videos and Posters and sold out by the time I got to the stand. Oh well, at least I have my shirt. (by Al Lugo, exclusive to this site)

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ANYWAY, The Celebrity Theatre is a very cozy and wonderful venue for performances. The hall seats nearly 2700, and from what I could see, the place was packed! :) The stage is round and there are about 25 rows that circle the stage. Donna's band was in the orchestra pit, but still easily seen by all in the theatre. Her performance was great! She sang: MacArthur Park, This Time I Know it's for Real, Enough is Enough, You Gotta Be Rich, Carry On, If There is Music On the Radio, Different Road, My Life, Hard for the Money, Bad Girls/Love to Love You/Hot Stuff, I Will Go With You & Last Dance. Of Course, the gang was wildly enthusiastic, and it really seemed that Donna was having a good time too. Enough is Enough with her sister was really wonderful; it was the first time I saw that! She also took time to sing Happy Birthday to someone in the audience. You know, I've always said to people that I would love Donna even if she sang Mary had a Little Lamb, listening to her sing Happy Birthday proved that for me (ha ha). For On the Radio, she brought up 3 beautiful women from the audience (the first row is practically 2-3 feet away from the stage, WOW!) and they strutted around and around, driving all of us crazy! :) :) What surprised me the most was that delicious sample of Love to Love You Baby. It ended almost as soon as it started, but boy did I go nuts when I heard it, and not just me, but everybody! She first came on wearing a red jump suit of some kind, covered up by a very stylish trench, long suit-like jacket, very classy, very sexy! :) :) Her hair was very similar to that in the VH1 special, except that it was slightly longer and less full. :) :) She changed into a nice, well fitted, black dress that was knee length with some tassels or frills. She looked fantastic! And I learned a little bit of trivia. You probably already know this, but 2 members of Donna's band were said to be from AZ. That was really neat to find out. :) :) Well, I think I've chatted your ear off long enough. We really enjoyed seeing Donna here in AZ, it was such a long time being w/out her. I hope she was pleased to be here with us. (by Mike Clark, exclusive to this site)

 


Denver, CO August 5, 1999

Last nights show at Fiddlers Green in Denver was GREAT! Donna sang "Carry On" Love is the Healer" "I will go with you" "Different Road" "On the Radio" "Enough is Enough (with Mary)" "You gotta be Rich" "MacArthur Park" "Hot stuff/bad girls/last dance" "She works hard for the money" "My Life" and "This time I know its for real." Her daughters danced to "She works hard for the money" and they were so awesome in their dance moves. They both seemed very serious about their dance moves and had fun doing them. (I think they both are beautiful and look like their mother!-but I can be biased!) Donna brought up 3 women who sang back up on "On the Radio" and these women were jumping with excitement up onstage and did a great job with the "oh oh oh's!" Donna did 4 costume changes (all of which complimented her songs!). Her hair was looking great! It rained at the beginning of the show, but I started singing to myself "when the sun don't shine, you pray for clouds to break........" and they did! We in Denver were blessed with great weather for the rest of the night-not too cold not to warm! Just HOT HOT HOT..........STUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUF! (by Curtis Malone, posted on several forums)

 


Warwick, RI July 25, 1999

Just wanted to let you know Donna ROCKED!!!!!!! in Warwick Rhode Island on July 25th...The show was sold out.. Full of VERY excited fans and Donna just fed off of it....See looked amazing ...Her hair was short like in the VH1 special and her voice was just as powerful and rich as could be....I was very suprised that she included Carry On in her set and that she actually sang about 8 bars of Love to Love You in the middle of BAD GIRLS.....But the best part had to have been Last Dance...by then the crowd was just wild...screaming and hollering...and after she slows it down for the second time and tells everyone "Are you ready", she held the "SOOOOOOOOO" FOREVER....Let me repeat FOREVER...and just blew what was left of the roof right off....Just magical.... No vocal problems at all..... Just a Great Night to remember.. (by Fred, exclusive to this site)

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Saw Donna at her SOLD OUT Warwick RI show. FABULOUS. She did the following order: MacArthur Park, This Time I Know It's For Real, Enough is Enough, Carry On (I almost died!), On the Radio, *New Bruce song called "It's His Turn" (melody of her saying it's her chance now to follow Christ and not to care what other people think as it's HER life), She Works Hard For the Money, *new song: "Hollyweird" aka "You Have to be Rich"(awesome and funny!)(all about her life in Hollywood and finally escaping!), Bad Girls w/ Love to Love You, Hot Stuff, If There is Music There (by far the year 2000 song of the year) (and not a DRY EYE IN THE HOUSE!! She got a STANDING OVATION Girl! when she asked the audience if we will see the play I do not need to tell you the response was an OVERWHELMING YEAH!!!!), I Will Go With You (very dance-y version), Love is a Healer (Definitely cannot wait for the Extended Dance Mixes!!! she spiced it up a lot!),and of course the finale, Last Dance. (by Ed, exclusive to this site)

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OK on to the RI show,,, I will start by telling you that it was HOT.. really HOT,, it is outside but mostly enclosed with little way for the cooler night air to penetrate the heat created by the day and by the lights above Donna and her Band.. She performed what is one of Warwick's last shows (it is closing at the end of the season) to a crowd that contained many older folk (50-60yo, 30%, 40-50yo 35%, 30-40 ,30% and the rest mixed) so she was in for a treat. LOL.... She started very slow, not much energy, but because of the crowds response she soon got the strength to go out and give it her all, forgetting about the temperature (somewhere around 95 degrees) The mike was set too low for her tremendous voice but she found somehow to make up for it because as the show went on the energy she gave off was AWESOME,,, to compare it to the Boston show would not be fair, the Boston show was spectacular and a true showing of fans and a younger crowd made the energy transpire to everyone in the audience. She performed I will go with you in a format that was very upbeat but hard to follow, even for her, it was a version that was fast and did not do the song justice, as so the crowd reacted, I preferred the Boston version much better. Besides this change the show was similar as it could be to the Boston performance, she did not sing my favorite new song from the play, my life Overall the voice from the Diva of all Diva's filled my heart and soul, she has a gift that has been given to only a few and it is disappointing that she is not appreciated by the general public to the platform on which she stands.. Donna your awesome !!!! I close by saying that she did the absolute best and beyond on what she could do with what she had to work with (ie,,, the heat, and the very, very small center stage) (by David, exclusive to this site)

 


Chattanooga, TN June 18, 1999:

I had seats in the fourth row of Donna's concert in Chattanooga. (By the way, I wouldn't have even known about the concert if it weren't for your website.) She was wonderful!! Since this was Chattanooga's Riverbend Festival, it was quite fitting that Donna performed on the water, well... actually above it. The Ross's Landing stage is a large steel structure that stands about 50 feet above the river below. Another 50-foot chasm separated the audience from the stage. This was less intimate than at some venues, but the separation only added to the regal atmosphere as Donna captivated the 50,000 (or more) fans with outstretched arms as she towered above us--and to think they chose Madonna to play Evita. As Donna put it, "I would like you to be closer so I could reach out and touch people in the audience, but this really cuts down on the spitting factor." LOL

Donna sang all of the usual numbers with great finesse but the highlights for me were the songs I hadn't heard before, including, My Life, I Will Go With You, I Don't Wanna Work That Hard, and a gospel song (perhaps called Through the Storm??). Donna started at 9:30 and was still singing Last Dance at 11:00. This was only the second time I have seen Donna in concert; the first time was at Atlanta's Chastain Park for her Endless Summer Tour several years ago. Both times were fantastic, as if that should be a surprise. (by Greg Simpson, exclusive to this site)

 


Oprah taping June 17, 1999:

Where do I start. The audience was told to show up at the Harpo studio Thur. 6/17 between 9-10am for the 11:00am taping. It seemed like we waited forever. When we were finally seated there was another hour or so of audience prepping. The first half of the show was for Halle Berry and her new HBO movie about Dorothy Dandridge. Then the moment we all waited for. Oprah introduced Donna and the screen behind her showed a short montage of Donna's albums and footage from American Bandstand and her ABC special...it was so cool! Then a short commercial break where they took Oprah's chairs off the stage and brought in a piano. Oprah then introduce Donna from the audience and out she came with everyone on their feet. Donna looks so great! She sang a medley of ON THE RADIO, SHE WORKS HARD $, and LAST DANCE. Donna kept pointing at her headset because she couldn't hear herself properly. She finally had to stop and have a tech correct it. It was decided she would come out and perform again from the top. This time it went fine.

The sit down interview was nice, but short. She was asked if she missed the disco days and she responded that she didn't because she very much in the moment and has her eyes set on the future. Much of the interview focused on her paintings and about eight were shown on the screen. She then performed I WILL GO WITH YOU (my first time hearing it!). Once again headset problems. She almost got through the whole song and hit the high note at the end, but was not satisfied with it. She apologized to the audience and said she wasn't sure if she hit the right key because she couldn't hear herself. She insisted on doing it again. We all applauded anyway and let Donna know that she sounded great to us. We were all impressed with Donna's dedication to perfection because we knew we were going to get a repeat performance. She did it a second time, and of course it was flawless. Donna and Oprah hugged and she was then wisked away. I was disappointed that there was no time for the audience to ask questions.

There was another taping later that afternoon with Will Smith. Oprah let us know that this was the last day of taping until the fall and it seemed like her mind was on getting all the tapings over because her questions with Donna weren't very inspiring. Donna was great nevertheless and very funny. We were all given the LIVE & MORE ENCORE CD.

 


Dallas, TX June 11, 1999:

I saw Donna live Friday night at Dallas' Kiss Party(Radio Station 106.1). I had been trying for weeks to get the free tix and finally was in the right place at the right time Thursday night. I am 27, and I LOVE Donna! I had been waiting many years to see her live, and when the big moment came, I could hardly contain myslef. She looked FABULOUS. We were sitting on the lawn, but a lot of the teeny boppers left after their boy group came on stage, so I worked my way down front. My voice is still in recovery from screaming so much. She performed MacArthur Park, Hot Stuff, I Will Go With You, and my all-time favorite, Last Dance. She was SOOOOOOOOOOO goood. Her voice was as great as ever, and she had all of us twenty and thirty-somethings who were left (a rainstorm also drove away a lot of people, as this was an outdoor concert) dancing in the aisles. Next month my friends and I are going to Tunica, Mississippi to see her in full concert, and we have front-row seats!!!!!!! We are counting the days.

 


Wilmington, NC  April 10, 1999:

I arrived at the Coliseum at 7:10. There were several small groups of people standing outside waiting to be let in. Once inside, We discovered that our seats were in the bleachers and not on the floor. At this point, I am pissed. Once seated we realized that this is probably better than being on the floor. The event started around 8:05. For about ½ hour we were subjected to Azalea festival happenings, recognition and introductions and a short video. The Azalea festival queen and some other princesses were introduced. I remarked that if I had worn my tiara I could have been on stage. Kim Fields (a.k.a. Tootie from Facts of Life) was also a guest of the festival and she came out and said a little speech. We estimated that there were probably between 4000 - 5000 people in attendance. Once all that was over, around 8:35, some stagehands and a couple of band members came on stage. The crowd went wild????? It appeared that they were doing some last minute setup activities. The stage was small with no room for the ramp that Donna descends down during the opening number. As the band kept tuning, the crowd started chanting Donna! Donna ! Donna !. I knew that this was going to be a good crowd. Well finally the band members came out and started playing. The projected images of Donna started to display. The quality was VERY bad In fact, the projector was not used throughout the show and when it was, the images were hard to see. Finally Donna came out from around the curtain singing, "This Time I Know…" Of course the crowd went wild, but settled down, as this is not a big explosive song live. I am not Donna Karan so I cannot tell you the technical terms of what she was wearing, but it looked like a pants suit with a long black coat. Donna continued to tear into the normal order of songs she performs. She did include "I Feel Love". As normal, she left the floor after "Riding Through The Storm". When Donna came back out, she was wearing the dress she normally wears for the "Bad Girls/Hot Stuff number". She introduced the band members during the instrumental of "She Works Hard", instead of leaving for a costume change. All in all the show was the same. She encored with "My Life" and Last Dance. The crowd was not into "My Life" much. Donna was in a VERY playful mood especially with the band. She did a lot of banter with the crowd. The crowd was exceptional. At times, you could not hear when Donna was talking because the crowd was so loud. The sound system was bad ! For a while you could not understand the words to the songs, but you could not tell it was a problem the way the crowd was acting. One thing of note was that there did not appear to be any objections or warning about taking pictures. Donna even posed when someone came up to the stage to take her picture. I saw other people with camera bags and digital cameras. She did not mention anything (surprisingly) about a new CD. She only stated that "My Life" was from a forthcoming musical about her life. The person that I was with (not a huge fan) but loves her voice, stated that he could not see her again because the show is the same one he has seen several times. Finally, Donna was in perfect voice and the crowd made the show more of "just the same ole show for me", but rather a very exciting night with Donna.- by Knight4sum (posted on Endless Summer)

***

Ok, first and foremost, the crowd was absolutely enthralled with Donna from the moment she came on stage. I was a little concerned prior to her entrance because so many of the audience consisted of the "society" (i.e. matrons!) of Wilmington. I was also disappointed that my "Row B" tickets turned out to be half way down the auditorium on the side even though I ordered tickets the day they announced the show!. The best seats were give to the people who put on the Azalea festival and who did work hard. As did Donna! From the moment she came on stage she had the crowd under her control. The response rates with that of a Tina Turner concert from 7 years ago. She was the happiest, warmest and friendliest I have ever seen her in person or on video. A big surprise was her hair was very long, brown and curly. Nothing like I have seen before. The smiles on her face were obvious even from the furthest seats in the auditorium. Her banter with the audience and their response convinces me this is her year. The songs were basically the same as the Hammerstein concert. Her rendering of I Feel Love was awesome as was the number of standing ovations she received-I lost count! One big surprise was her encores (YES PLURAL!). Her first was My Life. A gutsy move on her part since the song was unfamiliar to most of the audience. The crowd roared their approval and my 8 friends with me who had never been to see her live, loved the song. Finally, her final encore was Last Dance and the audience went wild!!!! It was obvious the Azalea committee was pleased with her as their headliner. A note about several recent posts. There were quite a few Black/African Americans present and they were definitely enjoying themselves. Additionally, there were quite a few in the audience in the age of 13-25. New Fans!!! Finally, as I was leaving the show, I heard a 6 year old boy say "he was tired". His mother's response: "HOW CAN YOU BE TIRED AFTER LISTENING TO A WOMAN LIKE THAT SING WITH THOSE PIPES!!" LOL  - by Cbryd (posted on AOL)

***

At first I heard several cynical comments about Donna. By the end, the comments were what a great show! She wowed them. Almost everyone was standing, dancing and applauding throughout the ENTIRE show. The show was the same with a few minor adjustments. She looked great, smiled, joked and belted like I had never seen before. She had the audience in the palm of her hands. One story she told (with an English asset)that I had never heard was about the man in the red Ferrari. She told the story as advice to women everywhere before doing No More Tears. She was very open with the audience and it made her very appealing and personable. She did not rush through the show. It lasted about 1 hr and 15 to 30 minutes. She made no mention of a new record deal, single, or VH1 appearances. She did do two encores of My Life and Last Dance. Other than the hits she sang Riding Through The Storm and Someone To Watch Over Me. I am not a big fan of Someone but the audience seemed to really like it. They applauded before she got through the first few lines. I think the audience was extremely impressed with Dim All The Lights (Stewart style). It was great fun and I think with some additions of the new stuff, it really showcased her underrated and hidden talents. This was my 5th concert and it was by far superior to the others because of her charm and an enthusiastic audience saw. No idea why she doesn't mention the new stuff. Sorry to Knight. I don't mean to scoop you. I just couldn't wait to say how great it was. Hope you got back stage!( (A dream for me). I was the one who yelled I Love you Donna! Hope you heard me. Cathy told me to make some noise. The forum was down before I left and couldn't respond to your question of who would be there. This review is off the top of my head! Hope yours will be more cohesive. - by Tony (posted to Endless Summer)

 


Biloxi, MS April 16-17, 1999

On April 17, 1999, I attended the Donna Summer concert at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. The purpose of this document is to narrate this magnificent event so that the particulars of it can be remembered with accuracy for years to come.

The concert was held at the Magnolia Ballroom before a sold-out audience. It officially got under way approximately 5 minutes after 8 o'clock pm with a wonderful display of special affects: the stage virtually exploded with a dazzling array of lights and smoke on the band, and two enormous video screens on both sides of the stage area flipped through dozens of still photos of Donna as she appeared through history. All this as the band played a simultaneous rendition of "I Feel Love" and "This Time I'll Know It's For Real".

Donna then appeared in a black sequined dress/pantsuit outfit and sang "This Time I'll Know It's For Real" in its entirety. She looked surprisingly good for 50 and was raring to go for the show. A trio of two lovely black women and her husband Bruce Sudano backed her up at on our left. On her next song, "MacArthur Park", the special affects and Donna's commanding presence took over the show. The two large screens and the background screen behind Donna displayed a quiet, semi-lit forest, which dramatized the song. Donna herself spread out her arms like a ballerina as she "followed in the dance". Her voice was as magnificent as ever on the long notes "I'll never have that recipe again............again.............."

Donna followed that up with the long version of "On The Radio".

Memorable moment: Donna kept saying how hot it was up there onstage, until finally someone told her to "take it off!" To which she replied, "That's what Bruce keeps telling me...over and over again."

The show lightened up with her sense of humor. She narrated a diva story with how she found 20,000 in her old dress and went shopping with it when she met the man of her dreams (he had a red Ferrari), then moved in with him, only for him to lose his job and his car. That was the prelim for her next song "Enough is Enough".

She proceeded to sing two versions of "Dim All the Lights", Rod Stewart's version then hers. Finally, she sang a gospel melody, first solo and then duet with one of her female backups before she whisked away to change for the second half of the show.

"She Works Hard For The Money" was her featured act on her return, Again, the background screen and 2 large screens complimented that with large dollar bills. It appeared that she wore the same coat/pantsuit outfit as before, just with what seemed to be a red long-sleeve blouse under it.

She changed again into a more revealing black dress for the next part of the show. This time, a city street scene was the set for "Bad Girls". Donna pointed to the two black female backups as they strutted down the street shouting, "Toot-toot, ahhh, beep-beep!" . (This song is my favorite of course, and though I liked it, I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of trumpets (only one horn in the band) and Donna's apparent inability or unwillingness to hit that " ....they wanna be a star" note.)

Fire was the scene for the popular favorite of the "Bad Girls" album, "Hot Stuff".

A few new slower songs allowed the audience to catch its breath. Bruce introduced the band members and backup singers. Then of course, she ended the hour and 25 minute show with "Last Dance". I joined members of the audience as they converged near the stage to get a last closeup look at Donna.

Missing in Action: "Love Is In Control" and "Love To Love You Baby" . All in all though, the production was worth an "A". I would recommend a Donna Summer concert, as well as the Beau Rivage, to anyone. Both are first-class acts. by A. Carey

***

And Biloxi will never be the same!! Donna was incredible of course. She was in a very playful mood, telling jokes and interacting with the audience who went crazy over her. Song list: This Time, MacPark, Could it be Magic, Someone to Watch Over Me(someone yelled out "I'll watch over you Donna!!!!"),Riding Through the Storm, Enough is Enough, I Don't Wanna Work That Hard, Dim all the Lights(both versions),Hard for the Money, Bad Girls, Hot Stuff, and Last Dance(encore, of course). She skipped My Life although it was listed on her cheat sheet. The show appeared to be sold out in this small ballroom that seated about two-thousand. The audience included all age groups-teenagers thru 50-somethings, and Donna had them in the palm of her hand. When she broke into the disco version of Dim all the Lights, the audience could no longer contain themselves, and EVERYONE got up and danced! I even spotted a 70 year old man shakin' his groove thing in the front row - until I knocked him out of my way!! This was a very energetic performance and the crowd gave the poor security men hell as they kept trying to rush the stage. I managed to contain myself as I had excellent seats, and I've already been lucky enough to meet and speak with Donna at one of her art exhibitions in Nashville. After the show I overheard several people in the casino raving about how great Donna looked and sounded - "She's still got it Baby!!" and "Wow, she is so beautiful". Indeed. Near the beginning of the show someone(probably Alan),shouted: "When is the new CD coming out"?, and she mentioned the VH1 show and CD. She also said that she had just recorded I Don't Wanna Work That Hard, and that she hopes it will be included on the CD. So do I, it's a great song-my first time hearing it. I need some sleep, so hopefully Alan can fill in the rest. I feel drunk.......and LOVE. - by Dale (posted on Endless Summer)

***

Got back from the casino at 3AM but I came away ahead about $10 overall and had a few drinks as well (on the casino floor) but YOU wanna hear about the concert... here goes!

I must say that she was FABOO! Looks great, SOUNDS great and the MTV special in June should be very much like what we saw last night. The seats were dead center stage and what was purported to be the "balcony" was just an elevated section behind the floor seats. Not at ALL what I expected and in fact, MUCH better.

The state of the art equipment had two HUGE screens with closeups available on either side of the stage, complete with computer digital effects (fades, slow motion, stop motion, superimposing graphics over live action - for instance, during "Could It Be Magic" there were moving clouds in a blue sky and at times Donna singing superimposed over that, and for "Hot Stuff" there were "flames in motion" superimposed over Donna at the microphone) and also slide backgrounds on the entire stage such as a church setting for her gospel number, a park with oak tree for MacArthur Park, and a street scene for "Bad Girls" among other "backdrops."

Although the sound was LOUD and the BASS/SYNTH DRUMS were FELT as well as heard, it was not OVERBEARING as the case in some concerts which just tend to go (wrongly) with the axiom "LOUDER is better!" It was not deafeningly loud and everything was clear although at times I'd have preferred that the extreme high end be attenuated just a bit. But it did not "hurt" my hears and no temporary "hearing loss" occurred, unlike the Village People concert which I attended a few years ago. THAT was DEAFENING and INTENSE but all pre-recorded backing tracks.

The lineup was as follows: Opening... I Feel Love (riff) segued into "This Time I Know It's For Real"
Mac Arthur's Park
Once Upon A Time (intro music) segued into "Could It Be Magic"
On The Radio
Someone To Watch Over Me (ballad)
* This was especially moving for me since Friday was Dusty's Springfield's 60th birthday and that song was one of the very last things that she ever recorded... and it was for a PPC HMO Radio Spot in the UK. I'm sure that Donna didn't do it for THAT reason but I made the connection in MY mind! I had hoped that MAYBE Donna would have included "Sometimes Like Butterflies" which Dusty covered in 1985 but that was not expected, really.
* Monologue about "The Man Of My Dreams" which was the intro leading into "Enough Is Enough" which she sang with her sister, very effectively and sounded great! She began with Barbra's part and someone in the audience close to the stage made a comment about her "oooh, oooh, ooohs" to which she replied, "Well, it works for BARBRA!!!" - a cute moment!
Riding In The Storm (gospel number, just beautiful!)
* her sister Mary, the other female background singer, Yvonne (didn't catch the last name) and a young black guy on tambourine continued an uptempo version of the riff from "Riding In The Storm" and incorporated "Sweet Chariot" while Donna did a costume change...
*Unplugged segment: I Don't Wanna Work That Hard
*She made one comment which didn't go over too well at first... this being an acoustic number, had her background singers snapping their fingers as the "rhythm track" and asked the audience, "Are you WHITE people out there?" which got a less than warm reaction... she quickly tried to recover, saying, "that's OK... I MARRIED someone of that color, why don't y'all try it again and prove me WRONG!!!" - I think that she won't make this comment in Saturday's show!!! A SLIGHT (and only) Faux Pas to a Mississippi (well, there were people from ALL OVER) audience.*
Acoustic version of "Dim All The Lights" the way she envisioned Rod Stewart (for whom she wrote the song originally) would have done it... (beautiful, as you'd expect) going into the disco version which got people up and on their feet, dancing in the isles!
She Works Hard For The Money, also kept 'em dancing.
Bad Girls segued into Hot Stuff (reverse of usual order)
At this point she was yelling "good night, thanks for coming, I Love You All!!!" and a good number of STUPID people were exiting the Magnolia Room where the concert was held. A minute later the opening strings of "Last Dance" were heard and she reappeared for the finale in a black sequined short dress... NOT to my surprise but MUCH to the surprise of many (formerly) in attendance.

I was disappointed only that she did not do "Carry On" I suppose, after all it was a GRAMMY winning song and I was also HOPING for her to do "Love On And On" or something from "Ordinary Girl" which didn't materialize. But looking at the "crowd" which was NOT AT ALL what I had expected, they might have been lost on the majority of the crowd who would not have been familiar with either track although there were "pockets" of "fanz" which screamed, cheered, danced, waved arms, presented flowers and a gift bag to her onstage, and otherwise reacted as I expected almost EVERYONE there to. Nevertheless it was a WONDERFUL experience, Donna was in top form, hit ALL of the high notes, held the long notes to their conclusion, had great voice control, and cavorted with the audience and gave them a lot of 'classic poses' which were reminiscent of some album covers and previous photos. She honestly did not look any different than her 70's photos. I heard though that for the MTV special she had SHORT hair... I'll have to see that... and withhold comment at this time. A hair specialist mentioned that her on-stage "do" was a weave, albeit a very good one... but being an "expert" clued us into that fact. I guess so, but she looked GREAT. Her backup singers were her sister, Mary, her hubby Bruce and someone named Yvonne whose last name I did not catch... if it's a family member, please excuse me for NOT knowing --- perhaps YOU do and can clarify this. [EDITOR'S NOTE: The singer's name is Yvonne Hodges] The show was great and worth every cent of the price... which was a little hefty for these parts. $50 and $43 for floor, $40 and $35 or so for the balcony. I WOULD have gotten floor seats but all CENTER seats were sold out already by the time I found out about it and I was able to get WONDERFUL seats on the 1st row of the "balcony" section but with the huge screens there was no need for binoculars. Unfortunately the guards were confiscating cameras although a few bold people got ONE shot in... my friend had a camera but was too chicken to attempt it and figured that it was too dark for a picture to come out... although I disagree. Too late now. - by Sonny DJ (exclusive to this site, so far anyway LOL)

***

Biloxi will never be the same!! Well, after a ten hour drive, about 8 diet coke fountain drinks, a quart of Cajun boiled peanuts, 2 1/2 tanks of gas and a grand slam breakfast at Denny's and 693 miles later, my friends and I finally pulled into Biloxi Mississippi. The first casino you see is the Beau Rivage. It almost looks like it does not belong as it rises against the sky, dwarfing the other casinos. From the minute you walked into the hotel, Donnas' pictures were everywhere! The large framed pictures of Donna were all over the hotel and casino and read "A World of World Class Entertainment - Donna Summer, April 16 & 17" Then as soon as we passed the registration desk, there were 12 large television screens grouped together constantly showing the beginning of the Endless Summer video collection, up until the point where she writes "I Love You, Donna Summer" and then it starts all over again!! Everyone was standing around watching it and I heard people saying...how great she looked and how far she has come!!!! We went and picked up our tickets and then found our way to the Magnolia Ballroom where Donna was set to take the stage. The Ballroom held 2,500 people according to a casino worker and both shows were sold out!!! The setting was very intimate, not your typical auditorium or concert setting. We were lucky enough to have had third row left center seats. I was in heaven. The stage was right in front of me, only about 10 feet away and I had an aisle seat to top it off. There were also two large video screens on both sides of the stage so everyone in the back could also see the concert. The crowd mix was fantastic....straight, gay, young, old, men and women. It was 9:30 p.m. and the music started to build and the Endless Summer video mix started to play on the two screens. All of her album covers also showed on the screens and then those famous red lips started to sing....."This time" and there she was........walking down to the front of the stage singing "This Time I Know It's For Real". She looked unbelievable!!!! She had definitely lost weight, her hair was long, but very soft with no curls. She had on a black outfit with a top that was very sexy and flattering if you know what I mean! Her songs included (I will try to remember them in order): This Time I Know Its For Real Could It Be Magic MacArthur Park On The Radio Someone To Watch Over Me Enough Is Enough Riding The Storm Dim All The Lights (both versions) I Don't Want To Work That Hard She Works Hard For The Money Bad Girls Hot Stuff Last Dance (encore) New highlights from the show............. She said that she is going to Versailles in France to record her new video!!!! She joked about what the press would say about the "queen returning to the palace" A guy behind me yelled "tell us about your new album" Donna did not hear it the first time and she looked over and asked "what?" I yelled out...."your new album" She said it will be out in June and will also be part of a VH-1 Special. She said that she did record "I Don't Want To Work That Hard" and that she hopes it appears on her new album but it will definitely be shown on VH-1. When asking where everyone was from I kept yelling Tampa. Finally she heard me, not only did she hear me, she heard my Boston accent!!!!!! She looked over at me and said "Taaaaampa, Taaaaampa", like only a true Boston native could say it!!! When she was talking to the ladies in the audience, right before she sang "Someone to Watch Over Me", she said something about you know how it is sisters. The guys went crazy and she commented back, I'm talking to my REAL sisters!! Everyone started laughing. Also she told the ladies to wait, because the man of the dreams was out there. Some guy yelled "where the hell is he?" Donna had to stop for a moment to laugh and compose herself before she could continue. The crowd loved it and you could tell Donna did too! She had a total of three costume changes....all very flattering, but basic. Her last party dress really looked great and showed those legs! Pictures, pictures......no problem!!! They are being developed. She didn't care at all and even posed for some!!! I took 24 total even using the flash every time!!! I will scan them and maybe Cathy can post some of them! From Dim All The Lights until the very end....the crowd was out of their seats and dancing. She was in control and everyone kept rushing the stage to get closer. Donna needs to consider stronger security!! Those two guys had a hard time keeping the crowd away from the stage and at the end they failed. Donna went down and shook everyone's hand (INCLUDING MINE). I looked at her and said...you are the best, I love you! She said thank you, I love you too!!!!! That was enough for me to have floated home all the 693 miles I had to drive back the next day! The next day one of my friends went into the entrance of the casino and stole one of the large posters from its stand. We ran out with it and quickly hid it in the trunk of my car. Talk about a souvenir. I have probably seen about 15 Donna shows and have even met her three times....but I have to say that there was something very special about this show. Donna was at ease, loved the audience and you could almost tell that things were finally back on track!!! On a final note, one of my friends, who is really into dance music like I am, always liked Donna and thought she was incredible, but he now understands what power she truly has. He said...."My God, I never realized what a class act and what power she has.....there is no comparison." I have known that for almost 22 years!! - by CKinTampa (posted on AOL)

 � 1999 the individual authors

 

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