Thursday, September 23, 2010

Diana Ross: One Night Only in Dayton

The Boss. The Lady Who Sung the Blues. A Supreme. Motown puppet or an artist in the truest sense of the word? Titles abound with one truth apparent: Diana Ross is, and always will be, a star. Marking her 40th year as a solo performer, Ross kicked of 2010 with a concert show to commemorate her successes. Her performance stop here at Dayton's Schuster Center however, was for a charitable cause. Ross' booking was courtesy of the Kettering Medical Center to celebrate the opening of the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Heart Hospital in Dayton.

On the last official night of the summer, a sea of fans poured into the center as Ross' band assumed position on the stage. Punching onto that stage with the uproarious "I'm Coming Out," Ross immediately took the audience back 30 years when that single and its parent album diana (1980) held the world in its sway. Ross' voice has only gotten better through the decades. She handled the vintage bop of the Spiral Staircase gem "More Today Than Yesterday" from her last offering I Love You (2007) with elegance. A juicy take on "Love Child," a latter Ross period Supremes hit was the highlight of a welcome, if overstayed Supremes hits medley.

She graciously made up for that with a fantastic dance section that included the unsung jam "The Boss," her eternal summer banger "Upside Down," the '95 house hit "Take Me Higher," and her Michael Jackson duet from The Wiz, "Ease On Down the Road."

The Lady Sings the Blues portion of the show saw Ross a vision in sequins, she changed a total of five times during the concert. Once a diva. Ross enjoyed this area of the show most, offering her smooth Billie Holiday cover of "Don't Explain." Only one RCA era hit was performed, the Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers doo-wopper "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?"

Several others lesser known, but beloved, Motown diamonds would have sparkled if performed that night: "Surrender," "Remember Me," "I Thought It Took a Little Time (But Today I Fell In Love)," "Confide in Me," "Sparkle," "It's My House," the list cascades onward. Strangely, "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)," her enduring live anthem was not sung. Fans weren't left wanting as the crowd gave standing ovations to "Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To?)" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

Ross' black and gay fans responded audibly all night. Her white fans moved, albeit in their seats, seemingly afraid to party possibly due to the slight formal nature of the show being benefit sponsored.  The evening substantiated Ross' endurance as an interpretative singer, spanning black pop music throughout the decades into today.-QH

[Editor's Note: For more information and current concert dates, visit -QH]


Anonymous said...

Great Review!! You Got skills!!

Call Him Miss Ross said...

Q .. Thank You! For a great review of Miss Ross' concert. I was fortunate to see her in Atlanta, this past June. She sounded fantastic, and I loved the use of videos. Miss Ross also commented that she was using a real band! I agree with you, and wish that songs like "Surrender." "Remember Me," or "Swept Away." should have been performed, but oh well. At least she mixed in "Take Me Higher!"