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Diana Ross slick and brisk at Fox show

Diana Ross received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy last month. Photo credit: AP

Diana Ross received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy last month. Photo credit: AP

If all you wanted from your Diana Ross experience was a brisk parade of hits sung well and performed by a tight band, then you likely exited the Fox Theatre Thursday night feeling fulfilled and singing “Baby Love.”

 But if you were looking for a little warmth, a little spontaneity, a little chatter, a little something to suggest that Ross wasn’t merely going through the motions of songs she’s sung a gazillion times, well, this wasn’t that show.

 The indefatigable Ross, who turns 68 later this month, has been on some form of a greatest hits tour since May 2010 – in fact, her last Atlanta appearance came at Chastain in June 2010.

 At this return engagement, the thousands of fans in the nearly sold-out Fox greeted the pop goddess with worshipful applause and ovations as she took the stage in a puff of white taffeta over a gold and white sequined dress for one of her many anthems, “I’m Coming Out.”

It was the first of about five outfits modeled during the show, with most of her ensembles remaining in the glittery sequined family (blue, red, gold) and one purple strapless ball gown. Ross has also perfected the art of making an entrance – arms outstretched, shoulders shimmying – as she did after every costume change. (Here are some photos from Thursday’s show.)

 Ross’ trademark mound of ebony waves was in full effect, too, as she frequently dabbed at it gingerly (don’t hurt the hair!) while flashing a huge smile.

 But everything was almost too perfect, from the dance moves of the stop-on-a-dime five piece band and three backup singers to the tasteful lighting beamed on a set of white curtains decorating the stage. An unscripted humanizing moment or an acknowledgement of the audience – which finally came during the encore – would have elevated the concert from a slick, professional delivery of hits to a musical embrace to remember.

 That isn’t to say Ross, who recently earned a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, was devoid of personality. She grinned and waved her hands to the beat of “Where Did Our Love Go” and “Baby Love” – songs that mandated that the crowd remain standing – and brought the sunshine out of the Motown classic “You Can’t Hurry Love.” A couple of guys in the audience also had a brief brush with diva-dom as they hopped on stage for a few quick dance moves during a playful “Upside Down.”

 Though she hit a few sharp notes early in the show, Ross settled into the silken groove of “Touch Me in the Morning” and turned on the funk for “Love Child,” recast with an exuberant Latin-tinged coda.

 Her strongest vocal moment came after a fun appearance of “Ease on Down the Road” when she returned from another dress swap for the lovely “Don’t Explain,” which nearly silenced the fidgety crowd.

 After whirling through Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” – although what strong female singer hasn’t appropriated that one? – Ross returned for an encore and finally spoke at length. She had family in the audience, she noted, including daughter Tracee, who stars in the Atlanta-filmed BET series “Reed Between the Lines.”

 As she and the band delved into the fitting set closer – “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” – Ross made a brief mention of the loss of songwriter Nick Ashford (who also co-wrote “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”) before thanking the audience for their energy.

 So no, this wasn’t a show focused on interaction, but trotting out the hits – and they are numerous and still glorious – for appreciative crowds wanting a victory lap from one of music’s most memorable female icons.

 Set list from March 1 show at the Fox Theatre:

  •  “I’m Coming Out”
  • “More Today Than Yesterday”
  • “My World is Empty Without You”
  • “Where Did Our Love Go”
  • “Baby Love”
  • “Stop! In the Name of Love”
  • “You Can’t Hurry Love”
  • “Touch Me in the Morning”
  • “Love Child”
  • “The Boss”
  • “Upside Down”
  • “It’s My House”
  • “Love Hangover”
  • “Take Me Higher”
  • “Ease on Down the Road”
  • “Fine and Mellow”
  • “Don’t Explain”
  • “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”
  • “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)”
  • “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
  • “I Will Survive”
  • “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)”

 By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene Blog

Follow me on Twitter: @ajclifestyle

51 comments Add your comment

Robert

March 2nd, 2012
1:37 am

I have to completely agree with this review. She sounded great but their was no audience interaction. No “hello Atlanta” or anything to make it more personal. Had always wanted to see Diana Ross and was left a little “underwhelmed”. Felt she could have given more.

eric

March 2nd, 2012
3:40 am

ummm…she’s a 70 year old legend. What did you expect? The fact that she can sing her hits SO amazingly still to this day should please everyone…do you want her to come out and shake everyones hand? this is Ms. Ross, she won’t let anyone touch her/speak her first name because she demands respect…did you think at 70 all of a sudden she would soften? her voice is STRONG and we are lucky she is still performing….

Tara

March 2nd, 2012
4:22 am

I enjoyed the show immensely. This was my first time seeing Diana Ross and the energy from Diana was appropriate considering her age. She did an awesome job entertaining her audience, and compared to many of the so-called new artists, she can outperform them vocally anyday. 68 and still performing is an awesome thing, especially since we’ve lost some great performers lately; I agree Eric, it’s great that such a Motown Legend is still performing…

James

March 2nd, 2012
7:17 am

She is The Boss, PERIOD. I don’t even see how one could “review” her concert. It was an excellent show and a pleasure to see an ICON.

Tracey

March 2nd, 2012
7:47 am

The woman is a legend! Her longevity, work ethic and professionalism is what has carried her this far! Her voice is still as fabulous as ever, her style is impeccable and she will FOREVER be THE BOSS! She set the bar for what it truly means to be a Diva! Most of these new singers should attend one of her shows, take notes and learn something! Eric, Tara and James, I’m with you! This review is bootleg!

Vanessa

March 2nd, 2012
9:22 am

I really enjoyed the Diana Ross Concert! She is a icon and a legend which to me says it all. She is authentic and her longevity is a testament to that! These so called artist out here need to go and see her show and learn what entertainment is all about. Thank You Miss Ross!!!

E

March 2nd, 2012
9:34 am

I attended her show at Chastain back in 2010. I definitely felt there was crowd interaction. I didn’t attend yesterday’s show. I didn’t see the point. She’s absolutely a legend and a great entertainer. However, I didn’t see myself spending money on tickets for the same show.

GRUNGErules

March 2nd, 2012
11:13 am

GUESS what radio station “Vanessa” listens to, can you say V-103.

Diana fan for life!

March 2nd, 2012
11:59 am

I attended the show last night and I thought she was awesome! Such a true talent and always graceful!
There aren’t many entertainers around still going after 5 decades. HATS OFF TO MS’ ROSS!

Tim

March 2nd, 2012
12:01 pm

To eric & James, you’re a couple of maroons. As a promoter who has worked with her in the past, I can tell you she is about as gracious as Rush Limbaugh & a bigger pita than any of her contemporaries. Having talent does not translate into being a b.itch, which is pretty much what she is considered in the industry. My opinion would be shared by thousands. Ironically, she is at best a shell of her former self, talent-wise. You missed that apex by a mere 25 years or so.

Tim

March 2nd, 2012
12:16 pm

Grunge, you take being a maroon to a new level. R you kidding me? How about those grunge artists who did themselves in? Will any of them have a career like Ross? Doubtful. She sure isn’t a nice person but her hypocrisy is nothing compared to your blatant ignorance. Let me help you out some….In what remote illiterate county of GA do you live? Ok, now get back there & hide under that rock you came out from. Stat.

Andrew Price

March 2nd, 2012
1:48 pm

Hey man, I attended the show last night @ the last minute
I decided to go since I was already downtown. I am so glad that I did pass on this show
This woman and her band did a phenomenal job. Hope to see her.
again

Alyce

March 2nd, 2012
4:09 pm

Diana Ross was fabulous last night!!! Fox’s sound system was not the best as most of Ms. Ross’s comments were inaudible, but the songs came through!! I was amazed how pure her voice still is. Her band and back-up singers were probably some of the best I’ve ever heard!! Thank you all for a wonderful trip down memory lane as I grew up in the 60’s listening and loving the Supremes and Diana as a solo!! (Tim, just to let you know the word moron is not spelled “maroon”- that’s the spelling for the color! Plus it sounds you had a bad experience w/her. Everybody has good and bad days!) Nobody can actually think she did anything but a spectacular job last night! I also appreciated the straight-up presentation; no silly go-go dancers making disgusting moves- it was a class act all the way! Just proves people can enjoy a concert without all the salacious stuff many stars think they have to do to present their show! Talent always speaks LOUD and CLEAR!!!

A fan

March 2nd, 2012
4:30 pm

To all of the “haters” out there. What, are you STUPID?? Diana Ross has out-smarted them all. Out-lasted them all. Survived it all. I think she is exactly the BITCH that she needs to be to survive in the business called “show business”. If you don’t think she has talent you should look deeper. I saw her show in May 2010 and she was great. The show was great. And to be still doing it at close to 70 years of age, and to be on tour for two years, wow. She is remarkable. I suppose some people would be happy to see her go the way of some unfortunate others in the music business, be addicted to drugs and die young and broke. DISGUSTING!!! It’s no wonder most artists of her magnitude can’t survive the business with all they have to deal with. I’d take my hat off (if I wore one) to her. Haters, you’re sounding like a bunch of pathetic losers. Get a life!!

Sheila

March 2nd, 2012
4:33 pm

Diana Ross was absolutely fabulous last night!!! The author of this article is obviously not a fan or just wasn’t there. What do you call pulling audience members up on stage to dance with you, introducing your home folks from Down South and your daughter to the audience? You call it warmth, spontaneity and downright charming. Diana Ross’ audience loves her and she gave genuine love back last night. She is our gorgeous DIVA and most of us that grew up with her music can’t get enough of her when she appears in Concert. I have been a fan since I was 11 and that was over 40 years ago……..Diana just gets better and better with age!!!!!

Troy Anthony

March 2nd, 2012
4:44 pm

I’m going to tell you. I’ve been to many concerts over the years. Some really great shows and some that were not so good. I think “Ms. Ross” did a fantastic job last night. I think she connected with the audience and sang her songs like a pro. I wish she hadn’t have sang “I Will Survive.” I would have liked her to sing only HER songs. I also enjoyed the costume changes, and not having a bunch of distracting dancers flailing all over the stage. I saw her at the end coming out of the building getting into her limo, and she had the dark shades working, and waved briefly to the adoring fans and quickly got into her car and was whisked away. I enjoyed the evening.

Gregg

March 2nd, 2012
5:28 pm

Diana Ross has been singing the music I love for nearly 50 years and she sill is doing it – with depth, feeling and respect to the classic music her audience made hits over the decades. I flew in from Portland OR for the show last night and found her sounding and looking sensational and way beyond what anyone would have a right to expect at 67. The audience adored it. Would I have loved to hear Come see About Me, It’s My Turn and I Hear a Symphony? Yes – but I also would have preferred a 5 hour concert with a 20 minute intermission. It’s easy to make comments like that when you are looking to avoid the obvious: she’s a legend and and is everything and more her fans hope she will be. There’s a reason she’s been packing venues for all these years: she’s an amazing talent and person.
I do not know Diana Ross personally, but I can share a personal story. Two years ago I was surprised to find myself seated behind her on a flight. She was kind, gracious and beautiful. Our plane broke before take off and we had to change aircraft. The flight attendant commented to me how easy she was about it – that most celebrities would have fussed and complained, but she was sweet the whole time. I tried hard not to talk her ear off, but the conversation we did have was casual and normal for that situation. Couldn’t have been more classy and just plain nice. Oh, and she told me she like my Madras sneakers!

Steve

March 2nd, 2012
8:30 pm

I’m perplexed by Melissa Ruggieri’s review. Was she even there? The audience was fired up and Diana Ross was charming, engaging, and filled with energy. Her roster of songs (the reviewer skipped two of her selections) was a chronicle of her hit songs and movies. The band was good, the back-up singers great, and Diana Ross was in her element. There was so much energy and good will at the Fox last night. She introduced some relatives in the audience and she introduced her daughter, Tracy Ross. The person writing the review either wasn’t there or is not a fan. I can’t imagine what the reviewer wanted or expected!

blkshepherd

March 2nd, 2012
9:06 pm

To Melissa Ruggieri

I had no idea Diana had TWO shows last night in Atlanta. Hmm or maybe I Imagined that I saw her beckon two men on stage danced hugged them(I was green with Envy) mention relatives in the audience pointing out her daughter, the band shouted out Atlanta while Ross smiled and said while we are watching her shes watching our faces.

So perhaps Ms Ruggieri, you were too busy typing at your ipod or whatever you use to take down notes but its quite apparent you were Not Paying Attention to the audience nor the performer. In the future please place your electronic device in your purse and just open your ears and eyes and observe Whats Going On..it reminds me of Texting while driving. One is Not Getting Full ATTENTION.I would HOPE your NOT ONE of those Persons that TRY to DO BOTH. Next time just watch the show.

Now with that out of the way.

the show was great as usual and not a suprise for me as this makes my third time seeing Ross. DONT EXPLAIN and Touch Me in the Morning CONFIRMED for me that Ross can still sing..I was amazed and the audience got real quiet when she was doing Dont Explain with such amazing breath control and volume and Tone amazing for a person nearly 70..Her ballads are always the Best of her concerts.it was important to see her as we dont have many living legends left.It is about Longevity.

Ross has seen many out sell her in Sales ..but in the end has out lasted and sadly, out lived many,and still Surviving.Isnt that what life is all about being a Survivor?

tooty

March 2nd, 2012
10:30 pm

I don’t understand why they send non talented journalist to a show that really came to dish and tear down artist rather than enjoy the show. You have already made up in your mind you’re not going to like it no matter what anyway. I have seen her show and it is absolutely wonderful. Forget about age..she never ever ran across the stage even when she was twenty so why would she at 68 …Journalist stop being so bitchy and trying to have your own day with catchy words that tear people down unless you think you can do better. Maybe you should get up there and sing or play and let people tear you down….hmmmm…sounds like a thought!!!

Gwen

March 2nd, 2012
11:09 pm

I also attended the concert last night in ATLANTA, and I was TOTALLY AMAZED . THE BOSS DID NOT LET ME DOWN, nor the people sitting next to me. I enjoyed myself. The AUDIENCE went wild for EVERY ENTRANCE!!! I have been to many concerts over the years most of them good, but this was THE BEST!! I grew up with the SUPREMES & never saw them perform live,(TOO YOUNG THEN!!) I had to see Ms. ROSS and she was spectacular!!!! THE SONGS, HER VOICE ,THE COSTUME CHANGES, THE BAND ,THE BG SINGERS and my program book of her LOL!!!! were all on point PURE DIVA STYLE!! AS for audience participation, from where I was sitting I truly felt the warmth and gratitude coming from her. Dancing & hugging 2 audience members on stage, talking & giving shout outs to people hometowns,saying I’m SEE ALL YOUR FACES AS YOUR WATCHING ME!! giving the mic to a few people to sing(and she did I saw her do it) reaching out & touching people to her right corner of the stage when she sung REACH OUT AND TOUCH!!!. (and if I’m not mistaking I heard a shout out to ATL. and if not, who really cares) the show was awesome. All the songs she did!!! standing in DIVA GRACENESS !!!! in those heels!!! HEY THE BOSS Is nearly 70. And as for being a B hey I can get a little B____y myself !! What does that have to do with performing her best for her fans, she want it done right!!! DID YOU SEE MAHOGANY??? NO you must not have!!! I forgot you are not a FAN!!! WATCH THE MOVIE and you might SEE THE REAL DIANA AND WHAT SHE’S BEEN THROUGH!!!! ” DIANA ROSS IS A LIVING LEGEND!!! A DIVA!!! A STAR!!!! THE BOSS!!!”

Bryan O'Quinn

March 3rd, 2012
12:21 am

Bootleg YouTube clips made by amateurs (video and audio) simply do not do her justice!

Diana Ross 2012 at the Fox Theater OMG… She was awesome! Her voice sounds good, strong and seasoned. The classic Diana Ross sounds with a bit more texture to her vocals …and yes she is a killer jazz stylist! — ASAP Ms Ross needs to record new collection of jazz & blues perhaps some neosoul even; c’mon Manhattan Records there is such a market for what she is doing today.

Last and least ; All that talk about no interaction with the audience is pure rubbish (I was there up close and personal) She looked beautiful, curvy classy and her performance was just so focused this one could have been recorded “Diana Ross– Live 2012 at the Fabulous Fox Theater” or Diana Ross live 2012 –More today than yesterday!

Melissa Ruggieri

March 3rd, 2012
1:07 am

Dear blkshepherd:

It’s a bit ironic that you’re chastising me for allegedly not paying attention at the show when all of the examples you cite in your comments are things that I mentioned in my review, had you read it more closely: that Ms. Ross brought members of the audience on stage, that she mentioned her relatives and daughter in the audience (during the encore – which was the first time she addressed the crowd all night), that “Don’t Explain” was the vocal highlight of the show…so I’m not sure who needs to be paying attention here.

And, for the record, I despise people who pull out their phones at concerts (as well as plays, movies and any other dark room with some form of art being performed). Rest assured that I am old enough to take notes the old-fashioned way – with a notepad and pen – which allows me prime opportunity to observe everything that takes place during a show. You might not agree with my one minor criticism of Ms. Ross — that she didn’t interact with the audience much, which isn’t an opinion, but a fact — but that doesn’t translate to me not doing my job. It means I AM doing my job of not being an unabashed fan, but a reviewer.

Cheers,
Melissa

blkshepherd

March 3rd, 2012
9:02 am

Melissa

A Fact that she didnt interact? My dear you are OUT NUMBERED, you may want to re-read or scroll back up with some of the comments all saying the same thing that I said. WHAT SHOW DID YOU ATTEND? because you certainly was not attending the same show myself and the other posts above and before my post attended.

As for you doing your job hmm thats a matter of dispute since Clearly your contradicting yourself since you said you pointed out the things I said ” calling people up on the stage, chatting and waving with the audience since THAT IS a form of interaction just not to your taste. oh well its just an opinion. Its the second time your review of Ross shows kind slack but again its your Opinion.

How about several other Acts who NEVER call anyone up on stage to dance or call out family members in the audience? It’s apparent myself and the people who commented have different opinions as to What Interaction with an audience is. Would you have had her come off stage and shake each person hand in the audience? Never mind dont bother to answer.

Anyway, MS ROSS put on a Fantastic Show. Her Fans felt she Interacted very well and then some and Look Forward to seeing her at the FOX as soon as Possible. If your reading this Ms Ross. PLEASE COME BACK TO THE ATL. YOU ARE WELCOMED WITH OPEN ARMS WE LOVE YOU. THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL SHOW> oh and Cheers to you too Melissa.

barry

March 3rd, 2012
9:08 am

she is an ICON and for those who love her and enjoy her music, we will go and see her performances again and again to enjoy the music, the costume changes and the quality of entertainment she brings to us nomatter how many times we’ve heard the same songs.

charles c.

March 3rd, 2012
2:35 pm

Melissa, as you can probably sense, Diana Ross has some fanatical, mentally ill fans who fly off the handle as even a minor criticism of their favorite diva. I wouldn’t take them seriously. Any reasonable person will read your review and realized that’s it’s a good review of the concert and performance. You had some minor reservations, but that’s your job to discuss them. I read some of your other reviews, I can tell you place a value on an act interacting with the Atlanta audience. You’re being consistent to your critical principles. Keep up the good work.

Eso

March 3rd, 2012
4:48 pm

What do you expect? She is almost seventy — we should be happy she even has a voice this good as if she were 16. It is not as if she is going to bop around and interface with everyone. She is a worldwide star. She probably also does not have the energy for it.

Diana

March 3rd, 2012
6:20 pm

Yo Melissa!

Here’s the thing, prior to the unfortunate Return to Love tour in 2000, MissRoss was roundly critisized for being too engaging with her audience, for talking too much, and the forentire not puttingthe enough emphasis on the music. On all of her tours since then, she has focused more on the music, and less timeif chatting up the audience. I’m with you, I miss the audience chatter, but I guess she can’t win with some critics either way. On this tour, in Hollywood, Florida and Denver, Colorado, prior to going into her encore, she first pulled up a stool to have a chat with the audience. Had she only done this in Atlanta, perhaps your review would have been all kudos?

She was Extraordinary.

March 3rd, 2012
11:17 pm

Glad we went. Show was worth the money.

Liam

March 3rd, 2012
11:30 pm

Melissa, You should get a job a TMZ. They love to show the worst of the best. I don’t care what Diana Ross looks like when she shops in Malibu without her make up. She is an iconic image, an American Masterpiece who has survived. So many critics find it easy to put her down. You must hate the love she has garnered over fifty years. You are not part of it and you in your arrogant take down has absolutely no point. If you don’t like Diana Ross, don’t offend her fans by writing your ignorant banter. We heard it before and quite frankly it’s irrelevant as you I hope will find another job that will keep you from being so offensive.

blkshepherd

March 4th, 2012
12:22 am

Charles C
The Only One mentally ill and fanatical is You, the rest of us have all our senses and wits about us, its Exactly as Diana pointed out. Either way shes going to get critized if she chatters with the audience too much and not enough singing there will still be complaints. Damned if she do, damned if she dont.

stephen

March 4th, 2012
3:28 am

Reviewers can say what they like but Diana is almost totally unconcerned about what they write.
She has nothing to gain or lose as the shows are sold out at nearly every venue and she never gives interviews to the local media pre- the concerts.
She turns up, does her thing, respects her audience, laps up their love and clearly loves performing.
She’s a true professional and a true star, and after 50 years she probably feels very grateful and special seeing those packed out theatres in front of her.
She is truly blessed.

I Love Diana Ross

March 4th, 2012
3:33 am

Well, I have read all the comment to this date/time, March 4, 2012. I was there, at the Fox Theatre, March 1, 2012. This was my sixth time attending a Diana Ross Show. My first show was in 1970 in Niles, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Diana opened her show by welcoming everyone and saying “Welcome to the Let’s see if Diana Ross can make it by herself show”. She performed without backup singers. She was still in her prime, in her twenties. I was mesmerized. She changed costumes several times. Her first album was out then, featuring the hits “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. She sang “Reflections”. While she sang “Reflections” she talked about her time with the Supremes briefly. I remember (it has been 42 years) a significant amount of banter and chatter with the audience. Diana Ross was out to prove herself and this (1970 show)was her first nationwide tour as a solo artist.

Fast forward to Thursday night, March 1, 2012 at the Fox. I took the Greyhound Bus from Birmingham (no I am not Alabama family, although I raised my hand when she called on her Alabama family, that is how much I love her, I feel like she is my family, my friend, although we have never met). I did have the thrill of meeting her daughter, Tracee, after the show).

I have always been critical of Diana Ross, just as a family member, who really cares about a family member, will attempt to tell a family member about faults they see in that family member. I kept a diary during 1972 when Diana Ross was about to release the movie “Lady Sings The Blues”, a biographical film about Billie Holiday, for those who may not know this. I read Billie Holiday’s autobiography by the same title. I noted disparities between the book and the film (for example, in the book Billie herself says she wore a black dress at her Carnegie Hall performance, in the film, Diana Ross wears a white dress.) The critics reviewed Diana’s vocals for Lady Sings the Blue and almost to a one, they agreed that she nailed it. However, the script of the movie gave Billie Holiday’s life the “Hollywood Treatment” and used a lot of fiction instead of telling the gripping bizarre truth about Billie. I forgave Berry Gordy and Diana Ross for this. I always felt that had Berry and Diana told the true story of Billie then Diana would have won the Oscar for Best Actress.

I have always loved Diana Ross. Her voice touches my heart and soul like no other singer. In a world full of great voices, hers is the voice I love the most. I know her voice is not the same voice I heard in 1970. But it is still her. We are blessed to have her with us and still singing.

I agree with the reviewer, Melissa, about the audience interaction. Diana can improve on this point. Melissa gave a fair review, If Ms. Ross will take heed to valid criticism of her show, then the show will only get better. I say this as a person who loves Diana Ross from the depths of my soul. But my adoration does not mean I am blind to her faults. REcognizing her faults can only make her a better performer, so I applaud those who insist on giving a review that has integrity, instead of simply oohing and aahhing over Ms. Ross.

Everyone knows she is a great entertainer. I think that her show should be more relaxed, more interactive, more just standing there on stage and telling a joke or something that gets us laughing. I think that as she nears 70 she has to show her maturity. The Supremes songs were appropriately sang by women barely out of their teens. At almost 70 Ms. Ross needs to bring a new level of maturity to her show.

Still if she doesnt’ change a thing I will still go to see her, because I love being in her presence, even though she doen’t recognize me as an individual.

I saw her last year in Mississippi and I was in New York when she appeared at the Waldor Astoria Hotel for a major fund raiser in September 2011. Both times she barely said two words to the audience. My wife, who likes Diana’s songs, but is not a fan like me, was quick to realize that we had been treated to a rapid fire sequence of hit songs, but no audience interaction. I was enraptured. Just seeing her on stage is enough for me. She doesn’t even have to sing. Just raise those arms, smile. I love it. But for non fans, Ms. Ross needs to do more. It is not asking too much for her to stop singing, which is harder work than talking, and just relax, be human, and interact in some serious talk. Yes, she is almost seventy. She is seasoned and mature. She should have some wise things to say to her audience that will make the experience much greater than just hearing her sing, (by the way, her singing was fantastic, awesome, stupendous, magnificient, glorious, wonderful, satisfying, heavenly, beautiful, and beyond description. She is to me the songbird of heaven, and my greatest desire is that throughout eternity her voice will fill the halls of heaven.

blkshepherd

March 4th, 2012
7:40 am

@STEPHEN
Thank You. Your Post says it all.

dave

March 4th, 2012
10:50 am

I’m so disappointed that I missed this concert…I saw her at the Fox in 1993 and she was so fantastic…I believe there were 8 costume changes and she did come down into the audience to about the 10th row and she did interact, greet and touch nemerous fans…the audience loved her! As to why she didn’t do it at this concert…I do not know…perhaps her age has a way of placing certain limits on what she is comfortable doing. All I know is she is a legend and delivers beautiful music!

shirley

March 4th, 2012
11:35 am

Diana was on stage for less than 2 hours, so I’m glad she did less talking and more singing. I was hoping for more of her bigger hits and a longer show, but at her age, I enjoyed what she gave out. Her performance was done with elegance and grace. The lady is a true diva and still got it going on at 68. This show was a “61st” birthday treat to me from my daughter and I thank her so much for it. I would love to see Dirty Diana again, tonight, if I could. I love her!!

Tim

March 4th, 2012
12:15 pm

Ftr, ” maroon” is a Bugs Bunny cartoon reference. Instead of saying moron, he said maroon. And wow, as the fanatical defenders of Ross have piled on here, mark me as fully supporting Ms. Ruggieri in her review. I have not one iota of doubt as to her exactness in getting it right. The one thing that I can inarguable say is that it never ceases to amaze me how people who have no experience whatsoever in a field, whether it be criticism, accounting, doctoring, construction, umm, do you get my drift, know for sure that they are right but the person who does it for a living is wrong. Do you have any idea how few shows you’ve very likely been to while the writer goes to a hundred or so per year. But, illogical jackasses, your opinion is “right” and her opinion is “wrong.” In all seriousness, I am glad you liked the show. But realize, also, that the same people probably like “American Idol.” The point? There’s no accounting for taste, and no accounting for myriad people to be unable to think critically. Ross’ performance very likely lies somewhere between fair to good. There is no performer in history whose abilities at 70 compare favorably to when they were 35. It’s a simple fact of life. Period. And as someone who has seen close to 1400 shows in his life, I can attest to this across the full range of artists, from pop to punk.

When I see Aretha on Monday as a bucket list show, I fully know it will not be the Aretha I would have seen in 1980. I hope Ms Ruggieri reviews the show.

Tim

March 4th, 2012
12:30 pm

Chas c, spot-on observations. Those are critical thinking skills -to the people here who are literally getting angry – just so you know it when you read it. And to those getting angry: get a life !

mary

March 4th, 2012
1:24 pm

you need more camera skills not to mention more updated equipment—awful photos

Mic

March 4th, 2012
3:36 pm

@Tim You are the one who sounds angry. The people unhappy with this review have a right to say so. It doesn’t make them crazy, or mentally ill. (and I am not sure that calling people these names is appropriate considering there are people who have these disabilities and it is way tacky to use their illness as a put down). You really need to have a seat a take your pushy attitude with you.

Mic

March 4th, 2012
3:42 pm

@Charles C I originally posted this as a response to Tim, but it should have gone to you. (Tim deserves everything I wrote as well so no error there) You are the one who sounds angry. The people unhappy with this review have a right to say so. It doesn’t make them crazy, or mentally ill. (and I am not sure that calling people these names is appropriate considering there are people who have these disabilities and it is way tacky to use their illness as a put down). You really need to have a seat a take your pushy attitude with you.

mary

March 4th, 2012
7:14 pm

This lady is truly an icon. AJC should send photo journalist in that know how to do a better job than these pictures.! ms

Tim

March 5th, 2012
12:00 am

Mic, the people who think the whining cry babies who cannot deal with a critical review and rush to defend her as if she’s a child need to get a grip. You can say whatever you want and when you do you may deserve to get snarked because it’s kinda fun, and the whole thing is definitely funny. The chas c reference to mental illness is tongue in cheek. He doesn’t mean that literally. I’m just here stirring up this bowl of moronic stew. I’d freely admit I’m being obnoxious but it’s all to poke fun at the people who have posted who just don’t get it, and take themselves way, way too seriously. Trust me, I don’t. The entire reaction to the review is as sophomoric as my responses have intentionally been. The difference between me and them is I KNOW I’m being that way.

richard whiskey

March 5th, 2012
10:22 am

would’nt have paid 10 cents to watch this washed up old hag go thru the motions for a paycheck,diana hang it up grandma you are long forgotten about

stephen

March 5th, 2012
12:14 pm

@richard whiskey
Seems you have been drinking far too much of your namesake.
It was all but sold out and she would certainly be picking up a hefty paycheck.
Try telling the thousands who are turning out to see her for the third year in a row that she is long forgotten about.

Terrence Marquis

March 5th, 2012
5:49 pm

I truly respect everyone’s comments, whether negative or positive because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, I tend to lean more to the positive side of any situation and I am a really big fan of Ms. Ross, so with that said I just wanted to say that I most definitely enjoyed the show. Even if she didn’t have a lot of interaction (talking with the audience/coming into the audience) she still did a superb job I think. And I can honestly say I was extremely pleased with my interaction with her because I got to dance with ‘THE BOSS’ to one of my favorite song’s, UPSIDE DOWN!!!! If any of you have any photos or video of that magical moment for me, please let me know. Thanks

Trevor

March 6th, 2012
10:07 am

Well sometimes certain venues give you a cut off time and they want you out of the venue, so maybe with her having so many hits it was her priority to give you the songs than to interact and mingle…we all know she loves to mingle and interact with the audience…however her show is so good I don’t care! I am just please to have had the pleasure of seeing her three times and what a SUPER SUPER fantastic show!

Trevor

March 6th, 2012
10:09 am

NO more WHISKEY!!!LOL

danny

March 7th, 2012
1:54 pm

Tim

talking about morons…youre the biggest one here…this has nothing to do with your so called review..it has to do with respecting others opinions and I see more then a fair share enjoyed the show…….Diana doesnt need dancers special effects she is a dynamic performer that gives her true fans what they want…..MUSIC and no fluff in between! So the moron here is you!

PM in NY

March 8th, 2012
3:50 am

Re: Tim’s Comment…Perhaps Ms. Ruggeria does this for a living, but that doesn’t make her completely right. There are just as many “Jackass” accountants, doctors, construction workers and audience members, as there are critics.

Ms. Ruggeria’s dismisses a concert that is “almost too “perfect”, has a “tight band” and brought sunshine to classics that have been around for 45 years, because it lacked human interaction, even though Ms. Ross “spoked at length”.

How can Ms. Ross not “trot out the hits” with 16 number one singles and countless top 10’s over her career? And after 50 years of stage performances, how can she not be near perfect? I’d rather hear as many hits as possible instead of Vegas chatter.

“Human intereaction” can come in other forms than Vegas chatter….it comes through singing with feeling, dancing with and steady eye contact with the audience.

Also, in defense of “jackass” audience members, ….maybe I haven’t seen 1400 concerts, but I, for one, have seen , Aretha Franklin in 1980, Diana Ross in 1976, Barbra Streisand, The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, etc, etc….so I definitely know when a performer is blowing the roof off of a theatre…Ms. Ross’ concert was just that and you can’t blow the roof off the a theatre just by memories of a former self…..there needs to be true talent….Ms. Ross just makes it look easy. (Unlike Tim, I was there).

So, what’s the loss here? None. We fans will still appreciate true talent, Ms. Ross will play on and….hopefully….Ms. Ruggieri will give her ticket next time to someone who will enjoy the show.