Release Date: 10/21/15
Review by: Rosemarie Howard
A Standing O' for the QUEEN OF SOUL
She personifies the definition of a LEGEND
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin performed in front of a sold out audience at the Microsoft (formerly Nokia) Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
You had to be there!
The sold out crowd included celebrities such as Berry Gordy Jr., Ray Parker Jr., Freda Payne, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Shonda Rhimes, Loretta Devine, writer Alan Bergman just to mention a few.
Opening the show was comedian Jonathan Slocumb, whose jokes were very clean and entertaining.
Her 50 years in the entertainment industry, displayed musical excellence and it was evident why she is a Legend. Her presence embraced and captivated the audience from the moment she stepped on stage performing her award winning #1 hit "A Natural Woman."
During the first dress change, The Rev. Carlton Pearson brilliantly led praise and worship. You saw thehands waving in the air and you could hear amen chanting quietly, church was present.
The Queen strolled down memory lane singing a lot of her hits such as: “Think,” “Don't Play that Song You Lied,” “Chain of Fools,” “Ain't No Way,” and “Something He Could Feel” that had four red dress clad ladies providing a visual that brought the seductive iconic choreograph dance style of the 60’s dance style to mind.
Her inspirational duet with gospel singer Melvin Williams was very uplifting. She was very candid in sharing her testimony regarding her illness a few years ago. The strength in her voice allowed the audience to feel her emotion, praising the "ALMIGHTY" her faith is so STRONG and physically she looked great and there is a peacefulness and calmness that surrounds her.
In each variation of song, we heard young Aretha, a voice so mesmerizing sounding the same as if we were playing the 45 on the record player. Through notes of oration, we relive history as if it has never left. A band so fine tuned to the Queens every move, this 73 year old DIVA confirmed she still has "it."
With each upbeat musical composition every aisle was up on their feet swaying, hand clapping and singing words we have sang over and over, songs that will last a lifetime. Between each cessation of song, she familiarized the crowd regarding her past. Her impromptu intimate moments with the piano playing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “If Ever I Would Leave You” left only whispers enduring every moment not wanting a night such as this to end.
Even though we're spoiled with the oldies, her new album Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics displays her tenacity and gift God has given her. Two songs, “I Will Survive” (Gloria Gaynor) and “I'm a Survivor” (Destiny Child) verified that this exuberantly rhythmic Diva is timeless.
With three fabulous gowns changes she ended her show with "Freeway of Love," and, for the encore, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”
I can only say this, if you ever have a chance to see her in concert it's a must Memorable.......for my LIFETIME.