Live: Diana Ross @ the Palace Theatre, 9/15/10

She’s still the darling diva of Motown.

If you love her, you probably loved the show. If you don’t, well, you probably weren’t there for the show anyway.

Of course, after all these years, Diana Ross knows how to put on a top-notch show. The toughest decisions that she had to make were likely:
a) What songs do I leave out of the show?
b) Which sparkling, floor-length gown do I start the show with?

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On Wednesday night at the Palace Theatre in Albany, the answers were:
a) “Endless Love,” “Mirror Mirror,” “Swept Away,” “Missing You,” “Muscles,” “It’s My Turn,” “My Mistake (Was to Love You),” “You’re a Special Part of Me,” “Remember Me” and “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” – all of which were Top 20 hits. And that’s just from her solo work.
b) the red one

And yes, she delivered the goods on her greatest hits “More Today Than Yesterday” tour. She looked fabulous, and she sang even better – even at the age of 66. And she came armed with an excellent 10-piece band (including four horns) and three back-up singers (who did a fine job, especially on the Supremes tunes, which were all packed into the opening, red-gown section of the show).

But the show was only 75 minutes long, and that’s including five – count ’em, FIVE – costume changes.

The other problem was that she didn’t take time to chat with the audience, which undercut some of the intimacy of the performance. And somewhat surprisingly, she didn’t include a tribute to Michael Jackson. Not even a passing mention.

SECOND OPINIONS:
Dave Barnum’s photographs at TheyWillRockYou.com
Excerpt from Jeff Wilkin’s review in The Daily Gazette: “Ross works hard, and fast. Maybe a little too fast; the musicians moved quickly from number to number. A break for a sip of water or quick words to the audience would have calmed down the pace a bit. It’s a minor quibble. A soaring ‘Ain’t No Mountain’ led to Ross as good as gold in a bright shimmering gold gown for the finale, Gloria Gaynor’s sassy disco hit ‘I Will Survive.’ Nice call. Ross has survived the decades, and proved Wednesday night she’s sticking around for more.”
Greg Haymes’ review with Lori Van Buren’s photographs at The Times Union

DIANA ROSS SET LIST
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
Love Child
(costume change)
The Boss
Upside Down
Touch Me in the Morning
It’s My House
Love Hangover/Take Me Higher/Ease On Down the Road
(costume change)
The Look of Love
Fine and Mellow
Don’t Explain
Why Do Fools Fall in Love?
(costume change)
Do You Know Where You’re Going To?
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
(costume change)
I Will Survive
ENCORE
(costume change)
I Will Survive (reprise)

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