dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

In A Nutshell, This Is How I Ended Up At The Diana Ross Concert

On the new job, I spend my time writing puffed-up snark all day on Zac Efron, Miley Cyrus, Chace Crawford, Matthew McConaughey, Amy Winehouse—anyone who's "now" and a tabloid/gossip blog namegrabber.

After about the eighth post on the Jonas Brothers in a week, you really need to just come home and have a drink. Or a bottle.

One night last month, while lying face down on the bed in a Jonas-numbing stupor, the ball and chain sweeps into the bedroom and announces, "OMG. Miss Ross is playing at the Hollywood Bowl!" I sat up to vomit. Coincidentally, it must have sounded like, "Let's get tickets!"

Granted, I've always been big on Motown. 1991 was the first full year I had a driver's license, and since my parents car didn't have a cassette player—and I'd burnt out on Top 40 radio—the oldies station was my driving aid of choice wherever I'd speed off to.

So last night was the Diana Ross concert at the Hollywood Bowl. By the time we got there, the row we were to sit in was filled, save for our two lone seats way down the line. Luckily there were about three other rows nearby that were empty, so we just sat there. Apparently no one does the peanut gallery for Miss Ross. Except for us.

The LA Philharmonic trilled some lulling opening standards, then took a break. Finally, the band broke out into an extended intro of "I'm Coming Out," and there she was, sauntering onto the stage in a red frilly dress that made her look like a piece of sushi. And speaking of which, we brought along a picnic basket. And the Jonas juice.

Over the next two hours, "Lady Supreme," as she was billed, twirled through Motown medleys, Supremes classics, solo hits and the Lady Sings The Blues repertoire. She changed into four different gowns throughout the night, which sent old queens to speaking in tongues.

And, she sounded great. It's funny to think that Diana Ross was sometimes criticized for never having the best voice. Compared to robot sluts of today like Britney, Fergie and Ashlee Simpson, she sounds like the very definition of soul.

Well, okay. There were actually a few times where Diana sounded like she had a prehistoric amphibian lodged in her throat that she was about to hack up. And she doesn't have the most magnetic stage presence. But, hey, at least she did "Ease On Down The Road."

The night peaked when the crowd was sent into a frezy by "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." I peaked with a frenzy when I finished my flattened banana from Trader Joe's. By "I Will Survive" we were packed and high-tailing it through the crowd, making the long walk back to the car.

All in all, visiting Planet Ross was pretty enjoyable, and an overall classy—if not occasionally slightly tacky—experience.

It's kind of like when you're a kid and your parents drop you off at grandma's house. You know you're in for a warm, pleasant time. But by the third episode of The Lawrence Welk Hour, you're more than ready to go home and play with your toys.

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  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger John said…

    Thanks for sharing about the show. Having been in music retail for a while, I've been to plenty of shows that I wouldn't have bought tickets for, but I ended up appreciating being there. No matter the belly-aching we do about the fitness of artists, there's a reason why they sell records, regardless of what we think. There are the ones that are manufactured, and there are the ones that genuinely have a non-produced talent, and Miss Ross is one of those.

    And I can't blame you for bolting early. I wouldn't want to be on the road when she is. Once a drunk driver...

  • At 9:57 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    LOVED this review. It should have been in the LA Times!

  • At 5:56 AM, Blogger Rocco B. said…

    i envy u
    u have the show program of the spice girls concert

    i coudn´t see the show
    either the program book...

    nice blog

    good luck

  • At 9:34 AM, Anonymous My Name Is Dita said…

    Jonas Juise? I think we all know you really meant Jungle Juice. Iron Horse?

  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger D'luv said…

    John, yeah, this year seems to be filled with those for me... Cyndi Lauper/True Colors, George Michael, Diana Ross... God, it's the gayest concert-going year I've ever had. Throw the Spice Girls into the heap, since that was less than a year ago!

    XO, Aw, thanks. And I know, right?

    Rocco B, I do indeed, and when I was cleaning for a party at my pad last Saturday, I found it under a pile of magazines on the floor.

    Dita, whatever juices your lemon, hooker.

  • At 7:27 AM, Blogger Adem With An E said…

    I'm slightly jealous you saw Miss Ross, and somewhat amused she did "Ease On Down The Road." Great tip: The Wiz works as a really good sleeping aid though.

    What a classy review. My stomach is in pain, not from an overuse of prescription medication for my ankle, but due to laughter.

  • At 12:22 AM, Anonymous ndrew said…

    Well how lucky are you to have such a wonderful, classy, ball & chain with good taste?
    You never would have gone otherwise.
    These are the spontaneous moments in life you'll never forget. Thanks for sharing them d'luvie

  • At 7:18 PM, Anonymous glossy said…

    did she have a wind machine to blow her weave ?


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