Review by Matt Bauer
Diana Ross: Still The Boss!
After over half a century Diana Ross still knows how to make an entrance. Anticipation in the near sell out crowd reigned as the white curtain dropped to the ground and the diva of divas emerged to the rousing chorus of “I'm Coming Out.” Radiant in a turquoise dress (the first of four she would don throughout her performance), the now 72-year old Ross still makes an awesome impact on stage, one that the audience at The Seneca Events Center in the Seneca Niagara Casino, Friday September 1st won't soon forget.
It's been less than a year and a half since Miss Ross performed at the venue but given the crowd's reaction it could have been twenty. A seven-song Supremes medley had the majority of the smiling crowd on its feet and fifty years later the likes of “Love Child,” “You Can't Hurry Love” and “Stop, In The Name of Love” sound as fresh as the day they were recorded Motown's snakepit Studio. They were lovingly rendered with grace and aplomb by Miss Ross, her six-piece backing band and three backing singers.
At a brisk 75 minutes, the performance covered every facet of the legendary Miss Ross's career and while there were a few curious exclusions, “Endless Love,” for one, it never seemed hurried or perfunctory—and her voice remains remarkable. Nowhere was this more apparent than on “Do You Know Where You're Going To” where her transcendent soprano made it the highlight of the evening and exhilarating classics like “Love Hangover” and “Upside Down” remain potent milestones in dance music culture.
True to Miss Ross's universal appeal, a little girl and a transgendered person were invited on stage to dance and sing on the latter. Even more playful was a spry “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” while “The Look Of Love” served as a seductive interlude. A medley of the regal “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” and the empowering “I Will Survive” closed the show on a dramatic, inspirational note. In a climate that appears just as fractured as it was when she first emerged from Detroit's Brewster Projects, Diana Ross still weaves a spell of black girl magic that is as captivating as ever!