Drive By Diana (Stage Thoughts: Diana Ross, The Essential Diana Ross, The Venetian Theater, Las Vegas)

Checking off my bucket list: seeing Diana Ross in concert.  I can’t say that I am her biggest fan, but I do like her recorded output, though in reality I like her solo recordings more than her work as a member of The Supremes. But she obviously is one of the few living legends we have nowadays and it would be a treat, I thought, to see her. I wasn’t mistaken. She still has that voice, and it’s as robust. Sure, the styling is wispy, whispering, but it has always been that way. This is a Vegas show, so “The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade” barrels through all her hits in a seventy five minute show. Blink and you’ll miss one. I guess she is more a ‘nostalgia’ act nowadays, as evidenced by the older-skewing demographic of the crowd. Still, the energy was palpable, and she got off on that – she is one of those “divas,” I suspect who gets her kicks from people adoring her. Seventy five minutes go by very quickly here, and it mostly satisfies like junk food: before you can appreciate a song, she is moving to her next one. The repertoire is heavy on the uptempo, and even in the ballads (where I prefer her) she seems to be barreling towards them. And of course, her trademark sparkling sequins and feathers are in evident here. It seems like she spent just as much time changing as performing. But, no complaints there – she has a magnetic stage presence and you can’t help but stare at her on stage. The whole experience felt like a drive-by shooting: quick fast, does what it is supposed to do. I think it’s money well spent.

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