Di­vine Diana

The le­gendary diva en­thrals her fans at a pri­vate din­ner show.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC - By NOORSILA ABD MAJID

HAIL to the supreme Diana Ross! At 66, the le­gendary Mo­town queen – in her three-inch heels and for­ever big hair – could still pack a punch.

For soul fa­nat­ics, see­ing Ross in ac­tion at the 10th an­niver­sary gala din­ner con­cert for mem­bers of En­rich, MAS’ loy­alty pro­gramme, held at the KL Hil­ton ball­room last Satur­day, was the ul­ti­mate de­light.

When she sang the in­stantly recog­nis­able cho­rus of Re­flec­tions, one of her big hits with the 1960s su­per girl group The Supremes, Ross set the disco party mood for the night.

“We’re gonna go back to the good old days,” said the pop diva. “Do you re­mem­ber The Supremes?”

Well, who wouldn’t? If you’re in your 40s and 50s – as most of those present in the ball­room ap­peared to be – and love mu­sic, you would know that The Supremes, at a time, could ri­val the Bea­tles in terms of red-hot com­mer­cial ap­peal.

Truly, Ross is the supreme Supreme. Af­ter five decades, her so­prano voice is still pitch-per­fect. Usu­ally, “soul” im­plies ex­ul­ta­tion and ef­fort, but Ross rarely en­gages in ei­ther con­cept.

Her de­liv­ery oozed sen­su­al­ity; it flit­ted be­tween sleaze and in­no­cence. It also con­tained mo­ments of spon­tane­ity, even telling the sto­ries of Mo­town and The Supremes in song.

She com­manded the stage, built as a Win­ter Won­der­land and cost­ing six dig­its. Her retro style is groovy and sexy, yet classy.

When she did a “peek-a-boo” in her low-cut se­quined dress, Ross could se­ri­ously ri­val vet­eran ac­tress Helen Mir­ren (who is said to have the best boobs for a 60some­thing in Hollywood) in the perky breasts depart­ment.

Now back to the mu­sic. The in­tro­duc­tion of Baby Love dis­ap­peared be­neath a roar of bliss. Ross smiled, set­tled down and sang the best line in the song, “ Oh baby love, my baby love, I need you, oh how I need you, but all you do is treat me bad.”

Yeah baby! The fol­low­ing Stop! In The Name Of Love got ev­ery­one jiggy at the din­ner ta­ble.

“Are you too young to re­mem­ber this song?” she cooed.

No, they’re not. “ Stop, in the name of love, be­fore you break my heart, think it over,” the 700 peo­ple cho­rused.

Ross was helped by the ver­sa­tili- ty of her band, as ev­i­denced by a crisp re­work­ing of Up­side Down and the rest of her playlist which read like the Mo­town ar­chive.

The ar­range­ments were top­notch, with­out sound­ing like din­ner show knock-offs. Love Han­gover sounded fan­tas­tic, and at its close there was barely a ham­mer­ing heart­beat’s pause be­fore she moved on to Take Me Higher.

The pace was brought down a notch with her gor­geous bal­lads, Touch Me In The Morn­ing and End­less Love, which got even old mar­ried cou­ples snug­gling up to each other.

“You’re a beau­ti­ful au­di­ence,” Ross sang her praises.

A blast of the past con­tin­ued with Why Do Fools Fall In Love? and Do You Know Where You’re Go­ing To? But it was her pow­er­ful ren­di­tion of her mon­ster clas­sic hit, Ain’t No Moun­tain High Enough, that brought the house down.

“’ Cause baby, there ain’t no moun­tain high enough, ain’t no val­ley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough, to keep me from get­ting to you,” the crowd sang and danced along as Ross tilted the mi­cro­phone to­wards them.

Even though her repar­tee with the au­di­ence was limited as it was a tight show – one hour with 20 songs on her playlist – the diva made up by get­ting off the stage to shake hands with her ador­ing fans.

By the time she capped her per­for­mance with a per­sonal re­dis­cov­ery of Glo­ria Gaynor’s I Will Sur­vive, Ross knew from the deaf- en­ing echoes that re­ver­ber­ated in the hall that she would al­ways have a spe­cial place in the hearts of her Malaysian fans.

Retro diva: ‘We’re gonna go back to the good old days,’ says Diana Ross at the 10th an­niver­sary gala din­ner con­cert for MAS En­rich.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.