Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Diana Ross: Symphonica In Rosso; Gelredome, Arhnem, The Netherlands 16/10/09

DIANA ROSS: SYMPHONICA IN ROSSO Diana Ross: Symphonica In Rosso (The Netherlands)  Photo; CEES URI 16/10/09 Diana Ross: Symphonica In Rosso (The Netherlands)  Photo; CEES URI 16/10/09 Diana Ross: Symphonica In Rosso (The Netherlands)  Photo; CEES URI 16/10/09

It was the most spectacular show I have ever seen. The Arena was packed with thirty five thousand fans, with a massive stage holding a grand staircase, and huge video screens showing images from Diana's career.

The lights went down and suddenly the forty-piece orchestra played an overture of her hits in a classical style. The lights flashed and as flames started to gush from torch stands, you hear 'I'm Coming Out' and there she was at the top of this huge staircase. Diana Ross! Dressed in an amazing outfit of red, two male dancers guided her down the stairs. Her voice was pitch perfect. From "I'm Coming Out" she went into 'Chain Reaction'.

Then 'My World Is Empty Without You', it's now you hear the full effect of the large orchestra. Her voice fills the massive Arena as twelve dancers dressed in 60's fashion join her on stage. As they dance, the massive video screens show images and video footage from that era with The Supremes. Diana then says "Hello Holland, it's been a long time. Great to be back. I have fond memories of coming here from the 60's and I remember the Ahoy in Rotterdam when it was smaller. I want you to know I am Dutch!" She then sang 'Where Did Our Love Go', 'Baby Love', 'Stop! In The Name Of Love' and 'You Can't Hurry Love' - all in full length versions. The arrangements are beautiful, particularly with the massive orchestra behind her, and once again her voice is absolutely stunning. Likewise with 'Touch Me In The Morning'.

A costume change to a stunning purple sequined body hugging outfit, and 'Love Child' again with the 60's style dancers and video backdrop. 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love?' received a huge reaction from the audience as, of course, it was a number one in Holland. For 'Upside Down' the dancers and video backdrop were an amazing support, before another costume change. Now wearing a silver sequined gown, Diana ploughed into 'Love Hangover' again with her dancers and a 70's themed video backdrop this time. 'Ease On Down The Road' followed, before an incredible version of 'The Boss' with  the video now showing extracts from her career.

Diana then took time out to say how long she has been visiting The Netherlands, and the warmth of her loyal fans. She tells us all that 2009 has been a very special year as her daughter Rhonda Ross-Kendrick has made her a grandmother after giving birth to a beautiful son. So, back to the music with 'Theme From ‘Mahogany'/'Ain't No Mountain High Enough', where the stunning arrangement complimenting her soaring voice leaves the thirty five thousand crowd in total awe.

Changing to a beautiful yellow dress, Diana launches into 'Endless Love', where the video backdrop is in time with music. Next is a real treat - 'Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)' where she is joined by a gospel choir and dancers. Diana then introduces a young Dutch star, who was performing earlier, and the two sing together alongside the choir. We’re then treated to a rare song that was another number one single in The Netherlands - 'A Brand New Day' from 'The Wiz' – where the stage is full to bursting with dancers and singers. Naturally, the audience went wild because to this day the song is very popular in the Netherlands. Diana sang along but didn't know all the lyrics, while a huge image display was to be seen behind her.

It was nearing the end of the performance, and Diana thanked us for being there. It was an evening of sheer excitement from a woman who’s approaching her 50th year in showbusiness. And she still has it!! Few performers can captivate an audience like Diana Ross. She is a living legend and today’s crop of singers could learn a lot from this lady. 10 out of 10!

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