“Paul?? What the f***? It’s almost May and still no review for this? C’mon big boy!”
Okay…this is why Diana Ross fans are the best. The above words are from friend and fellow fan Rick, written in a comment on this site, in response to my last post about the Baby It’s Me reissue. And what can I say? Rick, you are 100% right (and nobody will ever, EVER accuse you of being “Too Shy To Say…”). I’ve been gone too long, and with no particularly good excuse except life getting in the way.
However, right now as I type this, I’m re-watching the 1975 film Mahogany (Diana Ross is looking out a cab window at Rome, to be exact) and trying to contain my excitement that tomorrow night, I’ll be seeing Miss Ross in concert for the sixth time. She’s performing in Atlanta at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, the same venue at which I saw her about two years ago. So, I assure you, even though I’ve been absent from The Diana Ross Project…the Project hasn’t been absent from me.
My thoughts on the Baby It’s Me reissue are still forthcoming (I know, Rick, I KNOW…), but for the time being, my attention is focused on the upcoming concert here in Atlanta. I don’t expect to see a drastically different show from what I saw in 2013; the singer opened with “I’m Coming Out” and ran through twenty songs, taking fans on a breathless career retrospective stretching over several decades. It’s a format and a setlist the singer seems comfortable with; she continues to win rave reviews for her shows across the country, particularly her recent stint in Las Vegas. These are songs that in some cases the singer has been performing for practically her entire life. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” for example, was released when the singer was 26 years old. She’s now 71, and has probably sung the song in 99.9% of her live shows since it first hit the charts.
During a Fleetwood Mac concert I saw a few years ago, band founder Mick Fleetwood took a moment to address this same situation. He told the crowd that he’s often asked, “How can you stand playing the same songs over and over again?” And his answer was so elegantly simple: they play the same songs over and over again because the audience always reacts like it’s the first time. It must be this way for Diana Ross; the way the fans cheer for “Touch Me In The Morning” and “Upside Down” — like they’ve never been sung live before — must keep the experience fresh and unique for the artist.
So tomorrow night, I’ll show my appreciation for Diana Ross and her music by applauding and singing along like I’ve never done it before. After all, each song — each costume, each concert — is a gift. And then I’ll sit down and I’ll write about the entire experience on this website. Seriously, I will. Really.