Culture

Diana Ross Reigns Supreme in Hollywood

Diana Ross Reigns Supreme in Hollywood: Diana Ross reminds us at one point during the second of her two nights at the Hollywood Bowl that she got her start in the business back in Detroit with Motown when she was just 16 years old. She’s 78 now; she looks wonderful and, considering her 62 incredible performing years, sounds great too.

We attended two very different and equally thrilling concerts this weekend — Echo & the Bunnymen at the Ace Hotel and then Ross the very next night. Both Ross and Ian McCulloch had received some criticism about their voices of late, but the Bunnyman answered those with a great show on Friday, and Ross did much the same on Saturday.

She’s very simply a queen. A musical force of nature with a smile that lights up this vast, majestic, historic venue. She holds every member of the adoring crowd in the palm of her hand, but treats them with love and respect. When she brings her grandchildren up on stage to dance with her, it’s with all of the doting affection of a normal grandma. Which we’re sure she is at home; at the Hollywood Bowl, she’s Miss Diana Ross — super-fucking-star!

As the set progressed, Ross continually disappeared and reappeared with a new costume, usually accessorized with a matching fan. But goddamn, if anyone has earned the right to peacock it’s this beautiful siren.

The setlist is great if not perfect. No “Chain Reaction,” no “Endless Love.” But “I’m Coming Out” is a solid opener, and the four-song Supremes section was flawless. “Baby Love” is as endearingly sweet as it always was, and “You Can’t Hurry Love” is a perfectly constructed song.

“The Boss” is the show of strength that it was when she released it in ’79 on the album of the same name, while “Reach Out and Touch” sounded particularly poignant given the current state of the world. Some of the covers that she’s released over the years sounded spectacular here, including “I Will Survive” and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.”

Importantly, the new songs from her most recent album, Thank You, also sounded great. In particular, “If the World Just Danced” is an infectious electro-pop anthem with hints of disco that recalls ’80s Ross.

The set is too short, but that’s just us being greedy. When you’re in the presence of greatness, the temptation is to not want to let go.

Diana Ross Reigns Supreme in Hollywood

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