December 4, 2008 I attended Tina Turner’s “Live in Concert,” presumably farewell concert, at Nassau Coliseum in Hempstead, New York. Actually it was the second time I’ve attended Tina’s farewell concert because I attended her, “Tina Turner-One Last Time,” concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2000. It seems some singers can’t remain in a retired state because their urge and love to sing dwells deep. Barbara Streisand and Cher have both performed return farewell performances, with Cher presently returning again in a Vegas show. I don’t blame these powerhouses. You can’t quench your love of music, so why shouldn’t they make use of the gift God gave them, as long as vocal pipes remain golden and they’re not lip-synching statues on stage.
At sixty-nine years old Tina Turner still soars as a classy lady. She returns with her powerful and rich, deep throaty voice. A woman who has triumphed over diversity and still manages to enthrall and enrapture her sold out audience. Tina still dresses in artfully draped, curve hugging, leg revealing costumes, as if she’s an Egyptian queen. Prancing around on ankle breaking heels she rules the stage, joining in with her back-up dancers and shimmying along doing a routine meant for energetic young nymphs. Tina’s youthful spirit still shines even though her figure’s more mature in appearance. She manages to pull off sexy stage outfits without any need to feel a hint of shame. We should all look half as great as she does at her age.
Tina Turner’s stage set was spectacular, with brilliant lighting, changing club setting scenery and pyrotechnics. She did multiple costume changes while her amazing back up singers and band controlled the stage, keeping the audience in a cheering uproar. My ears are still ringing from glorified screams of Tina’s fans, myself included.
Tina Turner initiated her two hour set and half hour intermission with a grand entrance, dressed in a black sequin outfit standing on top of a black and silver pedestal high up in the air as she sang, “Steamy Windows.” The pedestal slowly slid to the floor and she stepped off to seduce the audience with a vast collage of her numerous hits.
“What’s Love Got To Do With It,” was an audience participation with Tina advising us to use our attitude while singing the line. “Proud Mary,” had Tina shaking her hips in a brown and gold sequin short dress. “River Deep Mountain High,” displayed her mind-blowing pipes. Tina performed a soulful, sit down acoustic set dressed in a silver Capri set. This to me was the favorite part of the night. She sang, “Help,” and, “Let’s Stay Together,” rocking back and forth on a stool alongside her back-up singers, two guitarists and an amazing sax player. The Rolling Stone’s was a major part of her comeback after she left Ike Turner and she sang their, “Jumping Jack Flash.” “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” had Tina displaying her, “Auntie Entity,” costume and blonde wig from the movie, “Mad Max-Beyond Thunderdome,” while an eye fetching Amazon man garbed in a warrior’s costume displayed his spectacular physique as he stood behind her.
Tina managed to touch on her entire career of music in two fast paced hours. After intermission a video played on a wide screen showing her musical biography from the time she was, Anna Mae Bullock, living in Nutbush, Tennessee. It showed her performances in “Ike and Tina Turner Revue,” her solo career and her performances with a vast number of musical performers through the years.
Tina Turner returned for an encore to sing, “Nutbush City Limits,” dressed in black satin Capri’s and a white blouse. She stepped on this steel framed cherry picker that swung out over the stage and over the audience. She pranced above our heads, pushing her voice as she sung over and over again, “Nutbush,” with the audience screaming their response. My seat was center stage, eighteenth row on the floor, perfect to see her in touchable distance. She ended with, “Be Tender With Me,” a perfect song to sum up her life and career.
“Tina Turner’s Live In Concert Tour,” is finishing United States performances this year, but she’s continuing with a European tour. If there’s anyway you can possibly see this classy lady in action, I highly recommend it before she retires permanently. At sixty nine years of age she truly performs for the audience, giving her all and revealing her joy. A ticket well worth any price, because Tina is a legend, a unique woman who truly stamped her mark in musical history.