ARE YOU READY? screamed the stage screen – and last night’s crowd at Eden certainly were, many having clutched their tickets to see this global icon since 2020.
The Eden Sessions arena was packed with the middle aged, ready to party and loose some lockdown pounds in the process. The only face masks in sight were on the stage crew and everyone was smiling and singing along, feeling liberated under the spell of Diana Ross.
Amid an entourage of singers, brass ensemble and percussionists Diana glided onstage in a peacock blue cape, removed to reveal a turquoise, sparkling, sequinned gown. With her signature huge hair, she looked every inch the Diana we all knew and loved as she belted out 80’s hit I’m Coming Out.
Against a backdrop of footage from her younger years this 78-year-old (yep 78!) is still ever the showgirl as she delighted fans with hit after hit after hit under the mid-summer Eden sky. Spanning five decades and 70 hit singles – from her Motown days with The Supremes through her 80’s disco years and beyond – the superstar had more than enough material to choose from.
She delighted the Eden crowd with Stop! In The Name of Love, Chain Reaction, Upside Down, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive to boot. A couple of new songs were not such great crowd pleasers but still we swayed along. She finished her set with a new song of hope for these post lockdown times – If the World Just Danced, from her latest album Thank You. This curtain-call titled album, released last year, is her first album of original material in two decades.
Two costume changes – red sequinned dress followed by silver trouser suit – and a friendly chat all added to the charm and enigma that is Diana Ross. Her voice may need propping up a bit by backing singers these days (did I tell you she’s 78?!) but this little pop rocket can still command an audience – one that Glastonbury Festival ticket holders will be enjoying this Sunday afternoon when she performs in the legends slot.
Her final message of joy through disco music helped the Eden crowd up the hill to bed, basking in the glow of the world-famous biomes and feeling somewhat optimistic and a little better about life.
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