Diana Ross Brings Glamour, Gowns and Hits to the Hollywood Bowl
Diana Ross brought glamour, gowns and endless hits to the Hollywood Bowl on Friday night (July 15), for her first Los Angeles concert in nearly three years.
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The Supremes diva arrived onstage in dramatic fashion: she descended from the ceiling of the Bowl stage on a swing while singing her smash single “I’m Coming Out.” In the next 15 minutes, she tore through a nothing-but-the-hits medley of “More Today Than Yesterday,” “My World Is Empty Without You,” “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “Come See About Me” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.”
Watch a fan-captured video of Ross’ entrance below:
Ross is in the enviable position of having simply too many hits to perform in a single concert. As a solo artist and with The Supremes, she’s earned a total of 18 No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (six solo, 12 with The Supremes). She wasn’t able to squeeze in every No. 1 hit into the setlist, but she certainly gave it the old college try, as she played nine of her chart toppers (including five of her six solo leaders). Her only solo No. 1 absent from the setlist was her “Endless Love” duet with Lionel Richie.
A salsa breakdown at the end of “Love Child” afforded Ross time to make her first costume change of the evening. (There were more to come.) She soon emerged in an extravagant gold ensemble to sing a dance-heavy segment featuring “The Boss,” “Upside Down,” “Love Hangover,” “Take Me Higher” and “Ease On Down the Road.” During “Upside Down,” an audience member handed Ross a Life magazine with her on the cover. A pleasantly stunned Ross exclaimed that it was “from 1972!” and shared it with the crowd.
Up next was a salute to the music of Billie Holiday and the film Lady Sings the Blues (for which Ross received an Academy Award nomination as Holiday). The entertainer — who was in fine voice throughout the evening — treated the crowd to “Don’t Explain” and “Good Morning Heartache.” Ross dedicated the latter tune to her former love and Motown label boss, Berry Gordy.
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Approaching the end of the show, Ross performed “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand),” and indeed the audience did (mostly) reach out and touch. Much of the crowd swayed back and forth, holding hands high up in the air. We even spotted a Bowl usher getting caught up in the moment, as they linked arms with fans.
The brisk 80-minute show (Ross hit the stage at 9 p.m. and was off by 10:20) was supported by Ross’ tight nine-member band, which included three backing vocalists. A cappella group Naturally 7 opened the evening, while Ross’ daughter Tracee Ellis Ross introduced her mother. Ross will play a second show at the Hollywood Bowl on July 16.
Diana Ross’ Hollywood Bowl Setlist:
“I’m Coming Out”
“More Today Than Yesterday”
“My World Is Empty Without You”
“Stop! In the Name of Love”
“Come See About Me”
“You Can’t Hurry Love”
“Touch Me In the Morning”
“Take Me Higher”
“Ease On Down the Road”
“Good Morning Heartache”
“Why Do Fools Fall In Love”
“Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)”
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
“I Will Survive”
“Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)”
“I Will Survive” (Reprise)