Shout! Factory releasing legendary concert from legendary singer in May
By: Phillip Sayblack | WNCT
Good Monday morning, everyone. I hope that your week is off to a great start this morning. The weekend was definitely a busy one for me. Between doing yard work, and trying to stay caught up on all these reviews for this week, I stayed quite busy. One of those new releases is one that gets profiled this morning. From Shout! Factory, we have this morning, "Diana Ross: Live in Central Park." This re-mastered concert documents Ross' famed two day concert in Central Park from 1983. The original show was cut short due to a very strong thunderstorm through which Ross still tried to perform. Since the audience stuck with her, she told them and reporters that she intended to make up the show the very next day. And make up the show she did, performing a concert that was without a doubt, a career defining moment for this legendary pop star. So I offer to you this morning dear readers, the brand new upcoming live dvd release from Diana Ross, "Diana Ross: Live in Central Park."
Diana Ross is one of the single greatest talents in the history of modern music. A quick listen through today's top 40 radio stations, and on the likes of VH1 and MTV show that she is still a major influence on mainstream pop music. Even though she's not making a lot of music today, her influence is still felt throughout the industry. And now, fans of both the Supremes and Miss Ross herself will soon see again, why she is one of music's "supreme" stars.
On May 15th, Shout! Factory will release what is arguably one of Diana Ross' career defining moments with her famed two-day concert at New york's Central Park. This concert clearly shows why few, if any, stars can or ever will reach her level. She proved why she didn't need backup dancers or a tape to which she could sing. And unlike so many of today's yougner pop starlets, Ross didn't need to flaunt her body to the extent that today's female stars do. Sure, some of her attire was a little provocative. But it wasn't to the extent of certain female stars in today's music scene. The notes that Ross sang were all her. The music was her. She was the music. And it showed throughout the show.
Ross' music wasn't all that proved why she was such a fan favorite in her time. Her dedication to her fans played just as much of a role as the music itself with this concert. The re-mastered concert does an outstanding job of illustrating the love that Ross had for her fans, and that they gave back tenfold. The footage that precedes the day two show includes snippets of Ross telling reporters of her desire to make up her rained out show the very next day because of the fans' dedication. And she was a woman of her word. The footage from the second day shows the love on both sides of the stage. The shot from the rear of Central Park shows a jam packed park in the shadow of New York City. The sun is shining bright overhead, and the park is packed blow. In comparison to the first day, it's a dramatically different scene, at least in terms of the weather. That single shot from the second day is both beautiful and telling. It shows the anticipation for her making up the rained out show from the day before.
Speaking of that rained out show, that Ross would perform for her fans even in the midst of a storm, lightning and rain all around, showed true dedication to her fans. As one reporter noted in the early portion of the documentation, Ross looked like a sorceress, her hair blowing in the wind, rain pouring over her, thunder and lightning all around her. And again, her fans gave that same dedication in turn by staying as long as she stayed. How many performers today would or even do go to such lengths for fans?
It was that dedication by performer and fan alike that made the day two show so amazing. Ross gave her all with this show, owning the stage during the near two hour long performance. Even owning the stage the whole time, Ross still made the show about her audience rather than herself. She included the audience in everything that she did from the beginning of the show to the end. She fed off of the audience's energy, keeping her energy up nearly the whole time. Though there were some softer moments. From the very moment that she came on-stage with her hit, "I'm Coming Out", the audience roared to life with joy. Her lullaby-esque singing on "Family" is calming and beautiful all at once. And her cover of Billie Holiday's "God Bless The Child" truly showed the span of her vocal abilities. Her rendition of this classic was just as amazing as the original from Lady Day herself. Fans will also love her adaptation of Lionel Richie's "Endless Love" and the Michael Jackson penned, "Muscles." Female audiences especially will love that song, as the cameras pan across the audience showing countless shirtless men posing for the cameras, hoping to get onstage next to Miss Ross.
Whether for the songs listed here, or any others included in this amazing concert, both days documented make for a release that's not just another re-hashed live show released for the sake of being released. "Diana Ross: Live in Central Park" presents one of the greatest names in modern music at one of her greatest moments. It's a welcome release at a time when music desperately needs a shot in the arm. It will take long time fans back to a better day, generating a wonderful sense of nostalgia. And it will introduce a whole new generation to a performer who will always reign (rain?.....bad joke ba-dump bump bump) "supreme" as music royalty in her own right.