Tina Turner is Simply The Best! Boston 11/08

November 30, 2008
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Tina Turner For the first time in 8 years, Tina Turner is back on tour! And to use her own words, Tina Turner is Simply The Best.

Tina Turner has been making music for more than 50 years, and I’ve known her music only about half that time. In the 80s, Tina was one of the best rock stars around and put out a string of hits, including What’s Love Got to Do With It, Simply the Best, We Don’t Need Another Hero and Private Dancer.

Fifty years ago, Tina was married to Ike, and if you haven’t ever seen the movie What’s Love Got to Do With It with Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, then you’re missing an incredible piece of film and music history. It is a biographical film of Tina’s life and whenever it’s on TV, I can’t help but be drawn to it. It’s an incredible life story of the proverbial sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.

Tina Turner is a living legend.

Tina Turner (4)Last summer a friend and I were spending the afternoon at a Connecticut beach. On our drive back, we were listening to Tina Turner’s Simply the Best CD. I have had this CD for what seems like forever. It’s one of my favorites! I didn’t realize that my friend liked her about as much as I did, so it made the car ride all the more fun, listening to these great songs by Tina.

As we talked about Tina, I said to my friend, “promise me that if Tina ever goes out on tour again, we’ll go together!” He agreed, but neither of us really thought she would ever tour again. She was, after all, close to 70!

Imagine my shock when this summer I saw an advertisement that said that Tina Turner was going back on tour. I sat there in disbelief. As the shock wore off, I quickly researched where Tina might be touring and found she’d be coming for two shows in Boston in November. But…oh!…the ticket prices at the Garden!!!!

I love Tina, but $150 for a concert ticket? In a matter of minutes, I went from disbelief to excitement to utter disappointment. My dream of seeing Tina in concert, in my lifetime, was squashed by $150! Granted, I could have gone for $60, but who wants to see someone like Tina from the nosebleed seats? Not me.

Tina Turner (7) For the next few months, I was resigned to the fact that I would not go see Tina Turner. But in truth, I contemplated going and not going about a hundred times.

In late October, I came to the realization that if I did not see Tina Turner in concert, I would regret it for the rest of my life. So with only two weeks left, I set out to buy whatever ticket I could for the highest price.

Timing is everything. When I went to the box office, I was shocked when they told me they had a floor seat, center section, 12th row. Apparently, a few seats had just opened up and I was in the right place at the right time! SOLD!

When I arrived at the Garden for the concert, I was surprised at how close 12th row actually was. I was, unfortunately, by myself at the concert as my friend was unable to join me in Boston for the show. The concert started about 45 minutes late but as soon as the very, very, very tall red curtains opened, I realized that this experience was worth every penny I paid!

Tina Turner appeared high on a platform, bathed in a rainbow of colors and shadows. Everyone was screaming, clapping and on their feet! Everyone had cameras and to the delight of us all, we were allowed to take as many photos as we wanted! It was amazing!

I cannot describe the feelings I had as I stood there and watched this legend perform. What a woman! What a voice! What a body! Tina Turner is 68 years old and she struts the stage in her trademark high heel shoes and short skirt dresses and doesn’t miss a beat!

Tina Turner (5) The concert is an amazing stage spectacle with back up singers, dancers, elaborate sets and a multitude of costume changes. And there were even pyrotechnics!

Tina sang all of her hits. She sang songs I didn’t know, and she sang all the songs I DID know! And when she sang her most famous songs like Simply the Best, Private Dancer and Proud Mary, the audience went wild!

In all, Tina sang 21 songs: Steamy Windows, Typical Male, River Deep Mountain High, What You Get Is What You See, Better Be Good To Me, Acid Queen, What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Private Dancer, We Don’t Need Another Hero, Help, Undercover Agent For The Blues, Let’s Stay Together, I Can’t Stand The Rain, Jumping Jack Flash, It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll, Goldeneye, Addicted To Love, Simply The Best, Proud Mary, Nutbush City Limits, and Be Tender With Me Baby.

Tina Turner is amazing. She would sing three to four songs and then would go do a costume change. Her sets were phenomenal. When the stage set changed to what looked like the Cirque du Soleil Ka set in Las Vegas, I knew it had to be for Mad Max! Tina came out in a huge blonde wig and an outfit resembling her ensemble for the Mad Max movie. The whole set changed for just this one song. It was incredible!!!

Tina took a break for about a half hour and I wanted to go buy a shirt as a souvenir. Unfortunately, the ‘baby doll’ sizes are for about a size six woman! So, I didn’t get a shirt. Boo!!

Tina Turner (6) When Tina came back from her break, her stage set was simple. Everyone was seated, including the musicians, and Tina sang a few unexpected songs, such as the Beatles’ Help. I really loved Tina’s version! And then she sang one of my favorites, Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together.

When Tina left the stage again, one of her female dancers came out in a gold body suit and one of the male dancers portrayed James Bond. As they danced on the stage, a huge ‘iris’ came together. I knew Tina would appear behind the ‘iris’, but WOW! The ‘iris’ opened and there was Tina!

She sang Goldeneye as she slowly descended the staircase. Tina’s voice was sexy and sultry!

Saving the best for almost the last, Tina sang Simply the Best. Watching her perform this song, I have to wonder if it’s one of her favorite songs as she sings it with such gusto and fortitude. It has such attitude! It’s one of my favorite Tina Turner songs, if not my all-time favorite. I wanted her to sing it again!

After Simply the Best, Tina moved into Proud Mary. Tina doesn’t just sing it; she talks to the audience and gets us into it for about 5 minutes, long before she sings one word! And then she breaks into Proud Mary and the crowd comes unglued! After Proud Mary, Tina leaves the stage, surely to come back!

Gone are the short skirts as Tina comes out in velvet pants. Why is this you ask? Tina sings Nutbush City Limits, and about half way through the song, runs to the side of the stage and hops on a crane that swings out into the audience! Pants are key.

As Tina stands on the crane, it swings out right over my head! Now I feel REALLY lucky for having this 12th row ticket! THIS was unexpected! Tina engages the audience and gets us to sing Nutbush with her and she swings back to the other side of the arena. Once again, she swings back over us and stops in the middle. She then walks along the arm of the crane and reaches out to the audience in the middle of the floor area. Wowww.

It’s like we were in Tina heaven! Everyone around was shocked! I pointed my camera at Tina as she quickly passed overhead and crossed my fingers, hoping I’d get some sort of good shot of her. In the end, I got some great video, but it doesn’t translate well into YouTube. Tina finished the show with Be Tender With Me Baby – then she was gone.

Tina Turner (12) When the show ended, I spoke with the man next to me and he said it was his 4th time seeing Tina. His first show was in the early 60s and then he saw her twice in the 80s. He thought she looked a little heavy in the mid section – oh please – but that even he was completely dazzled by her performance this night. He had seen Tina in her early years with Ike, and here he stood, unexpectedly amazed. Clearly, Tina still has it!

Tina Turner is Simply the Best. There is no better way to say it. I have seen Cher and I loved loved loved her show. Her audience interaction was incredible, and to see Cher was, again, seeing a living legend. I’ve seen Elton – not so impressed. I’ve seen Mariah – complete disappointment.

In all the concerts I’ve been to, nothing can compare to the class, style, and enormity of a Tina Turner concert. Tina surrounds herself with such talent in musicians, dancers and event producers. Tina puts on a show like no other, and I’ll say it again…it was worth every penny as soon as the curtains opened.

I’m so glad I bought the ticket and I do hope that Tina decides to extend her tour after she finishes in Europe next spring. If she does, I will certainly go see her! It’s absolutely the best concert experience I have had, and to see Tina perform…I mean really perform…it’s just amazing. It’s live and it’s the best.

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