Photos, review: Diana Ross at Wells Fargo Theatre in Denver - Reverb

Live review: Diana Ross @ Wells Fargo Theatre

It should be easy to be cynical about a Diana Ross show. You should be able to roll your eyes at the videos of her as a young chanteuse, chuckle at the costume changes (each one more sparkly than the last), snipe at the brass section’s choreography. But when you’re there, in the glare of the sequins, surrounded by the still-crystalline presence of her unmistakable voice, the snark just doesn’t work.

From the beginning of her show at the Wells Fargo Theatre on Tuesday, Ross made it clear that her half-century in show business has made her a force to be reckoned with. She hustles through a set with an admirable professionalism, rarely speaking between songs, keeping introductions of her (pretty amazing) band members kind but brief, and pulling selections from her catalog with the broadest possible appeal. Whether belting out “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” in the puffiest, pinkest dress, rocking a cover of “I Will Survive” in gold sequins and sky-high platforms, or grinning her way through Motown favorites, Ross’ devotion to her craft is self-evident.

But it was during “It’s Hard For Me To Say,” when the video shifted from a Supremes-era Ross to a picture of Michael Jackson, the Jackson 5 years, when it became clear that cynicism was not an option at this show. Not because of MJ’s passing or the poignancy of the photograph, but the realization that the picture may have been taken by Ross herself. It was the understanding that she has been there since the beginning. She was there when Motown was born, there when disco died. She sang “I’m Coming Out” when serving openly in the military would have been unthinkable, and was here, decades later, singing it the day Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was resigned to the history books. For someone my age (over 25, under 50), it seems like Diana Ross has just always been there, like the Parthenon or the moon. And after the hit-laden, pitch-perfect, ridiculously fun show last night, I can’t help but hope she always will be.

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Cassandra Schoon is a Denver freelance writer and regular Reverb contributor.

Michael McGrath is a Denver area photographer. His work is available at Twist and Shout Records. Visit his website.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPBJC4SNYTONY4XZJD3AFEYOCM earlyrizer

    I am a Little Partial, Because I was Summond by the Diva to Dance for her on stage Last Night. A Night I will never FORGET….Curtis

    • Alritchie

      And a fine job you did, earlyrizer!  Nice hug, too!  :)

  • Satyashaman

    Beautifully written & poignant review for a beautiful entertainment legend.

  • Zmans2

    I have waited to see Diana Ross all of my life and was finally given the opportunity last night in Denver with tickets from my mom.  It was by far the BEST concert I have ever seen and had one of the best nights of my life.  Diana is beautiful inside and out!  I hope to have another opportunity in the future to see her again.  It was truly amazing and thank you so much for coming to Denver.

  • Zmans2

    I have waited to see Diana Ross all of my life and was finally given the opportunity last night in Denver with tickets from my mom.  It was by far the BEST concert I have ever seen and had one of the best nights of my life.  Diana is beautiful inside and out!  I hope to have another opportunity in the future to see her again.  It was truly amazing and thank you so much for coming to Denver.

  • NewFan

    That was a well-written review Miss Schoon. I am going to have to come back and read more of your writing.

  • Kzaam79

    Diana still has it all and more!! She was absolutely beautiful and the way she connected to the audience was amazing. I have never seen a performer of her caliber shake so many peoples hands. She LOVES
    her fans and her fans LOVE her!! Great show!!  K in Lkwd.

  • Snyderdnvr

    I thought it was good, but not long enough.

  • Chuck

    Diana Ross, who after 50 years of performing, can still out sing  and out perform those half her age!  I thought she set the Denver stage on fire Tuesday night, all the while looking as beautiful as ever. She truly is a legendary performer, who doesn’t rest on her past achievments, still out there giving it her best after all these many years. She truly is the  “Boss”

  • Baldnsexynyc

    Dear Miss Cassandra Schoon:  this was one of the most honest reviews I think I have ever read.  Like another commenter said I too shall come back and revisit more of your writing(s).  Bravo.

    Thomas Lewis
    Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
    NYC

  • Alritchie

    LOVED the show, Diana Ross still has “it”, no doubt.  My only “complaint”, if you want to call it that, is that unless you were in the middle 1/3 of the audience, you could NOT SEE the video show, or at least not all of it.  We were only a few seats over from the middle section, and we could only see about 1/4 of the screen.  It was a fantastic show!

  • TWTR4ever

    Girlfriend is looking “Cabbage Patch Doll” this days, between the Botox forehead, Sculptra filled face and cheekbones and Martha Wash size gown I found myself looking for the other half of the “Two Tons Of Fun” (It’s Raining Man) duo before realizing Girlfriend 2, Oprah Winfrey will not be joining her on the stage!

    Yes, you can say from all THE SUPREMES she remains not quite my favorite but one thing I will always recognize on her is tenacity and the ability to market herself, take control of the audiences and be a surviver in the industry that no longer sees her as relevant as its quite clear that her place in history and legacy after all her backstabbing, conning and undoings will always be THE SUPREMES!

    I got my price of admission on my “Baby Love” 

    • erdnre

      This idiot shows up on every Diana Ross site spewing the same hate. Why not hover over the other Supreme that you like and find worthy, and let Diana Ross fans enjoy reading about her without your stupidity.

      • Tw5jfk12

        Did you ever heard the term “Payback is a B” well as far as I’m concerned Diane Ross through her PR Machine will no longer control her rampage of BACKSTABBING DECEIT she perpetuated on THE SUPREMES for decades, we THE FANS have a voice and I will be exposing her every inch of the way!

        • erdnre

          And you, What ever The F—4ever; will recieve your payback for your “voice” and “judgement” of another human being, and who obviously feels superior enough to know all the goings on of a group and a period most people only glimpsed through whatever the media’s perceptions were. But one can only guess that you are all knowing and seeing, and thereby can cast judgement as someone as lofty as you make Ross out to percieve herself.