Entertainment Hive 2017

An Evening With Darlene Love

Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Festival Theatre, June 20

Review by Honey B

Darlene Love is standing firmly in the spotlight as this former backing singer proves she has always had star power. Love is an amazing and inspirational woman who carries herself with such strength, grace and humour. At the age of 72, her vocals are still flawless and powerful and this is one lady who has earned and deserves her success. The acclaimed Academy Award winning film 20 Feet From Stardom is just one reason Love is at the forefront where she deserves to be and also her 2011 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Love began her 50 year career in the 60s as back-up singer in The Blossoms, the all-girl trio that sang on the US music program, Shindig. Her career has certainly had its ups and downs and secret successes such as Love singing on Phil Spector's 1962 number 1 hit, He's A Rebel, under the title of The Crystals. Her association with the eccentric producer was bittersweet - not only did she not get the credit due to her but Spector didn't pay Love any royalties for many years - until she sued him. The song Love opened the show with, He's Sure The Boy I Love, was promised to her alone by Spector - but he gave it to Love's group The Crystals. But the effervescent Love has sung behind many great singers and friends including Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Tom Jones and Elvis Presley. Her solo show, An Evening With Darlene Love, was a true celebration of the voice and wonderful classic songs. Love did a number of medleys, but she explained that her version of a medley was singing each song as a whole - the way she likes it. Her Marvin Gaye medley was a stand-out as was her Roberta Flack number Killing Me Softly and Bill Withers' Lean On Me. Love has a couple of ties to Australia - she spent six months here performing in a play and she also starred alongside Mel Gibson as Danny Glover's wife in Lethal Weapon. The brilliant and lethal singer finished her soaring performance with another song "promised'' to her but given to Tina Turner - River Deep. It was the perfect ending as Love brought the audience to their feet as they cheered for more.
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