Dionne's Concert at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club- March 1, 2017

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Dionne's Concert at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club- March 1, 2017

Postby face » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:41 pm

I had the pleasure of seeing Dionne's show last night at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club, and I thought I'd share a few details for those of you who haven't seen her lately. It was a great evening, and Dionne was in strong voice, even though there were a couple of hiccups. Below is her setlist, almost exactly in order:

Walk On By
Anyone Who Had A Heart
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
You'll Never Get To Heaven
Message to Michael
This Girl's In Love With You
I Say A Little Prayer
Alfie
Brazil Medley
Love's Still The Answer
99 Miles to LA
I'll Never Love This Way Again
What The World Needs Now
That's What Friends Are For

You'll notice that she did not open with her standby "Close To You," and "A House Is Not A Home" was also cut, much to my chagrin (it's my second favorite Dionne song, followed by "Alfie"). However, the addition of the two recent songs was a nice change of pace, and the audience responded very well to both. Everyone seemed to be very contemplative and mesmerized, probably due to current events.

Now for the hiccups. I arrived at the venue around 7:30 for the 8:00 start time. This is a traditional supper club, so the main floor has tables and dinner service, while there is additional theater seating in the rear. The place was sold out (or close to it). As soon as I was seated, my server informed me that if I planned on ordering food, I should do so right away because Dionne had requested that all food service stop during her show, and he would have to put in my order right away for the food to come out before Dionne started singing at 8:20. Now, this struck me as a bit odd because we were at a supper club, after all, but I went along with it. The rest of my tablemates arrived closer to show time and put in their orders, but, as it turns out, their orders were never filled. Dionne walked out at 8:20 and sang a few bars of "Walk On By" before she noticed a server out on the floor, and she promptly stopped the music. She announced from the stage, in a rather agitated manner, that "We're about to have a serious problem up in here. We talked about this yesterday morning. I'll be right back." Then she walked to the wings and gave a brief ear full to one of the employees. She then came back on stage and told us, "I think we have it all figured out now." Then she explained to us that she had made it clear that she did not want to compete with servers and people placing orders after a bad experience some time ago, and she had no intention of doing so. By now, her demeanor was pleasant again and she restarted the band. After that, it was smooth sailing! Unfortunately, many people never got their food and drinks, because the kitchen had closed by the time the concert was over at 10:00. My tablemates were rather annoyed and insisted that Dionne's demands must have cost the club tons of lost money. I'm not sure why she would take a gig at a SUPPER CLUB and not want to deal with food service, but I guess that's none of my business!

The other hiccup was that she club was very warm. Dionne was sweating bullets, and soaking up her handkerchiefs! She complained about the heat at one point from the stage, and several of us in the audience agreed with her! I was actually a little worried that she might pass out or something, but she soldiered through it like she always does, and it didn't seem to affect her singing.

Beyond those issues, the real star of the night was the music. Dionne was in smooth, strong voice and had moments of truly explosive singing, particularly on "I Say A Little Prayer," "Brasil," and "I'll Never Love This Way Again." I agree with those who say that her lightened travel schedule has really done her good, although I've noticed that her dates are ticking up again, so who knows how long it will last. She was better last night than she was when I saw her in 2009 and 2012, which ain't bad for a 76 year-old lady! Also, her band has a nice sound under Rob Schrock, although I've noticed that the tempos are generally slightly slower, which deprives a few of the songs of some of their energy. Nonetheless, try to catch her show if she comes your way!
Last edited by face on Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dionne's Concert at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club- March 1, 2017

Postby An Enormous BB Fan » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:39 pm

Dionne (or any star of her stature) was totally correct in demanding that no food be served while she was performing. I believe that this is a common demand. And Dionne was right to walk off, too, until respect was paid. I can't believe that they would even THINK of serving food and taking glasses and dishes right in front of Dionne as she was doing her act. And if I were there, I wouldn't want anyone slurping their soup or cutting their steak anywhere near me. Dionne isn't some beginner, busker or street performer, for heaven's sakes.

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Re: Dionne's Concert at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club- March 1, 2017

Postby face » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:59 am

I just remembered a question that I meant to pose: does anyone know what those little white tablets are that Dionne takes during her concerts? She has had them laid out on the piano each of the three times that I've seen her, and she makes no effort to conceal that she's taking them. Whatever it is, it seems to dissolve immediately because it does not affect her diction or make her sound like she has something in her mouth. I'm guessing that it must be some kind of "singer's lozenge," or perhaps a nicotine replacement lozenge, but I'd love to know the real answer if it's out there.

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Re: Dionne's Concert at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club- March 1, 2017

Postby face » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:21 pm

It looks like I'm kind of talking to myself here, but I just thought I'd point out that someone uploaded her full concert from two nights after I saw her. It is an exact replica, except she was in even better voice here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS82QEPlhnI. Enjoy!

turnupthemusic
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Re: Dionne's Concert at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club- March 1, 2017

Postby turnupthemusic » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:26 pm

face wrote:It looks like I'm kind of talking to myself here, but I just thought I'd point out that someone uploaded her full concert from two nights after I saw her. It is an exact replica, except she was in even better voice here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS82QEPlhnI. Enjoy!


In this concert she sounds better than I have heard her for many years. Just check out some of the notes she hits at the end of Say A Little Prayer, I'll Never Love This Way Again, and What The World Needs Now. Not just good for Dionne but good for anyone who is 76 years old.

I'm so pleased she's sounding better recently, I just hope it lasts.


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