"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." -- William Congreve, 1670-1729

Music represents the movement, development and transformation of motifs of the collective unconscious." -- C. G. Jung




The Oakland Coliseum was buzzing Friday night as Jeri, Ed, and I climbed to our seats, waiting for the show to begin at 7:30 PM. At first, we were concerned that the show still had so many open seats when the lights went down and Joe Cocker belted out his first song with a kickin’ band whose bass guitar and baritone sax player almost stole the limelight. Joe’s powerful, gravelly and soulful voice took us far away from any concerns we may have had about ticket sales and took us back to the past with richer renditions of his favorites, "A Little Help From My Friends", "You Are So Beautiful", "Cry Me A River", "Jealous Kind", "Many Rivers To Cross" & "Up Where We Belong,” as Jeri mentioned in her post. Although his show wasn’t as choreographed nor had the elaborate lighting and pyrotechnics of Tina’s, he gave us an intimate lounge like feel.

Imagine Joe Cocker: sans headband, guitar or long locks, now with short white hair, a tailored shirt and slacks in black and gray, just crooning into the mic. As he began to sing, the young woman seated next to me asked, So what kind of music does he play? Hard rock? Classic? She’d never heard of him!!!! I explained to her the legend that Joe was and upon mentioning Woodstock, she aaaahhhhhed in reverence. Once his songs began, she started recognizing the newer ones and nodded her approval and recognition. It must have been like that for many of the younger crowd there that night. All knew Tina, because she is timeless; but not all knew of Joe. As the spotlights occasionally swept over the crowd while Joe sang, I noticed there were fewer and fewer empty seats, and realized that this would be almost a full house by the time Tina went on; and it was! Joe put on a great show and his musicians were well worth the acknowledgement he gave them especially that baritone sax player, whose haunting, wailing melodies added that extra dimension to the performance.

After the intermission, the place was packed. Tina’s “24/7” album cover was up on the wide screen, and the tiered stage set became more noticeable. The lights went down….and we all broke into cheers and applause as Ms. Turner’s entrance was announced. The Coliseum vibrated amidst the torrid, pounding, rhythmic beat of that Sly and the Family Stone hit, “I Wanna Take You Higher”, with which she opened. The lights came up and there she was with her back up singing and dancing group as she wowed us with her opening and strutted her stuff on the top level of the stage. The multi-tiered staging was right out of ``Mad Max.'', as she gradually worked her way down to the main stage, dancing in that special Tina way and giving it all she had, followed by her troup of lithe, sensuous dancers, with her looking gorgeous, buffed and NOT sixty years old!

She then took us back to 1960 her very first song cut and took us through to the present with her rockingest songs, complete with fancy lighting and, later, flames shooting and fireworks shooting off the second tier of t he stage, interspersed with intimate, seated lounge-like torch singing: “River deep, Mountain High,” “Another Hero” (wearing her netted, metallic coat from “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”), “Better Be Good to Me,” “Simply the Best,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Can Live without You”, a croonier and and more supplicative, gospel-like version of the Beatles’ “Help” as she sat and sang it alongside a piano player, a tribute to Otis Redding in her “Sitting by the Dock of the Bay,” “Addicted to Love,” and a well choreographed “Private Dancer,” complete with the sultry dance troup, doing their thing and bringing the song to life (photo at the website posted below). “Proud Mary” was nice and easy….and then…ROUGH! She got the audience singing along with her in “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, and encored with a fabulous mechanical plank that lifted off the stage in an armlike extension that swept across the audience overhead, with her leaning over the end of the arm railings and dancing up and down the plank with no bannisters for holding on. INCREDIBLE!!! She also gave us her new “Whatever You Need.” We were all standing and dancing by the end of the evening. For photos of the look of the concert, please visit

Vicky aka femmefataleca

The Moody Blues Concerts Tour 2002

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