Comeback queen Tina Turner gives Vancouver “a big kiss” on her Private Dancer tour


mila geran photo


By Steve Newton

Tina Turner gave the crowd at the Coliseum last Friday (September 27) “a big kiss” for supporting the “comeback” that culminated with her 1984 Private Dancer going six-times platinum in Canada. And she thanked them by playing–with the exception of David Bowie‘s “1984”–every tune on that LP, as well as a few old standbys.

She opened the show with “Show Some Respect”, spitting out bold lyrics between dabs at her nose. “I apologize for the nosebleed,” she said, “I’ve got the flu. But it’s okay!” And it was. With a hard-working band that included a muscle-bound Conan-type dude on keyboards and sax–who was fun to watch at first, but got to be a bit much with his repeated butt-thrustings–Turner whipped through “I Might Have Been Queen”, “I Can’t Stand the Rain”, and the old concert fave from her days with Ike, “Nutbush City Limits”.

The crowd started getting into the act for ‘Better Be Good To Me”, one of the first hits off Private Dancer, and after an audience-participation spiel from keyboardist “Hollywood” Kenny Moore, Tina reappeared in a fluffy white minidress and huge feather boa for the sultry title track. Partway through the song she pulled it off to reveal one of those skimpy, tattered “cavegirl” outfits she and her dancers used to wear in the Tina Turner Revue.

She prowled the stage like a seductive tigress for a couple of tunes from her movie soundtrack, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, then said, “Here’s another one I think you’ll like a lot,” before starting into “What’s Love Got to Do With It”. She got the crowd to sing the title line along with her, first the female and then the male portion of the audience. “You guys should be good at this,” she added, “you’ve been saying it a long time.”

People started to hop out of their seats and clap along when Tina did “Let’s Stay Together”, and then she sang a slow, bluesy version of the Beatles’ “Help”, calming things down before stirring them up again with “Proud Mary”. “I’ve been doing this song for a long time, and every time I do it it gets better.”

She threw in a few splashy Ikette dance moves and then left the stage, returning in a denim jacket and black leather miniskirt (and don’t forget the black net stockings) for “Steel Claw”, the rockingest song on Private Dancer. Her second encore was “Let’s Dance” (not the Bowie tune), which she dedicated to a certain fan dancing at the foot of the stage. ZZ Top‘s “Legs” came next, an appropriate choice, although last year when she opened for Lionel Richie she did Rod Stewart‘s “Hot Legs”, which is even more appropriate.

Before her final song of the night, Tina gave the audience that “big kiss” and talked about how lucky she was to have been able to work, in the last year, with the likes of Mick Jagger, Lionel Richie, Bryan Adams (heavy applause), David Bowie, and Mel Gibson (her co-star in Thunderdome). Then she introduced her last song. “I wanted to do something else with somebody…but he got married. He said he would write a song for me, but till then I’ll do one of his. By the way, his name’s Bruce!”

Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” topped the night off.

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