Mouthy Midler still puts on a lot of show
BY ROSS RAIHALA
Pop Music Critic
Photo: Baltoboy Steve Weiner
Midler still puts on a lot of show
BY ROSS RAIHALA
Pop Music Critic
Something to ponder: Who would win a cage match between Cher and
Midler's Sunday-night performance at the Target Center, it's pretty
clear the Divine Miss M would eat Ms. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
alive. That's because Midler is what they used to call a broad
or, more accurately, a mouthy broad. She's tough and not about
to let her age — like Cher, she's nearly 60 — slow
gone through many incarnations since emerging from the bathhouse
circuit 30 years ago, from Hollywood actress to fist-clenching
balladeer. And while Midler touched on all her public personas
in concert, she was best just being Bette, that mouthy broad who
swears like a trucker and sings like an angel.
played the Twin Cities last December, and those who saw that show
didn't miss much new Sunday night, save for a few updated jokes,
mostly stale election-related humor.
Midler puts on a lot of show, with so much singing, dancing and
emoting, the audience needs the 20-minute intermission as much
as the performer.
of aging divas seem content to ride on their legend, but Midler
doesn't cut corners. Take her famous mermaid shtick. She still
does the whole extended "Fishtails Over Broadway" medley,
hopping around in full fish/woman drag and belting out the hits.
It might not sound like much, but you try binding your legs together,
jumping around and singing and see how long you last.
seems to have a real affection for the Twin Cities (or at least
her writers do). Between songs, she amiably chatted about the
area where she once spent time recovering from a nervous breakdown,
and she praised her local audience as "such smart people"
in the way a proud mother shows off a report card full of high
marks. She also said she either starts or ends all of her tours
in the Twin Cities, this time wrapping up her current run of dates
8,000 people showed up to see Midler, down some 2,000 fans from
last year. When asked from a fan in the front row if she was going
to retire, like Cher, Midler simply laughed. Retire, she asked?
Nah, she just said she was tired, not retired
– Minneapolis Review
By The Divine Miss K
Photo: The Divine Miss K
Another fabulous evening with The Divine Miss M, she was amazing.
I have been to many shows on the both the first KMB and this one,
I have to say this was probably the most emotional show I have
been to. To me (my perspective was coming from the front rows)
the crowd was tough in the beginning. They really didn’t
warm up to her until “When a Man Loves a Woman”. The
show started about forty minutes late and the crowd was definitely
getting restless, they started clapping in synch and yelling,
“Bette”. From where I was sitting you could hear somebody
warming up their voice with the piano.
When she came out, she was ready to deal with this crowd. She
was giving everything she had in her. Only frustrating thing was
that nobody in the first row stood up at all, only a few in the
rows behind, they just sat there and this went on through most
of the first act. She made a comment after “Kiss My Brass”
about a woman who was sitting in the front row with a child on
her lap, she asked her age which was six then proceeded to warn
her about the show and said something like, she will grow up fast
and then said, she felt a bit uncomfortable about it. The lady
did eventually leave, Bette commented on it later, “I told
her”. She seemed rushed, she rolled her jokes out quickly
and kept starting songs early on the wrong beat. I’m not
criticizing just never occurred in any other show I had been to.
Rosemary Clooney songs were excellent. In the part of “Hey
There” where the Harlettes sing “love never made a
fool of you….”, she added in “Only here in Minnesota”.
“Tenderly”, she put so much into this song, I have
never seen her perform it the way she did, her voice was so strong.
Incredible! “I Think it is Gonna Rain Today” was quite
a performance, at first she was not singing it with the emotion
she usually does, she was rushing it but then at the end, the
last words, she stopped and started sobbing uncontrollably, she
put her head into her hands, then she would try to start but would
stop, somebody yelled out, “we love you Bette”, it
was so moving. We were all weeping with her. I will never forget
that, it was one of those rare moments that you feel honored to
be a part of. Going from that to “When a Man Loves a Woman”
was even more powerful, at one point she threw the microphone
stand across the stage. Finally the first couple rows stood up
and gave her a much needed standing ovation. I always enjoy Soph,
cracks me up but the people around me weren’t too responsive.
“Shiver Me Timbers” was excellent.
Second act went so fast, especially Delores. Only problem I noticed
was at the part when she is at the top of the stairway, the curtain
was opening and the right side wouldn’t go up, she was watching
it with this funny expression on her face but it eventually caught
on and went up. “From a Distance”, “Do You Wanna
Dance?” and “Wind Beneath My Wings”, were all
astonishing, the crowd was finally alive! Lots of standing ovations!
She was extremely gracious and said, “Thank you for my life”.
Some highlights, she talked about Minnesota being very special
to her, she came there when she had a breakdown and stayed on
a lake. When she was about to do “The Rose”, she said
how tired she was and this man in the second row gets up and says
something like, you’re retiring?, she said, I didn’t
say I was retiring, I said I was tired, you try running around
in a fish tail for 20 minutes. Then she asked the audience if
we were tired of this and everyone yelled out NO. When she sat
down on the stage she said I have nothing else to sing, I could
sing “Little Red Corvette”. When we sang “The
Rose” she said we sounded pathetic and that we wouldn’t
do this to Paul Simon then this guy in the front row said we didn’t
know the words so she said, “Video guy, can you put up the
lyrics?”. We all sang and she joined us about the middle
of the song. She did an encore singing “Friends”,
she brought everybody out from the crew and in the background
a video played of the last show in Atlantic City where she brought
out the crew then it individually showed crew members, there was
even a part where it showed them setting up the stage. At the
end the crew started bowing their hands to her, she smiled and
bowed to them. Her last words were, “See you next year,
Greatest Live Entertainer Of All Time!
by Adam A. (ok)
Photo: Baltoboy Steve Weiner
After reading numerous reviews from fans and the press, what else
can be said about Ms. M that has not been already said before?
To put it simply, Bette Midler is the GREATEST live entertainer
of all-time! I may be a little biased, I have been in total awe
of Ms. M since 1988, even at the ripe ol' age of 7 I recognized
the true brilliance of the Divine! In 1993 I first Experienced
The Divine, the following year I Experienced More of The Divine!
In 1999 She rocked the Target Center with her Miss Millennium
tour! Last year I Kissed her Brass and LOVED it! And last
night, at that very same arena that was rocked in 1999, she proved
to over 8,000 people why she is and always will be The Divine
came flying down to thunderous applause and a well deserved standing
ovation. Bette and co. kicked (br)ass in gear with Kiss My Brass
and two of my all-time favorites, Big Noise from Winnetka and
Stuff Like That There. In between she tantalized us with local
and political humor. Nobody was safe from the wrath of Miss M,
she took jabs at Edina and Bush! (which were well deserved I might
slowed things down with a b-e-a-u-t-I-f-u-l rendition of another
one of my personal faves, Skylark. Then, it was time for the "one
that started it all!" Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy! Bette and
co. gave 110% during this number! Bette sounded and danced like
she was in her 20's! AMAZING!!
Judge Judy segment was followed by two loving tributes to the
late and great Ms. Rosemary Clooney. Bette sang beautiful renditions
of Hey There and my personal favorites Rosie song, Tenderly. Bette
never ceases to amaze me! She sang those songs with such elegance!
It was as if Rosie was there blessing every note that Bette was
singing. Just beautiful!! Afterwards, Bette joked how radio used
to play songs like Tenderly and now plays songs like Toxic!(by
Britney Spears) How true, how so very true!
Bette said she was going to sing a song from Beaches I immediately
knew what song she was going to sing! The gorgeous I Think It's
Going to Rain Today. WOW!! Bette sang this song so beautifully!
She looked so elegant, her voice was strong and perfect! Towards
the end she paused and began to sob, she wasn't alone! Someone
from the audience yelled "we love you Bette!" and was
followed by applause and cheers! After she contained herself she
finished this masterpiece and added another great performance
under her belt! THEN...came the showstopper!
When a Man Loves a Woman. WOW!! This is why I fell in love with
Miss M! There are no words in the English language to describe
how GREAT this
performance was. "GREAT" is an insult, it was better
than that! Bette sang with such emotion, such depth, and such
sincerity! Her voice was rich and full! She hit those notes like
you would NOT believe! That voice, that HEAVENLY voice!! WOW!!!
EVERY hair on my body stood up, my goose bumps had goose bumps!
Tears were streaming down my face! I felt emotions that I had
NEVER felt before!! Only Bette can bring that out in a person!
After Bette sang her heart out, she was rewarded with thunderous
applause and a well deserved standing ovation!
Sophie Tucker jokes were trashy and tacky! Just the way I like
em! :) Bette's comic delivery is a force to be reckoned with!
Every joke "letter perfect" and "punch line in
tact!" Bette ended the first act with my favorite song EVER!
Shiver Me Timbers. My two friends and I sang every line while
Bette dazzled us yet again! After she sang the immortal words
"skip like a stone," Bette danced around the stage so
freely, that little gesture added so much to that great performance!
They just don't sing em like this anymore! WOW!! No words to describe
the emotions we were feeling!!
two started off with a BANG! As Bette dazzled us with Delores
DeLago! I enjoyed the Delores segment much more this year than
last year, although it was the same, this year it just seemed
so much more magical! Bette and co. really put themselves into
this and it showed!
Delores, Bette came back and sang a heartfelt duet with Mr. Rogers.
Bette reminded us all of the importance of Mr. Rogers and the
human spirit each of us posses and should use more!
ended the show with such classics as From a Distance, Do You Wanna
Dance, Wind Beneath My Wings and The Rose. Bette sang each song
with elegance and grace! Her voice was strong and full of emotion!
Miss M has never sounded better! After Bette sang Wind Beneath
My Wings, the crowd jumped to it's feet to reward Miss M for her
brilliant's night work! She came back to thunderous applause and
requested that we sing The Rose with her. Not everyone was singing
together, after a few eye rolls.. Miss M asked if they could put
the words on one of the monitors. We sang The Rose to OUR ROSE!!
was a night that I will NEVER forget!! Bette gave one helluva
show!! Bette Midler you are truly D-I-V-I-N-E girl, those other
"divas" don't have a thang on ya honey!! You can tell
em all to KISS YOUR BRASS!!!!!!!!