LA Staples Centre

The void that'll open when this ageless wonder does hang up her heels is something no gimmick will ever fill...

It’s not much of a stretch to think that the word shimmy was invented to

account for Tina Turner’s onstage gyrations. But to pin it down that definitively ignores the shaking, swaying, strutting and stomping she does, all while wheeling around on three-inch heels. At an age when most women begin to consider Bingo a physical activity, Tina Turner emerged on the second story of the steel girder stage set belting out Sly And Family Stone’s ‘I Want To Take You Higher’ backed by a 12-piece band that includes five dancers shimmering in sparkling gold costumes.

Her smile beaming from the stage and the three big screen TVs behind it and on either side, Tina’s toothy grin is directed at the enthusiastic 20,000 plus star-studded crowd that includes everybody from Eddie Murphy to Paula Cole to a couple of cross-dressing Tina wannabes accurate down to the teetering heels and towering wigs.

Lest you forget how many hits she’s had over the last four decades she begins reeling them off, ‘Private Dancer’, ‘The Best’, the crowd sing-along ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’, while she belts out ‘Proud Mary’ during the encore. Equally at home with others’ work and one of the few singers powerful and versatile enough to pull it off, it’s a joy to hear her take on Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’, Otis Redding’s ?(Sittin? On) The Dock of the Bay’, and ‘Try A Little Tenderness’.

Reinventing The Beatles’ ‘Help!’ as a torch song marks an obvious nadir of the evening and Robert Palmer’s ‘Addicted To Love’ seems somewhat beneath her, but you couldn’t win that argument with anyone working up a sweat dancing to it in the chilly arena. The sudden boom and flash of pyrotechnics and the clumsy mechanical arm that lifts Tina out above the crowd like a slowly rotating display will not be missed, but the void that’ll open when this ageless wonder does hang up her heels is something no gimmick will ever fill.

Colin Devenish