When you’ve been entertaining crowds for 66 years, the only thing you can be called is a legend. Producing hit after hit, through multiple eras and decades, Diana Ross is the blueprint for being an iconic singing powerhouse. And, after her “gap year or vacation”, as she calls the pandemic on stage, she made her latest offering, ‘Thank You’, from her home studio to show her gratitude to her fans. The front, back, left and right of the grassy standing pit for the Pyramid stag is filled with dancing feet as we want to say “Thank you” back. Packed in, we try to kick and get jiggy as much as possible because we love this queen.
Before the 78-year-old coveted diva comes out, the screens fade into a celebratory montage of ’70s photo shoots and album covers from her extensive catalogue of greatest hits. As Ross ruffles her feathers on the side stage, anticipating what will be a legendary set regardless, her backing singers get us hyped by singing, “Are you ready, ready for the Ross? / She’s ready for you”. It’s suitably grandiose as the original R&B diva comes out draped in milky feathers and a matching headdress, her eyes taking her crowd and a smile springing to her face; Diana Ross is back.
She comes out at full force with her seminal hits from her time in the best-charting girl group of all time, The Supremes. Ross may have come out to ‘I’m Coming Out’ but it when she sings ‘Baby Love’ and drops her feather drape to reveal a dazzling white and gold ball gown that the crowd goes into overdrive. Some even sing intensely with tears brimming their eyelids. For the funky ‘Upside Down’, security guards twirled for the motown queen. There’s so much love in the air.
And Diana loves love, she says: “You know I have so many songs about love because everything we do is about love”. And when she gets us going with a covers medley at the latter part of her set, we boogie down with the disco diva to covers of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, despite “her body not moving like it used to”. She ends with the former, getting her band of many decades to show off one last time before the end of the ethereal set.
There might have been some mic issues, but from the start until the end of her set, she has the crowd in her hands. In their own fluffed-up curly wigs, you can see audience members relinquish themselves to the musical powerhouse and even cry as they recite back Ross’ lyrics. Being in a crowd with so much love in the air feels euphoric; confirmation that Diana Ross is the ultimate queen.
Diana Ross played:
‘More Today Than Yesterday’ (Spiral Starecase cover)
‘My World Is Empty Without You’ (The Supremes song)
‘Baby Love’ (The Supreme song)
‘Stop In The Name Of Love’ (The Supreme song)
‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ (The Supreme song)
‘If The World Just Danced’
I’m Still Waiting’
‘Love Hangover/ Take Me Higher / Ease On Down The Road’
‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’
‘Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)’
‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ (Marvin Gaye review)
‘I Will Survive’ (Gloria Gaynor cover)