picture 14.pngStaff Writer

A near-capacity crowd of concert-goers got their disco on when the queen of the genre graced the stage at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood.

Donna Summer, resplendent in a shimmering purple gown, had fans dancing in the aisles for most of her 90-minute show Aug. 18 that included all of her hits, plus a few new tunes from her current CD.

Summer’s powerful voice could deliver in any genre, but she wisely gravitated towards disco in the 1970s and 1980s, carving out a career that has yielded more than 130 million albums sold.

Summer was backed by an eight-piece band, two background singers and two incredibly energetic male dancers. She took the crowd back to the beginning of her career with the sultry Love to Love You, and also jammed her mega-hits Bad Girls, Hot Stuff and She Works Hard for the Money.

The evening grew melancholic when Summer spoke about her friendship with Michael Jackson. Her rendition of what she said was their favorite song, Smile, was exquisite; as was her performance of Sand on My Feet, a single from her new CD Crayons. A total departure from her disco sound, the simply lovely Sand featured her strong voice accompanied by acoustic guitar, a beautiful melody and charming lyrics.

Summer sang a few more tunes from the new CD, including standouts Stamp Your Feet and I’m on Fire.

“I want to thank you all for loving me,” the pop superstar told her adoring fans.

“It’s hard being a diva,” said the 61-year old, still sexy, grandma, who treated the audience to six different costumes.

The audience saw her encore with Last Dance coming a mile away and gave her the requisite ear-shattering applause to guarantee her return to the stage. Finishing as strongly as she began, Summer took her time with the intro’s slow tempo, increasing her enthusiasm as the pace of the song quickened.

It was clear that her connection to her fans remains strong and her talent has not wavered.

Renee Michelle Harris may be reached at RMHarris15@Bellsouth.net

Sayre Berman/for South Florida Times. Still a superstar: Donna Summer performs at the Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood.