There are some performers who shouldn’t retire from the stage – Baryshnikov, Jagger, and Darlene Love.
Oh my goodness. Did Lincoln Center ever do itself proud last night with its sensational presentation of Darlene Love and her band under the clear night skies in Damrosch Park. Darlene will be 75 years old this Tuesday, but she celebrated her birthday last night with a two hour concert of hit after hit after hit all sung in her golden style without a hint of tarnish: He's a Rebel, Painkiller, Among the Believers, River Deep Mountain High.
When the concert began, it was still 93 degrees. But as the sun lowered behind the Amsterdam Houses, the temperature dropped a few degrees and a small breeze picked up along with the energy of the diverse crowd of every age group, every ethnic group, and every type of Lincoln Center native.
Never has Haglund seen so many hangers-on from the 1960s classic rock ’n roll movement in one place. There we they were – some were wearing straw hats and carrying Channel 13 tote bags while pushing their red chair walkers, but the ‘60s styling of it all was unmistakable. And the Dick Clark Bandstand hip swinging and shuffling was just as distinct.
Darlene Love. Oh my goodness. What a class act. Shimmering in a silver and white jumpsuit and later changing to a sparkling silver and white miniskirt, she was a testament to the talent, value, persistence and love for the back-up vocalists everywhere but especially of the rock ’n roll era. Like the hardworking dancers in the corps de ballet, they’re Twenty Feet from Stardom but still loving their jobs; perhaps eventually rising to the top but still paying tribute to the voices behind them. (As The Boss says in the link above, "That walk to the front is complicated.") Darlene meticulously paid tribute to so many people who contributed to her artistic efforts and generously credited the composers/lyricists/originators for her songs including Elvis Costello, Steven Van Zandt, Joan Jett, Bruce Springstein, Sam Cooke, Jimmy Webb and many others.
What a fabulous concert. Thank you Lincoln Center, but please give our azaleas a deep night-watering to get them through this heat wave.