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September 25, 1998 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-25

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 25, 1998 - 11

6ensational Celine
goes on with class


By Curtis Zimmermann
Daily Arts Writer
One couldn't help but make "Titanic"
kes as Canada's sweetheart, Celine
Dion, brought her "Lets Talk About
Love" Tour into Detroit on Wednesday
night for the second of two concerts. She
remarked about her career that she didn't
do much this past year, except get on a
The show took place in-the-round, on
a stage in the center of the arena. For
nearly two hours, she bounded around in
heels, singing her power ballads. The
Sow as well as her music seemed to
(mbine elements of pop and hard rock,
.for a Cher-meets-Aerosmith atmosphere.
At each corner of the stage her musicians
- six in all - were placed on plaurms
that were raised and lowered throughout
the show, as her three back-up singers
roamed around her.
The average age of the crowd seemed
mainly older than 30 with the occasion-

The Palace
Sept. 23, 1998

al group of young
teenage girls who,
while definitely
noticeable, didn't
seem too numer-
ous in this "adult
There were two
negative aspects
of the show that
should be brought
out first simply
because they were
unnecessary and
rather corny ele-
ments of the per-

By Myself," were executed brilliantly,
giving her voice, as well as her guitarist,
many chances to shine. During this time,
there were a couple of upbeat songs
mixed with the ballads as well as her lat-
est "Love You More" complete with its
violin solo.
About an hour into the show, the band
converged at center stage for the cus-
tomary Unplugged, or "Pit Session,"
which seems to occur at just about every
modern rock show these days. While
giving her a chance to sit down, she used
it to pay homage to Roberta Flack, The
Beatles, Eric Clapton and Frank Sinatra.
Following this, she introduced the
band and left the stage, only to return in
a white suit. She told the crowd she was
going to turn this place into a dance
party. A huge disco ball was then low-
ered and she played "Stayin Alive" and
"You Should Be Dancing.' It's some-
what ironic that these were the songs
that propelled "Saturday Night Fever,"
whose supremacy as the greatest-sell-
ing soundtrack was knocked off thanks
to Dion and "Titanic" this year. While
this part of the performance was rather
corny it was still a break from her slow
songs, it served as a crowd pleaser. It
was after this that she made her ill-fated
Online collaboration with the Gibb
As the Palace went totally dark, the
cigarette lighters began to flicker and a
slow roar began to develop. As the intro
to "My Heart Will Go On" began the
place erupted in a concrete shattering
roar. At one side of the stage, a few bars
were raised to resemble, you guessed it,
the front of a ship. She emerged dressed
in '20s style clothes and sang her smash
hit as thousands mouthed the words in
an almost hypnotic unison - a sight
that would terrify many of her detrac-
tors. She then left the stage once again,
surrounded by an army of security
guards and she still managed to make
an impact as she brought one teenage
girl to tears by touching her hand.
While Celine Dion's music is the epit-
ome of commercialism, the show could
serve as the model for it. It proved that
even the most blatant exposure can have
at least some redeeming qualities. Dion
and her band, for the most part, kept
focused on the music with absolute pre-
cision, serving as the major force, not
just the hit songs.
Even if she is on everything from
Blockbuster's in-store reels to "South
Park," she showed that it is still possible
to do it with style.

By Ryan Malkin
Daily Arts Writers
The reason for the sudden influx of Jamaicans and
dread-haired friends on campus this weekend was
that Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers were tak-
ing the stage. Although none of the promotional
material mentioned Joan Jones, the opening act, she
did excite the crowd to hear Ziggy.
As the reflection of light from Joan Jones' guitar
pierced through the crowd, we saw what could be a
Jewel clone with a splash of Shania Twain in the
vocals standing center stage. This twangy
country/folk/pop singer tried invigorating the crowd,
yet the only response she received was an array of
sex comments from the first few rows.
Yet, her failure wasn't from a lack of trying. Jones
was seen dancing and twisting about, trying desper-
ately to get het backup instru-
mentals to show some sign of
life. Her backups seemed like
Ziggy Marley they were working, the sign of
and the Melody any bad performer. Despite the
Makers band's energy level, Jones
Michigan Theater thrilled us with her musical tal-
Sept. 22. 1998 ents, although singing wasn't
No. I on the list.
Jones played a song off her
new album titled,
"Passionate,' behind the
piano. Then amazed the spec-
tators once again with her
trumpet skills, coming across
as a regular.Miles Davis. Just
when the audience seemed to have had quite
enough, Joan Jones strapped on a Les Paul guitar
and jammed out a bluesy solo in the tradition of
B.B. King.
Despite the rather impressive array of musical
abilities, Joan Jones seemed like she should be play-
ing at the open mike night at an Espresso Royale
instead of at the Michigan. Her songs seemed too
artificial. Although she did bring a certain energy to
the stage, everything is relative.
Just as the buzzes were wearing off the patrons, the
bass line to Ziggy Marley's "Power to Move Ya,"
came blaring through the amazingly crisp sounding
speakers of the theater; the crowd was now on its sec-
ond wind.
After a standing ovation, Marley gave a greeting
that made chills run up the audience's spine. Almost
exactly as his legendary father, Bob Marley, Ziggy
greeted the audience with the ever familiar
"Greetings from the emperial majesty, Jah ever-live-
ever sure ... " that we all heard on Bob's many live

Ziggy Marley had the crowd at the Michigan Theater movin' and grovin' this past Tuesday. The son of Bob
Marley played with his brother Stephen, and fellow Melody Makers.

formance that took away from the over-
all musical quality. Twice during the
evening she sang virtual duets, once
with Barbra Streisand, and another time
with the Bee Gee's. This lame computer
trick seemed like cheap sensationalism
,it seemed to trivialize her abilities as a
-rformer. Put simply, it just wasn't nec-
Other than those two moments of
Cyber-rock at its not-so-finest the show
was solid in form from the beginning
when she opened the show with "Let's
Talk About Love." Complete with chil-
dren's choir, which looked somewhat
terrified up on stage, it remained kind of
like a theme song for the rest of the
evening. Considering that most of the
*gs fall into the category of love, or
lost love.
The evening was marked by such hits
as "Its All Coming Back to Me" and "All

albums. Dreadlocks waving and twisting under the
dulled red lights, Ziggy and the crew moved into
"Tomorrow People."
During the next several songs, Marley and his
brother Stephen shared the vocals with the rest of the
clan singing back-up and playing the several percus-
sions, guitars and bass. If the audience closed its eyes
and listened to the music, it could almost feel Bob's
presence; especially when it was "Three Little
Birds" that it was hearing. The audience swayed in
unison, back and forth as though singing "Give
Peace a Chance."
In the midst of "People Get Ready" Stephen bust-
ed into a free style rap, not unlike the Sugar Hill
Gang, only reggae. The repetitive guitar and voice
solos in every song somewhat became distracting. It
created a foggier distinction between songs. They
flew through songs such as "Boss Man," and the new
"Conscience Party."
At this point the audience was still in sway, even if
only out of habit. The eclectic crowd ranged from 50-
year-olds to the 12-year-olds that were seated beside
me. To bring the audience back, Stephen began "No
Woman No Cry," with Ziggy pounding the bongos.
Now the crowd was swaying slower and with much
more emotion, as if singing "Kumbaya" at a camp
fire. This sparked the crowd's interest once again,
and the group rapped renditions of "Never Forget

Your Dreams,' and "Free Like We Want To Be."
Despite a few slip-ups by the sound man, namely
turning the treble too high at times, the acoustics
were surprisingly clear. The lights, on the other-
hand, were extremely static. To reminisce some
more, they played the legend's classic "Jammin."'
Amid the jam session of this song, they re-energized
the crowd by announcing they "smoke herb" as they
hopped off stage. And the crowd began chanting
"Ziggy," in need of more.
Just as bouncy as they went off stage, they hopped
back on stage to complete the all important encore.
A very smooth saxophone solo opened for "Justice,"
then they brought back the spirit of the legendary
Bob Marley for their strikingly similar rendition of
"Could You Be Loved.'
Although some of the Melody Makers' music
has digressed this past album from the Grammy
winning "Free Like We Want To Be," Ziggy always
puts on a good show. Ziggy took the audience
through a proverbial roller coaster, bringing us up
and dropping us down, only to bring us back up
again before returning the crowd safely home.
Although the opening act created some doubt amid
the crowd of 800 or so fans, the essence of Bob
Marley influenced us to hold on so as to catch a
glimpse of the legend in his sons. And it was defi-
nitely worth the wait.

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