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Turner takes S.L. fans on a glorious ‘journey’

SHARE Turner takes S.L. fans on a glorious ‘journey’

TINA TURNER with special guest LIONEL RICHIE and Janice Robinson, Delta Center, Monday, May 15, 7:30 p.m., one performance only.

For a couple of hours, Salt Lake City had its own "Private Dancer."

Music legend Tina Turner pumped up the volume in the Delta Center last night and took the nearly sold-out audience on a journey through her illustrious, four-decade career.

The curtains rose and there stood Turner on her trademark legs on a multi-level steel stage, not unlike the set of the John Travolta flick "Stayin' Alive."

Turner and her band strutted out to the opening chords to Sly & the Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher."

The band took cues from Turner and played "Acid Queen," the role she played in the Who's "Tommy." Then, without a pause, the singer strolled into "River Deep, Mountain High."

Another crowd favorite — "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)," from the Mel Gibson flick, "Mad Max and the Thunderdome" — was also offered, as well as the hit, "Better Be Good to Me."

Turner's moves and dancing displayed command and power. Her vibrant sensuality was projected through her energetic choreography. It's hard to believe the woman just turned 62.

The fiery "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and empowering No. 1 single "What's Love Got to Do With It" got the audience singing along.

"Private Dancer," "When the Heartache Is Over" and a gospelesque version of the Beatles' "Help" were featured alongside a remake of Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" and her new single "Whatever You Need," from the album "Twenty-Four Seven."

Of course, no Tina Turner show would be complete without her flamboyant version of "Proud Mary." For her encore, Turner belted out "Nutbush City Limit" and stepped onto a crane that swung her out over the audience.

Special guest Lionel Richie got a hearty welcome as he played to many, well-deserved standing ovations.

The music business really needs a genuine soulful balladeer like Richie in this day of Britney Spears.

"Hello," "Running With the Night," "Easy," "Brick House," "Still" and "All Night Long" were some of the audience favorites. Then there was the new Latin-tinged "Cinderella" which was partnered with Richie's trademark ballad "Three Times a Lady."

Opening the evening was a gritty acoustic set by Janice Robinson. It's too bad she didn't have a full band backing her up. At times her energetic vocals became a little harsh on the ears.

E-mail: scott@desnews.com