Soul legend Aretha Franklin took the stage at the Mann Center in Philadelphia for what will be one of her last shows as a touring artist, and delivered what veteran critic Roger Friedman, writing for Showbiz411, called “a knockout show that had her voice at full power.”
“She joked, she danced, she shimmied, she went to church, and god bless her — she played that grand piano like it was 40 years ago,” Friedman writes of Saturday’s performance.
Franklin rocked the house with her classics — “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “Freeway of Love,” and “Natural Woman” among them — but also found time in the program for what Friedman calls “some treats for the fans.”
“She revived her 1972 Stevie Wonder hit ‘Until You Come Back to Me’ complete with the knock-knock-knocks,” the review notes. “There were two nods to the late Curtis Mayfield from his ‘Sparkle’ soundtrack — the title track, and the sultry ‘Givin’ Him Something He Can Feel.’ There was a rousing rendition of the Clara Ward Singers’ gospel classic ‘Old Landmark’ that sent Miss Franklin high stepping with abandon.”
Franklin heads next to Chicago and Atlanta, and in November will be the featured guest at Elton John’s AIDS Foundation ball in New York.