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What's Age Got to Do With It?

The Bradley Center
May 25, 2000

Story and Photos by Phil Bonyata

Tina Turner - 60 years old?!!?
You've got to be kidding!
Her trademark raspy voice seemed every bit as powerful and emotive as when she first belted out the vein bulging strains of "Proud Mary" in the 1960's.
Her body, or more to the point her trademark legs seemed like they were sculpted of ageless marble. We should all live and eat her special rock 'n roll diet. Hard rock - hold the muzak.
Tina, playing the Bradley Centre in Milwaukee last Wednesday night, opened the show jumping up and down like a repeat felon that's just been granted parole. Tina strutted down the four level steel stage, straight out of "Mad Max:Beyond Thunderdome," to greet her hungry fans. A bevy of beautiful dancers, a feature any real diva can't live without, followed her down and took their well choreographed positions beside her.
Early on, Tina dove into some of her early '60s material like the hip shakin' "Fool in Love," which seemed rote and safe. Please the audience, sell the tickets.
What happened to the Tina Turner that blew your speakers at low volume?
Later in the show, Tina stutter-stepped the 80's hit "The Best" in a leather mini-skirt and a bag full of attitude. The song was reminiscent of the '80's excesses without the guilt. On Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness," she started to feel her roots, a refreshing reminder of what she was before her overly commercial period of the last 15 years. Tina shook her conscious state on stage and found her soulful and anguished past on "Help." A past filled with violent spousal abuse and many career ups and downs.
Tina Turner states that this tour, The Twenty-Four/Seven Tour, is her last.
If it's true, skeptics aside, than a woman born for the stage, born for rock 'n roll abandon, will surely regret this decision. True showman must perform to maintain emotional survival. As the band's opening chords of "Addicted to Love" filled the auditorium's vastness, Tina looked down for a few seconds and began to shake her body in such a natural and primeval way that she couldn't have stopped even if the music and the crowd vanished. At this point the audience was reminded that this 60 year old rocker can still perform with her trademark sexual abandon without any apologies.

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