The wind was bitter cold, the traffic was horrendous, and the shoes were too tight, but the show must go on.  Along with thousands of other eager fans, I made my way through the box office and guarded front doors of the Sommet Center off Broadway.  The center is most used by the Nashville Predators (NHL), but tonight it was to be filled with the fans of vocal living legend, Celine Dion

  Almost 20,000 fans filled the stadium.  The stage was set in the center of the room with two runways reaching out like arms to her fans.  Celine is no stranger to performing for live audiences, her Las Vegas shows played for live audiences for years and revolutionized the stereotype that an entertainer simply goes to Vegas to let their lights dim.  Celine’s “Taking Chances” tour has an amazing stretch of dates that crosses the globe.

  Celine’s opening act was a comedian/actor from Las Vegas named Gordie Brown.  We came out to “I only want to be with you”, by Hootie and the Blowfish and had no idea what we were in for.  He changed some lyrics and had the crowd in hysterics.  He portrayed several celebs and singers with very simple costume changes.  Some the best were the Roy Orbison, Kenny Rogers, and of course Michael Jackson.  He announced that he will be doing a run at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas starting in February.  I would check him out if you have the chance. (www.GordieBrown.com)

  Back to Celine; I was lucky enough to have a front row seat for the opening number of the show, and I can tell you that the energy that was buzzing around that room all came from her.  “I Drove all Night” was her opening number and by looking at the props, band, costumes and dancers I bet she did!  From the angle I was at I could see legs for days, and calf muscles that would make Lance Armstrong jealous!  A piano rose from the stage and hosted Celine while she sang and added to the mesmerizing effect of her power house voice.

  As the first song came to an end I ventured back to my seat, which was not exactly on the floor level, but was only one up from there.  She sang most of my favorites, “Power of Love”, “It’s all Coming Back to me Now”, “All by Myself”, “A New Day has Come”, and tons more.  She sang for close to two hours!  I can’t believe that she can use those pipes for that long each night and still sound like she does.  It’s truly a gift.

  The fans that I was seated near were obviously family…friends of Dorothy…whatever you want to call them.  They were having the time of their lives, and when I offered to show them some of the pictures that I had taken, I got “Shhhhhhh” as a reply.  Well, fine then, settle for your own 200’ away snapshots!  Oh, well I guess that I can’t blame them, after all it was the concert of the year for me and I’m sure it was for them too.

  As the show played on we were dazzled by amazing dancers who always seem to make the art of dance so easy.  There were some moves that I had never seen performed on stage before.  Her choreographer must be someone who likes taking chances too!  Celine’s costumes were sparkling with Swarovski Crystals, and her jewelry was larger than life. 

Let’s talk about her hair… It was beautiful; however, I doubt that all of it was growing out of her head.  It was so long and so full that it seemed to never end while she moved around her huge stage.  One piece of costume that did catch me off-guard was her butt-high black leather boots!  I never expected to see her sport them.  But she worked it! 

For one of her encores she wore a full length black dress that seemed to stretch the length of the stage.  I really liked how she was able to tie in so many different sides of her personality without trading in on her past.  Class, glamour, and style are three words that I could use to describe her dancers, stage and herself. 

  As the night came to a close I took some time to think back on my own Celine moments: when I was very young my first boyfriend used to play Celine all of the time, our favorite song was “Water from the Moon”.  I was hoping she would sing it, but she didn’t….oh, well. 

I once saw Mary Edith Pitts, from Atlanta, perform “All by Myself” at the Nashville nightlife Dinner Theatre, complete with a copy of Playgirl and I certain rubber toy….don’t ask how the performance ended (you just had to be there).  Stephanie Wells also came to mind, she always seems to pantomime “I’m Alive” almost as well as Celine sings it!  I know that I’m not exactly Old School, but I do know about how Judy Jetson used to perform a lot of Celine back at the Connection, Judy….I salute you!

  As a whole I say that Celine has got to be one of the top 5 vocalists in history, and she keeps proving it to me.  She keeps close to her French-Canadian roots by singing in French in each show and by continuing to support Canadian artists. 

From the little that she spoke during the show you could I could hear the love that she has for her son, who is now eight and her husband, who is defiantly not eight.  She says that her son travels with her and she loves having him near her.  I’m glad to hear that.  Celebrity children sometimes take the back burner to their parents’ busy schedule, and timelines.

  I hope that you get to experience that tour that lasts until July, or at least listen to her latest record.  Celine, you have brought music back to Music City, and for that I say “Thank you”!


This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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