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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Tina Turner
River Deep Singer High: Tina Turner's frenetic stage act at Shoreline Friday belied her 58 years.

Public Dancer:
Time is on Tina Turner's side

WHAT WAS James Brown thinking when he proposed to talk-show host Rolanda Williams? After watching Tina Turner's performance at the Shoreline Amphitheater last Friday, I think the King of Soul would have stopped the ceremony and hunted down Tina's beeper number. Turner's show was an impassioned revue of radio-friendly soul that belied her 58 years. She entered to the watery "Whatever You Want Me to Be" wearing a platinum party dress. Two sets of silver staircases bookended the action. The backdrop was a working eye that opened and shut like a camera lens. The cornea was a projection screen that showed a mix of camera-generated images, lights and effects.

It's inspiring that Tina continues to thrash it out. She was a constant blur of hair, pipes, lipstick and legs kicking up dust. A seven-piece backup band--lead by pianist Chuckii Booker and multi-instrumentalist Timmy Cappello--pitched an MOR tent with a touch of digital hard-core. After a watery track from Wildest Dreams, "River Deep Mountain High," hit, scenes of 1966-era Tina flashed on the screen behind the real deal. The crowd sat down. That could have explained why Turner asked, Diana Ross­like, "Are you having a good time?" "Do you love me?" Hell yeah! We're just LAME!

The Barry White­influenced "In Your Wildest Dreams" was followed by a clever stage trick: Turner disappeared behind the curtain for a costume change and reappeared at the center of the eye, silhouetted by a celluloid wall of flames. The dais was lowered just in time for her to sing the theme from GoldenEye. "Private Dancer" followed, with Cappello going for an extended sax solo. A semiacoustic interlude ensued; the genre is played-out, but Tina transcended the cliché with a soulful version of "Let's Stay Together." The set-closer, "What's Love Got to Do With It," was emotional and empowering. For the encore, a rampaging "Proud Mary" shaved years off her exterior, and the raucous "Nutbush City Limits" hit similar highs. The concert demonstrated how longevity is a missing component in contemporary R&B. It's hard to imagine that today's R&B divas will have an original idea, let alone a career, when they're Tina's age.

Shoreline Gridlock

What was up with the traffic on Friday night? Did transit authorities not anticipate that every MPV owner in the world would be descending on Shoreline to see Tina Turner? I felt sorry for Cyndi Lauper fans, local residents, emergency vehicles, pregnant women or anybody with a weak bladder. I was sucking exhaust two miles away from the Shoreline exit on Highway 85, a routine trip that dragged out to 45 minutes. Thoughts of catching Lauper dried up quick. Tip: If you plan on going to any future 7:30pm Shoreline weekday shows--like No Doubt this Friday (May 30)--plan to leave at least two hours before show time.

Headz III

The Okada House, an Asian American dormitory on Stanford, presents "Unity Through Music ... The Science of the Blend," an evening of turntablism with Invisible Scratch Pickles members Shortkut and D-Styles, the Beat Junkies (featuring Rhettmatic, Babu, Icy-Ice, Symphony), Derrick D and microphonists Bored Stiff and Abstract Reality. The free show takes place Saturday (May 31) at 9pm at Stanford in the East Wilbur Courtyard.

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From the May 29-June 4, 1997 issue of Metro

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