Review: a steamy night at Riverbend, with Cincinnati Pops and Aretha Franklin

Posted on: July 26, 2016

“On a hot summer Sunday night at Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Amphitheatre, Aretha Franklin did not disappoint, taking the stage as the sun was setting, with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra prepared to back her for one of the Motor City legend’s few live performances so far this year,” writes Gil Kaufman in Monday’s (7/25) “With her crack backing band joining a string, horn and percussion section led by Pops conductor John Morris Russell, Franklin strutted out onto the stage.… Franklin’s voice was strong and spirited…. Franklin, 74, greeted some Baby Boomer superfans in the front rows, smiling as they held up their programs and turned around to pose for selfies.… [During] a show-stopping finale of ‘Freeway of Love’ … Franklin danced her way across the stage and accepted a bouquet of flowers from a fan and the typically buttoned-down Pops players got into it, cracking shy smiles and nodding their heads along to [Narada Michael] Walden’s rolling drum beats.” The show closed with “Respect,” sung “in full voice, hand on hip, before taking a bow and leaving the crowd clapping along as [Franklin’s musical director Fred] Nelson repeated the mantra, ‘The Undisputed Queen of Soul!’ … As if there was any question.”

Posted July 26, 2016