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Aretha Franklin
-Events Center-Seneca-Niagara Casino-
Niagara Falls, NY May 28th, 2011

Concert Review - By Bob Silvestri

     Memo to Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey and all diva wannabe's, you have a long way to go before you can even touch the robe of the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin. Franklin brought her unique style for a spectacular blow out Memorial Day weekend performance to kick off the summer before a sold out crowd at the Events Center at the Seneca-Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY on May 28th, 2011.
     Out on the road after a brief health scare last year Franklin appeared slimmed down and in fine form. Her singing voice was robust hitting both high and low notes with ease and she was getting her groove on with some dance moves and shimming across the stage. She started her set with "Higher and Higher" and added "New York, New York" along with "Chain of Fools" and "Think" to the seven song first set. Her band made up of her regular touring outfit along with a horn section made up of a who's who of local players tore it up during the intermission with some improvisation and soloing. Local legend Bobby Militello added a sax solo that was met with a thunderous ovation.
      Returning for the second set Franklin took a seat at the piano and offered up her recollections of her time spent as a young girl growing up in Buffalo and her early days on the road before playing the Sam Cooke classic "You Send Me". Next she offered up a selection from her new CD, A Woman Falling in Love, which has her out on the road "Available exclusively at Walmart and Walmart.com", reminded Ms. Franklin, before singing "How Long I've Been Waiting for You". She wrapped up the performance with a cover of B. B. King's "Sweet Sixteen" and her own hit "Freeway of Love" before saying good night and leaving the stage.
     Unfortunately and to the disappointment of many Franklin did not play one of her biggest hits "Respect". It was listed on the set list as the encore song but Ms. Franklin chose not to perform the song on this night. Major thank you go out to Tony Astran and the staff at the Seneca-Niagara Casino for the chance to attend a media meet and greet with Ms. Franklin before the show. The Seneca-Niagara Casino has a full slate of great shows this summer check out the schedule at www.senecaniagaracasino.com


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