Aretha Franklin ~ August 6, 2015 @ The Santa Barbara Bowl

An Evening with a Diva
photo by Tanya Wahlquist

A Living Legend. The Queen of Soul. Diva. All appropriate names for Ms. Aretha Franklin. The 73 year old Queen proved to be a timeless wonder as she performed before The Santa Barbara Bowl August 6th.

Adorned in a long shimmering evening gown and pearls, Aretha was as elegant as she was talented. “Maybe a melody on the rocks will explain,” Aretha purred as she slipped into the first song of the evening. Big, bold, and beautiful, Aretha sung a mixture of her own songs and covers, including “Til You Come Back To Me”, “Angel,” and even mixed it up a bit with a re-mix of “I Will Survive” that had an added touch of Destiny’s Child flavor.

With gratitude in her heart she exclaimed, “Thank you for spending an evening with me. Time has been good to me. 50 years in the business – and it feels like it.” Aretha left to take a short tea break, then returned rejuvenated. Aretha’s vocals didn’t seem like they have lost any range or power, as she sat at the piano, dedicating her cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” “to those friends who care for me.”

Aretha easily slipped between jazz, gospel, and soul, throughout the evening, bringing the crowd once again to their feet for a little “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” It would be hard not to have the utmost respect for such talent, and it was truly an experience spending the evening with Aretha Franklin.