|St. Petersburg Times||"A SWEET DREAM OF A CONCERT -- Fans of sophisticated pop music couldn't ask for a more perfect set than Annie Lennox's sold-out Friday performance at the Tampa Theatre. The 48-year-old Scottish singer has returned to the stage after a several year hiatus, treating 1,452 fans to songs from her acclaimed solo career, including highlights from Bare, to be released this June, as well as hits from her days in the Eurythmics, one of the few critically lauded acts of the 1980s British New Wave.
Lennox and her band walked onto the cozy stage and before she could hit a note, acknowledged the first of the night's many standing ovations.Wearing ruffian chic, Lennox donned layers of black, including a scarf, skullcap and shades, choosing to be as edgy with her music. Husky-throated Lennox delivered powerful renditions of Money Can't Buy It, Legend In My Living Room and Cold. The deceptively bouncy Walking On Broken Glass was a hit, as was the new, uplifting 1000 Beautiful Things, powered by Tony Remy's acoustic guitar.
However, it was the rocking, soulful numbers that got the crowd most excited. Tall and wiry, Lennox dished out moves that would make any soul sister shimmy in solidarity. And did they ever. Not just fans -- both male and female -- but also Lennox's three marvelous backup singers who nearly upstaged her on a riotous Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves, the song made famous in the mid 1980s by Lennox and the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin. Lennox and her "backup" gals traded vocal acrobatics, joining on delectable harmonies. As the backing trio burst out on its own, Lennox slinked across the stage, funking it up, gyrating, testifying, and, naturally, tossing out the ol' holding-up-the-wall-with-the-one-hand move, head bopping as needed. Longtime fans relished Lennox's new twists on Eurythmics numbers. A bluesy Here Comes the Rain Again found Lennox at the piano, solo. The icy Who's That Girl? became unplugged, with an organic flavor of acoustic guitar and bass, piano and spare percussion. Lennox whipped off layers of dress in time for a rollicking Would I Lie To You?. At last, the skullcap was gone and curious fans could ascertain the current color of Ms. Lennox's ever-changing close-cropped 'do: milky white. Then, a raucous Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), a ballistic Missionary Man, made even dizzier by strobe lights and Lennox's manic stage moves -- is she really down on her knees, belting it out? Wait, now she's singing on her back, long leg up in the air. Oh, my. She really gives it her all, doesn't she? The setting mellowed enough by the third, final encore, an elegant reading of Lennox's melancholy solo hit Why?"