2003-04-25 Annie Lennox - Bare - Copley Symphony Hall - San Diego - The USA


Artist : Annie Lennox

Date : 2003-04-25

Tour Name : Bare

Country : The USA

Town : San Diego

Venue : Copley Symphony Hall






Sign On SanDiego25.04.2003, San Diego, Copley Symphony Hall

Inimitability: that which cannot be imitated or copied

Inimitability: that which cannot be imitated or copied

Its linguistic roots can be traced to the Latin for "divine," but these days, the word "diva" is looking decidedly downsized. Once reserved for opera-house superstars and the commanding likes of Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand, "diva" has degenerated into a catch-all term for any female performer with a big voice (Shania Twain), big problems (Whitney Houston), or a big entourage (Jennifer Lopez).

Or, in the case of the unknown singers making their debut in tonight's "Born to Diva," it applies to any photogenic hopeful with big dreams and the corporate sponsorship to make them happen. Airing over the next month on VH1, "Born to Diva" is the music channel's answer to "American Idol." You've got your ear-splitting Mariah Carey imitations. You've got your cat fights and your fashion faux pas and your tearful phone calls home.

You've also got "Diva Boot Camp," where our lucky finalists will face a team of image consultants, beauty stylists and music-industry experts, who will prove that "Born to Diva" divas are not really born, but plucked and coached to shrink-wrapped perfection. In the end, they will probably look fabulous. But unless their education package included tickets to Annie Lennox's current tour, our divas-in-training will have no idea what it means to be truly divine.

But the people who saw the former Eurythmics singer perform at Copley Symphony Hall Friday know. It means wielding that big voice with a surgeon's precision and a artist's grace. It means mining your big troubles for nuggets of universal truth. It means using that spotlight to illuminate the world around you, and to warm up the people who are gathered at your feet.

In less than two hours, Lennox returned the "diva" title to its Olympian heights. Her gorgeous, solo-piano version of "Here Comes the Rain Again" transformed this overplayed radio hit into newly minted confession. Her galvanizing take on "Don't Let It Bring You Down" turned the Neil Young classic into her own liberation manifesto.

On the hushed tunes from her upcoming album "Bare," Lennox made her post-divorce dramas resonate all the way up to the balcony. And with her sharp show-opening performance of the 11-year-old "Money Can't Buy It," Lennox threw a wrench into the gears of today's pop-idol machine:

Money can't buy it, she sang. Sex can't buy it. Drugs can't buy it. You can't buy it.

Before Lennox and partner Dave Stewart hit '80s pay dirt with a string of Eurythmics hits that included "Right by Your Side," "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" and the indelible "Would I Lie to You?," Lennox knocked around in a most unglamorous way.

Born into a working-class Scottish family, Lennox showed some aptitude for playing the flute, but she dropped out of London's Royal Academy of Music three days before graduation. She bounced from job to job and from rented room to rented room. The first band she formed with Stewart broke up after one minor U.K. hit. The first Eurythmics album bombed.

When "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" went to No. 1 in 1983, however, the electronic oddballs became hit-makers. And thanks to Lennox's gender-bending charisma and the group's arresting videos, the shy music-school dropout became a rock-music icon. Her two majestic solo albums have kept the crown firmly in place, but she still had the tender heart of a knocked-around songwriter, and Friday's show was a stirring blend of icon drama and working-poet soul.

In her glittery tunic, slim black pants and black beret, the angular Lennox was a vision of offhand cool, and her swaggering performances of "I Need a Man" and "Would I Lie to You?" mixed David Bowie's Thin White Duke style with Mick Jagger's sex-machine prowl.

But there are emotional depths aplenty beneath that stylized facade, and Lenno


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