Sunday, June 30, 2013

Debbie Gibson: Thanks for Putting Our Pride First!

Debbie Gibson Performing at the 2013 Cincinnati Pride Festival
     Debbie (Deborah, as she was referred to in the ‘90s) Gibson headlined the main stage at the Cincinnati Pride Festival and gave a spirited hour-long set.  She began ten minutes earlier than scheduled with “Proud Mary.”  This was an excellent selection because her voice is powerful, but it also possesses a pinched, nasal quality that provides her the
versatility to move between pop, soul, disco, and hip-hop.  She’s also able to sound as she did at eighteen as well as her own age.

     When “Only In My Dreams” played on MTV in 1987, I thought of her as Madonna’s sweeter, nicer younger sister.  Although she was a teen idol in the late ‘80s, she wrote, played, sang, and produced her music.  “Lost in Your Eyes” was a lovely ballad, but it was in the dance genre that she excelled with “Foolish Beat” and “Shake Your Love” – the hook to that song is literally tough to shake off once you’ve heard it.  She’s aware of her place in the pop universe and sincerely appreciates those artists who were popular when she was on the rise.  A highlight of her set was a collection of ‘80s songs including “1814 Rhythm Nation” that she sang better than Janet Jackson. 

    Though supported by two strong dancers, one of whom has worked with her since they were in high school, the sound amplification at Kroger Pavilion wasn’t very consistent.  However, Gibson still gives it her all and is at an age, like Tina Turner in the early ‘80s, where she deserves a hit single and a pop career renaissance. 

She looked and sounded great and the crowd loved her!

1 comment:

Bea said...

-glad to read that Debbie Gibson is still making music and that she sang at Pride.