“Love” for the Holidays

Darlene Love at Landmark on Main Street December 2015: Credit: Steven Sandick
Darlene Love’s “Love for the Holidays” has quickly become a much anticipated Landmark on Main Street tradition. Last Sunday, December 14th, Love performed her fourth sold out holiday show on Landmark’s newly renovated stage. Her performance was, once again, a full-out high-voltage performance. Backed by a seven piece band, including two horn players, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, and keyboards, and accompanied by three extremely talented back up singers, Love put on yet another memorable show.

Wearing glittery boots and a sparkling outfit, Love bounded onto the stage and launched into an energetic version of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Setting the tone for an evening that would be part Christmas music and part 1960’s memories. Other holiday favorites included “Marshmallow World” (complete with a mock onstage snowball fight), “White Christmas,” “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” and the Stevie Van Zandt penned “All Alone on Christmas.” Love let her well-qualified backup singers take a solo turn on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and they did not disappoint. The three-part harmonies were tight and innovative.

Love also treated the audience to some songs from her early days, including “Wait til My Bobby Gets Home,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” and “The Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” and a fabulous rocking “He’s a Rebel.” Between songs, she regaled the audience with tales of her rocky working relationship with infamous producer, Phil Spector, remarking that she was over it because “look where I am now, and look where he is.” (For those who don’t know, Spector is in jail, after having been convicted of murder some years ago.) Love also talked about her involvement in the movie 20 Feet From Stardom, and the audience was treated to a video of Love singing with joy at the Oscars when the film won an Academy Award.

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Particularly wonderful was Love’s Marvin Gaye tribute, and particularly her duets with backup singer Milton Vann (@MiltonVann) on “You’re All I Need to Get By,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and “What’s Going On.” Vann, who has performed with Love at three of four of her Landmark performances is worth special mention. His solo performance of “Oh Holy Night” was simply spectacular.

Love closed with “Lean on Me” and after a thunderous standing ovation from the crowd was lured back on stage to perform her signature holiday song, “It’s Christmas Baby Please Come Home.” Love just completed her 27th performance of that song on David Letterman’s show! There may not have been snow on the ground as the audience exited to the street, but the holiday spirit was definitely in the air, thanks to the inspirational Ms. Love.

This post originally appeared on Patch.

Check out previous reviews of Darlene Love performances from 2011, 2012 and 2013.  

Image Credits: Steven Sandick Photography