Last Night: Aretha Franklin at Arena Theater
November 17th, 2011
A grown and sexy crowd filled the room at the Arena Theater last night to welcome the undisputed Queen of Soul to Houston, the lovely Miss Aretha Franklin. Her majesty was escorted down the aisle by her team, not so much to deter the fans from interacting with her royal highness, but rather to prevent the sexagenarian singer from tripping on her long, flowy gown.
Photos by Marc Brubaker
A full blues orchestra filled the air with tight horns and funky rhythm, adding to the joyous atmosphere of the already light-hearted crowd. As Miss Franklin took the microphone, she waved to her fans and blew them kisses, eliciting cheers of "We Love You, Aretha" all around. She is a living legend, with a voice and personality to match, equal parts refined lady and take-no-prisoners diva.
Her new album, titled A Woman Falling Out of Love, was released earlier this year and is available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores. The Memphis born, Detroit raised Franklin is celebrating fifty years in the business. She was also recently featured on Tony Bennett's "Duets II" album.
Aretha began the night with "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher", which flowed right into her classic hit "Think." Aftermath was instantly transported to that diner in Chicago alongside Jake, Elwood, and Matt "Guitar" Murphy, with Aretha giving us a stern finger point, lips pursed, with the other hand at her hip. In other words, we can finally mark that fantasy off our bucket list.
The audience began to dance in their seats and in the aisles, cutting loose and making new friends with their neighbors. Our favorite audience member was the older lady who walked into the venue on crutches, but due to the magical powers of music, she was instantly healed and got funky in no time.
Now, this member of Aftermath has never been one to bitch about the sound man at a show, but when the artist onstage yells at you to "get it together", something has to be said about it. The feedback was intolerable at times, causing Aretha to exclaim "People paid too much money for this!" and even "You don't want all of us to jump down in that pit now!" The problems were fixed promptly, and the show carried on.