As Patti LaBelle took the stage in the Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars Atlantic City on Friday evening, January 10, 2014 for the first of two shows the entire audience, not surprisingly rose to their feet in applause. Sashaying across the stage to her opening song, "New Attitude," Patti LaBelle who is touted as one of the last original divas showed the audience what talent looks and sounds like.
For a woman whose outfits pre-dated those of GaGa's by forty years, LaBelle looked wonderful and exuded an aura of energy. With fifty-two years as a performer, LaBelle opened her song book for the evening with staples including , "If You Asked Me To," and "If Only You Knew."At the end of the third song, anyone who have ever doubted that LaBelle may be the best singer around were quickly squashed as this woman knows how to sing and perform.
Backed by her extremely talented band and energetic back-up singers, LaBelle reminded the audience while introducing both "If You Asked Me To" and "Love, Need and Want You" that "I did it first," referring to Celine Dion's cover of "If You Asked Me To."
Spotting a man sitting near the front in the audience, LaBelle walked to stage front and began to speak to him while smiling. Finding out the gentleman was ninety-four, LaBelle being the consummate performer pointed to him and said, “Once I kick these heels off, I am coming down to see you,” invoking an uproarious round of applause and laughter. The hardcore LaBelle fans who were in attendance, as if this audience needed any kind of reminder, spent much of their time getting to their feet numerous times for standing ovations and to dance.
The only three props on stage were a winged chair, a mirror and several pairs of her trademark heels that sat on the piano. At one point she lifted the mirror and laughingly said, “I am using this to stall for time” and then with a gracious motion, gently sat herself down on the winged chair. Displaying much comfort on stage she never forces her theatrics, even though she has done them thousands of times.
As if the audience knew in advance when LaBelle indicated, “Lady Marmalade,” her 1975 hit and a trade mark with her audiences, they went wild. It seems they all were aware that this is an audience participation song and they were ready to expand the fun even further, which they did with enthusiasm.
LaBelle possesses the vocal range of a soprano. Due to her musical legacy and influence, she has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Apollo Hall of Fame and the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. The World Music Awards presented her with the prestigious Legend Award. LaBelle has sold over 50 million records worldwide, all of which she earned and are unequivocally deserved.