Sep 25, 2011

Fort Worth Zoo Concert or, A Taste of Motown

This is the madness of the bar the customer never sees!
I had a bartending shift through one of my catering companies to work an event at the Fort Worth Zoo yesterday. After several events of just serving beer and wine, the prospect of working a "full" bar was exciting. It didn't hurt that Diana Ross was scheduled to perform for the 500+ people attending the event. After getting my bar assignment and setting it up, the zoo fed us and then we waited for the onslaught to being.

Sultans of Swing rocking out
The opening act was a group called Sultans of Swing. They did some jazz standards to warm up the crowd before Diana Ross hit the stage. It turns out they are all from the East Coast. I heard one of them say "entire start," (pronounced "en-tie-yah staht"). My ears perked up. I recognize a Boston Accent anywhere. We spoke for a bit and I learned that the group is from different places in New England. They were happy to meet another East Coaster in Texas. Around 10 p.m., The Queen of Motown hit the stage and the the crows went wild, including us, bartenders.
The Queen of Motown 
 The crew I was with was stationed at a bar close to the stage. That was both a blessing and a curse. For a fair amount of time, our bar was empty, the clientele consisting of waitstaff asking us to make drinks for the people at their tables. But when Ms. Ross took the stage, we were ambushed with people asking for drinks, and generally hanging out near the stage. I was looking forward to seeing the hair. Ms. Ross did not disappoint! Sure, it wasn't as crazy-large as I'd seen in old photos but it was in full effect as she strutted across the stage, belting out classic Motown songs, that I had forgotten that I knew.
Second Costume change...
 The best part of her performance was the fact that she had four costume changes throughout the hour-long set. Each outfit was more shiny than the last. She engaged the audience by giving them the mic and letting them sing famous choruses. Her band was great too. Their instrumentation was phenomenal. I was able to quickly recognize the songs and begin singing along with her. Not only did Diana Ross sing her songs, she also sang Gloria Gaynor's "I will survive" and "Ease on Down the Road" from the Wiz.
...Fourth costume change!

 In honor of Ms. Diana Ross, I concocted a fruity and sweet drink called a "Divalicious." Vodka, cranberry juice, lemonade and a splash of triple sec, it went over famously. The event ended late and afterward, I went to eat an early breakfast with a fellow bartender at the Ol' South Pancake House. The only drawback to the evening was that it didn't tip out as well as I thought it would considering the surroundings. But, it was still a great time. See a certified music icon/diva. Checked off my bucket list!

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