There’s nothing worse than needing the loo an hour into a show, and having to stand there like a lemon, crossing your legs. The first half of Tina’s show closes with ‘we don’t need another hero..’, and “pyro” – dangerous stuff mere mortals don’t understand.
The pyrotechnic boys are clothed in mystery, emitting lethal-sounding bangs and producing propane flames on stage. The fire looks so impressive that I sometimes wonder if I’ve forgotten to turn off the iron backstage. Blimey, the bangs are noisy tonight; pyro was banned at our Austrian show for this reason.
The second half opens with some great footage of Tina Turner with Jagger, Bowie, Phil Collins, Clapton etc. She’s done it all. And I’d forgotten she was in the Mad Max Thunderdome film. An upbeat version of ‘I can’t stand the rain’ kicks off with some funky keyboard. The crowd roar when they realise the song. The tenor sax player, Euge Groove, goes off the stave with harmonics. Man, can he bite that reed.
While snow falls outside Antwerp’s Sportpaleis Arena, the show inside is rocking. The dancers are out again, more than rivalling Rod Stewart’s on-stage display a couple of years back. Is this tantric sex, I wonder? After three weeks staring at saucy dancers, do I need to spend the next month begging?
Tina holds her own against them, though, with fantastic legs still. Anybody want to hazard a guess at her age?
There is a discrepancy on tour, estimates ranging from 69 to 73. Assuming it was known accurately on the last tour, the older truck drivers are plumping toward the latter figure. Regardless, she is incredible. She must be: I’ve toured with dozens of stars, and this remains the only act that I’ve ever watched more than once.
The big finish is bopping in stilettos on an extending walkway fifteen feet above the audience. This moving, hydraulic platform is about 45 feet long – it looks the length of a truck trailer – and only a few feet wide.
As Tina belts out “Nutbush” to an adoring crowd, the tour manager must be having heart palpitations. With spotlights in her eyes, it would be so easy to fall. It’s only rock n roll but I like it, I think..