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1987 concert review from WSU: Tina Turner shakes it and sings it, with soul

By Allyssa Dotson, The Spokesman-Review
Published: May 25, 2023, 7:30am

Editor’s note: This review of a Tina Turner concert at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman originally appeared in The Spokesman-Review on Dec. 16, 1987.

From the first shaky-leg prance to the last raspy-voiced lyric, Tina Turner pretty much had her way with the audience in Pullman Tuesday night.

As she would down her long “Breaking Every Rule” tour, Turner shook up about 4,700 people at the Beasley Coliseum, without really breaking any of the rules she began establishing three years ago.

You might have had to be a real fan to appreciate that much Tina Turner, but the diverse crowd was full of them. The different ages, looks, and dress reflected her wide popularity, and in fact the only common thread might have been a couple hundred Turner-esque leather miniskirts.

There were no surprises in the dynamic act she revitalized in 1984: belt out some songs, dance like mad, change clothes a lot, and don’t leave until the crowd does.

She churned out hits from both 1984’s “Private Dancer” and this year’s “Breaking Every Rule.”

She was best on the faster stuff, like “Show Some Respect” and “It’s Only Love.” She even pulled a few songs out of her past — although a jazzed-up “Proud Mary” sounded like it was coming from a lounge somewhere.

But her distinctive voice — husky, nasal, and sexy — never wavered, as she strutted and sang through nearly two hours of music.

Her energy even carried the obligatory concert digressions, like introducing her eight-piece band, or getting the crowd to join her in singing “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (“Come on guys, you ought to be good at it, you’ve been saying it all your lives.”)

It took five encores to finally drive her from the stage, kicking and screaming, just like she had entered it.

Level 42 opened the show with a clean 45 minutes of music from their hit “Running in the Family” album.

At their best, the six-piece band was soulful and melodic, at their worst, a bit repetitious.