Music Review: What’s Love Got To Do With It, Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Image Source: Rhodes Media

Format: Music Show
Genre: Rock ‘n’ Roll
Date: February 19 2019
Location: Empire Theatre, Liverpool

What’s Love Got To Do With It brought a truly authentic Tina Turner experience to Liverpool, a city renowned for its musical heritage.

The background of the stage showed three large pictures of Elesha Paul Moses, who performed in the role of Tina and had a very good likeness. The show opened with Steamy Windows, supported by the four backing singers and dancers, and with Tina performing all of the signature dance moves with the singers; this was followed by Private Dancer, featuring a good solo saxophone/guitar rendition. It seemed like the audience reactions were low to start off, although the audio was a little hard to hear at the beginning.

Let’s Stay Together was the highlight of the next section of the show; this is where the show really started to come into its own, both through Elesha’s performance as Tina and also the excellent effort given by the backing crew. Show Some Respect and Boney Maroney featured highly energetic dance routines, while In The Midnight Hour and I Don’t Wanna Lose You were both very good interpretations. The band section were strong and lively, and the first half ended with We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) from Mad Max, and as such, this rendition included appropriate costumes and Tina changing her look to resemble Auntie Entity, her character in the movie.

As noted, it strangely felt like the atmosphere was somewhat subdued at this point, partly because some attendees nearby continuously talked throughout which proved to be very distracting (not to mention that certain people continuously filmed the performance despite repeated reminders not to do so). But the second half captured people’s attentions a lot more, beginning with dramatic lighting, and with Tina and her backing singers sat on stools performing I Can’t Stand The Rain. It was particularly fun when the dancers tried to copy Tina’s trademark moves, and the audience were really enjoying themselves at this point and were clapping along. Jumping Jack Flash and It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll were followed by Better Be Good To Me, before we came to Goldeneye, a tune from a vintage James Bond movie supported by the singers sporting fancy Bond-esque costumes.

Next, we had the iconic What’s Love Got To Do With It, which was the highlight of the evening as it had the audience up and singing along. Audience interaction was a little less than expected, but the crowd definitely enjoyed joining in with songs like this. When The Heartache Is Over was a great solo performance, as was Whatever You Want. River Deep Mountain High also had everyone up dancing in what was a largely female audience. Simply The Best received the expected reaction, accompanied by a strong saxophone accompaniment. Nutbush City Limits was very good, with energetic dance routines, and the finale was Proud Mary, which again had everyone up and dancing.

This was a very good, professional show that was busy and entertaining, more so in the second half. Elesha Paul Moses did a more than adequate job in the high-pressure role of Tina Turner, while the showband was good and the backing singers and dancers worked very hard and were excellent. On a personal note, those sat nearby ended up hindering the experience because they were talking so loudly and so often. That aside, What’s Love Got To Do With It was the ideal show for any Tina Turner fans; if you like Tina, you will definitely enjoy this.

Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good