Review: You're Looking Swell, Dolly
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR, World Scene Writer
Saturday, October 08, 2011
10/10/11 at 12:42 PM
Country music queen Dolly Parton was spangled and pulled and poufed and as popular as she’s ever been at her Saturday tour stop at the BOK. Her spunky-sweet, no-nonsense musical blend of pomp and purpose wooed her fans for two-plus hours.
“Hello, Tulsa!” she yelled to a crowd already on its feet, swinging a fiddle in her left hand, bow in her right. A sun rose on a screen behind her and her ringed, sequined green and golden dress gleamed as she took the stage.
“I am so glad to be back Tulsa, I always love being here,” the chatty superstar said. She shared stories of her 12-child family, growing up poor, long-lost friends and family and her “Coat of Many Colors.”
Parton powered through a set that included songs “Shine Like The Sun,” “Baby, I’m Burning,” “My Tennessee Mountain Home,” “Precious Memories,” “Smokey Mountain Memories,” “Better Day,” “Together You and I,” “He’s Everything,” “White Limozeen,” “Two Doors Down,” “Backwoods Barbie,” “Here You Come Again,” “9 to 5,” “I Will Always Love You” and more.
Her fans, who filled the lower portion of the arena, chanted and clapped to an up-tempo version of “Rocky Top.” Her 10-member backing band wove in and out of the tune, banjoes a-dueling, as she segued into a yodel-filled solo.
The iconic singer, now in her 60s, eschewed a mic stand for a wireless ear-mounted piece to give her more freedom to move onstage. It muddied her vocals a bit, but not her spirit. As her set progressed, she changed instruments more than most women country stars change outfits. She went from fiddle to acoustic guitar to banjo, saxophone, piano, autoharp, recorder and electric guitar then back again.
No genre was off-limits. Her popular take on rock act Collective Soul’s “Shine” took on a gospel hue before it blended into classic rocker Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”
In her set was an eclectic blend of covers: “Walking On Sunshine” by Katina and the Waves, “Help” by The Beatles, “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield and others.
She joked, “Thank you for paying good money to see me tonight, especially in this economic climate. You do what you wanna do. Clap if you wanna clap, sing if you wanna sing, go ahead. You know I could use the money. It takes a fortune to look this cheap.”
Laughter and cheers erupted from the audience.
“That’s the biggest truth I ever told and you know it!”
Dolly Parton performs at the BOK Center Saturday night. The country singer is touring to promote her new album, "Better Day." JEFF LAUTENBERGER/ Tulsa World