By Ben – Today marks the fourth anniversary of Tina Turner‘s last concert ever – May 5, 2009 in Sheffield, England. The show marked the end of her 6-month, 90-date, 50th Anniversary Tour. The tour was Tina’s first tour in 8 years, and saw her playing in sold-out arenas across Europe and North America. The last show featured some very special moments, in this post recalled by some fans who were fortunate to have attended this historical evening.
Tina is not the person for nostalgia. Therefore, her final concert wasn’t a special event with guest stars in a historic location, but rather a ‘business as usual’-show on a weekday in Sheffield. The show was actually postponed from March, when Tina fell ill with the flu. However, in many ways the show was ‘special’. Tina was all smiles during the evening. During ‘The Best’, the whole arena was lit in colorful lights, distributed to the fans before the shows. During the band introductions, Tina’s ninja performed a special strip act, and local girl Clare (dance captain) was honored by Tina. And while for the star evening, the relief that the grueling tour was brought to a good end probably dominated the sadness of the end, it was an overall emotional evening. Laurel and Angelique who were present that night, about their experiences.
Angelique: “I was there on the twelfth of March, the original date of her concert. She had to postpone that concert because of the flu. When I heard the news about the postponement I was sad. But, as Ingrid said: ‘when you’re ill, you’re ill!’. I was happy though to find out that I could be at her second attempt in Sheffield, and even better: I would be at her final show!”
Laurel: “Tina’s Sheffield concert was amazing in more ways than I can count. To be privileged enough to see Tina’s ‘last’ concert would have been more than I could have dreamed of. But to be there with some of the most awesome people in the world AND sitting right on the front row, was almost overwhelming.”
Angelique: “From the beginning of the concert until her last words on stage; it is almost impossible to describe what you feel. It sure was the grand finale, in every way. Hearing Tina say the words ‘it’s closing night’. The torchlights during The Best, which were a surprise for Tina, she seemed really touched. Justice tearing his shirt apart on stage. The special attention for Clare Turton, with the show taking place in her hometown. And me catching Ninja Philip’s ‘security-cap’.”
Laurel: “One part of the show that stands out in my mind was when she sang Happy Birthday to Justice and he did his little striptease by taking off his shirt. I think he surprised all of us with that one! Elle and I brought hundreds of ‘Thank You’ signs to be held up at a certain time. Everybody on stage, including Tina, really seemed to love them. Also, the flashlights that were handed out as we walked in were fun – another surprise for Tina and even the band and the girls!”
Laurel: “I wasn’t looking forward to the end of the concert; it is always hard to say goodbye to so many wonderful friends from all over the world. I had done this once before at her ‘final’ concert in Anaheim (in 2000), but somehow this time Tina seemed more determined to retire than before. Throughout the entire concert I was wishing I could have shared every moment with every single friend/fan who wasn’t able to be there. I have beautiful memories to last a lifetime. To this day I still grin from ear to ear when I think back at that ‘supah’ night!”
Angelique: “When you know the end of the show is there; to hear Tina sing ‘Nutbush – no more times’ and the last song Be Tender With Me, Baby; it made me a little emotional, but happy too. Happy, because I had the opportunity to see Tina so many times. I can truly say from the bottom of my heart that I am really happy that, because of Tina, I have met so many people, who now are my friends. And this last tour, not only Sheffield, is one, marked by memories I will never forget.”
Video: highlights from the final show
Special thanks to Angelique, Marcin and Laurel for the reviews, photos and videos.