When I was growing up in the 1980’s, I don’t believe anyone fit the bill of America’s sweetheart more than Debbie Gibson. The Long Island native broke on to the scene with her debut album ‘Out of the Blue’ in 1987. That album sold over five million copies and her second album ‘Electric Youth’ sold over 2 million albums worldwide. With this immediate success this put her into superstar status. Let’s fast forward 35 years to what she is doing currently. In 2020, she just released her 10th studio effort titled “The Body Remembers.” This tour is in support of that album. Also, this is her first appearance in the WNY are since she opened up for New Kids on the Block back in 2019.
Gibson came out and went right into the first single off of ‘The Body Remembers album in “One Step Closer.” She was all smiles and was dressed in a black and gold outfit with thigh high black go go boots. She was accompanied by 2 backup vocalists, two backup dancers, a percussionist, drummer and the co-producer of her last 2 studio albums Sean Thomas on bass and guitar. Also included on stage were 6 people who purchased special VIP stage access for the show. What a thrill for a fan to do be able to do this. Gibson interacted with those VIP’s throughout the set. She partially performed ZZ Top’s classic track “Legs” on guitar. She did poke fun at herself for not having guitar strap. It was the first night of the tour and a few hiccups like this were present. Nothing that Gibson couldn’t overcome though. Not only did she perform on the guitar but she did a few tracks behind the piano as well. “Foolish Beat” was the first track she played behind the ivories.
She did quite a few rearrangements of songs in her set. The first was with Portugal. The Man’s cover of “Kicks” mixed in with her song “Electric Youth.” I actually enjoyed this creation and spin on these two great songs. She took the fans back to the late 80’s and performed a medley of her classic songs “Out of the Blue,” “Shake Your Love” and “Only in my Dreams” with her band in what she called a “slumber party.” This is where a mattress was placed center stage and everyone dressed in their respective PJ’s. Gibson did a few outfit changes and those times were filled by her dancers taking over the mic and entertaining the crowd with some fun short stories. When she returned this time, she was wearing an eye popping skin tight black bodysuit to perform a medley of Abba hit songs. Gibson played “Lost in Your Eyes” while the actual video of the song played at the same time. She talked about her mother passing away a year ago and remembered the last holiday season with her. She dedicated the song “Cheers’ to her memory. Also, during that song she made her way through the crowd to sing it giving the audience an up close and personal experience with her. Gibson talked about her song “Legendary” and said that this song she wrote can be dedicated for the recent passing of Tina Turner. Images were shown on the screen of Turner while Gibson sang the song on the piano.
This show was very entertaining. Gibson still has a solid voice and the way she interacts with the crowd is really second to none. Very few performers can pull off what she does and she still looking fantastic while doing it. For this being my first full on show of hers, I can easily say “Cheers” to her for putting on such a wonderful performance!
One Step Closer
Legs (ZZ Top cover)
Electric Youth/Kicks – Portugal. The Man cover (mashup)
The Body Remembers
Out of the Blue/Shake Your Love/Only in my Dreams
Girls Night Out
Mama Mia/Fernando/Take a Chance on Me/Money, Money, Money/Knowing Me, Knowing You/Winner Takes It All/Super Trouper/Thank You for the Music/Mama Mia/Dancing Queen -(all snippets and Abba covers)
Lost in Your Eyes
Legendary (Tina Turner cover)
Love Don’t Care
Dance 4 U
What Are We Going to Do?
We Could be Together
We would like to thank Phil Pantano from Pantano & Associates for the credentials to review the show.