With a career that spans more than four decades, it’s safe to say that Olivia Newton-John has pretty much done it all. In addition to having sold more than 100 million records worldwide to go along with her four Grammy awards, she's danced with Gene Kelly, is an outspoken humanitarian and was even awarded the Order of The British Empire by Queen Elizabeth.
Then of course, there’s that little film and soundtrack from 1978, Grease, that made her a worldwide sensation.
Although it had been more than ten years since Newton-John graced the stage of Easton PA’s historic State Theatre, the beautiful singer quickly made up for lost time. Taking the stage to the sound of her #1 hit, “Magic” from the 1980 Xanadu soundtrack, Newton-John would spend the next ninety-minutes giving a musical and visual perspective of her life and career.
With her unique vocal and trademark, innocent smile, Newton-John serenaded the audience with songs like “Have You Ever Been Mellow,” “Let Me Be There,” and “Physical” (a song that spent nearly 3 months at #1 back in 1981) as well as several medleys that included “Make A Move On Me,” “Twist of Fate” and her tasty, country-fueled cover of Dolly Parton’s, “Jolene”.
Newton-John also reflected on subjects dear to her heart in her performance, including “The Promise (The Dolphin Song)” and “Don’t Cut Me Down”, as well as the beautiful “Grace and Gratitude” – a track the singer says has become her personal theme song.
Of course, Newton-John also touched upon her music and role as Sandy Olsson in "Grease." Songs like “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” “Summer Nights” and “We Go Together” sounded just as fresh and wonderful as they did nearly four decades ago. Even her duet and accompanying dance moves with backup vocalist, Steve Real (in the role of “Danny Zuko”) on “You’re the One That I Want” was fun and inspired. Preceded by a video montage of various cover versions –including one by a speed metal band, the song conjured up feel good memories of days gone by.
Kudos has to go to Mr. Dane Bryant, Newton-John's musical director and keyboardist, for putting together an arsenal of amazingly talented players and a song selection that was musically satisfying.
After leaving the stage for a quick wardrobe change, Newton-John returned for her encore, “I Honestly Love You” and delivered it with powerful emotion.
“I was lucky enough to find this song early on in my career,” Newton-John told the capacity crowd. “So I’ve had a lot of time to sing it and I never get tired of it.”
Based on the enthusiastic, standing ovation she received after her performance was over I'm sure the same could be said for how the audience felt about Olivia Newton-John.
Olivia Newton John Set List (Easton, PA)
Deeper Than The Night
Make a Move on Me / A Little More Love / Twist of Fate
Have You Ever Been Mellow
Please, Mr. Please (Bruce Welch cover)
Jolene (Dolly Parton cover)
Let Me Be There
The Promise (The Dolphin Song)
Don’t Cut Me Down
Not Gonna Give Into It
You’re the One that I Want
Hopelessly Devoted To You
We Go Together
Grace and Gratitude
I Honestly Love You