Now that soul music is dead, what's Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin to do? For two sold-out shows at Constitution Hall Saturday night, Franklin borrowed B.B. King's blues, Kenny Loggins' pop and even a little gospel for a program that gave second stage to what she still does best.
In between her latest pop ventures, Franklin wedged four of her best soul hits into the show. But two of them, "Chain of Fool" and "You Send Me" were light R&B versions of those soul-stirring classics of the '60s and '70s. wFortunately, Franklin poured more of her heart and voice into "Ain't no Way" and "Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing," in which she hit and held the high notes strong enough and long enough to bring the audience to its feet several times.
In an impromptu program change, Franklin left center stage for the piano and told the orchestra to play "Amazing Grace," a Negro spiritual. Her wailings and musical moanings with that song ("You don't mind if I moan a little. Mmm. Mmm. Sure sounds good to me") closed the show, and left her audience with a different kind of feeling of soul.