While her peers from the '70s have retired or died or settled for peddling nostalgia, Summer remains not only popular enough to play two nights at the Bowl, but also has the confidence to spend half her night on songs from her new album instead of simply packing her set with hits from 30 years ago.
The show balanced old hits – "I Feel Love," which practically invented electronic dance music way back in 1977, followed the opener, and then came another classic, "Dim All the Lights" – with new songs from her first album of new material since 1991.
"It is 17 years since I've had a studio album out," Summer announced before introducing "I'm a Fire," a new tune that nonetheless had a strong '70s dance vibe.
"I was raising kids," she joked. "There's only so much a woman can do."
The first half of the show focused more on the new material, from the romantic ballad "Sand on My Feet" to the reggae-tinged "Crayons," the title track from her new CD.
Her voice might not have all the purity it did three decades ago, but it remains a powerful and passionate instrument, swooping and soaring – and "MacArthur Park," with its different movements, gave her plenty of room to shine.
It also led to a sweet diva moment. As the biggest applause and cheers of the night caused Summer to dab at her eyes, she told the crowd, "Don't make me cry, c'mon!" which only brought louder cheers for the singer to bask in.
After a few more new songs – the dance-rock "Stamp Your Feet," the bluesy "Slide Over Backwards," both showing off different colors in her musical palette – the show built to the finale for which everyone had been waiting.
"She Works Hard for the Money" got the dancing into high gear again. Then "Bad Girls," with its catchy chorus, flowed straight into "Hot Stuff," performed here in a faster, harder-rocking style.
Just as "The Queen Is Back" served as the perfect opener, there was never any doubt what would wrap up the night, and from the opening chords of "Last Dance," a huge cheer went up and nearly everyone in this audience of more than 14,000 rose to their feet.
As Summer sang it, you could see the joy in her face.
Looking at fans filtering out of the amphitheater once that last dance was over, it was clear the feeling was shared.
It sure was fun to eat, drink, and "dance the night away", but boy - were my legs tired! Here are a couple of video clips from that night: