11 February 2008

Music & Passion: An Evening with Barry Manilow

Okay, you can make fun of me. Yes. I went to see Barry Manilow. And what's more, I enjoyed it. It was kitchy and sweet and fun all at the same time.

Travelzoo had a rare announcement about a Barry Manilow concert at the Verizon Center in DC where tickets in the nosebleed sections were going for $9.99! Now you can't see a local, no-name band for that price much less someone who is world famous. I thought, "Why not?"

So I bought nosebleed seat tickets--section 404 which is in the highest tier--and looked forward to an evening of live music for very little money, even if we couldn't see a thing.

When we got to the Verizon Center, they handed us Manilow glowsticks so we could swing them back and forth with the music (!) and the entire crowd sure did. See the green dots in the picture above? Glowsticks.

They scanned our tickets, and said "Congratulations! You've been upgraded!" Because of the set up for the evening, we would have been in obstructed view, so they automatically gave us better seats: we were moved from the 400s to the 200s which is the first tier beyond the floor.

We got ourselves some drinks at the Bacardi bar and headed in and were delighted with our seats which gave us a great side view and wonderful sound. Plus, we had a pretty good view of one of the jumbotrons.

The opening act was a light jazz band that was good.

The man/the myth/the legend himself was everything you'd imagine him to be... shmaltzy and heartfelt and grateful to be in front of a crowd.

Check out the picture above. Is it my imagination, or does he look more and more like Clay Aiken?

Hearing all those old songs really took me back to my teen years.

Come on, admit it, you know most of these, too, don't you? You'd be surprised how quickly the lyrics come back to you when you hear them.

New York City Rhythm
This One's For You
Can't Smile Without You
Ready to Take a Chance Again (yes, the theme from "Foul Play")
Bandstand Boogie (yes, the American Bandstand song)
Weekend in New England
Looks Like We Made It
I Write the Songs
All the Time
I Made it Through the Rain
It's a Miracle
The Old Songs

and so much more. Lots of fun. :) Even without performing the jingles, it was an amazing repertoire. This tour is the precursor to his new gig at the Vegas Hilton and his band/orchestra is pretty dang impressive, too.

It's true, I went in with low expectations but I was really pleased to see that Barry is still in good form, musically and otherwise, and puts on a good show. Good for him! And good for us. :)


Anonymous said...

Was there an opening act? If so, who was it? I'm going to the show tonight in Dallas, and really looking forward to it.

lacochran said...

Brian Culbertson and his band (a light jazz sound with very impressive keyboards, horns, etc.) was the opening act. Hope you enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Would you know about what time Barry actually got on stage? The show time started 8 pm. Brian Culbertson played for 30 minutes. Did Barry go on at around 8:30 pm? Need to know for babysitting purposes. Thanks!!

lacochran said...

Sounds about right but I don't remember exactly anymore.

Anonymous said...

When he appeared at the o2 in London the stand up was a comedian called Bobby Davro.

I enjoyed the show, even though it cost plenty for the tickets and hotel etc.

Yes, I am a Fanalow