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Friday, August 27, 2010


Home again from Sin City, and I'm not going to miss the 107-degree weather, nor all of the gassy people flying on Southwest, for that matter.  The real news however, is that unbelievably, I actually saw Barry Manilow in concert. Regular readers will know that my tastes run primarily in the symphonic works and progressive rock realms, so my attendance at the Manilow show may be something of a surprise.  It was for me as well- Susan's Dad bought her the tickets as a gift.  Now, I have nothing against Barry Manilow.  From years of sitting in my Mom's car as a lttle kid while she ran errands, I know all of his classics from AM radio.  (I also know Bread, The Association and Simon and Garfunkel as well, which generally for me is not a good thing as the damn songs pop into my head when I have insomnia.  That and "Skyrockets in Flight, Afternoon Delight." Luckily my Mom discovered broadway show soundtracks after I was old enough to stay home on my own.  Still, that one Simon and Garfunkel tune makes me glad we have an electric oven so I don't follow the song's example one sleepless night- and maybe Richard Cory was listening to Melanie when he shot himself).  Anyway, like I said, Barry Manilow is a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn, and I wish him no ill.  In fact, there were a few very nice highlights to his show, even for the non-fan.  He plays a lot of nostalgia into the performance, and cracks a lot of jokes at his own expense ("as long as there are elevators and teeth, my songs will be famous," he quipped at one point), which was very endearing.  He played a piano duet with a video of himself from American Bandstand that was very good, and his cover of Cole's "Nature Boy" was excellent.  All throughout, the 50 somethings in the crowd went nuts- but this brings me to my biggest complaint about the show, one you won't believe.  It was way, way too LOUD.  I couldn't believe it.  The Yes show I saw at Townhall this past winter was no where near as loud (although in Barry's defense there was WAY more pot smoke at the Yes show, in fact I was so fuzzy from second-hand smoke, Susan started to resemble Cheech Marin to me by the time they finished playing "Starship Troopers.")  Seriously though, the monitors were way too hot in the midrange, which made all of the backups and the alto and trumpet very shrill, which was compounded by the volume.  I was quite surprised.  At one point I would have liked to have pointed out to all of the adoring ladies (?) in the crowd that they were being somewhat hypocritical had they ever lectured their own children about "turning down that racket."  But then, maybe the volume was up at the show so they could hear it at all. . .  bottom line, whether I appreciate him or not, Barry is an American Icon, and for the faithful, he did not disappoint.  It was a Vegas show through and through.  Tonight I'm going to try to post again- but this time about the 2 month old kitten who has co-opted our listening room. . .


  1. please say it ain't so! the only association i really have with barry m's music is ronnie dancing in his underwear to it!

  2. I do not know any large men named Ronald who earned an advanced degree from a certain SUNY school with a proclivity to dance in his underwear. No idea what you are writing about.