Friday, July 31, 2009

Mayflower and Mishaps

I was back in the Hilton Theater after months and I have to say I've missed the guy. He's just got "it" and never ceases to surprise me with his showmanship and his ability to roll with the punches. And tonight's show was filled with tons of punches. It was a night of Mayflower and mishaps.

I sat in the balcony tonight and I have to say believe it or not I loved it. Firstly because you could actually enjoy the show without screaming maniacs sitting next to you, jumping up and down and yelling during the songs. And secondly because you really do get the full affect of the sets and the staging from that high up and far back. The opening is so much more effective when you can see it from the balcony. The silhouettes are more impressive and the visual affect of the musicians, the singer and the smoke is breathtaking.

As I hoped, Barry decided to give us a replay of the Mayflower segment from the convention shows. As he began to set the stage for the segment, people began to leave. He had already done several of his hits, included an amazing arrangement of "Trying to Get the Feeling" and "Even Now". He walked over to the left side of the stage and he said, "You're leaving? What's the matter? You want to hear Copa?" Then he began to ask the people to stay. People in the balcony begin filing out as well. He seemed incredibily frazzled by it all.

Then the Mayflower segment began and as he was attempting to sing "Not What You See" the keyboard began to malfunction. It was playing two notes when he pressed one key. He yelled out for Ron to help him out and the song was salvaged. He continued to stay in character however and pretend to play as he sang. An incredibly moving performance. Then came "The Night That Tito Played."

The keyboard was moved to the other side of the stage and when he began to play Sandra, the same thing happened. Keely could not hear the music and he said, "We can't do this song. Let's move on." When Ron again rescued him and he and Keely were able to finish Sandra.

After that, "Talk to Me" was absolutely breathtakingly done, and he finished with "Welcome Home" which made me cry, because that song has always meant so much to me. Then he moved on to "Mandy/Could It Be Magic" and did not sing "I Write the Songs". He ended with the usual Copa and the "It's a Miracle Reprise".

I couldn't help but feel the songs he wanted to sing were met by the audience with little enthusiasm. There was very little audience interaction except for a few handshakes on the front row. He stayed far away on both sides of the stage and kept trying to get the audience to participate in the music.

But for me, the show was a once in a lifetime moment. "Sandra" and "Talk to Me" made it special, culminating with "Welcome Home". I would have hated to be the one responsible for the keyboard mishap however. It ruined the flow of the show and noticeably disrupted the rhythm.

That's life however. You can't plan for those unexpected mishaps. The show, however, was about 70 minutes long.

That's my Manilow fix until October, if I'm lucky enough to squeeze him in the weekend of my daughter's wedding. think I could convince him to make an appearance and sing "When October Goes" (her favorite song)?

Here at the Mayflower, it's bedtime!
Texas Fan

Sunday, July 19, 2009

From the frying pan into the fire...

...and here I go.

What was the marketing/merchandising department for Starz thinking when they were all sitting around a table brainstorming about products? Did it go something like this:

Bob: I think we need some new merchandise in our online store.

June: I agree, maybe some sort of apparel other than shirts and jackets.

Will: I think I have an idea, let's start a lingerie line.

Bob: Sounds good to me. What are you thinking?

Will: Well. Since most of the Manilow fans are women, let's come up with something they would enjoy wearing.

June: I've got it! Let's introduce a thong!

Will: That's perfect. And if we put a "B" on it they will be sure to buy it.

Sally: Ummm....I may be going against the grain here but don't you think that's just a little tacky?

June: Tacky? No. I think they will ALL love it. What could be better? Wearing "B" next to their crotch.

Bob: I mean...seriously. Those crazy women that follow him around like a pack of dogs in heat will LOVE it.

Will: And here's another plus. Imagine those same fans throwing them up on the stage during a concert. Once that starts, everyone will want them.

June: You're right. And I have the perfect name. Let's call it a "B String"!

Sally: :::shaking head:::: (these people have LOST their minds)

I can't for the life of me figure out the reasoning behind that piece of merchandise. Although, I bet, like the life-size Barry's, they will fly off the shelves.

:::Shaking my head:::
Texas Fan

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another NEW Project for Barry Manilow?

Could it be? Here's an excerpt from the Gloucester Times:

Day continues to challenge himself musically. He just signed on to work on a musical with Barry Manilow to premiere in Las Vegas. Day and Manilow spend their time writing the music and the lyrics and building a coherent and conducive story.

"It is an exciting new project," says Day excitedly. "It is amazing for someone who has already accomplished so much to still have the hunger to further explore his art."

If you haven't heard of James Day here's some more information about this talented musician/composer:

His MySpace Page

A biography about him

A sampling of his music

Looking forward to the future and hearing more about this project,
Texas Fan

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

$15 T-Shirt Sale

If you've been waiting to snag that "Platinum Lady" tshirt, or "It's ALL About the Music" now is your chance. Select light colored shirts are on sale until July 16 for $15.00. Just click the picture to take you to the main link and search for you favorite design, find the shirt that's on sale for $15, click through to my shop and you've snagged yourself some savings.

I wanted to pass this one-time savings on to my loyal readers. Thanks for all your support!

Note: Every design has at least ONE discounted shirt. If you don't see it on the main page, just click that design and scroll through the shirt options until you find the discounted one.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

That Lovin' Feelin'

I was sitting at a car wash this afternoon, listening to a CD I had made of some of my favorite Manilow songs. I was annoyed because this jerk in front of me was taking what seemed like forever washing his car: prewash, presoak, wash, foam brush, tires, wax, rinse, final rinse. He must have used every setting on that darn control panel. Seriously, it's supposed to be a quick car wash and I was sitting in my car getting more and more annoyed. And then, that song came on. You know the one. The song that brings all those old memories flooding into your heart and mind. That song that makes you forget how annoyed you are because once you hear it, you can't stop smiling.

Today, it was "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" from the Greatest Songs of the Sixties. It seemed like an eternity ago that I first heard that song. I was sitting in an arena filled with fans waiting to see Barry for the first time since his hip surgery. We were all so excited about his return to the stage, not knowing what the show would be like or what songs he would sing. It was a magical night when he rolled out onto that stage in a wheelchair and the crowd was stunned. Leave it to Barry to make an entrance..."you wouldn't believe where I've been..." and his backup singers wheeling him all over the stage dressed in hospital attire. "It's a miracle..." and then he stands up! Wow. I was there for that.

And then, they were preselling the cd at the concert and although I had already ordered it I had to have it. I was taking a LONG train ride from Atlantic City to Boston and I was determined to listen to that CD. I didn't have a CD player with me so I purchased one (for a hefty price) at a Philadelphia train station. I plopped that sucker into that player and fell in love with the songs on that CD. But when it came to "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" I was in awe. His arrangement of that song had me mesmerized. I hit the repeat on my CD player and listened to it over and over again..the bridge..the crescendo...the "gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone..." ending. I can still remember that feeling..seeing him sing it live for the first time and then listening to the CD that next day.

That's the feeling. The Manilow feeling. That lovin' feelin' that came back...
Texas Fan

Friday, July 10, 2009

Congratulations YBA!

Another Fanilow is born! And I couldn't be happier for her Mommy. Congratulations to the entire family, Mom, Dad and big sister from me and all of us in the Manilow world.

God's blessings on The (newest) LF,
Texas Fan

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's been awhile...

...since I watched Barry perform. I have to admit that the pleasure of it had left me over the last few months, wrapped up in all the cancellation controversy and other fan drama from my last trip to Vegas. But last night, late, when I couldn't sleep because of an air conditioner malfunction, I turned on the replay of "A Capital 4th".

I still don't know what it is about this man that makes magic when he steps out on stage. But the minute I saw him and heard that music all those familiar feelings rushed through me. I can't even find the words to describe what it feels like. Those that have been there and felt it know what I'm talking about. There really isn't anything like it, it's sheer euphoria. How can you not smile when you hear It's a Miracle and see him own the stage like it's where he belongs? And then he goes into that familiar medley that I've heard so many times and all those memories flood back in of my first show, the shows I shared with friends, that one special birthday concert when magic happened that night. I will never forget hearing I Am Your Child live for the first time and Open Arms; dancing to Islands in the Stream and having so much fun that week of shows; sitting five feet away while he sang Are You Lonesome Tonight and knowing it was more than just a song; hearing Forever and a Day for the first time live and seeing the look on his face when he sang it.

It's amazing how all the good can wash away the bad and remind you that there really is a reason why "it's all about the music" and you can't ever lose those memories of good times, great shows, and once-in-a-lifetime moments that happen with friends.

And then there was Let Freedom Ring, which always spurs my heart to remember what it's like to hear that song right after September 11th in Boston and feel the surge of patriotism that it evokes for the freedom that so many have fought and died to protect. It's a goosebump moment when you hear it along with viewing the fireworks at the same time, followed by the 1812 overture. A rush unparalleled when you've witnessed it in person. It's made the 4th of July one of my favorite holiday celebrations.

All in all , it was "a helluva night" all around!

Still feeling the rush,
Texas Fan

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Fan Story--Back in the Day

Since I have only been a part of the Manilow world since 2006, I adore reading stories of the "good old days". Scotter's blog was always on my daily "to read" list when it was up. Since it's been gone, I miss reading those early press clippings, fan stories, and seeing those old photographs. These are things that get me excited. Times may have changed, but those memories remain. And those memories are an important part of Manilow history.

Last week I read a blog by Sue on the Manilow Music and Passion ning site. It got my heart pumping to see those old pictures and read about a fan encounter "back in the day". I wish more fans would share their stories. I know they aren't well received on some of the other fan sites, but Micks (the admin on Manilow Music and Passion) encourages any and all fan stories and I'm sure if more would like to post them we would ALL be ecstatic!

In the meantime, click here to read Sue's story and see her unique photographs.

Hoping to read more,
Texas Fan

P.S. Thanks Sue for posting the blog.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Arriving in D.C.

Barry Manilow lands in Washington DC airport all smiles

Barry Manilow landed at the airport in Washington DC, he signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans. He was all smiles and seemed very excited to be in town.
Pictured: Barry Manilow Picture by: Brandon Todd / Splash News

Always nice to hear that he's connecting with the fans,
Texas Fan

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