Friday, November 11, 2011

On the Road with Manilow-Dallas

This was a special show because it was the first time that my daughter and I had been to see Barry together. We got great fan club seats on the floor on the 4th row right in dead center. It put us smack dab in the middle of the fans (which is where my daughter wanted to be) to experience the human theater. Turns out, the seats and the show did not disappoint.

A little too much wine at dinner, and we were ready to ROCK the house at the American Airlines arena! Since this was her first concert and the first time she has ever sat that close to the stage, she was pumped. She chatted with the ticket takers, those selling the programs; she commented on the "tacky" shirts they were selling (she was not a fan of the picture on the tour shirt--I have to agree with her on that one), and she laughed and joked with a middle aged gentleman selling beer. He asked her if she was a fan and she said, yes, but that I was the "real" fan and she fully expected me to act "crazy" during the concert. He pulled her aside and told her that she should enjoy it with me and that it was 90 minutes in my life of pure joy (he got that right) and she should be happy she got to see me experience it.

When we found our seats she started mingling with the fans all around us. She wanted to know how many shows they had seen, had they been to Vegas, how long they had been fans. Then she started asking them about the Barrynet and if they were familiar with the "leather gang". She told them all it was better than a soap opera (again, she was right). I was cracking up. It was one of those priceless monumental memories that I will never forget.

The music began and then the infamous "right here, right now" started. It was amazing watching the show through my daughter's expressions and excitement. When he walked out on stage I, of course, became ecstatic. She started laughing and smiling and gave me a huge hug. He began with his usual It's a Miracle medley. I never get tired of hearing him sing those songs. And it was great for my daughter because she knew every one of them and was enjoying it immensely.

Hearing The Old Songs in its entirety was special and as always the full version of Could It Be Magic with the orchestra and the light show that goes along with it makes it even more magical. There were so many great moments in the show, but for me there were several that stood out and made this show unforgettable. The next moment was his powerful rendition of Weekend in New England. I have never seen him sing that song with so much emotion. His arms were actually up in the air in between notes and he lifted off the piano seat. At the end of the song he was so overcome with emotion that he sat there for a few seconds with his head in his hands, then he stood up, yanked off his tie and threw it across the piano. He crawled so deep into that song that his heart came out on to his sleeve. This was definitely the highlight of the evening.

He then began to play All the Time and this song always gets to me. When he sings this song, it seems like he's actually acknowledging how much he felt that way and how he knows there are so many of us out there that feel the same.

When he began Brooklyn Blues I was hoping that Brian Culbertson would join him on stage. Since I had the privilege of seeing Dave Koz play that song with him in NYC there was nothing that compared to it until that night. Brian on his trombone and his saxophone player blew me away when they joined Barry on stage for that song. The amount of talent up on that stage experiencing the jazz of it all made me realize that music truly is one of the few things in our lives that can move us to tears and give us such joy.

When Can’t Smile Without You started my daughter started to tear up. She actually had to leave the arena because the song reminded her of her grandfather who had recently passed away. Someone once said that is a sad song and that night, it was sad for her. I didn’t know how sad until we talked about it later on the way home. You just never know which song is going to move you and why.

The show ended too soon with the encore of Old Friends (who's like us..damn few) and Forever and a Day (didn't we show them, weren't they blown away) and I never get tired of seeing him sing those two songs live and experiencing the true gratitude and emotion he has about his fans. The expressions on his face during both those songs say it all and when you are lucky enough to be a part of it, it just doesn't get any better than that.

So it was a night to remember. A mother/daughter moment. A Manilow moment. Some great memories captured on film. And then the Shadowman was gone. As Barry says, "what a life!"

Basking in the memories of Dallas,

Texas Fan

Coming soon--The Revolving Door

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