“Manilow Swoons His Way Into Your Soul At The Greek, Even At 70 Years Old!”
Written by Lorenzo Marchessi
The day before he turns 70 years old, on June 16th (his birthday is June 17th), in front of a crowd of thousands people, for the third night in a row, the man, the legend who said, “…I was the Justin Bieber of the 70’s…just ask your mom…”, Barry Manilow took the stage of The Greek Theatre in the Griffith Park area of Los Angeles. Once again he crooned his hits from every decade of his career spanning almost 40 years now and left the audience singing, cheering and dancing in the aisles and wanting more.
“I’ll keep coming as long as you are there…,” Barry says as he points to the sold out audience as a roaring cheer thunders loudly across the venue. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1943 and with over 45 albums to his credit, he sang the old songs and the new ones and what impressed me most was how funny and showman he can be. Humbling himself and with a little self-deprecation regarding his large nose over the years, Manilow knows exactly who he is and what people thinks of him, and he stills doesn’t stop because his fan base is global!
It was amazing hearing the live performance of such songs as “Even Now”, “Somewhere In The Night”, “New York City Rhythm”, “Trying To Get This Feeling Again”, ‘”This One’s For You”, “Brooklyn Blues”, “It’s A Miracle”, “I Am Your Child”, “The Old Songs”, Stay” and more. Even a Frankie Vali dual song “Let’s Hang On” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” which brought the house down.
He looked good for his 70 years of living and he had energy, he was moving and dancing around as he puts it, “…as best I can now that I’m old…”. He outfits were sharp and colorful and he just poured love back into he audience as much as he was getting it from them. Add colorful lights and stage effects with a state-of-the-art video feed – and you have a full blown musical concert extravaganza!
Fanilow’s were everywhere, of every age and of every color, from all over the world. Several times he encouraged everyone to sing along with him and even held out the microphone to capture the thousands of voices joining in to song’s like, “Can’t Smile Without You”, “Bandstand Boogie” and even “I Write The Songs”. No one missed a beat and everyone seemed to know all the words.
Of course there were the showstoppers and standing ovations for “Copacabana”, “Could It Be Magic”, “Weekend In New England”, “I Made It Through The Rain” and a version of “Mandy” where he sings with himself from a video clip from the 70’s of an old TV Show called ‘The Midnight Special’!
It was full of music and dance and with video and images of his past albums, looks and hairstyle’s, he Barry certainly new how to please an audience. Wonderful sound and clarity of the visuals just complimented the entire Manilow experience. He still has the singing chops and musical timing and boy can he tickle the ivory’s!
His last song was a solo, just outside the main curtain which had closed leaving the audience to believe the evening was over where he sang “Old Friends” from his ‘Showstopper’ album and the audience was in tears. Then BANG, into “Could It Be Magic” a pop, hip-hop, rockin’ style version of it! Then he said goodbye for the second and final time!
If you have never seen Barry Manilow, or heard of his music you should go for the experience of a lifetime. These kinds of talented, productive, positive and heart-felt type of singer-songwriters are a dying breed. There really are not that many soloist or showman style performers left. After 40 years of writing, singing, composing and producing – he still can “..Write (and sing, and compose, and produce) The Songs That Make The Whole World Sing!” You go Barry!