Barry Manilow has left the building.
We left the TDBankNorth Garden on Sunday night at 11 p.m., fully sated and overdosed on his sugar as if we'd just polished off a bag of candy corn. And at 7:45 a.m. the next day, as I passed through the ground level of the same building, I was surprised to find nary a sign that he'd been. Not a tour bus, gear truck or scrap of poster that indicated he was here. But in my heart and in my head, I'd knew he'd been.
Wardrobe dilemmas not withstanding (I resolved that on my own, thankyouverymuch), I had a wonderful time. My inane ability to instantly recall obscure and not-so-obscure lyrics stood me well. Barry lost me on a few of his 50s and 60s cover versions, but when it came to a full-blown Manilow number, I was on it, at high volume. His lyrics and melodies are just undeniably sing-able, I dare you to pop on the iPod, sit on the train, at your desk or in your car and not sing along, at high volume. Or at least bob along or shake your booty!
Certainly, there was some Las Vegas kitsch and even a little more cheese. But you can't deny that this guy can 1) play, 2) sing and 3) put on a show. I don't think it's possible for him to put on a sub-par performance, but thankfully I don't have to find out.
To the older folks who sat behind us....No, I won't SIT DOWN, not during Can't Smile Without You, not during It's a Miracle and certainly not during Copacabana (my sister might even argue that the final stanza of Mandy is worth standing...). If you came to a Manilow show to sit quietly for those, you came to the wrong show.
To the band at my cousin's wedding last weekend, who looked down his nose at us when we requested aforementioned "Copa"....did you happen to notice that when you finally agreed to play Barry's version of Copa during your break that that was the only point of time all night that the dance floor was full? What's that tell you?
I consider my sister and myself fortunate to have seen Manilow now that he's signed on for eternity to a Vegas show and has sworn off national tours. We grew up on his music (we blame you for this, Mom!) and danced around the living room to his melodies (well, the last time I did that was...Sunday afternoon) so in a sense it was a celebration of good times past and bringing them forward to today when we just might need a little pick me up.
And lift us up he did.
Louis, hope this was your dream come true! Once I serve some time as a back-up singer, mine will be too.