Barry Manilow / Music & Passion : 4 of 5
I remember singing Barry Manilow songs in grade school music class, so even though I'm not a diehard fan, I still know all the words to most of Barry's hits, so I was pretty interested to see his Las Vegas show. Now, that I've seen it, I'm really impressed with him! Not only is he an incredible performer, who really expresses his love of music and his fans, but I have a new appreciation for his songwriting, especially his lyrics (and he's definitely king of the key-change)! Barry is a bit more expensive than other Vegas shows, so when I was booking everything back in December, I opted for "medium" level tickets - we had a great view of the show, though, and there are giant video screens on stage for close-ups. Barry did lots of mini-melodies of his big hits, and plugged his new album by doing some nice 50s songs, too. My favorite segment was watching his first television performance on The Midnight Special in the 70s (where he looked about 14 years old and 97 pounds) - Barry sang with "himself" on the video, doing harmonies and counter-melodies, for a great version of Mandy. The whole audience was given glow-sticks on the way in, so the theater was definitely lit up during I Write the Songs. The finale was a huge Copacabana production, complete with a giant staircase that came down from the ceiling so Barry could walk out over the audience, and a weird hip-hop segment in the middle of the song (proving Barry has a great sense of humor about his own compositions!). It was an incredible show, and my parents and I loved it!