Tony Bennett- A Class Act
Tony Bennett in Concert at one of my favorite theatres the Liverpool Empire, Wednesday 27th June will stay with me for a long time. This much-anticipated evening, a VERY last-minute surprise for my fellow Culture Champion John and I to have been gifted tickets for a sold out show. This event was to give me a greater appreciation of a consummate performer, who has truly earned his much respected status if Sinatra rated him so many years ago, then boy, who am I to argue that point?
The simplicity of the stage setting, a hue of soft purple backdrop with soft defused lighting created a mellow ambiance that drew in the packed out theatre audience. Antonia Bennett, Tony’s daughter open the show explaining she was travelling with her Dad, spending quality time hanging out with him and sang a couple of classic numbers including “Embrace Me” and received a warm welcome from the audience. At this point I really had to pinch myself, as my seating was centre stalls H Row, centrally located in this magnificent theatre and directly opposite middle stage. Mr Bennet’s musicians who were backing Antonia throughout her set, were simply amazing, Double Base, Guitarist, Drummer, and the awesome Pianist demonstrated their exceptional gifts and were pure genius.
Tony Bennett was then announced, and the audience erupted with applause of sheer delight to see him grace the stage looking every bit that showman we have come to appreciate – yes I am extremely bias, as I speak as an admirer of his songs, style and class of a man who sings with such depth of emotions that spans so many genres. He sang Maybe this Time, I’ve got Rhythm, Some Day, For The Good Life, The Best Is Yet To Come, I Left My Heart In San Francisco and many more of his signature songs with solo interludes from his backing musicians that lasted almost 70 -75 minutes. What will stay with me forever and a day is after singing so many of his memorable tunes, he placed his microphone on the superb pianist piano, and without the aid of a mic’ began singing to an astonished, hushed audience, Fly me to the Moon- now that brought the house down!! The sheer strength and delivery of his voice cannot be disputed. This resulted in his fans jumping to their feet with rapturous applause, that brought him back onto the stage several time with shouts of more , more…..
One regret I must mention, is I could not get the names of those fantastic musicians who all deserve to be credited and acknowledge in this piece. No programmes were available on the night. Although Mr Bennett named his musicians on stage, but I was just so busy clapping with appreciation throughout the show, plus the fact I’m not too good at writing my notes in the darkness of the theatre. It would also be remiss of me not to thank Linda Conroy and Caroline Turner for making it possible for me to be in the presence of a person I have long admired, and I continue to play his worn out albums and CD’s as part of my inspirational, motivational, well-being programme.
Hats off to Mr. Tony Bennett, total respect to an artist at the age of almost 86 who still owns that mantle of magnificence.
See what’s coming up at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall www.liverpoolphil.com
His one night show continues in Manchester, Tuesday 3rd July at 8pm, MANCHESTER PALACE THEATRE.