I scored two free tickets in the 6th row for Barry Manilow last night. So, of course, I took the woman who is responsible for me knowing the majority of his songbook- my Mom.
When I called to tell her that we were going she squealed in my ear like a teenage girl and then promptly started singing “Copacabana.”
I love my Mom.
Turns out that sixth row isn’t sixth row on the main floor but on the side which, still, is not bad and hell, I am not complaining because FREE BARRY MANILOW TICKETS. Hello! The actual seats reminded me of port-a-potties. They seemed to be made from the same material and equally uncomfortable. But at least it did not smell like poo.
There was an opening act- some guy named Brian or something- who played smooth jazz. I do not think jazz should be smooth. Nor should it be new age (but that’s another post). A woman three rows behind us yelled out, “I love you, Barry!” during the opener’s set to which my Mom retorted, “Does she not know who this is?!” I think she may be stupid, Mom.
When Barry took the stage, the Fanilows went nuts. He sang all the hits- sometimes in medley form and sometimes from start to finish. He told some touching, entertaining stories- like the one about his grandfather who encouraged him to sing as a child and who gave him his first standing ovation the very first time he ever played Carnegie Hall.
My favorite part was when they played footage of his first performance on American Bandstand in 1975. He was wearing tight white pants and a shiny blue top, his hair was feathered and his nose was bigger. He was singing “Mandy” and then all of sudden the spotlight hit on him at the piano and he was signing with his younger self. It shall be known that “Mandy” is one of my favorite songs of his. But I do not recommend singing it at karaoke because it is epically long and you will feel as though you want to die two minutes into it.
Or maybe that’s just me.
When he came out for one of his final encores to sing “Copacabana,” the crowd jumped to their feet and my Mom and I started dancing. Hearing my Mom cheer and sing along while dancing was the cutest. It took me back to when I was a kid and she’d blare his records. Past happy memories mingled with the music while we made a new one- dancing together at a Barry Manilow concert, much older, much wiser but still laughing.
*Line from “Looks Like We Made It” which sounds mighty dirty if you think about it. Or you think like me.
P. S. Does Barry look like he could be the Uncle to Adrien Brody or is it just me?