Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Atlanta Music and Passion Review 3-29-2008

They say that it is best to begin and the beginning.

The ride up was not too bad, a bit painful, with the incoming rain, I was uncomfortable the entire 200 miles, and I had to stop and walk for a bit before getting back on the road. When I got there, the room was not ready despite my request for early check-in with the rewards program I have. But I digress.

I was able to meet up with a lady from the board, Jane Morley, and we went down to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. She is really nice and has been a Barry Fan for a long time, so it was nice hearing about the fan club before some of the shallowness of today. She used to live in Orlando, and recently relocated to St. Louis, Missouri.

I finally got in the room, and made arrangements to meet another lady from the board that I had been chatting off board with since December. She lives in Alabama, and she drove in yesterday morning too. We were going to meet at CNN Center for dinner before the show.

I took a little medicine, took a shower and slid under the covers for a little bit. My hotel was located across the street from Centennial Park, so I did not have a far walk. The arena was on the other side of the park, so I didn't have to get Denzel (my SUV) on the road again, besides with the streets being closed off for window repair from the tornado and them being closed off for the marathon it was a MESS getting to the hotel to begin with.

Got to the CNN Center for dinner, and we went to the restaurant, well we were told it was a 45 minute wait. We had given ourselves plenty of time, so we sat and chit chatted. When we were finally seat - you will not believe this. We were told that the place was closing so they were out of a lot of food. They did not have all of the ingredients for the salad, all they really had was hamburgers, but we could not all order the same entree. WHAT?!!! We looked at each other and said, "we can go out to the food court to get a hamburger." So we slid out of booth and left. Jane told the girl at the front that it would have been nicer to tell people before they wait that there is a limit of food. Their comment "most people are just coming in to drink anyway." You think that might be the reason the establishment is closing? Then again, they would be unemployed after today, so they didn't care about customer service.

Well, the food court had PLENTY of places, so we grabbed something and sat down.

Finally, inside, getting to the seats was easy, and the ladies next to me were so nice. One had NEVER seen Barry, and the other had not seen him in 28 years. I told them that they were in for a REAL treat. Mary Jo made it from Tampa, I was glad she was able to get off to make the rescheduled show.

Brian Culbertson was AWESOME. He is very talented and watching him play you can tell that he is totally into the music. He goes to another place. He acknowledged his wife and said that it was the 10 year wedding anniversary; the guy must have gotten married at age 12 or something. I love the Earth, Wind and Fire bit. If you like Jazz, you would love him. I might have to grab one of his CDs. He has a new one coming out that he worked with Maurice White (founder of Earth Wind and Fire) called Bringing Back the Funk - that one should be awesome!

Well, time for the B-Man. The techno track started and the excitement began. There were about 5 girls behind me that had been drinking most of the time before the show, I lost count of the trips to get drinks and they were loud BUT they were at least drunk fans. Screaming "I love you Barry" and dancing off beat with their feather boas.

He came out in the sparkly blue jacket (I just love that jacket) and the sparkly tie. The minute he hit the stage, his face lit up and stayed that way the entire night. He came to each side of the stage and waved then went into the usual intro.

I said I was going to remember the song line up and uhhhhh I don't. After the IAM, Daybreak, SITN and TOFU, he sent into the intro and started The Old Songs, from that he went into the dance song, and picked his girl. Her name was Carolyn and she was from New Orleans. When they got onto the riser to the stage, she rested her head on his shoulder as they dance, and he wrapped his arm around her and they danced. On the stage, he asked her name, she told him - then he said "hi, my name is Barry." He had the cutest grin on his face. The dance ended and she went to step away, he stopped her, planted a kiss on her cheek and hugged her tight. She had the biggest grin on her face. Who wouldn't?

The rest of the show was a blur. William Tell Overature was awesome as usual. I Am Your Child was very touching. Made It Through the Rain with the Grandpa Jo story was very sentimental.

Did I mention that he sang MY SONG?!!! I get chills when he plays that song, and at the end when the piano rises up ... okay, yes I love the song even more now. I would have gotten a picture, but the twit in my line of view would not sit her butt down. She doesn't even know the Manilow Etiquette for sitting and standing. Stand on uptempo, sit on ballads. So, no I only got one picture of him singing WINE and it is not good because I had to shoot around HER.

The only 50s segment was American Bandstand, he takes off the tie and then it was over.

Brooklyn Blues was awesome, Brian Culbertson and his sax player came out. New York City Rhythm is always fun to see when they all take turns with playing the piano. Could It Be Magic (sigh) - enough said. He just doesn't realize how much we love to hear him just play the piano sometimes.

He talked about the cover albums and how the 60s album was probably his favorite since those were songs he grew up with. He sat down in his "apartment" It was the same set up as Vegas, the chair and lava lamp were normal size, not the oversized ones that I have seen in some pictures. He took a drag off this "cigarette" and got this glazed look in his eyes -Barry, you must have done some in the past buddy because you faked it really good. LOL - He leaned back then asked us "have I been sitting here a really long time?" ROTFL

Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You and the Supremes music followed. On to the 70s....

Mandy - now that is usually my favorite part of the show seeing him singing a duet with himself, but last night it was even better. During that portion, the young Barry morphed on the screen into the Barry of last night and back. It was such a neat effect seing Barry of 1975 turn into Barry of 2008. And oh BTW, love the white jacket he wore. When he rose from below the stage, the crowd went crazy.

He said that he was working on the 80s album, and cannot wait for us to hear his version of Like a Virgin.

The dreaded I Write the Songs started, not dreaded because it is a bad song, but we know that when IWTS starts, that is the end. It is such an awesome sight to see all of the glow sticks swaying back and forth. The place was not sold out, but there were people in the arena from the floor to the ceiling, and it looked awesome.

Copacabana was next with the usual yellow jacket. I really want a new Copa jacket, and the girls with the huge headdressed, and Kye with his, whatever it is, outfit. He danced his heart out, as usual.

After the IAM reprise and Barry introduced the band, they all waved goodnight, and confetti and streamers seemed to go on forever. Maybe it was because I was right across from the confetti machine and it seemed like it would never stop. Kye grabbed Barry's arm to make him go backstage, and Barry kept pulling away as if to say, I want to stay.

Old Friends and Forever and A Day were the encores, and very heartfelt.

The entire show, Barry had this huge smile on his face and in his eyes. He looks happy in Vegas, but it was so different last night. He laughed (you know that laugh he gets) and just seemed to be having the time of his life. In the beginning, he said "we finally made it!" and from the sound of the crowd, everyone was glad that he did.

I know that I thoroughly enjoyed the show...and 2 months from today, I will be looking in those baby blues, and he will be talking to only me. I cannot wait.