11 years ago I saw the man, the myth, the legend, Barry Manilow, at what was then called the MCI Center, on his "One Last Time" tour. Wellllllll, it seems it might not have been the last time after all, as I will be returning to the MCI Center (nee, Verizon Center) this evening to see Barry perform as part of his, you guessed it. "One Last Time" tour (subtitled: "This Time He Really Means It. No, He's Serious, Why Are You Laughing, Cher?"). Pasted below is the recap I wrote after that magical night 11 years ago...god willing, you will get to be bored to tears in a few days when I recap tonight's performance.
Oh, Mandy, You came and you gave without taking (or as Homer Simpson would sing, Oh, Margie, You came and you gave me a turkey)...
That's right, last night, MCI Center, the one, the only, Barry Manilow, his "One Last Time" tour. Where do I start...
Heading for Section 425 (yeah I know, big spender) an Usheress (not a word) stopped us and swapped our tix for seats in Section 118. Sweet - I'm not sure if it's possible to be any happier, and we haven't even sat down yet.
Picked up two beers (I almost felt obliged to get the white wine) and what seemed to be a day old pretzel, spent $427 dollars, then felt better when I saw the price tag on some Manilow merchandise. Good god, I'm pretty sure the sweatshirt/poster combination cost more than my college tuition.
Quick rundown of the Section 118 roster:
Backwards Hat Lacrosse Kid, with his Mom - This was stunning to me, but we'll get back to him in a second.
Five Flailing Females in the Front Row - Elaine danced better than them.
Scott Van Pelt lookalike with his Crazy Wife - Her level of enthusiasm made others look like they were in a coma.
A mixed bag of ages, races, sexes - Apparently, Manilow brings the world together.
The man of the hour hits the stage to a TREMENDOUS ovation. The last time the MCI Center exploded like that, the Mystics were shattering the WNBA single season attendance record.
I'll give it to Barry, he really knows how to work the crowd. I was gonna start this post by joking that Manilow present day looks like Clay Aiken 30 years from now, but Barry did the bit himself. I'll give this to him - he's not afraid to laugh at himself. He beat me to the elevator music/easy listening crack as well. Then he lets on that he started his career doing commercial jingles, two of which we all know - State Farm (Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there...) and Band-Aid (I am stuck on Band-Aid, 'cause Band-Aids stuck on me...). I mean, is this guy a powerhouse or what?
Quick aside: You would've thought this was a WWE event with the amount of signs being held up. Best sign of the night - "Manilow Makes Me Moist" (OK, so I made that one up, but come on, how good is that alliteration?)
Solid hour of tunes from Barry, then a quick intermission. The second hour of Manilow was even better (yep, I was sucked in), however it was initially trumped by Backwards Hat Kid. Inexplicably, he gets up, mumbles something to Mom, and moves two rows down, laying serious game on the youngest of the Flailing Females. I mean, wow. This was impressive. Curt Schilling might group him with Brandon Arroyo as having "balls the size of Saturn". I do believe it led to some making out in the Uecker seats later on during "Copacabana".
Very solid second hour (gave us back-to-back-to-back smash hits), good encore, well worth the money. Hey Barry, where can I sign up for this Maniloonies fan club, or is it the Fanilow fan club?
You know what, I'm wondering if Mike Swint found his way to the MCI Center last night. If so, did I miss anything?
I've been alive forever, and I wrote the very first song I put the words and the melodies together I am music and I write the songs
I write the songs that make the whole world sing I write the songs of love and special things I write the songs that make the young girls cry I write the songs, I write the songs