Friday September 12, 2008 / 8:00pmSinger Tony Bennett
Section C Rear
How was your experience?
Ladies & Gentlemen, the Eveready Bunny. Tony Bennett is … 82 years old!?! That can’t be right! Carrying almost one calendar year for every key on his accompanist’s Steinway grand, the man still hits all the high notes with alarming strength and accuracy, and can hold a note longer than I ever could on my best night as a musician/singer in LA’s clubs and bistros. He looks great and sounds better. Best I can figure, somewhere there’s an Oscar Wilde picture that’s aging in his stead. Bennett sort of speaks his songs in a very conversational, almost casual demeanor. The soft passages are like a whisper directly into your ear. He’s constantly reinventing melodies … but whereas Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey can take a single note and squeeze 27 notes out of it, Bennett takes 27 notes and simplifies it down to a single note or two. The show opened with his daughter Antonia offering a brief three-song set. It was a sweet gesture by Papa, and she did a serviceable offering from the same American classic songbook defined by her old man, but three songs was probably enough. Bennett’s jazz trio was as flawless as one would expect, e.g. the drummer was from Count Basie. A word about LA audiences: I was sitting near the back in the mighty Greek, so I got a panoramic view of the 5000 seats in front of me. I’m astonished that so many people, literally hundreds, were still arriving at 8:30, 8:45, even 9:00. The show ended at 9:45, so I mean, really?? This perpetual-motion ant farm of humanity was a real distraction from the performance.