Friday, February 29, 2008

The Ideal Barry Manilow Concert

With a month to go until my first "experience" it's hard to just mark time without some kind of speculation. So I imagined if I were completely in charge of a show and money is no object, what it would be like. I already know it won't be the same as what's coming to Phillips Arena and whatever Barry puts together I'm going to enjoy with no complaints. But who hasn't thought about what they would do if they were able to compile their own set? This one is mine.
  • Venue: Club/restaurant type. If you're familiar with the Sambucca Jazz Club chain (esp the Rice Hotel location), you get the idea. And close the place down. Private show, guest list of about 150, 200 tops. Age 21+ only, strictly enforced.
  • No time limit; whatever he feels up to. Most venues, even major ones have a firm stop time in their contracts, with another time limit for load out. None of that.
  • No opening act. With a catalogue like Barry's, you don't need one.
  • Simple jazz backup band. Drum kit, stand-up bass, sax, guitar. Maybe a synth to simulate orchestration where needed. Piano is a real 9-foot grand. Not a piano bar, just a piano.

And now for the set list (rubbing hands together)

Paradise Cafe
Talk to Me
[open - let's hear some of the stories about his early days in clubs, things he briefly discussed in Sweet Life, including some of the music he played back then.]
Jump Shout Boogie
Freddie Said
[open - break to slow things back down, transition to more pop stuff]
The Old Songs
segue into Let's Hang On (not a medley but no break between them)
I'd Really Love to See You Tonight (uptempo version)
The Way You Look Tonight (Sinatra song. Barry didn't cover this on his Sinatra record, but it would be the ultimate "dance girl/CSWY" song. If the girl he picks is with a guy, tie him down, this would be intense.)
Somewhere in the Night (better make sure this club has a bit of dance space for the couples to enjoy this on their feet)
See the Show Again


[Pop set - include some stories with these - how they were written, etc etc etc]
Copacabana (acoustic version - need another guitar player for this)
I Made it Through the Rain
Could it Be Magic (original version)
Bandstand Boogie
Looks Like We Made It
Lonely Together
If I Should Love Again
[open - audience requests, within the limits of what he has rehearsed]

I Write the Songs
Beautiful Music

It took a couple of hours to put this together. Assembling a set list is a LOT harder than it looks!

Anyone else have an ideal list bouncing around in their head?


  1. Wow. Now that's something to chew on. I'll have to give this one some serious thought. Once I do, I'll get back with you. Glad you included Talk to Me. One of my all time favorites. You have some great choices in there.

  2. Isn't that the truth? Glad you liked some of the selections. It's easy for Jane Fan to sit in the audience and say, "Oh, I wish he'd do this song or that song." But when you have to sit down and get those songs into some kind of order that makes sense (even emotionally, or audibly) it's much more difficult than it looks! There's so much more that goes into these shows than those of us not in "the business" can understand. But it makes it much more interesting to try to figure it out. Have fun!