Monday, March 31, 2008

More Manilow, More Magic - Atlanta Continued

There's more sleep to catch up on than I thought.

The rest of the thoughts on the concert are in no particular order. Maybe they'll come close to the actual set list if I'm lucky. That first essay was based on the few decent pictures I got.

OK, some more thoughts on the show and surrounding entertainment as they come to me....

At every concert by every major artist, there is always THAT ONE GUY/GIRL in the front who can't clap in time to save their life. At Barry's show, that was Pete. He was with me. A big "sorry" to everyone who had to deal with that. ;-)

"Somewhere In the Night" - one of my personal favorites (and Pete's too, though not for exactly the same reason ;-) ) got included in the opening medley. My condolences to everyone who was not there with a spouse or S.O. You just can't resist a good grope session to that song! Which was just a little awkward when the seats on the floor (especially in our rows) were crammed together like sardines. I wonder what Pete and I looked like from the stage! (blush)

Even though there was no "50s segment", they did bring out the costume change and choreography for "Bandstand Boogie". That was fun. Kye set the standard that the girls had to live up to for their little show around the song.

Quick comment on Kye (I'm guessing that really is his name because no one corrected me when I first posted it) - this is the only person on stage who is really a dancer. The backup girl who performs with him in the Mayflower segment on the M&P video comes close. But the other girls and Barry are definitely not. (Walking to a beat does not qualify as dancing.) But Kye organized the choreography and stage blocking so that everyone looks like they are of equal ability and training. No mean feat. The only time you really see what he is capable of is during his little "Copa" remix during Barry's/the girls' costume change and on the M&P video during "They Dance" - when he needs to be out front of everyone else. I wonder if he's done any solo performances before or otherwise outside of Barry's show. He could pull it off.

Speaking of ability - the William Tell Overture bit. All I had heard from the news groups and blogs and chat boards was that it was really good and really funny. I'll take under-exaggeration for 100, Alex!! We're not talking about 5 people just humming along with each other. Each one was singing a different orchestral part. Does anyone out there have the slightest idea how hard this is?

About 20 years ago, a Contemporary Christian group called "Glad" did a CD called The Acapella Project. It was the 5 guys in the band, in a 32-track studio doing orchestrated a capella versions of various hymns and spiritual songs. Beautiful collection of work and hailed as an innovative stunt. I don't remember if they toured in support of this disc, or if they even performed any of the songs from it in any live set.

Now here are the differences between Glad and Barry and Co:

  • Glad's stuff was just studio - Barry's group did it live. Live as in, if someone fucks up their timing, even for a split-second, the entire venue will know it and there's no hiding. No retakes, either.
  • A capella performance is sheer hell. If your tone is off, again, the whole world is going to catch it and you can't hide. I didn't see so much as a pitch pipe come out before the number.
  • The William Tell Overture is much faster and more complicated with more counterpoint than anything Glad did. Thus keeping the precision is much more difficult and getting back into sync after a mistake may be nearly impossible. This isn't like barbershop or 50s do-wop which is much slower, with simpler arrangements, and easier for each person to adjust to.
  • And choreography complementing the melody on top of it. So you have two aspects the 5 of them had to focus on at the same time. Presumably without tripping over each others' feet.

So this little novelty schtick was technically the most demanding part of the show, IMHO. Most people were laughing too hard from enjoying it to appreciate the technicality. This bit belongs on a live CD or DVD. THE PRECEDING SENTENCE WAS A NOT-SO-SUBTLE HINT!!!

So if Barry & Co need a new challenge, how about "Flight of the Bumblebee" next? ;-P

One more pause - need to get dinner on the table. More later!


  1. I always wondered why people didn't get how hard that William Tell Overture was. The first time I saw him in Vegas they did that and I was flabbergasted. I have that GLAD CD myself. It's one of my favorite Christian CD's (Be Thou My Vision is my favorite). And you're right, everyone is laughing so much they miss the brilliance of it.

  2. Side note: Barry did do the flight of the Bumblebee with the kazoo! I guess that's not the same though :O