Date: Wednesday 22nd June 2022
Venue: Utilia Arena, Newcastle UK
Now this was not a planned concert and we got ticket two days before the event, I went in only knowing three songs (two of these because they were covered by 90s/00s boybands) and I had an utterly fantastic time!
At 79 years of age Barry Manilow did not hold back or slow down throughout the entire show and it was utterly incredible to see how the crowd were reacting to him. This concert was originally supposed to be back in 2020, but as we know nothing happened that year and then even with postponements to 2021 not much happened then either. So here we are in 2022 and Barry eventually got his wish to play UK dates again.
He is a showman there is no other way to describe him! Changing between being at the front of the stage, walking across the stage, playing at the piano and getting his dance on with some lovely little moves. Between the songs talking to the crowd and telling little stories, I especially loved the one about his Grandfather and going to Times Square to have his voice recorded as a child and how much playing at Carnegie Hall meant to him. Explaining that he never really wanted to be a singer and had more passion for composing and song writing, but the singer/songwriter was certainly in with Carole King being used as an example both of them growing up in Brooklyn, New York.
While I mentioned that I only knew three songs going in, those being Copacabana, Mandy and Could it Be Magic. There was a few times when other songs sounded familiar, Can’t Smile Without You was one of them. I have seen found out (thanks to Last.fm that in 2009 I listen to Even Now three times) so I guess I actually had a little bit more Barry background that I had even realised myself! Another was Looks Like We Made It, so maybe just maybe we should all be more open to jump at the chance of seeing performers and you could be pleasantly surprised by the outcome!
I really do have to mention something that was so random and hilarious during the Mandy number. Mainly because I have still been laughing about it and I want it to be documented within this write up forever. So with that song it was Barry on a video from when it first was released and the man sat behind be suddenly screamed “GO ON” “Go on Barry” so loud as if he was in a football stadium and his team were about to score in the 90th minute, I mean if he had been dancing I could have at least half understood the outburst. BUT it was Mandy, it’s hardly the song to shout over. It was just so funny though, especially seeing some other reactions of people wondering who it was who had shouted.
In all seriousness though I throughly enjoyed the show and can fully appreciate just how and why Barry Manilow is still going to this day, his incredible showmanship is second to none and his adoring fans love him more than ever, it really was great to see so many people enjoying themselves having waited I am guessing near three years since originally buying the tickets!
- It’s a Miracle
- Can’t Smile Without You
- Somewhere in the Night
- Looks Like We Made It
- This One’s for You
- Sweet Heaven (I’m in Love Again)
- Even Now
- The Old Songs / Ships / Ready to Take a Chance Again / Tryin’ To Get The Feeling Again
- Dancing in the Aisles / Dancing in the Street / Let’s Hang On
- Bermuda Triangle
- Could It Be Magic
- I Made It Through the Rain
- Mandy / Could It Be Magic
- I Write the Songs (Bruce Johnston cover)
- Copacabana (at the Copa)
- Let Freedom Ring
- It’s a Miracle (Reprise)