Gig Review: Barry Manilow - Wembley Arena ✭✭✭✭✭

Barry Manilow
Wembley Arena

13th May 2014: The houselights go out, red drapes glistening with lights, an overture of Las Vegas style proportions is played while the lights whizz into the audience, finally revealing the twelve piece band and three backing singers who are to accompany the legend that is Barry Manilow.

He appears on stage dressed in a sparkly blue suit jacket and straight away whips the audience to theor feet with his hit 'Its A Miracle', followed by a very uptempo 'Could It Be Magic'. Fourth song of the night was the worldwide smash hit 'I Can't Smile Without You' - even this had me up singing and swaying along.

Barry Manilow at Wembley Arena - 13th May 2014
Photo by Jim Steele
Barry Manilow will be the ripe young age of 71 this year, and the evening included snapshots from albums back in the 70's up until the present day. Album covers are shown on screen as he performs his hits either at the piano or singing away to the crowd. Apart from writing his own songs, Manilow also does cover versions, and tonight was no exception. Again, he had the audience in a frenzy with Frankie Valli covers of 'Let's Hang On' and 'Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You'.

From tonights performance, Barry Manilow still has the voice that is know worldwide, can't fault it at all, powerful and always hitting the long notes with ease. You can see why he is a multiple award winner, winning Emmy's, Grammy's, American Music Awards and is in the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
Whether it is a hit song he is writing, or a Broadway show, his music is easy to listen to, and even easier to sing along to. Tonight he sang a song from a new show he has written the music for called 'Harmony', it has been getting rave reviews over in America, will be interesting to see if it heads to these shores.

Finishing the night with a flashback video to him singing 'Mandy' back in 1975, Manilow and the band play the second half of the song to a huge standing ovation, which in turns goes into 'Copacabana' to an all singing - all dancing arena. 'I Write the Songs' is beautifully performed at the piano, and the night is finished of with a reprise of 'It's a Miracle' along with with streamers fired high above the audience.

A fantastic evening was had by all - music fans of all ages were in Wembley for the start of the UK tour, and what a show it was. As Barry said during the night he really is "Justin Bieber of the 70's"!

Five Stars ✭✭✭✭✭

Tour Dates

May 13 – London Wembley Arena
May 14 – London Wembley Arena
May 16 – Ipswich Town Football Club
May 18 – Manchester Phones 4U Arena
May 19 – Glasgow The Hydro
May 22 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
May 24 – Southampton The Ageas Bowl
May 26 – London The O2 Arena