Closer but not quite

Perhaps the energy I was putting out in the universe about things coming together for me to be able to attend RS’s concert in Tucson tomorrow night wasn’t specific enough. But I did get to go to a cool concert tonight.

Yesterday my dad called me to tell me that he had tickets to Barry Manilow’s “One Last Time” tour but his girlfriend was sick, would I want to go. Without hesitating, I said “Yes!” He’s a legend after all and I remember listening to his songs growing up. I was especially fond of “Copacabana,” and as a kid would sing it while dancing around in my living room.

The concert was at the Gila River Arena in Glendale and our seats were as high up as you could possibly get. Literally. We were in the back row on the very top level, because my dad’s girlfriend prefers an aisle seat in the top row so she doesn’t have to climb up the stairs and can easily leave to use the bathroom. I didn’t care that we were so far away that the performers looked as small as little LEGO figurines though, I was there for the music and wasn’t even tempted to move forward to a closer row. (In contrast to the RS concert last month where my friend and I moved as close to the stage as we could.) Ushers handed out green glowsticks on the way to your seat, and people waved them during the concert in lieu of cigarette lighters.

Mr. Manilow put on a wonderful show. He’s a talented songwriter and performer and it was a lot of fun hearing his songs live. He also did a duet with Judy Garland (from his new CD, “Dream Duets,” in which he used technology to record duets with his musical heroes) and there was also a video of him performing his first hit song, “Mandy,” in 1975 and then the current Barry joined the 1975 Barry in singing the song. There was also a sing-a-long to “Can’t Smile Without You,” with a smiley face dancing along the words on the screen. He talked a little about his life, how joining the orchestra in his school in Brooklyn changed his life. In 2008, he founded the Manilow Music Project to help musical programs in public schools and the project holds musical instrument drives in the cities he visits on his tour then the instruments are donated to local schools.

I also learned that Manilow fans are known as “Fanilows” and he has many who have seen him many times throughout the years, such as RS has his loyal fans. For me, I was fine sitting in the last row just listening to the music and was ready to head home when it was over, but when I went to the RS concert last month, I needed to be as close as I could during the show and couldn’t leave without at least trying to meet him, even though when I did, I wasn’t able to say anything. There were probably lots of Fanilows tonight who feel the same way about Barry. At the RS concert, I could sing along to all the songs whether they were from 30 years ago or more recent ones and was happy to hear them all. Tonight, I was happy to hear songs I recognized, enjoyed some of the other ones and was excited to hear “Copacabana” because of the memories it brought. It’s funny to me that although I was totally excited to be at the RS concert, there were likely many there who enjoyed the songs, were thrilled to hear “Jessie’s Girl” and were fine with heading head home afterward without any desire to meet him.

I would be willing to drive two hours to Tucson to see the Stripped Down concert, my husband is even willing to go with me AND my mother-in-law is in town so she could watch the kids. All that’s missing is the funds so I guess it’s not meant to be. So unless tickets magically appear tomorrow, it looks like it’s not happening. Waaaah.

Here’s a little “Copacabana.”

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