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19 Jan 2016

Live: Tony Bennett at Fantasy Springs, Jan. 16

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He may be blurry, but he can sure sing! He may be blurry, but he can sure sing! CVI Crapcam

Forgive the odd comparison, but it’s true: Tony Bennett shares one thing with the late Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister—he can stand in one spot and effortlessly deliver an amazing performance.

On Saturday night, Jan. 16, Tony Bennett returned to Fantasy Springs a year after performing a great show there. Saturday’s performance was also incredible; it was more jazz-focused than last year’s show was and featured a few surprises. However, many of Saturday night’s moments were repeats from last year’s gig, including a joke about how he did an album with Lady Gaga because she “needed the money.”

The show also started off similarly: Antonia Bennett, Tony’s daughter, opened with a few songs. She also delivered a great performance—while pregnant! After she thanked the audience and walked off the stage, she said to pay attention to a message from the chairman of the board. A vintage audio clip then played of Frank Sinatra introducing Tony Bennett, and Tony came (slowly) running out and waving to the audience. He took his place in front of the piano and started off with “Watch What Happens.”

One of the best moments of the night was his tribute to Frank Sinatra, which included a cover of “One for My Baby.” Another excellent portion: He told a story about how when he was struggling and attempting a comeback, he decided to perform a cover of a song that he always loved. After the song was released, he received a letter from the man who composed it, telling Bennett that it sounded magnificent. The letter was signed, “Charles Chaplin.” Bennett then began to sing Chaplin’s “Smile.”

At one point, Bennett proclaimed that a magazine had declared him to be the best jazz performer of 2015. He said he received the honor because of his wonderful backing band, which includes Count Basie’s former drummer, Harold Jones.

Bennett could probably phone in a performance, and it would still be one of the best performances you’d ever see. However, he most certainly didn’t phone it in. His vocals couldn’t have been better, and he sounded marvelous.

Setlist

  • Watch What Happens
  • They All Laughed
  • This Is All I Ask
  • I Got Rhythm
  • (In My) Solitude
  • Sing You Sinners
  • Stepping Out With My Baby
  • But Beautiful
  • Love Is Here to Stay
  • The Way You Look Tonight
  • Who Can I Turn To
  • Just in Time
  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  • The Good Life
  • How Do You Keep the Music Playing
  • The Shadow of Your Smile
  • One for My Baby
  • For Once in My Life
  • I’m Old Fashioned
  • I Left My Heart in San Francisco
  • Who Cares?
  • Smile
  • When You’re Smiling
  • Fly Me to the Moon 

 

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