The ageless wonder Tony Bennett strolled into the Seneca Niagara Events Center Friday evening for a gala event. At eighty-six, Bennett is now the oldest living music artist this reviewer has seen. Bennett still remains in high demand as he brought his fabulous four piece band who are no slouches themselves. Pianist Lee Musiker, drummer Harold Jones, upright bassist Marshall Wood and guitarist Gray Sargent all put their talent together and they were spot on all night.
Bennett always the consummate professional had a smooth delivery and he also managed to squeeze in a few stories between songs. He told of how Bob Hope gave him the name Tony Bennett. He also spoke of how Hank Williams called him up and asked him what he did to his song “Cold, Cold Heart” (both Williams version and Bennett’s reached #1 on the country and pop charts respectively).
“Should we keep going?” Bennett asked the crowd as he got their approval and launched into “The Best Is Yet To Come”. Other highlights included “Smile”, “For Once In My Life” and what show of Mr. Bennett’s would be complete without his signature song “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”? Closing the show with the upbeat “When You’re Smiling”, Tony left the stage to his usual well deserved applause.
Antonia Bennett, Tony’s daughter opened the show with a few tunes before turning things over to her dad. She used Tony’s band which made a smooth transition into the Icon’s performance. She also joined Tony during “Old Friends”.
Once in a great while there is that one person who defies all odds and stands out among all others. Tony Bennett, to still perform in the manner at which he does, at this stage in his career, is nothing short of amazing. We do not know what the future holds or how Bennett’s story will end. What we do know is how much the man loves performing and the gratification he gets by being able to do things his way. Bennett will leave behind a legacy that you may never see topped.
Set List Highlights
Watch What Happens
They All Laughed
Maybe This Time
I Got Rhythm
Who Could Ask For Anything More
Cold Cold Heart
Sing You Sinners
I Can Smile Because Of You
Just in Time
The Good Life
The Shadow of Your Smile
For Once in My Life
The Best Is Yet to Come
I Left My Heart in San Francisco
When You’re Smiling