Taking the stage to a sold-out crowd and a standing ovation, Tony Bennett, dressed in a creamy-yellow blazer, black trousers and a multi-colored tie, opened his performance with “Watch What Happens.” Backed by an impeccable 4-piece ensemble, Tony sauntered across the Thunder Valley Casino and Resort stage with the grace and elegance of someone 20 years his junior.
To state that Tony personifies class and excellence is an understatement. From the moment he walks onto the stage to the moment he waved goodnight he makd the audience the center piece of his performance. His ensemble is recognized throughout with kind gestures, a gentle touch or a duet. Tony owns the stage but makes sure that all who are there with him are noticed and appreciated.
Throughout the ninety-minute set, Tony sang time-honored hits like, “Because of You,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and “For Once in My Life.” With his voice deepened from experience and enriched by 60 years of performing he resonated with the audience and brought many to tears. Although his voice is not quite as fluid as it once was his power and grace (dare we say class) make it unmistakably vibrant and unforgettable.
Tony is the master of nuance and not a song went by where his smile, over the shoulder look or his signature dual-hand raise did not get the audience clapping. He knows how to stretch the right words or hold syllables long enough to bring the audience to him. Because of this, songs like “Cold, Cold Heart” and “Smile” became show stoppers in their own right.
Throughout the performance Tony would stop to chat with the audience; sharing stories about his past and explaining reasons for why he loved a song. At one point, Tony dedicated the song, “Because of You” to Marie Petkovich who, at 75, has been married for 57 years and danced to the song at her wedding.
Tony’s daughter, Antonia Bennett, who is a singer in her own right, graced the stage for the first few songs of the evening. Her performance, although different from her fathers, was very reminiscent of Tony’s earlier work. She had graceful movements, a soft yet sultry voice and worked the audience masterfully. When she reappeared later in the evening for a duet with her father, the audience applauded loudly and it was evident that the two talented artists not only shared the stage but a family relationship as well.
When the evening ended and Tony left the stage, the audience continued to applaud his performance and talk about the man, the myth and the legend. However, it was a 29 year-old woman who really nailed the evening when she said, “he made me understand why the greats are great….he made me wish I had heard him when he was younger.”
For more information on Tony Bennet click here.
For more information on Antonia Bennett click here
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