Tony Bennett at the State Theatre – 5/6/2016


When I head out to cover an artist most times they are familiar to 1 or 2 members of my family. When I found out I was going to photograph Tony Bennett’s show at the State Theatre I got the thumbs up from 4 generations. I failed to gain approval from my brother’s 1-year-old son in Germany, but I don’t think Mr. Bennett was counting on an audience in diapers. At 89 years of age he has not only held his own but his collaborations with artists, most recently Lady Gaga, bridge age gaps. So it was no surprise that the crowd in the sold out venue was varied in age, style and dress code. From suits and evening gowns to cargo shorts, if it was wearable, it was represented. I did not see a merch booth. I do not think a Tony Bennett tour t-shirt would fit his style, so it seemed fitting.
The evening started with a few warm up jazzy numbers by his backing quartet. When Tony Bennett took the stage, after a taped introduction by Frank Sinatra, the audience rose as one to welcome him. The show itself was classic Bennett. Its power came from its simplicity, no light effects or gimmicks, it was all about a man and his music. His voice is still great and filled the venue. The whole evening seemed natural and effortless as it a few guys just decided to make some music and sing songs in someone’s living room.
Closing with “Fly me to the Moon” he left the stage after multiple curtain call and his fans with smiles on their faces. Seeing Tony Bennett live was a great experience and his timeless appeal as an artist puts him in an elite group, very few share.
Set List: Watch What Happens / They All Laughed / This Is All I Ask / I Got Rhythm / (In My) Solitude / Sing You Sinners / It Amazes Me / Steppin’ Out With My Baby / But Beautiful / Our Love Is Here to Stay / The Way You Look Tonight / Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) / 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 (and One More for the Road)/ For Once in My Life
Encore: I’m Old Fashioned / I Left My Heart in San Francisco / Who Cares? / Smile / When You’re Smiling / Fly Me to the Moon