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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 7, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 36
Bumbershoot crowd swoons over Tony Bennett
Arts & Entertainment
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Bumbershoot crowd swoons over Tony Bennett

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Tony Bennett
Key Arena
September 2


Tony Bennett is the man. At 86 years of age, he's in amazing condition and continues to thrill audiences around the world. On his final stop of a European and North American tour, the 17-time Grammy winner attracted concertgoers of all ages, from schoolchildren to college students to grandparents, to Key Arena for a nostalgic afternoon performance during Bumbershoot weekend.

Appearing on stage not a minute late, Bennett greeted the crowd with a huge smile and immediately went to work. His 90-minute set list included polished versions of numerous pop and jazz standards while leaving room for a few of his signature tunes. Dressed in a snappy yellow dinner jacket and black slacks, Bennett was not only impressive with his vocals, but he also charmed with a dash of humor.

'Rosemary Clooney and I were the first American Idols,' he joked, before singing a beautiful rendition of 'Cold, Cold Heart.' Backed by an all-star band of veteran musicians, Bennett dazzled on Irving Berlin's 'Steppin' Out With My Baby' and a tender interpretation of the Fred Astaire classic 'The Way You Look Tonight.'

A medley of songs that spanned his career featured 'One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)' and a knockout version of 'The Good Life.' Bennett performed snippets of some numbers (typically the first verse and the chorus), while doing others in their entirety.

'Do we keep going?' the legend asked the audience after more than an hour had passed, and they responded with a very loud 'Yes!' So he kept it going with a brilliant run-through of Frank Sinatra's 'The Best Is Yet to Come' and a short time later delighted the Key Arena crowd with his most memorable offering, 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco.' Wrapping things up, he performed 'Smile,' recalling that Charlie Chaplin had sent him a note complimenting him on that particular track, which was used in Chaplin's film Modern Times.

There was no encore, although the crowd certainly begged for one. Bennett did return to the stage for repeated hand-waves and farewell bows, but alas, no more songs.

One of the most respected voices in pop music, Bennett has drawn new fans by collaborating with the industry's younger standouts, from Lady Gaga to Amy Winehouse to Michael Buble. But no one at his Seattle concert seemed to care about that. They wanted classic Tony Bennett, and that was what they got.

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