Don’t be a hater.
I’ve heard all of the jokes about Barry Manilow music. I never did get it. Barry not only writes the songs he sings them. So there, take that, all of you haters.
I’m not one for concert going. Just never got much in to it. But Barry is someone I’ve always wanted to see. And Husband surprised me a few weeks ago with tickets. Probably about a million bonus husband points earned when he said “what are doing April 21st?” and I asked what day of the week it is. Saturday. I told him whatever he is about to ask me about, apparently. He told me we were going to see Barry.
I’ve been singing along to Barry for decades. In all honesty, who hasn’t? You think you haven’t, but you have. Admit it.
I wouldn’t qualify as a Fanilow. I’ve loved him all of these years and never seen him. And last night I saw some of those crazy love Barry people. They made me smile. Some were wearing boas, some were wearing “Got Barry?” shirts, some were wearing purple, and all of them (and many of us not in their ranks) you could see the excitement in their eyes.
And I got my first concert glow stick. That’s right, for Barry. The lady handing them out said it was so we could have the full Barry Manilow experience. It was wonderful to watch hundreds of glow sticks in any direction you looked waving the glow sticks in synchronized Fanilow choreography.
I’ve long heard stories of his concerts. And Barry did not disappoint. I felt like he was totally grateful for all of us showing up. When he walked out I happen to be looking at the floor in front of us (we were in the second row behind the floor seating…sweet!) there was a very short statured woman in a purple vest who started to jump up and down and twirl. It made me very happy.
I had warned one couple if I sang too much and they couldn’t hear Barry to just elbow me and I would shut up. She told me she wouldn’t hear me over her singing. We connected. Over Barry love.
At one point I was leaning forward, and singing. It didn’t occur to me until later that I
may have possibly ruined the lady sitting in front of me concert experience. I caught myself at one point and leaned back. My friends asked later if she turned around and said “call me”. With a wink. She did not. She didn’t stand at all either. Or hoot and holler. Or wave her glow stick. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me. I was sitting between Husband and our Friends and I could hear all of them singing and it heightened the fun, it did not detract. So I will put all her drudgery on her.
I sing poorly. But when I sing with Barry I sing confidently. Joyfully. But there were a few songs that I could not sing with him. Because his singing was just so beautiful. When he sang “I Am Your Child” I wished I had my children, and their children, there with me. When he told the story of his Grandpa, I flashed on my beautiful great kids and hoped desperately that I could do as much for them as his Grandpa did for him.
My all time favorite lyric in a song nearly sent me in to a BarryManilowic Coma. I love it most when I hear it playing loudly in my ears while I’m riding my bike fast and far away and there is no one around and I belt powerfully and with absolutely no skill:
“It’s from me
It’s for you
It’s from you
It’s for me
It’s a world wide symphony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Oh. Come on. I was in a very personal space with Barry Manilow and a few close friends when he belted that out. How could I not be over the moon happy about this?
Am I gushing?
Barry came back out after the show and sang A Capella. “One Voice”.
You, who were not there, I am sorry. I feel bad for you.
I think I am fast approaching Fanilow status.
Husband earned a gazabillion bonus points at this point right here. Barry, a capella, just for me.