CONCERT REVIEW: Ageless crooner Tony Bennett lives for the stage

For the CDTMay 19, 2014 

After a six-decade recording career that has seen him become one of the most celebrated performers of our time, Tony Bennett has proven that time does stand still.

The ageless crooner gave an amazing performance Thursday in Williamsport. The Community Arts Center held an all-age crowd, which proved that Bennett’s music and popularity have transcended multiple generations.

The evening began with a performance by Bennett’s daughter, Antonia, who paid tribute to her father on a number of tunes.

Eventually, the jazz and pop singer was introduced by an old recording of Frank Sinatra’s voice. Backed by a lineup of stellar musicians, Bennett sang many old favorites, including “Because of You,” “Just the Way You Look Tonight,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “For Once in My Life,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and, of course, his signature, song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

At 87 years old, Bennett proved he can still belt it out with the best of them. His vocal range is astounding, going from smooth and low to powerful and soaring, all in one line of a song.

Many of his songs received standing ovations; I was not only in awe of his singing, but also of his energy and stamina, as the crooner still showed some nifty dance steps during a few numbers.

Bennett performed a number of encores, walking off the stage several times and fooling the audience that he was finished for the evening. The he would return to the stage for another go, showing his sense of humor as well.

Bennett’s performance on this night was truly entertaining, but also inspiring.

He has said that he still performs for the same reasons he did when he began his musical journey, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Bennett said in a recent interview that he believes performing for people is a noble profession, and he wants people to forget their problems and leave his concerts feeling good. For as long as Bennett has been performing, it is clearly evident that being on stage after all these years is still making him feel good too.

Jason Klose can be reached at cdtweekender@centredaily.com.

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