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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Barbra Opens Tour In Philadelphia.

I was lucky enough to attend the opening night of Barbra's 2012 USA/Canada tour last night. I flew in from England - and was fortunate to experience the show from the front row! This was my 8th Barbra concert since 2006... and definitely ranked at #1 for me. Barbra's voice was the best I've ever heard (She said she give up tomatoes, as they weren't helping her voice!). The set-list was so wonderful and varied too. I don't want to spoil the fun for those of you who want it to be a surprise... but Matt Howe has the list up on his site (link at bottom of this report).

Photos by Russell James.


Her consistently entertaining three-hour concert commenced with a montage of photos featuring shots of the iconic figure’s childhood in Brooklyn. There was also footage from a 1970s documentary with interviews featuring Streisand’s high school friends. It closed with a pal asking Babs to come back to Brooklyn for a concert. 

"...the mezzo soprano can still hit the high notes, which she did during her moving rendition of a re-arranged "The Way We Were" and the pretty "Don't Rain On My Parade. Exquisite choices "The Way He Makes Me Feel," from the "Yentl" soundtrack, "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" and the show opener "Being Good (Isn’t Good Enough)," a terrific 60-piece orchestra and her special set of pipes were just part of the reason the show will go down as a truly memorable event."

Perhaps what was most significant is that Streisand impressed by just being herself. She held court in between each song and lived in the moment. The legendary figure responded to virtually every remark by the audience and somehow made the arena seem like a club. She paid tribute to her good friend, composer Marvin Hamlisch, who she started working with a half-century ago. 

 USA Today:

Philly nods: After noting similarities between Brooklyn and South Philly ("You have cheesesteaks, we have cheese blintzes"), she paid tribute to Alan and Marilyn Bergman, the Philadelphia composers behind her medley of Nice 'n' Easy and That Face. 

Guest night:The Italian pop-opera ensemble Il Volo joined her for Smile, then did two songs by themselves, including a rousing O Sole Mio. "Take that, Justin Bieber!" she joked, referencing the teen trio's tender age. 

Her new duet partner: Son Jason Gould ("His first public appearance," Mom says) displayed a soft, pleasing tenor voice as both sat down to sing How Deep Is the Ocean.

A golden moment: She sang a beautifully burnished version of People, then an autumnal Here's to Life. It was a touching, masterful rendition from an aging pro, and she toasted the audience with a cup of tea, ending with "l'chiam" (to life). The night ended with an encore of Leonard Bernstein's Some Other Time.

Matt Howe has a great write up at his site: www.barbra-archives.com

Matt Howe and I before the show!

BarbraNews Shop + Review of 2006 Tour.

USA * Canada * UK/Europe
Click here for the European Tour Website from 2007
Click here to read our SPECIAL review of the 2006 Tour -- Excellent pictures.