Sunday, October 10, 2004

OMG, what a night! Barry Manilow is a music deity, and by all means, go see him if you get the chance!

He was in Philly for one night only, and as this is supposed to be his farewell tour, I wanted to go. So did Joe M, apparently, and he went and picked up two tickets for us.

So we went. The seats were good -- Section 121, rows 5 and 6, seat 22 (behind each other -- he couldn't get adjacent seats).

Well, the seats WOULD have been great. If, in fact, they actually existed. In the Wachovia Center, Section 121's row 5 and 6 have only 20 seats -- the Zamboni tunnel cuts into the seating area. Seat 22 doesn't EXIST for either row, not unless someone has a chair that will levitate over the Zamboni tunnel.

So the guard investigated, discovered that we weren't nuts and our seats WERE nonexistent, and offered to take Joe and me to Guest Services. That's where we encountered four or so other people who also had tickets for imaginary seats. Most of them had bought their tickets via the internet, but Joe got ours right FROM the freakin' Wach Center box office window. There's NO way tickets bought right at the venue should have been wrong. But OH WELL. They were.

So the lady from Guest Services went back to the computer system, then returned with a list of available seats where we could be placed.

I think my jaw dropped right to the floor when she told us where the new seats were. Third row, on the FLOOR, right by the stage. HOLY freaking cow, I never had such incredible seats for a concert in my life!

If Verizon was working right, I'd be sending myself pics from my camera phone right now. But unfortunately, the picture message system seems to be whacked out -- nothing will send at the moment. GRRR... it'd better be back online later. I want to see how these shots came out!

I wish I'd had my camera. First of all, I saw tons of people with cameras. Second of all, they didn't even CARE about that when they looked in my bag. The only thing they wanted to ensure was that I wasn't bringing my own food/drink into the building, and I wasn't carrying either. Third, if I'd had any idea that we were going to be that close to the stage, bank on the fact that I'd have tried to smuggle the thing in anyway. Believe me.

Camera or not, seeing Barry perform is an experience not to be missed. He is a FABULOUS showman and he puts on a performance like no one else. He pours his entire being into every song... most of his songs are stories, and when he's telling them, he really gets engrossed. It makes for an excellent concert.

He mentioned early on what I already knew -- that Philly holds a special place in his heart because this is where his career really took off. And as the end of the concert approached, at a point when I swear he looked a little bit like he was crying, one of his parting comments was, "Thank you for my career, Philadelphia".

Oh, and the lady who was chosen from the crowd for the "Can't Smile Without You" duet came from about two rows behind us. :o) She had a sign saying "22 Years and Still Trying". Barry saw it, and picked her to be what's known on the Barry fan newsgroup as the CSWY girl.

I didn't have a sign. If I'd known I was gonna be right on top of the stage, you BET I'd have had a sign. But oh, well. If his "farewell" tour turns out not to be any such thing, maybe next time I'll have a sign. I wanna be a CSWY girl too. ;o)

And if that WAS the final time he performed in Philly, I'm glad I got to see him. He's among the best performers I've ever seen, and am ever likely TO see, in my life. Barry rules. :o)

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