A Close Encounter of the Burt kind

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David Young
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Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:16 pm

A Close Encounter of the Burt kind

Post by David Young »

A Close Encounter of the Burt Kind

On Friday 20 July. along with some 4000 other concert goers I attended Burt`s cincert in the multi-event Vector Arena. At 8.10 Burt emerged on stage to great applause announcing in his intro that they would perform as much music ``as time permits``. When introducing hte medley segment he generously acknowledged Hal David , `and he is truly brilliant``The first segment of the medley was somewhat truncated from his usual lineup and did not include Reach Out for Me or Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa. In hte second segment You`ll Never Get to Heaven, Bond Street, Message to Michael and Blue on Blue were omitted. I presume this was to make way for newer material.
Josie James performed a marvellous rendering of Anyone Who Had a Heart to great applause.

Burt spoke about his days in the Brill Building and of his association with songwriters such as Jerry lLeiber and Donna Taylor sang Falling out of Love.

Burt then introduced his 2005 album by playing Go Ask Shakespeare. He
informed the audience that he had named a racehorse Go Ask Shakespeare and that everyone in the audience. could run faster than that horse. Then followed Who are These People and In out Time with trumpet played by Tom Ehlen ( although this latter number was somewhat foreshortened compared with the CD version).

Burt introduced a new song with lyrics by Tim Rice `Who`ll Speak for Love` and stated that it would be recorded when he found the `right person`. Josie James provided the vocals on this occasion.

During the concluding part of the concert, Donna Taylor sang `Close to You` which apparently wasn`t performed during the Australian part of the tour (accoring to one review).

The concert ended with a marvellous rendition of `Any Day Now` sung by John Pagano with Tom Ehlen emerging from the side ot he stage during the concluding part of the song to play the trumpet.

As an encore Burt performed Raindrops with audience participation and left to a standing ovation.

As we left the arena we noted that members of the audience were having hteir programmes signed by the three singers and so we approached the stage. I spoke briefly with John Pagano enquiring about his new CD which he informed me is due out next month and that Burt arranaged and appeared on `Any Day Now ` and `This Guys in Love With You`.

While we were talking Burt`s son appeared and I was able to thank him for accompanying his Dad out here and told him that he had a `great Dad`.

We then left the arena hoping to gather at the rear entrance of the arena on the advice of website stalwart Vincent Cole and look for a limo.

Unfortunately, the new complex is a mass of wrought iron grills and high fences so access was impossible.

Somewhat disappointed we left the venue but decided to head for a hotel to review the concert. The hotel was the Hyatt where Burt had held a press conference two nights previously.

I have always felt blessed that Burt wsa chosen for me as my favourite composer all those years ago -37 years ago- when I was in high school.

As we left the hotel, Providence had one more blessing to bestow.

As we walked down the steps of the hotel ,out of an unprepossessing white
sedan emerged a figure clad in ski jacket and track pants- it was the evening`s piano player. I retraced my footsteps and was greeted with a broad smile when I said `Hello Burt``. I thaked him for a wonderful concert and he thanked us.I Informed him that I had been waiting 37 years to see him and thanked him again. As his touring party were also arriving at the hotel he then moved off into the lobby smiling. He looked tired but happy.

This was a wonderful conclusion to the best concert event I have ever attended and well worth a 1000 kim round trip. I also fulfilled my mother`s `instruction` . whose departing words to me when I left for Auckland were to ``say hello to Burt``.

This was one TRULY Amazing Night!!`

David Young

Posts: 1004
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:17 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Post by steveo_1965 »

Hey Dave...
Fantastic story...thanks for sharing with us, and as fate turned out, you got to meet Burt!


Posts: 788
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Staten Island N.Y.

Reply: David Young

Post by vincent.cole »

:D David;

Thank you very much for sharing the joy of the concert with all of us!

Hey, I would of scaled the fence (lol)! But in any event, you got a chance to me Burt!!!
Take care;


Daddy Dom
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:41 pm

Post by Daddy Dom »

Hi David, I was also with you in that audience and thank you for your accurate review - I thought that apart from the hard seats, the Vector arena was good.

I'm extremely pleased for you that the Gods-of-Happy-Meetings were on your side, as they were for me in Hawai'i two years ago. I never imagined Burt would come to NZ and happened to be idly viewing this very site three months prior to a Honolulu show. So I felt the madness and jumped anyway, and experienced a Burt-soaked week in Waikiki.

During the show there, I noticed the MC cooling off outside in the interval and said I would love to meet Burt as I had come from NZ. I waited outside afterwards for this fellow to come to get me and was ushered backstage with a trio of purple-rinsers.

Then, as you perfectly describe, the tracksuited Burt emerged as humbly as can be, even posing for a picture with me. He made me feel like this was the first time he'd accepted compliments from a backstage stranger and thoughtfully said, "Hmm, New Zealand ... yes, we've been trying to get there for a while now."

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