BWW BLOG: An Evening With Burt Bacharach at the Smith Center in Las Vegas
Jess here. Burt Bacharach. Simply. The. Best. I had the honor of attending An Evening with Burt Bacharach at the Smith Center this past weekend. This show was incredible in every sense of the word, with Bacharach taking his enthusiastic audience members on a musical journey down memory lane. Every once in a while you have the opportunity to experience a truly inspiring concert event that touches every level of your being. This reality was the heart of his show. Bacharach spent the evening sharing his vast six decade songbook with a packed house. I'm sure all patrons would agree that it was an absolute blessing to be in attendance. Bacharach is a master composer and musician whose talent has reached audiences of all ages. His career is unequaled, with accolades ranging from studio, to theatre, to the silver screen and beyond. The appreciative Smith Center crowd was treated to two hours of beautifully brilliant music with a complete band, three incredible vocalists, and Mr. Bacharach at the piano. Also in attendance was his son, Oliver Bacharach, who shared moments with his Dad while playing the keyboard alongside him in many of the evening's numbers.
Bacharach opened the show with one of his most popular, and always relevant pieces, "What the World Needs Now." Beginning the evening with such a poignant tune set the tone for the entire night, with Hal David's lyrics truly resonating with the crowd. As everyone settled back in their seats in anticipation, Bacharach presented a cavalcade of his 48 Top-10 Hits and nine #1 songs interwoven into multiple medleys throughout the course of the show. Featured were his fantastic veteran vocalists; Donna Taylor, John Pagano and Josie James. James's solo, "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and her rendition of "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" along with Taylor's version of "I Say A Little Prayer," all paying homage to the songs' original recording artist, Dionne Warwick, were absolutely fantastic! Pagano added another level of greatness with "This Guy's in Love with You" that made the audience member's hearts swoon. Pagano also played guitar and sang one of the first songs Bacharach ever wrote, "Mexican Divorce," with Bacharach joking that it never became a hit because radio stations in the south refused to give it air time. Pagano also accompanied himself on an acoustic version of a piece I had not heard before, "The Windows of the World." Originally performed by Dionne Warwick, this song's heartfelt lyrics were simply beautiful. Other favorites included "Close to You," "Walk On By" and "That's What Friends are For" performed by Taylor and James, as well as Pagano's take on the Tom Jones classic, "What's New Pussycat?"
Bacharach himself also performed a string of his classic hits, and prompted an audience sing-along for a rousting version of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" which was reprised again at the end of the show. "Wives and Lovers," "Alfie," "A House is Not a Home" and "The Look of Love" were also masterfully performed by Bacharach. He had the entire hall in tears by the end, with his authentic voice and raw honesty bringing the crowd to their feet.
The Smith Center marked Bacharach's final posted concert destination for 2017. We here in Las Vegas are thrilled that he included us on his tour, and eagerly await his return in the future!
"That far away shore's looking not too far, we're following every star." -Stephen Sondheim