Leave your heart in the hands of Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett Victoria B.C. Canada Concert 2009 reviewAfter 4 or 5 standing ovations, I would have to say that the Tony Bennett show (at the Royal Theater in Victoria) was the greatest show I have ever seen.

Tony and his band took us on a sentimental journey through the great American song-book – and we went willingly and often with rapturous results.

To say that Tony Bennett is a skilled time traveler would be entirely fair – or better, a musical history tour guide of some of the sweetest love songs of the last 60+ years.

A largely gray crowd were held spellbound with classics like “Someone to Love,” “Steppin’ Out with My Baby” from a whisper to, yet another, explosive finale, and brought the lovers in the crowd closer with “Maybe This Time,” and emoted “Speak Low” with his signature texture and rasp.

At 83, Tony has more to offer than the clear majority of pop stars half his age, his vocals offering an return ticket into life’s simple magic – and his undying quest for perfect love.

“I dedicate this song to Britney Spears,” he cracked during “Kiss the Good Life Goodbye,” the Royal audience embracing his sentiment as he snapped a sly smile.

“That’s the way to live, if you mope and groan, something’s got to give,” he sang in Duke Ellington’s “In a Mellow Tone,” the band trading blazing solos as they did throughout the night, incinerating “I Got Rhythm,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got that Swing)” with an unquenchable fire.

Other greats included: “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Fly Me to the Moon.” “Sing You Sinners” and “For Once In My Life.”

At one point Tony put the microphone down and sang into the crowd with only the guitarist by his side. As he did throughout the night, Tony and his band took us higher and higher – leaving us breathless.

And like my wife and I, I am sure the other couples in the audience felt that Tony was singing directly to them, reaffirming their love and reminding us that tomorrow is another day – filled with joy and hope – and the little annoyances don’t mean a thing – not a thing.

Tony Bennett: Thank you!