|Index||9 reviews in total|
After insisting for years that she didn't enjoy live public
performances, Barbra Streisand finally came out of hiding and delivered
exactly what all of her fans had been dreaming of - and much more.
Despite giving many live performances over the years on television
shows and fund-raisers, this was actually the first real concert tour
of Streisand's career. She decided it was time to finally conquer her
intense stage fright and, at the same time, give something back to the
fans who had been begging to see her perform live for years. The show's
pricey tickets sold out instantly, and fans eagerly awaited the day of
the concert. Little did anyone know that Streisand would not only meet
the huge expectations that had been placed before her, but that she
would greatly exceed them - the '93-'94 concerts will be forever
remembered as one of the best things she has ever done.
From the slow emergence of the perfectly-selected opening song "As If We Never Said Goodbye" to full-throttle splendor of the closing selection "Somewhere," Streisand treated her audiences to a spectacular evening. She opened herself up more than she ever had before, and allowed her fans to spend time with the woman behind the superstar. The first act of the show was more like one of her sixties television specials (particularly MY NAME IS BARBRA) than a traditional concert, with insightful and humorous "therapist" monologues peppered throughout the first half. Streisand effectively reminisced about many of the events that shaped her life as an entertainer, and the song selections perfectly complemented the stage dialogue. The songs performed in this half are not the typical "greatest hits" set that most artists perform, but were selected because of what they represent in Streisand's life. It works flawlessly, with the well-known selections ("People," "Evergreen") folding into the context as easily as the lessor-known material ("I'll Know, "Will He Like Me").
The second act is performed more like a traditional concert, however Barbra still lets her guard down quite a bit when she discusses her relationships to her son and goddaughter, both of whom she dedicates songs to. The original New Year's concerts at the MGM Grand was finally released on DVD (and home video period) in March of 2004, and it features a slightly different song listing and finds Streisand sounding fantastic. The concert that was recorded for the Triple-Platinum-selling double-CD set was performed at Madison Square Garden in New York, in which the fact that she was performing in her own home-city made the show seem even more poignant. The concert that was broadcast on HBO and NBC was performed at Anaheim, Canada, which was the last stop on Streisand's tour. She was fighting laryngitis at the time, but Streisand still sounds great despite a couple of scratchy notes. This version of THE CONCERT is the one that won five Emmy awards in addition to the prestigious Peabody award.
Streisand sounds absolutely terrific in all three recordings of THE CONCERT, and she shows us once again why she is the greatest vocalist of all time. While she unarguably has a gorgeous, God-given singing voice, it is the nuance and emotion that she commandingly brings to every song she sings that really places her in a class by herself. Listening to her explore the lyric of well-written song is easily one of the most exciting things there is, and that sentiment is expressed multiple times throughout this remarkable concert.
This concert was one of the best I have ever seen. Barbra's superb singing, her appreciative audience (they gave her so many standing ovations you wouldn't believe) and her impressive stage presense was a marvel to watch. Only regret that I couldn't attend that concert and the approaching millennium one in MGM Grand. Will be dying to get that LD too though! Go for it Barbra!
Barbra Streisand - Love her or hate her, few would deny her talent for singing! Her first concert tour in over two decades was well worth the wait. Opening with "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from "Sunset Boulevard", she had some of the lyrics changed, now instead of the song referring to Norma Desmond's return to the movie studio, it is about Streisand herself returning to the concert stage. The performance was staged very much like a theater production with two "Acts" and Barbra offering an audio biography along the way. She performs one new song, the beautiful "Ordinary Miracles". Among the highlights are a medley from "Yentl", a mesmerizing version of "Lazy Afternoon" and the closing number "Somewhere". In truth, nearly ever song is a gem. Streisand reminds you how moving truly talented vocalists can be. Here's looking forward to her 1999 tour!
There is a reason that Barbra Streisand is the best selling female recoding artist ever. That reason is shown in this concert. It is her first in two decades and the songs that she chose are among the best that she has ever recorded. We all know that she will never get away with never making another stage appearance again. Look at the Emmy Awards. She said that the Timeless concert was her last. Then she appeared without telling anyone (although someone at cnn did find out. It was running on those scrolls at the bottom of the screen the day of the Emmys). There is just too much public demand for her voice. She is quite possibly the greatest singer of her generation. Along with Frank Sinatra, that is.
This double album is definitive Babs. The voice is beautiful, and the selections inspired and plentiful. The banter that takes place between the songs is concise and fun, the audience reactions are inspiring in their appreciation of this awesome one of kind talent. The background orchestra is lush and full bodied, the perfect accompaniment. Except for a few obscure songs of arguable value near the end , and IMO,a less than satisfying Somewhere, this collection is exceptional. Standout performances include classics such as Happy Days are Here Again, People, He Touched Me, and Evergreen... tunes that span the decades! We cannot wait for a repeat performance soon!
I can think of no other show to match this "Perfect Storm" of a performance, other than maybe "Liza Minnelli At Radio City", shown on PBS. Ms. Streisand can be exasperating for her over the top, nervous breakdown renditions, but I must say as a musician, this cocnert is beyond reviewing. I mean, do you review Heifitz, or Horowitz, or a Jan van Eyck alterpiece? The patter, which can be very over done Brooklyn Jewish, was held to a minimun and quite enjoyable. You know, for people we idolize, many stars find it difficut to talk about what they do, or express themselves verbally. Fred Astaire on the "Tonight" show simply could not discuss what he does on the screen. I've seen Sinatra, who did have a sense of humor, try to ad lib remarks to the audience, with less than successful results. Even Brando, who went on the Joey Bishop show to talk about the assassination of Martin Luther King, had trouble getting his point across. Incidentally I just peeked, and "Liza at Radio City" got 3.8. Not too bad, FOR THE GREATEST PERFORMANCE I HAVE EVER SEEN BY A LIVE HUMAN BEING, up till this show. And I've seen, in person, Sinatra, Anthony Newley, Sammy Davis Jr., Lenny Bruce, and Dame May Whitty. Ms. Streisand's cohorts included conductor, composer Marvin Hamlish, who by some lucky fluke composed the score to "Chorus Line", and repeated the lucky fluke by composing "The Way We Were". The lead trumpet was Lew Soloff who to trumpet players is a Mount Everest of contemporary horn players. Add a dash of Hank Waldman's delicious piano on "For All We Know", plus what looked like a thousand strings with oboes and French horns and you wouldn't even miss the ten thousandth rerun of "Celebrity Bowling".
Count me in as someone who really likes Barbra Streisand and her voice. And this concert is a treasure, for Streisand fans it is a must. Barbra herself is in great voice as you would expect, what is appealing about her is not just her beautiful voice and liquid-like phrasing and breath control but also the remarkable ability to really connect with the song and lyrics and be genuinely poignant at all. You hear all those things here in Barbra: The Concert. It's not just her singing here either, in the talking moments you do have to admire how intimate, honest and personal she is with doses of humour, she has been controversial with her comments but you don't hear any of that here. The songs she sings are sheer beauties, often classic status, and much of them suit Barbra's talents to a tee and speak for themselves. Especially good are Somewhere, Evergreen(one of those cases where the song is better than the film it's from, didn't like the film but love the song), Can't Help Loving Dat Man and As If We Never Said Goodbye, the songs that show off Barbra's voice the best. Barbra: The Concert is shot very nicely and professionally and the sound accommodates the atmosphere of each song. The songs are cleverly arranged and Barbra is accompanied beautifully and sensitively. Barbra: The Concert is not the most spontaneous of concerts but the warm and intimate atmosphere makes that not matter at all. Overall, a must for fans of Barbra Streisand and in all areas it's wonderful. 10/10 Bethany Cox
BARBRA STREISAND had great stage presence and she proved it beyond
doubt when she did this 1994 appearance in Anaheim, July 1994, Live at
the Arrowhead Pond.
She goes through her repertoire of great song hits with class and elegance and a sense of rapport with her audience that includes a good sense of humor about herself. This is what she does best--performing in concert before a large audience of appreciative fans.
Missing are the kind of comments she's been making at recent concert appearances--the sort that have had hecklers urging her to get on with the songs instead of bashing George Bush. Pure concert is what we get here in this excellent video recorded twelve years ago when she was in fine voice.
Best of the numbers: DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE, PEOPLE, EVERGREEN, THE MAN THAT GOT AWAY, YOU DON'T BRING ME FLOWERS, MY MAN and SOMEWHERE.
A gem for Barbra's fans who really want to hear her sing and not talk politics.
I love this video. It shows Barbra Streisand's first full length concert in years. Watching the audience reactions, to this legendary performer, is as exciting as watching Barbra herself. The only complaint I have, is that this is different than the HBO special. The HBO special concluded in LA, and the video concludes in New York. Also, they should have showed the people in Times Square(video) watching her perform 'Somewhere' on the jumbo tron. Other than that, it was magical. Sort of like taking a trip down memory lane with Barbra.
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