- Clive Davis' Grammy Party Class Photo - On the eve of music's big night, Sony Music's chief creative officer, for the 42nd year, brought together industry titans and top talent -- including Elle King, Beck and more -- at the Beverly Hilton. Says Carly Simon of the V-Day bash: "He's a national treasure, so in a way, it's a national holiday." "Parties aren't supposed to be fun, right?" said Jack Antonoff, Grammy winner for his work on Taylor Swift's album 1989, as he marveled at the music giants gathered at the Beverly Hilton for Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy gala.
The 2016 edition, held Feb. 14, honored manager Irving Azoff with a Salute to Industry Icons award and featured performances by Beck (with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic), Barry Manilow (in his first appearance following a brief hospitalization), newcomers Tori Kelly, Elle King and Fetty Wap, and Carly Simon, who performed "You're So Vain." While some stars were across town for the Jimmy Iovine-Liberty Ross wedding, Davis was unfazed. "This will be a lifetime memory for all those who are there." (The Hollywood Reporter, 2/17/2016)
- New security at Intrust Bank Arena makes debut at Barry Manilow show - Whether it’s a big game or a concert, security is on everyone’s minds and that’s why venues across the country, including Intrust Bank Arena, are taking steps to improve security and make it faster. People waiting in line for Friday night’s Barry Manilow concert told KSN they’re thankful for the added efficiency and security that the new metal detectors bring. “They’re in effect now for all events going moving forward,” said Intrust Bank Arena General Manager, A.J. Boleski. The venue expected anywhere from 5,000-6,000 people at tonight’s concert. And everyone had to file through security before enjoying the show. “It’s been kinda driven by the industry as a whole as you go to professional sports, major league baseball, NBA, those types of things; you see this more and more,” Boleski said. “Several promoters in the concert industry are now requiring it so that kind of factored into what we’re doing today”
KSN wanted to see the security in action so we watched as people filed in and low and behold, the process was pretty fast. “This is kind of an upgrade from the wands obviously, it’s a little bit more efficient,” Boleski said. And some people waiting outside said the metal detectors make them feel safer. “There’s going to be a lot of people here tonight and I like to be sure that everybody’s safe and Barry’s safe and his band and everything. And this makes me feel really good,” said Tammy Hargis, who traveled with her husband from Topeka for the show. “I assume be safe and have them do the right thing than you know, rather having something go wrong,” said Kenny Bell, who was waiting outside the arena before the concert. There are 33 metal detectors in total and they cost nearly $130,000. They were purchased with money from the Sedgwick County Arena Reserve Fund. (KSN.com, 2/19/2016)
- Barry Manilow at Scottrade Center in St. Louis - It's Friday and that means it's time to go "front row" with St. Louis Post-Dispatch music critic and Blender Blog host Kevin Johnson for the scoop on the big concerts coming to town. Classic singer Barry Manilow is at Scottrade Center with a concert on March 31. The show is part of his 'One Last Time!' tour. Show time is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16.75-$166.75 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 24 at Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000 and at the box office. (Fox2Now, 2/19/2016)
- Win tickets to see Barry Manilow - Barry Manilow recently announced that he is going to "hit the road" and perform concerts across North America One Last Time! The music legend launched his multi-city One Last Time! Tour earlier this year and will stop in Manchester, NH at the Verizon Wireless Arena on March 15th! Dave Koz will be a special guest on this date! ENTER HERE to win a pair of tickets to see Barry Manilow at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester on March 15.
Visitors are only allowed to enter once a day. Additional entries will be disqualified. Each complete entry is put into a drawing to win a pair of (2) tickets. One winner will be chosen on March 4, 2016. You need not be present to win. The winner will be notified via email. NewHampshire.com is not responsible for lost, late, damaged, incomplete, illegible, or misdirected form submissions. No facsimiles, photocopies or mechanically reproduced entries allowed. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. No purchase necessary to enter. Employees, agents and families of Union Leader Corporation and affiliated subsidiaries are not eligible. Subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited by law. All taxes on prizes are the responsibility of winner. Winners agree to sign an affidavit and any state, federal or other tax documentation that may be required at contest completion. (Union Leader, 2/17/2016)
- Intrust Bank Arena to use walk-through metal detectors starting with Barry Manilow concert - Intrust Bank Arena will begin using walk-through metal detectors for all events starting with the Barry Manilow concert this Friday night, the venue announced Wednesday. The arena has been using wands, searching bags and prohibiting large bags since the Taylor Swift concert in August 2013, a news release said. The walk-through detectors are another step in increasing security, the release said. Walk-through metal detectors have become more common across the country, the news release said, and the arena used them at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concerts in December without noting any increased delays in getting people in. The arena said that the security measures will be used to prevent hazardous and prohibited items from entering the venue. Bags that are bigger than 16 inches long by 8 inches wide by 12 inches high are not allowed. A list of some of the other prohibited items can be found on the arena’s website, www.intrustbankarena.com. (The Wichita Eagle, 2/17/2016)
- Here's Why You Can't Get That Top 40 Song Out Of Your Head - If most of the aughts were scored by Beyoncé’s pulsing successes, each more danceable and soulful than the last, then the end of 2015 was a brief fermata, a chance for another powerful voice to chime back in. If you’re a Top 40 devotee, you know that voice was Adele’s, a sorrowful croon that can burst into a vivid range of auditory flourishes on a whim. When “Hello” came out last fall, it impressed critics, who were already primed to love the edgy, young Cockney singer’s tear-jerking tunes. It also broke a lot of records. The power ballad is Adele’s fourth song to top the Billboard Top 100 charts, but her first -- and the first ever -- to sell one million digital copies in one week. “Hello” surpassed Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” in YouTube views, speaking to the song’s catchiness. Even listeners who didn’t want to commit to purchasing the track couldn’t stop replaying it, hooked by its mournful, nostalgic tone and slow-marching buildup, culminating in an explosion of feels. This Monday, she'll preform the hit live at the Grammys. To figure out what it is about “Hello” that continues to hook both Adele-lovers and reluctant fans, I spoke with David Metzer, professor of music at the University of British Columbia. He’s literally writing the book on the history of the ballad right now, so his insights seemed like they might be valuable -- and they were.
First off, Metzer cautioned against categorizing songs too stringently, especially contemporary hits, which are much more likely to incorporate disparate genres. Although Adele’s “Hello” could be classified as a power ballad, it also pulls in pop, soul and what Metzer called “singer-songwriter intimacy.” That it touches on so many sounds is part of the song’s appeal. That being said, it also follows a formula -- one that’s been employed by ballad writers in the 1970s and beyond, demonstrating a keen ability to please. “A power ballad is based on one musical formula, and simply put it's one of constant escalation. These songs begin quietly and subdued, but then it's just nonstop building step by step by step by step,” Metzer explained. “So, usually, you’ll just have piano and voice or something like that, but by the end you’ll have a full orchestra and some electric guitars and all that, so it’s just this ramp-up of emotional intensity and musical intensity.” The switch from slow build to intense release usually happens about three-quarters of the way through the song, according to Metzer. Spurred by an abrupt change of key, the jerky shift in a power ballad is referred to as a “truck driver modulation,” a sudden escalation that makes the heart soar. “You can sense it right away,” Metzer says. “It’s just like everything literally has been taken up a step.”
Metzer traces the power ballad formula -- three quarters escalation, one quarter no-holds-barred emotion -- back to a musician who ostensibly has nothing in common with Adele: the schmaltzy, Broadway-inspired Barry Manilow. “If you look at songs like 'Mandy' or even 'I Write the Songs,' he’s the one who really came up with this formula that I’ve been following, where it’s just constant escalation and modulation at the end,” Metzer said. “In fact, a critic in the early 1980s called it the 'Big Bang' formula.” It’s the basis for a bevy of '80s pop and rock hits, including Aerosmith’s head bang-inducing “Dream On,” and Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” “I think in the 1980s, you had pop and rock groups pick up on these ideas of ballads that just got bigger and bigger and bigger,” Metzer said. “I’m not sure if they were referring to the Manilow songs, but, really, in the late '70s and early '80s the Manilow songs were inescapable, so I’m sure they picked up on it in some way.” So a simple formula, and the emotional lyrics they tend to encapsulate, unites Adele’s unfiltered love letters, Barry Manilow’s show-tunesy ditties, and Poison’s gravelly insights.
Beyond the catharsis provided by these songs’ structures, Metzer believes they appeal to listeners because they provide moments of earnest emotional indulgence -- which are rarities on the bubbly, glossy Billboard charts, populated as they are with teenage dreams and cheery commands to “Shake It Off.” “If you look at pop culture, there are very few moments where you do get that unbridled release,” Metzer said. “And these songs provide them, so I think people grabbed onto them for that reason.” It’s a weighty task for a single song to carry, which is why it makes sense that Adele’s “Hello” is a big, enveloping force, with bold, broad lyrics that could describe the feelings that accompany a variety of lost loves. Adele has said that “the other side” refers to the maturity she’s discovered beyond the threshold of a rough-and-tumble youth. The song, she’s said, is about no one in particular -- an ode to everyone in the past she’s left behind. So when we sing along, we chant the mantra of a universal feeling: the creeping approach of adulthood, a smooth ride for occasional bursts of overwhelming nostalgia. (Huffington Post Arts & Culture, 2/11/2016)
- Storm-Tossed Cruise Ship Returns To N.J. - After enduring winds that topped 120 mph and waves that tossed their ship around, passengers of the Anthem of the Seas are on dry land Thursday, having cut short a planned cruise to the Bahamas. Royal Caribbean says the storm that damaged the ship and forced its return to New Jersey "far exceeded forecasts." The cruise line also says it will revise its policies about avoiding severe weather. Passengers had posted photos and video showing damage and extreme conditions on board. When the ship docked Wednesday night, passengers say, the onboard speakers played Barry Manilow's song "Looks Like We Made It" and cheering erupted from the balconies... "Our ship and our crew performed very well to keep everyone safe during severe weather," the cruise line says. And while it apologized to passengers "for what they went through," Royal Caribbean adds, "of more than 6,000 people on board, only four minor injuries were reported." (NPR, 2/11/2016)
- Local Arts News: Orlando - The Orlando Ballet has brought in the big guns to help it pirouette its fortunes. Michael M. Kaiser, chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland and past president of Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center, will serve as a "turnaround expert" to get the Ballet back on track. By now, nearly every member of the organization except artistic director Robert Hill, has been replaced in recent years; here's hoping they finally stick the landing on this latest leap. You don't usually think of Amway Center as a venue for local artists, but two recent exceptions prove the rule. During Barry Manilow's farewell tour stop in Orlando on Feb. 2, 35 members of Central Florida Community Arts' choir were invited to act as backup singers on classics like "Copacabana." And on Feb. 28, Logan Anderson hosts "Pure Magic," a slam poetry pre-show before the Magic-76ers game... (Orlando Weekly, 2/10/2016)
- Bandit Launches Touring Season With grandMA Console Purchases - Due to the incredible increasing demand of the upcoming year, Bandit Lites recently added several grandMA 2 consoles, grandMA 2 Lites and grandMA2 NPUs to their touring inventory as spring tours gear up and prepare to load out. “Since the Grand MA Line of consoles continues to lead the pack in lighting control, I’m excited to add more to our inventory,” said Director of Technical Services Jake Tickle. “MA Lighting continues to pave the way we think about programming and expands the possibilities of creativity.” With 4,096 parameters and 15 motorized executor faders, the grandMA 2 Lite has become an industry staple that allows infinite possibilities for lighting designers and programmers while remaining cost effective. Country music sensation Billy Currington’s Summer Forever Tour will feature the new consoles with lighting designer Chris Shrom while Mark Butt’s design for Grammy-award winning Little Big Town will take another on the road with Luke Bryan. Alternative rock band Shinedown will also include a grandMA console as will Seth Jackson’s lighting design for Barry Manilow. Along with the consoles, Bandit also added several grandMA 2 NPUs to help expand its ever growing inventory of MA2 products, giving designers better access to the industry leading console line and its accessories. (Live Design, 2/10/2016)
- Saxophonist Reflects on Musical Legends - In a phone interview two weeks ago, I was supposed to discuss smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz’s upcoming appearance on tour with Barry Manilow at the BB&T Center. But, the conversation quickly turned to musical legend David Bowie, who suddenly died just a few days earlier, sparking worldwide reaction. “It’s funny. People who have been around for a long time, you take them for granted for a long time,” Koz said. “It’s a reason to take another look at the body of work they have created.” Koz, who is openly gay, genuinely admired Bowie, who was bisexual and brought down many sexual identity stereotypes through his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust. “It’s amazing to look at how courageous this man was. He was genre-busting and fearless. What he stood for was so powerful at a time when nobody had the guts,” he explained. “David Bowie brought about a massive amount of change.” Ironically, Bowie’s last album, “Blackstar,” was released just two days before his death. A parting gift to fans, the album included a single, “Lazarus,” named after the Biblical character raised from the dead by Jesus. “That’s the spirit of musicians. It keeps you young, always searching. That’s where the real inspiration comes from,” Koz said of his musical hero.
The smooth jazz saxophonist, who regular appears in the region on his annual “Dave Koz & Friends” Christmas tour, returns to South Florida with another hero, Barry Manilow, on the singer and songwriter’s “One Last Time” tour. Koz, who appeared with Manilow in 30 cities in 2015, said the experience was an honor. “I grew up listening to Barry’s music,” Koz said. “When I was 13, 14, 15 years old, that was the music I loved. I really was a pop kid. Even though I played saxophone, I was raised on pop music. I remember looking at him and listening to him and absorbing his music.” Now, Koz is on the road with the icon, taking advantage of the opportunity to “see how he works,” adding, “Barry is a great performer, but he’s also a great musician. The side people don’t see is he’s always tinkering with the music to make it sound fresh every year.” Manilow may be 72, but Koz says he shows up to every performance and gives it “every bit of what he is. I want to be doing that for another 20 years. If I have breath, I want it to be going through a saxophone.” Koz himself celebrated the 25th anniversary of his own first album last year and his career continues to be “a dream.” He toured mainland China for the first time last year and was “completely blown away” by the number of fans who attended his concerts. His smooth jazz cruise of the southern Caribbean later this year has already sold out and he’s planning another in 2017 in the Mediterranean. Another album is also in the works. But, in the meantime, he’s just enjoying the opportunity to bring a little musical joy to audiences with Barry Manilow.
Dave Koz appears with Barry Manilow on Friday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com. (South Florida Gay News, 2/3/2016)
- The Week Ahead: Feb. 3 to 8 - Barry Manilow has named his 2016 tour “One Last Time,” implying, well ... finality. Are we supposed to believe that this ageless road warrior really is giving up touring after this jaunt, or is it a marketing ploy? The 72-year-old pop legend says it’s true. He may play a few one-off shows, but no more national tours, recently telling the Tampa Tribune that, “I’ve had 45 years of room service, and that’s enough.” So if you’ve never heard the crooner belt out “Copacabana,” “Daybreak,” “Could It Be Magic” and his other cultural touchstones in a live setting, this may actually be the last opportunity to do so. There’s also a local tie-in that makes this swan song extra special: 35 members of the Nova Singers of Nova Southeastern University will back Manilow up on many of his iconic songs. Smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz will open the show. What: Barry Manilow. Where: BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise. When: 7:30 p.m. Cost: $19.75-$179.75. Contact: 954/835-8000, thebbtcenter.com (Boca Raton Magazine, 2/3/2016)
- Top things to do in Tampa Bay the week of Feb. 1-7 - Music: We Can't Smile Without You, Barry Manilow, at Amalie Arena on Thursday with saxophonist Dave Koz ($19.75-$149.75). (Tampa Bay Times, 2/1/2016)