With singer Antonia Bennett, and musicians Lee Musiker (piano), Gray Sargent (guitar), Marshall Wood (string bass), and Harold Jones (drums).
Tony Bennett. Simply said: he is an amazing performer. One who forges an immediate and profound bond with his audience. They like each other; and they appreciate each other; in a form of truth one seldom sees, and is nice to be a part of.
There is no doubt ever that it is he who governs the stage; there is also no doubt that he appreciates his musicians, and they appreciate him. And his musicians, also simply put, are also remarkable. They all have musical résumés weighter than the Steinway Lee Musiker always plays.
After four songs’ warmup by his daughter, Antonia, the rest of the show was seamless Bennett from one song to another, many of them optimistic in hue, often moving in their simplicity.
Here are some of the attributes that stood out. The show was amplified, but modestly, not to the ear-splitting levels that have become the norm. One could make out the lyrics all the time; the performer sang, never screamed. The performance moved so flawlessly that it seemed longer in time than it actually was; demonstrating once more that less is actually more. All the songs were what the audience came for; no unnecessary novelties to test unnecessary patience. And the stage was shared with the musicians, who were recurrently highlighted.
He gave accolades to Canada, and to the Winspear, which really is a magnificent hall, for its fine acoustics.
Tony Bennett is now 86. Music, and the sheer joy of life, will take a person far. Age is what one gets to, not what one dies from.
The singer received four standing ovations, and reserved San Franscisco till near the end. And it was wonderful.