Neil Sedaka’s newly released live CD, “The Show Goes On: Live at the Royal Albert Hall” is musical simplicity at its finest. This companion CD to the musical legend’s DVD release of the same performance has been six years in the making. Being that this performance has already been released via DVD, and now on CD, it makes one wonder if it will eventually see a blu-ray re-issue. Until then, at least audiences have this wonderful audio record of a performance that is simple. The simplicity of the performance makes the show fun and makes his classic hits that much more beautiful.
Sedaka’s performance was simply him and his piano. There was no band. There was no pyro. Nothing. It’s proof positive that the old k.i.s.s. formula does work. His vocals, and his ability on the keys, shows why he is just as respected as fellow pianist/vocalists Billy Joel and Elton John, if not even more so. The show’s opener, ‘The Other Side of Me’ is a beautiful, gentle piece that shows Sedaka’s control of both his vocal instrument and his piano. The dynamic contrasts throughout the piece make it flow with such ease. The emotions of the song are perfectly expressed through those dynamic contrasts. It pulls the audience right in. And the airiness of the sound thanks to the size of the Royal Albert Hall makes the emotion of the song echo throughout the building. That in itself gives the song that much more power.
Another wonderful moment from this recorded performance comes in the classic, ‘Love Will Keep Us Together.’ Sedaka explains to the audience in attendance how he came to write the classic song. His interaction with the audience as it collectively claps to the music exhibits a chemistry between everyone involved that makes the song that much more enjoyable. Listeners won’t be able to hold back the laughs as he talks about he writes songs, from developing a melody to experimenting with vocals and more. His lighthearted delivery makes this such a fun song. Of course, the song itself is just as fun as his interaction with the audience as he performs.
“The Show Goes On: Live At The Royal Albert Hall” is loaded with great moments for any Neil Sedaka fan. The set list is comprised of twenty-one total songs. So it would be impossible to touch on each and every one. But there is at least one more memorable moment in this performance. Being that it is such a classic, what Neil Sedaka show would be complete without the one and only ‘Calendar Girl.’ Sedaka shows why the piano is considered a percussion instrument in many circles. The way that he plays it is what really gives the song its identity, believe it or not. His vocals match that style, too. It combines to make just one more of what proves to be a great listen for any oldies fan.
Some people have commented on the “airy-ness” of the performance’s audio. Given, the Royal Albert Hall isn’t a small building. But that “airy-ness” is part of what makes this show so spectacular. This show is just Neil and a piano. The manner in which his vocals and his music echo throughout the hall add so much to the show’s simplicity. It’s one more bonus to what is a great show simply from the set list. But keeping that in mind, one can only hope that it will eventually see a blu-ray re-issue. Audiences will appreciate the concert that much more seeing the dichotomy of how simple Sedaka’s stage set was versus the size of the hall. That visual image alone makes it all that much more powerful. Until then, audiences at least have this new audio recording of Sedaka’s show. “The Show Goes On: Live At The Royal Albert Hall” is available in stores and online now. It can be ordered online at http://www.eagle-rock.com.
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