Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Mathis show in the Great Auditorium’

Big crowd for the Mathis show.

Big crowd for the Mathis show on Saturday, August 23, 2014

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

At the age of 78, Johnny Mathis is still  capable of putting on a great show, full of music that suits his style of, as he calls it, “mushy music.”   Basically Mathis is not a jazz man, a doo wop guy, a Broadway star, a bluesy Sinatra wannabe or a Vegas lounge act. Instead, Mathis is what he always has been, a purveyor of ballads—ie “make out”music.  But he has lots of fans, because an estimated 3,500 people filled the hall and the balconies.

Last night at the Great Auditorium, he gingerly strolled onto the stage and did one hit after another, with essentially no banter in between.  He has never been known to have an effervescent personality, but there is something honest, endearing and kind about him.  He introduced some of the musicians who have worked with him for years—-some for 10-30 years or more.

At one point the fire sirens kicked in while he was singing.  He gamely went on, and then, when the song and the sirens were over, he smiled and said, “That was almost in my key.”     He arrived with a 30 piece full orchestra which was fine, except for times when they turned into an amplified bugle corps.  There is no reason for a single singer performing with an orchestra full of violins, woodwinds, etc, to be amplified.  At one point they managed to insert electrical backup singers into a live number.  What the heck is that all about?   The GA is supposed to have superb acoustics.  Even Tony Bennet acknowledged that as he tried to project a song without a mike.

But Johnny Mathis is a true miracle man because his voice, although not quite  as good as it used to be, is still wonderful wonderful.  And chances are that he will continue performing around the world.  Most of his music is famous , and the crowd loved it.  I disliked the opening number which was loud and incoherent; evidently trying to emulate a Vegas opening.

Johnny Mathis loves samba music. The part I liked the best was at the end when he became the Brazilian ambassador of music, and the orchestra got into that Latin groove as well.  He concluded with a sparkling samba version of “Brazil.”

It’s not for me to say, but I hope he returns  before the 12th of never and brings Gina with him.

P.S :    And just a brief criticism for the CMA program planners:  On stage was a professional orchestra and the 11,000 pipe Hope-Jones organ, but when it came time for the Star Spangled Banner, a trio of singers walked on stage and sang it acapella.  What a disappointment compared to what that would have sounded like with the musicians on stage joining the organ and the  big crowd to bring us a majestic version of our national anthem.

Here is a link to a 2010 BF post about the business of  arranging the Saturday night summer shows in the GA



And, heeeeer’s Johnny:




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