Kevin Sings Darin – LIVE!
Spacey Fan Kaye’s Concert Story
Wayne Newton Theater Stardust Hotel/Casino
Las Vegas December 26, 2004
The theater was fantastic. It is in a semicircle facing the stage. The stage is connected on both sides to an aisle that runs through the audience. Also, a runway connects the stage to the top of the semicircle at the aisle. I hope that makes sense–it’s a little hard to describe. I wish I could just draw it. Anyway, Kevin made full use of all of it. He was almost running up the runway at times! When he first came out, he said, “We’ve never had one of these before!” He started strutting up the runway & pretending to take off his jacket.
He started with Hello, Young Lovers like at all the shows. The second song was As Long As I’m Singing. He did quite a bit of dancing during the instrumental part of the song–ending with a complete turn (like on ITAS). At that point, he had the audience in the palm of his hand. I won’t go into the songs he did because they have been talked about in all of the other reviews, but, he did put Bridge Over Troubled Water back in. The only song he did that I wasn’t familiar with was Sail Away.
The songs that got the biggest reactions were Mack the Knife (of course), Can’t Take My Eyes Off You & Hi-De-Ho. Kevin wore the tux with a brocade vest from the movie (he also wore it at Atlantic City). He was close enough to me at times that I could tell that the pattern on the vest was paisley. Several times he was about 6-8 ft from me.
He began singing My Funny Valentine when he was standing in front of me. I was really surprised by my reaction to seeing him in person. I expected to have a surreal feeling like I did when I saw Paul McCartney in concert. But, with Kevin, I didn’t. It felt so natural & right. I knew all of his moves, every expression, (almost) every note & joke. It felt like I saw him all the time!
There were two couples from Vegas sitting at my table. Before the show, I had to jump in when I heard one of the women say, “I don’t think he’s ever done any singing before.” I told them that, yes, he had done a song on the MGGE soundtrack in 97. She said, “He did?! Which song?” “That Old Black Magic” “Is that him? I have that CD but I never realized that was him!” I’d be willing to bet that after Sunday’s concert, she bought the BTS soundtrack.
A man & two women, also at our table, came to the concert from Chicago. I heard one woman say, “I don’t know why he didn’t come to Chicago.” Of course, I had to answer that, too! “He was there on the 21st.” She said she hadn’t heard anything about it. I also saw Dana Brunetti & Phil Ramone. They were sitting almost directly across from me. Dana’s date really liked Can’t Take My Eyes… She was dancing in her seat through the whole thing.
Near the start of the show, a woman yelled out, “You’re hot.” Kevin seemed embarrassed. Later, when he took off his jacket, she yelled, “Kevin, now you’re even hotter.” He said something like, “That makes it all worth while.” After a few seconds, he said, “My manager can stop that now.” Later, someone yelled, “Ventura still loves you, Kevin.” He said, “I’ll have to explain that later. We had our first show in Ventura & we’re a lot better now.”
As I was leaving, trying to catch my breath after the last encore (Hi-De-Ho), I heard an older man behind me talking about the show. He said, “It just doesn’t get any better than that.” On the way out of the Stardust, there was a girl on her cell phone. She said, “Yes, it was worth it! It would be worth $300 to see him!”
Everyone I saw seemed to have really enjoyed the show. I didn’t stay around long after the show because my mother had been feeling bad & went back to the room instead of the show, so I thought I’d better check in on her. I did take a couple of minutes to take some more pictures of the marquee–this time at night with the lights. I sure hope at least one of them comes out.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you about the poster inside the Stardust. It was about 2ft by 5ft & was surrounded by blinking lights! Oh, yes, souvenirs. They had the fliers like have been sold on ebay (the blue picture). There were also posters on the tables. Some tables I noticed had table tents, but, mine didn’t. All in all, the concert was worth every penny I spent to get there. I just wish that I could have stayed another day & seen Monday’s, too.
December 30, 2004
Linda & Marian’s Spacey Adventure
Bimbos 365 Club in San Francisco December 5, 2004
I was lucky enough to get tickets to the San Francisco concert at Bimbos 365 Club. Here are my thoughts about attending this exceptional experience. There are no adjectives to justly describe this concert.
Outstanding? Extraordinary? Breathtaking? None of these words are even close to describing this night. Kevin was…. Kevin was… Kevin was…good? Sorry, that was a joke from the show. Kevin finished singing Bridge over Troubled Water. Beautifully, I might add. Someone from the audience yelled, “You’re good.” Kevin turned toward the voice and said, “Good?” Turning back to the audience he said, “I can see the headlines in the San Francisco Chronicle: ‘Spacey concert, he was good,’ I can live with good, guess it’s better than he sucked.”
One of my biggest regrets is that I never saw Bobby in concert. By the time I was old enough to go see him in Vegas, he passed away. For Darin fans, Kevin’s show will bring back memories. Kevin adds so much of Bobby’s shows and tapes that it’s like watching Bobby. I may never have had the chance to see Bobby, but thanks to Kevin I did.
Kevin wore a tux….looking very sexy. Marian and I were right at the stage. Kevin sang in front of us all evening…well, for an hour and a half. A perfect location for him to sing to us. We were close enough to see the gulp, the quiver of his chin. He told the story of how he “met” Bobby through his mom. How this movie was his mom’s dream. Then he mentioned that today was a very special day in his life. His mom, who died a year and a half ago, would have been 73. The concert at Bimbos was on her birthday.
Kevin’s sister was in the audience, and he dedicated If I Were a Carpenter to her. She was at a table near us. Kevin sang that song with such emotion…and beautifully, I might add…again. The lady who was with us in line, sat behind Kevin’s sister and she said his sister cried throughout the song, saying, “I didn’t know he was going to do that.” Do not miss this show! If you can get tickets….GET THEM. It is definitely worth it! Kevin did it all.
played the harmonica
impersonations…. and did it with such joy.
Audience members were calling out Bobby Darin songs. Kevin stopped…looked out at the crowd, and said, “Bobby would have been so pleased by this.” Roger Kellaway was amazing. Kevin may be the heart of this show, but Roger is the backbone. Kevin sang songs from the CD, but a lot were just good old Bobby songs. He talked about Bobby recording over 300 songs, and how it was so difficult to pick the songs for the movie. He said it was even more difficult to try and narrow down the songs for the concert. ALL I can say: Kevin does Bobby proud.
On an added side note: Liss and I ordered flowers for Kevin and had them sent to the SF concert. We ordered 18 yellow roses (a Bobby Darin song). The card attached said: Bravo Kevin. Congratulations on attaining your Darin dream Your fans at Driving Mr. Spacey! and Legacy-Unleashed. Well, the official word is: The flowers were BEAUTIFUL.
We were concerned that a bouquet would not be delivered on a Sunday evening. So, Liss made me promise to investigate. I can safely say I should remain a teacher, since my PI abilities stink. With digital camera ready to capture the flower delivery van, the flowers, and the delivery person all the way to the stage door to prove they arrived, I didn’t.
I quickly found I had to resort to plan B. I asked one of the gentlemen who worked at Bimbos if Kevin got a bouquet.
Linda: Excuse me, did some flowers arrive for Kevin?
Bimbo Guy: Describe them.
Linda: 18 yellow roses.
Bimbo Guy: Yes, they arrived about 1 o’clock. They are beautiful and I am a man…but, they were beautiful. 18 long-stemmed yellow roses in a vase. Beautiful.
Linda: Any way you can take a picture of them for me?
Bimbo Guy: No, sorry.
Linda: For some reason, I figured you’d say that, but I tried.
Marian: Any others flowers back there for Kevin?
Bimbo Guy: No just these, and Kevin is going to be so pleased when he sees them. They are really beautiful.
Marian: Is Kevin here yet?
Bimbo Guy: You know I can’t answer that question.
Linda: >>trying to look innocent<< Ok, then, has Kevin seen the flowers, yet?
Bimbo Guy: >>smiles<< No, he hasn’t seen them yet, but he will like them when he does. They are beautiful.
So…now I am really curious. Do you think those flowers were beautiful, or what?
Linda — Hand Fetishes Inc. Legacy Unleashed.
Fan review by Kris
House of Blues Chicago December 21, 2004
I drove nine hours to see this concert, listening to Kevin Spacey and Bobby Darin for most of the trip and singing along (I am sure some of the other drivers thought I was a lunatic on the loose!). The performance that Mr. Spacey gave was just incredible. I do not possess the vocabulary to adequately express my intense enjoyment at the experience.
This man is the penultimate performer regardless of medium. I can only say that I was so overwhelmed with the live performance that I was unable to listen to the soundtrack on my return journey. I had been listening to the soundtrack almost exclusively since it’s release with great pleasure but the fact of the matter is that the soundtrack simply paled when compared with the live performance.
It has now been 36 hours since the concert and I hope I can listen to the soundtrack again.
Do you suppose if enough people contacted his agent requesting a DVD of one of the concerts that they would market one? Should we try it? I cannot wait to see what Mr. Spacey chooses to surprise us with next.
Fan review by Jean Cullen
Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City
December 14, 2004
I was at Spacey’s New York Concert at the Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center. It was spectacular. Not only did he sing well, but, as Roger Ebert said in his review of “Beyond the Sea,” (indeed, the main fault he found with the movie) he sang better than Bobby Darin). Also, he moved about the stage with incredible skill and grace, despite Stephen Holden’s subsequent review of the movie stating that Spacey wasn’t limber.
Not limber??? Come off it, Holden. Spacey has always been limber. Ask anyone who saw him in “The Iceman Cometh.” As Hickey, he slithered around those tables in the bar like a dancer. Anyway suffice it to say, that his performance in concert was something for the ages–totally memorable. I’ve been around for more years than I’d like to admit, and I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.
Fan review by Pam Sosnowski
Somerville Theater December 13, 2004
Killing Me Softly with His Song
OK, first off, let’s just pretend for a moment that I wasn’t a fan of either Kevin Spacey and I was unfamiliar with Bobby Darin’s music. I still would have loved this show. It wasn’t just great, it was SPECTACULAR.
I think that anyone in that speculated position with an open mind towards music would have walked away with a huge grin on their face. The reason I can say that with confidence is because the first thing my mother said when it was over is that she enjoyed it even more than Tom Jones. And coming from my mother, that means a lot, because she is a huge Tom Jones fan, plus I took her to his concert last year. Without a doubt we agreed that this was the best live performance we have ever seen.
The theater itself was very easy to find – we parked at Alewife and took the T one stop to Davis, and it was literally right next door to the T. While this theater has clearly seen better days, as soon as we walked in I knew it was the perfect venue. It is so small and intimate, and the seats are slightly elevated. Even though we were in the second to last row on the floor, it felt so CLOSE. Possibly even closer than when I saw Paul McCartney at the Fleet Center.
The atmosphere had a totally different feel to it vs. a huge stadium like the Fleet Center. And I think part of the reason Kevin’s crew chose these smaller venues is because Bobby used to play the same sizes to feel more in touch with the audience. The place really felt electrified. There was a huge range in ages, from twentysomethings to the baby boomers who experienced Darin first-hand to a lot of senior citizens. A lot of couples.
I was wearing my mother’s Austrian crystal bracelet, and when I was talking to her about cleaning it and making it shine more, the woman next to me pulled something out her purse, put it on her wrist, and showed it to me. She had the same exact bracelet! So we started chatting. I asked her if she was there for Kevin or Bobby, and she said both, although she had always loved Bobby Darin, and never missed his TV show when she was a kid.
Then she asked me if I thought we’d be able to rush the stage (joking, of course.) I told her we’d probably get arrested and told her what happened at the Tom Jones concert when the 20-something girls kept getting up on stage and hugging him, and she laughed.
The stage was really small – so small, in fact, that the band took up most of it. There was space in the center and on the right side, which made me feel fortunate that we got tickets on that side. At 7:40 or so, the band finally started up (and I recognized the intro from a live Darin CD that I have), and the piano player in the band introduced Kevin.
The crowd (including me, of course) went nuts when he materialized on stage. He was looking very dapper in a traditional tux and even better in person than on film. He looked about the height I thought he was (5’10” I’d guess), and I was happy to see after making so many movies where he had to pack on pounds (the beginning of American Beauty, and The Shipping News) that he was slim, svelte, and trim! No doubt he lost weight to play Bobby and decided to keep it off for good. I just thought he looked fantastic.
He looked healthy, youthful, relaxed, yet also raring to go and give us a great show, which he delivered. He dove right into “Hello Young Lovers”, then he moved his music stand away from the stage a bit, because he felt that it was blocking the view of the people sitting there, and commented that he was sure when they got their tickets they weren’t expecting a billboard in front of them.
He talked in between songs and you could tell he had a good relationship with the band. The piano player was Roger (I think his last name was Keller.) Kevin said that he worked with Bobby extensively and toured with him, and that he had cowritten the theme to “All in the Family”. Kevin talked about how important “Beyond the Sea” was to him and how important he felt it was to put Bobby back in the spotlight after all this time. He also plugged Bobby several times during the evening, explaining that in no shape, form, or way did he actually think that HE was Bobby Darin up there. He said no one else could ever come close.
He also plugged the “Mack is Back” DVD and said that Bobby’s greatest hits album was moving up on the Amazon.com charts. His voice was strong and he sounded better in person and closer to Bobby then on the soundtrack, which I purchased over the weekend. Some of the songs he did early on included “Fly Me to the Moon” (which I always associate with Sinatra. I’ll have to look up Bobby’s version), “Once Upon a Time” (which he dedicated to “a certain young lady in the audience”…no, not yours truly, unfortunately. Kate Bosworth, who plays Sandra Dee in the movie, was in the house, and I realized after the show that she’s from the Boston area. Her family owns the Talbots store franchise), “That’s All” (the original, slowed-down version, not the uptempo that Bobby recorded), “I’m Sitting on Top of the World”, and “It Was Just One of Those Things”. The third or fourth song was “Mack the Knife”. And I’m not kidding you, it brought the house down.
He REALLY got into it and borrowed several cues from Darin. He got a standing ovation for that one. A group of people who were seated down front got in late, and Kevin joked, “I’m sorry. Apparantly you just missed the best part of the show.” One of them yelled out, “Do it over again!” and he laughed. I didn’t shout out anything during the show – I didn’t want to attract attention and bug the people around me.
A woman down front summed it up for us all when she yelled out, “We love you, Kevin!” and he said, “thank you.” A young man in the front row on my side put his fist up in the air and yelled, “You RULE!” which he got a kick out of. My favorite part of the show was the comedy skit. If you are a fan of Kevin Spacey, you may know that he’s quite exceptional at doing mimics of other famous people, very dead-on. Bobby Darin was the same exact way, and he would incorporate them into his acts. So Kevin did the “One for my Baby” sketch that Bobby was famous for.
He’d pretend to be a drunk guy in a bar in L.A. who starts imitating all the stars. (When Kevin staggered around the stage at the start of this, I was instantly reminded of his drunk, Socrates scene in “The Life of David Gale”.) He did perfect impersonations of Christopher Walken, Burt Lancaster, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn (!), and Jack Lemmon, who was a good friend of his.
He ended the skit by singing like Jerry Lewis. I was laughing so hard that my cheeks literally started to freeze up and hurt! My mother was getting quite a kick out of it and the crowd just loved it. You could totally tell that Kevin was in his element, completely at ease with the audience and enjoying every minute up there. Like Bobby, he just loves performing and giving his audience a great time! What a treat that segment of the show was for me!
Then he launched into the folk songs…”If I Were a Carpenter” and “Simple Song of Freedom.” He introduced “Freedom” by saying the song was self-explanatory. The audience cheered and clapped when he sang that initial line, “Let it fill the air, tell the people everywhere, we the people here don’t want a war.” Then at the end when the two back-up singers repeat “Freedom” over and over again, Kevin went crazy and was jumping and sliding all over the stage like a madman. He left the stage for a minute, then reappeared wearing a Red Sox Santa Claus hat. You can imagine the crowd’s reaction.
He danced for several minutes, and then was noticeably out of breath, saying, “It’s true what they say…freedom is hard!” He also did a song that Darin sang live in the early 70s called “Hi De Ho” (not to be confused with “Minnie the Moocher”.) Hi De Ho is a rousing, funky number with a line in it about meeting the devil. In Darin’s version, he’d refer to the devil as Spirew Agnew (“He showed me the paper, and told me where to sign…I said I’m sorry, Mr. Agnew, but I’m in too great a need of my mind…” Well, Kevin’s version replaced “Mr. Cheney” for Mr. Agnew, and the audience went nuts! That was great!
He did the most lovely version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, which was one of Bobby’s favorites. And he did it the same way that Bobby used to perform it…a long, soulful version with a harmonica! He sang it so lovingly that I started to get tears in my eyes. That was another song that brought down the house.
He also performed one of my favorites, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, but he did that in Bobby’s exact style, which I love. Same instruments, arrangements, etc. And danced and shimmied all over the stage. Pure bliss for me. He came out at the end and did two encores…received several standing ovations.
Now, there was one moment towards the end of the evening that was priceless. Kevin’s mike started to have problems (he joked about it, saying they’re still building the theater) and while they were fixing it, this little old lady at the front approached him with flowers and a copy of the Beyond the Sea soundtrack. She was dressed like she came out of the 60s. If you ever watch an old movie from the 60s or early 70s and notice how older folks are dressed, that is what she looked like.
She had horn-rimmed glasses and this funny little hat on. He signed her CD, she exchanged some words with him, and then just as he thought he was getting away from her, she pulled on his arm and then quickly gave him a kiss on the cheek! He looked a bit sheepish and embarassed, but the audience loved it.
I’m so sorry for the length of this report, but it was an evening I’ll never forget. I can honestly say I have an even deeper appreciation for Kevin’s performances now, because some of them seem to be the complete opposite of the man I saw on stage last night. He has got to be the most talented man in Hollywood. This is a guy who was born to do what he does, and I’m so pleased that he and Bobby are getting the recognition that they deserve.
No doubt Bobby Darin is watching everything going on right now and he must be happy. I know I never stopped smiling the whole time I was in the theater last night. I feel so lucky and blessed, as someone who missed Bobby Darin’s original go on earth, to have been witness to what my very favorite actor presented last night. If Kevin wants a recording and touring career for a while in lieu of film, I’m telling you, he’d have it in the bag. No question.
Thank you, Mr. Spacey, for coming to Beantown and giving us an incredible evening that will be seared into my memory forever. I couldn’t fall asleep last night, and woke up in the middle of the night. I’m still high from the experience, and I don’t feel like coming down yet.
December 13, 2004
Fan review by Candis
December 13, 2004
Wow. Really, that’s all I have to say. The concert tonight was AMAZING. And people wonder why I love Kevin Spacey so much. He was simply incredible. Honestly, words cannot describe how much I enjoyed the night. He is such a tremendous performer. He sounded great, he was funny, and he seemed to be having a blast. Just incredible. Haha, he also dances just like my dad, which I think is hilarious. Some highlights – “Mack the Knife,” predictably, brought the house down. Just an engaging, energetic performance. He “sang” “One For My Baby,” but he did imitations of various actors for different lines, instead of just singing it. He did Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Katherine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Jack Lemmon, Jimmy Stewart, Burt Lancaster, Jerry Lewis, and probably some more, but I don’t remember. I always knew he was a great mimic, but to see him do it in person was incredible. Apparently, Bobby Darin was also a great mimic, and used to sing the song the same way, but he did different people, like James Cagney and others. Absolutely hilarious.
He surprised me by singing “Fly Me to the Moon.” Haha, I think my sister got excited about that one because it was actually a song she knew, since my dad and me are both huge Sinatra fans. He sang “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” and it just blew me away. I mean, I knew he had a good voice, but I didn’t know just how great it was until I saw him sing all these different songs and different styles. It’s hard to pick a favorite song of the night since there were so many good ones, but this might be my favorite. He even busted out the harmonica!
Dude is talented. The performance was just so emotional and energetic, and he put so much of himself into it. And it sounded GREAT. Brought the house down. “Simple Song of Freedom” seemed especially appropriate, considering the state of world affairs right now. It started out very simply, and just grew and grew as the song went on. My favorite part, though, was when he started dancing at the end. And he walked off-stage, and came back out wearing a Santa hat that said “World Champion Boston Red Sox” on it. I went nuts, the crowd went nuts, it was incredible. Seeing as how we are in Greater Boston, it was a great move to make. I loved it.
The first song he “ended” with before the encores was a medley that included “Splish-Splash” and “Dreamlover.” I really loved his voice when he sang “Dreamlover.” Not sure what it was, but something just made it special. He really got into all the music. His first encore song was “Hidy-ho” or however you spell it, and dude was getting INTO it. It was great. He even did the whole rock star yelling thing while jamming on the stage, and ended in super rock star mode all crouched near the piano. I loved it. He was very gracious on stage, too, thanking the fans and deferring a lot of the attention to Bobby Darin, since, in essence, this whole tour is a dedication to Darin, and to try to get his recognition higher.
You could really feel and see his passion for the project and Darin and the music, which made it that much better. I’m sure there were more highlights, and there were other songs I absolutely loved, but at the moment, those few stand out. Maybe the rest will come to me later. Apparently, Kate Bosworth was at the show. She is apparently from around here, so she came to this performance. I guess that’s kind of cool. I was certainly surprised by the range that he exhibited.
I knew he would sound good singing the standards, since his voice seems tailor-made for those kind of songs, but he also sounded great on everything else. He sang standards, ballads, jazz tunes, early rock, folk…and it all worked. He was also very entertaining when he was talking – cracking jokes, interacting with the audience, telling stories – he was the quintessential night club performer. Haha, after one song, he came out and said something like I forgot to say this earlier, and it’s the third time this tour I’ve forgotten to say it. This just goes to show that you should never smoke crack before a show. Hahahaha, I damn near died.
Cracked me up it did. His dancing was so funny. I had so much fun just watching him on stage. He really dances like my dad, though, haha. He is definitely a goofy white guy trying to get groovy. He was trying to move his hips while dancing with his arms, snapping his fingers – practically my dad. It was awesome. Just an overall amazing performance. Even though he played for nearly two hours, I was still sad when it ended because I had so much fun. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a camera before the show. I really regret that, since I would love some pictures to remember this incredible night.
And when I got home, I had a great idea, too, but it’s too late now. I should have called LJ at some point during the concert so I could’ve taped some of it and had it forever. Oh well. The time has past. I know that KS had a blast performing tonight, even as he deadpanned when he explained his cheat sheets, “I don’t usually do this for a living.” I also hope that he had so much fun that he decides to do it again.
Time of my life tonight. I know that everytime I go to a concert, I say it was the best one yet, but honestly, I think this was the best one. I love Hanson, and I love Something Corporate, and I love Paul McCartney, but I’ve never loved any of them as much as I love Kevin Spacey. And to see him in person, being funny, entertaining, engaging, and more, was just beyond incredible.
I mean, this lengthy entry can in no way truly express how much tonight meant to me and how much I enjoyed it. And I can only hope that I can experience it again one day. I really do love KS. As an entertainer, anyway. I obviously don’t know him, and I’m not one of those delusional fans that thinks they are practically best good friends with a celebrity because they know a lot about him, but he really does make me genuinely happy with his career and his art and his performance.
And people can think I’m strange or weird or whatever you want, but you can’t truly understand how much joy he brings into my life. He obviously can’t replace friends and family and all that jazz, but he can certainly complement them and make my life that much better. And I hope he realizes that.
So thank you, Kevin Spacey, for making my life that much better.
Thank you for tonight.
The Wiltern LG Los Angeles, California
by Lizzie Anne
I said I would post about the December 6th Kevin Spacey concert at The Wiltern in Los Angeles once I got back. It just took me a few days to get settled into reality at home again.
The entire concept for BEYOND THE SEA can really get one lost in a powerful tale of one man’s struggle to make his mark, and a difference, on this world. That’s the essence that Kevin Spacey wanted to bring to us with the film Beyond The Sea, extending into several concert dates performing tunes from Bobby Darin’s career.
Well, the show was fantastic! My friends and I really had a blast. (Even for a special treat, we visited the Formosa Café prior to the concert!) There have been some great reviews of the shows so far, including one of this LA show from Emily Blunt at her bluntreview.com site.
Everyone has mentioned how great Mr. Spacey looked, right? He was just overflowing in sexy. He started out the show dressed to the T, but it did not take long to start sliding out of that jacket. It just got more fun as the night went on. Some fun moves to witness, but actually the show often had a personal feel. He teased about awkward physical blocking issues, like moving the stool and/or mic cable around, preparing next comfortable set-up he would require. He mentioned that he guessed he would eventually need to hire someone to do it for him, which opened a flood-gate of audience members shouting out offers.
The show encompassed all of the tracks on the soundtrack if I am correct, with several other tunes Bobby Darin performed in his lifetime. Of course he was not offering an imitation, so it was not necessary to compare his every note and tone with how Darin had done. I did think there were a lot of classics that much like the CD, were not as favorite to me as Darin’s originals. Still, I rather enjoyed his performance just the same.
He also was better in concert than on the CD. I read several good reviews, however one in LA was not as favorable. Some interesting points were brought up by the writer, but overall I had to say Spacey’s performance certainly was not lackluster. While some songs seemed to be more laid back in delivery than others, (especially when the Darin performances of memory had more excitement to them) I felt Spacey gave the crowd a strong piece of himself without being over tenacious. It felt perfect all night, and all of the chosen set list was given justice.
LOVED his rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”. He mentioned that he could not see **** out in the audience, with the stage lights in his eyes, asked at one point to have the house lights brought up.
“The sight of you leaves me weak.
There are no words left to speak…”
I admit I felt his performance sounded much better in the folk tunes, especially If I Were A Carpenter and the uplifting rendition similar to the television aired production of Darin’s version of Bridge Over Troubled Water. You could feel the vibrato of the voices in harmony echo in your chest! I seriously could see him releasing an album of similar feel. I thought the big-band era tunes were certainly more my favorite, but I had forgotten how much I loved those Vegas-style-lounge-acts tunes of the late 60’s and early 70’s!
I really was impressed with the Space-cadettes! They were a wonderful component in the overall sound. I think Amy Keys and Felice Hernandez are their names. Also, Mr. Spacey introduced the drummer, Gregg Field. Great solo on his part as well, actually much like his overall performance that night, never overpower yet perfectly holding the tempo/rhythm throughout. It felt like everyone got off a beat right as he finished his solo, kind of suddenly on-the-one count, and they all look at him, and he just creates a half-second pause and pulls them right back in. As with any decent musician, the general public is not going to notice when you do what you do so RIGHT. The horn section was awesome too, and I really felt they should have had solos and introductions!
“As Long As I’m Singing My Song” was an upbeat performance! He hit the ending notes for the songs in fantastic splendor, much better than the soundtrack recordings, and I was pleasantly impressed – that passion was inspiring. Really fun covers of Just One Of Those Things, Hi-De-Ho, and Ace In The Hole (interesting mix on the Mercer/Darin lines).
The entire concert had perfect rhythm, and the band was quite good! The addition of Peter Cincotti joining a shared vocal with Splish Splash, was equally fantastic on the piano. “Just One of Those Things” was so awesome fun to hear and watch! He glided so quickly yet beautifully, and during the brief solo, he got downright funky, jumping all over the chords, (I thought he was about to go Brubeck on us!) He really was a nice addition, even if the show later on offered the same medley they have towards the end, including Splish Splash again.
Cincotti has a really great stage presence too, comfortable at his piano, seemed somewhat humble walking on and off. He didn’t need to be, the crowd ate him up loving it!
Wonderful fun in Kevin Spacey’s impersonation segment. Actually a take on Darin’s similar concept, it was fun to see him play drunk and then roll into other characters. It’s always a treat on talk shows to see Spacey do impersonations, so it was befitting to pay tribute to those moments when Darin held similar fashion. Great list from Spacey’s best lineup:
Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Marx Brothers, Johnny Carson, Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Jerry Lewis (of which at that point I laughed so loud I almost fell over).
There was also a mentioning of how Bobby Darin used to imitate Robert Mitchum’s facial expressions, but could not mimic his voice, and played it off as a joke.
When Mr. Spacey dedicated “Once Upon A Time” to the memory of his Mom, it made the moment quite touching and sad, yet endearing. He told us the night prior would have been his Mom’s 73rd birthday, and mentioned that his family had been to the show the night before.
Also, I cried during Simple Song Of Freedom, and you could feel the feeling in the room, the agreement there seemed to be with those words. He sat down afterward to take a moment joked that “Freedom is tiring”, and as that became humorous, it lightened back up the mood, and we were able to quickly let go of that previous emotion into fun again.
Over all, his personal story of his passion for the work, especially extending his gratitude to so many in the audience that “held down the fort” of their production company while he was making the film, was a nice touch.
The end was not enough, so encores were well in order. Wonderful stirring feel to the closing Curtain Falls, just like the cd, when he says good night, you realize how sad it is that we no longer have the essence of Bobby Darin with us in person. He is gone, and you spend that moment realizing it is OVER, reflecting quickly on the entire evening you just went through moments of his life. I can only imagine how the film must make you feel – considering I have not seen it YET. However, I felt this in effect listening straight through the cd, and it was more empowering of a moment at the final ‘good night’ of the show. So, I am sure I will be awe with tears by the end of viewing the film Beyond The Sea itself.
And alas, no ‘tour’ programs!
After the show I briefly met the band leader Roger Kellaway. He signed my BTS CD! I told him that I was SO jone’sin for a ‘tour’ program, and we got jack-squat-nada! He said actually they would have liked to have them, and he thought someone was working on that. He said it would still be nice if they were able to make one after the month long shows, which I agreed. Just a little late…. Even a paper program listing all the musicians and key crew would have been nice…
Before leaving for the evening, we met Dodd Darin and his family for a brief moment, but there were a lot of people wanting to speak to him, so we did not stay. I thanked him for being part of making the whole concept a reality, giving the okay for the movie and all the projects to go through. I felt the night was a good example of that. Everything about the Beyond The Sea project was important in bringing Bobby Darin’s legend back to the forefront, while letting go of the desire to keep it sacred as it was untouched.
He told me thank you and said he agreed, that it took a while to come around, being protective of the legacy, but he agreed. He said he was pleased with Mr. Spacey’s performance, and felt that his dad was too. I thought that was so touching.
And then my friends and I went back to the hotel and giggled while watching Kevin Spacey’s television appearance taped earlier that day for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Much to the dismay our wonderful loving men back home, we regretfully informed them of three accounts.
– We spent all our money traveling to LA to see Kevin Spacey in concert.
– We spent the night swooning over the idea of him singing to all of us.
– During said swooning, there were no pillow fights.
All silliness aside, I think Kevin Spacey makes one heck of an overall entertainer, and it was fun to re-live those tunes thinking back on Darin’s career. We were having the time of our lives during the show, watching him having the time of his life performing it!
If you are near one of the cities this show will stop, and you visit this Beyond The Sea message board, I certainly hope you get to see that concert. It was a wonderful tribute – a true talent showcasing a legendary true talent. Is there anything he cannot do, or dream that cannot be accomplished? With passion, determination and hard work, I think not.
In seeing all of this idea to fruition of becoming reality, Kevin Spacey represents the essence of what was most powerful about Bobby Darin.
Live your dreams, now while you are here to do so.