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Music Blog

Tony Bennett at Red Butte Garden

by Ted Scheffler
- Posted // 2013-06-21 -

Lord, please let me look half as good and have one-third the energy when I'm 87 that Tony Bennett does.  

Through the years, I've had the good fortune of seeing many music legends perform live, from Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen to John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, B.B. King, John Denver, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Neil Diamond and others. Last night, at Red Butte Garden, I got to cross another legend off my musical bucket list: Anthony Benedetto, aka Tony Bennett.

Bennett's daughter Antonia opened the show with a handful of songs. They were pleasant enough, although she doesn't possess her dad's pipes.

And then, there he was, looking sharp as always, decked out in black trousers with razor-sharp creases, silk tie, starched shirt, and light-yellow sports coat.

Kicking off the night with "Watch What Happens," the classic crooner crooned most of his classic hits, including his big country hit, Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart," which he was forced to record in 1951 by record producer Mitch Miller, against his wishes.

Bennett seemed to genuinely enjoy singing for the appreciative Red Butte crowd, beaming from ear-to-ear for most of the night. And his voice, although beginning to show the wear and tear of age, is still superb, especially when hitting the big finale of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." 

His version of  "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" was as haunting as "Sing You Sinners" was uplifting. And, I got goosebumps hearing Bennett sing my favorite of his songs, "The Way You Look Tonight."

He has a sense of humor about his 60-plus year career in music, too, joking that he and Rosemary Clooney were the first American idols.

And, Mr. Bennett had everyone smiling as he closed out his 70-minute set with Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" and  the classic "When You're Smiling." 

87 years young and going strong, Tony Bennett is a class act all the way.

June 20, 2013, Red Butte Garden set list:

Watch What Happens

They All Laughed

Maybe This Time (from Cabaret)

I Got Rhythm

Sing You Sinners

Just in Time

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

The Good Life

Once Upon a Time

The Shadow of Your Smile

One For My Baby

For Once in My Life

The Way You Look Tonight

That Old Black Magic

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

Who Cares

Smile

When You're Smiling

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