Barry Gibb at the Hollywood Bowl – June 4, 2014
A preamble to this highly biased Barry Gibb concert review: I love all things Bee Gees. I love the early stuff. I love the disco years. I love Robin’s quavering tremolo. I love Andy Gibb. I love Barry’s shiny jacket in the video for Stayin’ Alive. I love that Maurice’s name is pronounced “Morris.” I love it ALL. So the chances of me disliking Barry Gibb’s first ever solo tour were fairly slim.
You’re never going to believe this, but I loved it! The show was entitled Mythology and dove right in with some vintage Brothers Gibb video footage before Barry even hit the stage. Barry entered to an unmistakable beat and started up with a trifecta of Jive Talkin’, You Should be Dancing and Lonely Days.
This was theoretically the last stop of the Mythology tour, but Barry said it may continue in the fall of 2014. If that is the case, future concert-goers be warned: this is a very emotional show. You’re probably thinking, “Well, of course it’s an emotional show! He’s the last surviving brother. He’s touring by himself. I’m not an idiot!” First of all, I didn’t say you were an idiot. Second of all, you may think you are prepared for the emotion, but my friend you are not. Barry cries A LOT. He cries when you expect him to, like when he talks about his brothers. He cries at somewhat surprising times, like at the end of New York Mining Disaster. He cries when you least expect him to, like when he does a Bruce Springsteen cover. He sometimes gets overcome and they turn off the lights for a moment until he regains his composure. And you will be right there with him. I somehow held it together during the Andy tribute and when Barry sang How Can You Mend a Broken Heart with Maurice’s daughter. I did not hold it together when Robin unexpectedly popped on screen during I Started a Joke. Nor was I dry-eyed for the finale, the unexpectedly moving Immortality, a Bee Gees-penned hit for Celine Dion.
Immortality was not the only number Barry sang that was written for someone else. I was delighted to hear Islands in the Stream and Grease sung by Barry himself. A back up singer joined him for Islands and the duet Guilty, and then proceeded to sing a seemingly endless version of Woman in Love, which the Gibbs wrote for Barbra Streisand. I understand that Barry is 67 and not superhuman like Bruce Springsteen and needed a break. But my god, Woman in Love would not end.
Barry Gibb concert review random notes:
Barry’s son Steve plays guitar on this tour. He traded verses with his Dad on I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You, which was awesome because Steve is a tatted up badass with a deep scary voice and you could totally imagine him on death row.
Barry Gibb singing an Andy Gibb song sounds exactly like Andy Gibb singing an Andy Gibb song.
I was somehow unfamiliar with the song Morning of My Life, written by Barry in 1965. It is breathtaking.
Ladies, Barry still has the falsetto. The first time he hit it, I involuntarily exclaimed “Damn!” and several women around me shrieked uncontrollably. He may not look exactly like when I was a toddler and my mother pulled me aside, showed me the Saturday Night Fever album cover, pointed at Barry and instructionally said, “Now THAT is a good looking man!”* But he still brings the hotness.
I would love to hear from other Bee Gee fans. What did you love about the Hollywood Bowl show?
* This actually happened and is one of the first memories of my entire life.