Reading the reviews for Barry Gibb’s first American Mythology concert, last night’s show in Boston, I’d rate this the strongest collection of songs in the tour to date. Looking at the material chosen and the length of the show (2 1/2 hours) – this is not an artist dialing it in, going through the motions. Bruce Springsteen might be inspiring Barry in more ways than one.
My initial reactions are the thrill of seeing my all-time favourite Gibb composition Spirits Having Flown* in concert for I believe the first time ever as well as the cover of Springsteen’s I’m On Fire. Other notables include two songs Barry had previously omitted because of their challenging vocals – You Win Again (now sung by niece Samantha) and Nights On Broadway. With the latter having had a second-life as the theme music for the Jimmy Fallon / Justin Timberlake Barry Gibb Talk Show on Saturday Night Live, it’s arguably more famous now than ever before.
As for You Win Again, it might not’ve been a Stateside hit, but it wasn’t by accident it was a 1987 UK #1 – click here to read why the structure of this outstanding song is so unusual.
One final thought – Barry covering Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire shows to me he has truly rediscovered the joy of music, if indeed it ever wavered for him at all. Barry was deeply moved by Springsteen reworking Stayin’ Alive at a Brisbane concert earlier this year (Springsteen has taken to opening some of his concerts with covers of songs relevant to the city he’s in) and promised to return the favour. I’m On Fire, like Streets Of Philadelphia, Sad Eyes, Valentine’s Day, Secret Garden and other ballads in the Springsteen cannon are right up Barry’s alley. I’m On Fire couldn’t be more perfect for Barry though, with country influences and a falsetto ending. The freedom to make such choices – for either of these great artists – must be so liberating.
Click here to link to yesterday’s post with 25 reasons and records to make seeing the Mythology tour compulsory, and if you’re going to the final concert at the Hollywood Bowl on June 4 I might see you there.
*Click here for analysis on what makes Spirits Having Flown such a special song and why it is my personal favourite of all the many hundreds of Gibb songs.