A phrase that I heard quite a bit last night while attending the Barbra Streisand concert at T-Mobile Arena was, “This was on my bucket list.” I didn’t hear it once or twice, I heard it murmured numerous times throughout the night including while we were mingling in front of the arena taking pictures of the newly built venue. I had decided to surprise the Bestie with tickets for his birthday and I can honestly say that it was a birthday wish that was on his own personal bucket list.
As soon as the lights dimmed in the arena and the spotlight shown down on the 74 year-old Streisand, the audience roared for the superstar and gave her a standing ovation. The arena can hold up to 20,000 people for a concert event and every single one of those people were paying homage to a living legend that has risen to the level of an icon. She has billed the concert, “The Music…The Mem’ries…The Magic!” and she didn’t disappoint when the first song was “The Way We Were” from the #1 album of the same name. I’m pretty sure that that’s when the first tears of the night were shed from a majority of her fans. The first half of the concert was indeed a trip down memory lane as she belted out song after song and shared with the audience the story behind some of the songs.
The stage was simple with a grand piano, a couple of small tables, one or two chairs for her to lean against and her band in shadows. There were no elaborate sets, fancy costumes or magical stage lighting. There was simply Barbra standing there in the spotlight, talking to all of us as if we were sitting in her kitchen having coffee, and then singing a few songs that we all wanted to sing along with. It was an intimate setting and she pulled you in close. From her signature voice and Grammy award winning songs, to her political statements about Donald Trump that made me love her even more, Barbra Streisand comes off as authentic, funny, caring and genuinely nice human being. The fact that she sings like she does only adds to her celebrity persona.
After a short intermission, Barbra returned with a magician/mentalist, Lior Suchard. I looked around at my fellow audience members and could see the confusion on their faces that confirmed what I was feeling. Barbra is too big of a celebrity to need this kind of fluff. Mr. Suchard interacted with the audience and did a trick that probably was pretty amazing, but I, along with the other thousands of people were here to see the one and only Barbra Streisand. No one really wanted to see a mentalist no matter how good he might be, unless he had maybe caused Ms. Streisand to levitate high above the stage.
Thankfully, he only did the one trick and then we all had Barbra back. It was worth the wait. She showed video clips of the making of her latest album, “Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway” including scenes with Hugh Jackman and Melissa McCarthy. This album is set to be released later this month and includes one of my favorites, “Pure Imagination.” Throughout the show, Barbra was everything and more than what I expected. She’s a star of mega proportions and when she sang “People” as part of the encore, I had goosebumps from head to toe.
The Bestie remarked after the show that it is easily the best concert he’s ever seen. It was definitely the most memorable concert I’ve ever attended and I can also say I left a bigger fan than when I walked in. How could I not be? She’s Barbra Streisand!