Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
There is a certain satisfaction to be gleaned from watching Michael Bolton on stage. The sheer effortlessness in which he sings, the manner of his performance and the smooth content feel of the music grabs an audience from the very beginning and long after he has left the stage there are still fans glued to their seats, mentally and physically exhausted by the intense feelings that have come from one person, one band, so utterly captivated by the magnetism of the song.
Michael Bolton’s career has trod a long path but the superstardom that was confirmed upon his shoulders in the late 80s has seemingly never left him. Whether it is your first time in his musical company or your 100th, there is no doubting the presence that appears on stage, the huge greeting that follows him from the wings of the stage to the very middle, the limelight shimmers around him and its possible to understand what superstardom actually means as you take note of the audience’s reaction even before he opens his mouth.
It is slightly unnerving, especially if you have watched music all your life, but it is also heartening that despite the vast love that comes down from the very back of the Philharmonic Hall and catches people in a musical tsunami, Michael Bolton is still unfazed and almost seems genuinely struck by the outpouring.
With a set that encapsulated his music over the years Michael Bolton and his band, including two singers that broke as many hearts as Mr. Bolton managed all evening, the sensational Amanda Brown and Kelly Levesque, what came across in the next 90 minutes was fearless, unashamed beauty and a voice that struck deep into the core of every fan in the building.
With songs such as (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay, I Said I Loved You But I Lied, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, the stunning duet with Kelly Levesque, The Prayer, for which received a spontaneous standing ovation all of its own, and the song which framed Percy Sledge’s own astronomical career When A Man Loves A Woman all being played with care, a sense of deep love for his audience’s evening and with an indisputable longing to make the song breathe life; Michael Bolton gave a performance in which even the casual person sticking their head round the door wondering at what the sound was coming from the stage would have let their jaw drop slowly and silently to the floor beneath their feet.
With a finale that consisted of songs such as Time, Love and Tenderness , Steel Bars and the supreme Georgia On My Mind, the night in all its New England glory belonged to Michael Bolton. A sensational act, a singer whose lush voice can still find its way wonderfully haunting your senses the next day, a true great!
Ian D. Hall