Burt in Concert at the Adler Theatre 1986

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Burt in Concert at the Adler Theatre 1986

Post by Martyn »

Here's a gem posted on Youtube by 'AR' - an hour-long concert featuring Burt conducting the Quad City Symphony Orchestra at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, Iowa back in 1986.

What's interesting is the set list and the arrangements for some of his standards, performed more in the instrumental style of his A&M solo albums.

He has 3 female vocalists joining him: Andrea Robinson, Ann White and Karen McLean.

The sound quality isn't the greatest but it's still great to watch, and Burt's in good spirits cracking jokes here and there! A bonus is the performance of' 'Heartlight'. I've never seen Burt perform this live. His daughter, Nikki, comes onto the stage and plays drums on this piece.

This concert was performed just months after 'That's What Friends Are For' became a number one hit. He talks about the day the song went to number one and about special news he and wife, Carole Bayer-Sager, received that same day.

I hope the link works:



Sara D
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Re: Burt in Concert at the Adler Theatre 1986

Post by Sara D »

Thanks for posting, Martyn. Despite the poor sound quality of the video it was an interesting and enjoyable watch and I particularly appreciated hearing the old instrumental arrangements of Promises, Promises and Do You Know The Way To San Jose. It certainly was a strange little interlude when the shadowy figure of Nikki Bacharach came on stage to play drums on Heartlight, a song I recall being performed at Bacharach concerts in the mid-90s and with Donna Taylor singing lead.

I remember feeling embarrassed that Bacharach considered it necessary during his shows to inform the audience, somewhat coyly, that as a composer he was responsible for all the night's music. That is until I overheard a woman in the row behind me at one of the shows exclaim loudly, "Why's he performed Arthur's Theme? That's a Christopher Cross song." Being very English and therefore mortified at even the thought of causing a scene, I somehow resisted the urge to turn round to put her right.

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: Burt in Concert at the Adler Theatre 1986

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

I last saw Burt in 2005 and he was still employing the same arrangements he had been using since the mid-sixties. If he ever changed them, I`d like to hear examples.

Martin Johnson
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Re: Burt in Concert at the Adler Theatre 1986

Post by Martin Johnson »

I remember reading somewhere that Bacharach's wife Jane Hansen was influential in his decision to drop from his shows the instrumental or semi-instrumental versions of his hits so familiar to us from the A&M albums, her argument being that audiences wanted to hear the songs with the words sung. If that's the case it's a pity she couldn't have also persuaded him that the cramming of many of the classic hits into medleys inevitably devalued them and that audiences wanted to hear all of and not just part of the songs. After the first time I saw Bacharach play live in London in the mid-90s I left the hall feeling somewhat dumbfounded by a set list which found no room, not even in the medleys, for immortal classics like I Say A Little Prayer, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself, Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa and Make It Easy On Yourself, but which did include a full-length version of Heartlight, a song that meant next to nothing in the UK, compounded by an introduction which seemed to last for several minutes in which Bacharach told a story of the racehorse of the same name. I think Rob Shirakbari took over as Bacharach's MD shortly after this and perhaps he was responsible for sorting out the anomalies of the set list and when I saw Bacharach in concert again about ten years later we heard complete versions of three of the aforementioned classics while I Say A Little Prayer now featured generously in a medley. Yes, medleys were still a strong feature of the set list but mercifully Heartlight wasn't.

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