Barry Manilow @ Turning Stone Casino Event Center, Verona, NY 8-19-23

There isn’t much that vocalist Barry Manilow hasn’t seen or done. He has 13 number one singles and 6 multi platinum albums to his credit. He also is a producer and has ben involved in musicals, television commercials and films. He has been primarily a Las Vegas performer for the last 18 years at various casinos. He is now taking break performing at Westgate (has a current residency there) to do a rare solo tour. The tour is called “Hits 2023!”  I have never seen Manilow perform live so we (my girlfriend too) decided to take  last minute trip from Buffalo to Syracuse this past Saturday night.  Again, its rarity to see Manilow outside of his Las Vegas digs. I never seen him live so making the trip was extra special for me because he was also one of my mothers favorite performers too (she passed away in May of 2022).

Manilow took the stage at around 8:40pm to a standing ovation even before one note was played. Already very appreciative of the adoration, he took it all in and then his huge ensemble of musicians started to play “Its a Miracle.” You can see already Manilow was in fine form as his voice was already really strong. No warming up needed for Manilow as he he was ready from the get go. A few songs later, “Can’t Smile Without You” really brought the people out of their seats and it stayed that way for the reminder of the next tune “Looks Like We Made It” as well. Besides the ensemble I mentioned, Manilow had backup singers who added a lush harmony to assorted tracks throughout the set. For New York City Rhythm, he did his first of a few blazer changes.  If there  was any doubt if Manilow still had the goods, then his performance on ‘Even Now” put all of those to rest. The power and finesse of his voice made this a show stopper and gave him his first standing ovation.  His candid conversation with the audience made him even more enduring. He drew a lot of laughs when he said these statements back to back. He is aware that his music is popular in the elevators and dentist offices. “As long as people have teeth, my music will live forever!’ Before he did The Old Songs” and “Ready to Take a Chance  Again,” he stated, “that  for people who want to get laid, this is the album that will do it!” He was referring about’ I Should Love Again.’ He garnered his second standing ovation after he knocked “A Weekend in New England’ out of the park.  He remarked after, that’s why we keep coming back here! Showing his appreciation for the Turning Stone Casino crowd. “Before he went into Memory,” he talked about his play that is off Broadway called “Harmony.” Something that is near and dear to Manilow’s heart is keeping music in the schools. He feels very connected to this cause. In every city he is visiting on his tour, a teacher is voted to win $5,000.00 in cash and $5,000.00 that goes towards musical instruments for that teachers music program. The teacher who won this award at Turning Stone was Heather O’Donnell of Oneida High School. Besides playing piano on some of his songs, he also went behind the keyboards for “All the Time.”  After “Could it be Magic,” he quipped, “I’m a Sex God!” before laughing and saying, where is my chair? I need to sit down. Which drew more laughter. He then slowed it down some for ‘I Made it Through the Rain.” One of the coolest things I seen in quite was something he did during “Mandy.” He exited the stage before and the video screen showed him performing the song on the Midnight Special back in the 1970’s.  The video played the entire first verse before he came and joined in. Then towards the last verse the video came back on and he sang to the video adding in between. It was such a cool effect. Of course, everyone loved “I Write the Songs” and everyone in the audience was singing along with Barry to it. Of course, he couldn’t end the set without doing probably his most popular song in “Copacabana (at the Copa).” 

It was so worth the trip to see this concert. The most potent words I can share is when I asked my girlfriend what she thought of the show after? She originally saw him in the late 70’s. She said I can’t believe this show was just as good or even better than than when I saw him in the 70’s. That, my friends shows you what Manilow still brings to the table. He still brings a fun and energetic show and more importantly, he has the songs that makes the whole world sing, doesn’t he?




It’s a Miracle


Somewhere in the Night

Can’t Smile Without You

Looks Like We Made It

This One’s For You

New York City Rhythm

Even Now

The Old Songs/Ready to Take a Chance Again

Jump Shout Boogie

A Weekend in New England (Randy Edelman cover)

Dancing in the Aisles/Dancing in the Street (Marvin Gaye, William “Mickey” Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter cover)/Let’s Hang On (The Four Seasons cover) 

Memory (Andrew Lloyd Weber cover)

All the Time’

Could it be Magic

I Made it Through the Rain

Mandy (Scott English cover)

I Write the Songs (Bruce Johnston cover) 

Copacabana (at the Copa) 




Its  Miracle (reprise)


We would like to thank Victoria Varela from Varela Media for the credentials to review the show.