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Review: After more than five decades, Barry Manilow, 80, still has it

HITS 2023




By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications

From his humble beginnings as a youth in Brooklyn to selling out Carnegie Hall to performing on American Bandstand and to maintaining an extensive Las Vegas residency, renowned, legendary singer-songwriter Barry Manilow continues to lead a healthy career in music as was proved last night in front of a packed house in Columbus. 

Here are five takeaways from last night:

—If you’ve been to a Barry concert you might have heard him tell the same stories (including the story about his Grandpa and the “Happy Birthday” song) but the reflective memories from his younger years have a much different tone today, hitting different now that he’s 80. 

—His ability to consistently sing in tune and maintain extended sustained notes with a melodic tone is remarkable.

—Manilow’s endurance and stamina is physically and mentally inspiring—singing songs back-to-back, briefly jogging off stage to change into a new jacket (adding up to at least nine different jackets) and his in-synch, hip thrusting dancing.

—Between songs his hilarious comedic comments made the entertainer’s sense of humor and light-hearted personality shine. (He joked: as long as there are elevators and dentist offices, his music will have longevity.)

—Each of the 20 hit songs performed was an event in itself with 70’s-esque images on a backing video wall, an extraordinary backing band and supporting singers. A few times Barry played piano on each side of the stage. During “Made It Through The Rain,” fans interacted and waved green glow sticks that were provided.

Barry Manilow has performed 15 times in Columbus throughout his career and it’s been eight years since his last stop in the capital city. Barry’s first album, self-titled, was released five decades ago in 1973.


  1. Great review for the BEST entertainer & man!!!

  2. I was transported back to my days as a pre teen and teenager.Barry sounded wonderful and the energy was so incredible.


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