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Saturday August 31, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday August 31, 2013 MYT 8:36:42 AM
by revathi murugappan
George Benson led the audience down memory lane with aplomb.
At 70, George Benson continues to rule the stage.
GEORGE Benson showed why he is still a much sought-after performer at his concert here on Wednesday.
Backed by a five-piece band, the 10-time Grammy winner was in his element from the word go, performing his unique blend of R&B, jazz, funk and tracks from his latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole.
Benson’s one-night performance at the packed Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, was part of his Inspiration Tour Featuring The Greatest Hits Live. Once the youthful-looking 70-year-old walked on stage, there was no stopping him as he led the audience on a stroll down memory lane with numerous hits such as Weekend In LA, Breezin, Unforgettable, Love x Love, In Your Eyes, Turn Your Love Around, Kisses In The Moonlight, Inside Love (So Personal) and Feel Like Making Love.
The audience hummed along and knew all the lyrics to every song he sang! There was hardly a break between songs and talking was kept to a minimum as Benson delivered his pieces with soul and played the guitar with gusto.
After all, he started singing on the streets when he was eight and all the young girls would swoon. Nothing has changed except that the girls have matured into women and Benson has taken his act to bigger venues.
His delivery was so polished that his voice sounded no different from his earlier recordings. Couples in the audience were holding hands, people got up to sway and romance was definitely in the air as Benson took them on a love journey.
No Benson concert is complete without his signature Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You and he rendered this with utmost soul; it brought out my goose bumps.
When he sang Gimme The Night, it was a cue to get up and dance and that’s what the audience did. Benson then put his hands up and left the stage and most of us assumed it signalled the end of the first half. It had only been 65 minutes, surely the concert couldn’t be over? A member of his entourage then introduced the band and the artiste.
Benson came back (encore, maybe?) wearing an all-black attire and belted out This Masquerade and On Broadway. By this time, nary a soul was seated. Delighted, Benson upped his groove before thanking the audience and walking off.
When the emcee took the mike to deliver the closing protocol for the royal guests, the crowd screamed for more, drowning out her voice. Stunned, the poor woman looked around the stage and remarked, “Majlis dah bersurai! (The event is over.)”
Disappointed, the crowd screamed louder.
“Hey, saya tak boleh buat apa-apa! George Benson dah habis concert (Hey, I can’t do anything. George Benson’s concert is over),” said the exasperated emcee.
Benson never made another appearance and the lights came on. It would have been nice if he had come back for an encore. But when you’re a septuagenarian, I guess a 90-minute concert still deserves a standing ovation.
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Entertainment, Entertainment, George Benson, singer, jazz, guitarist, Kuala Lumpur, KL, concert, 2013
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