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Barry Gibb at The Garden Boston

By: Bill Brotheton

Boston Herald
May 16th 2014
Barry Gibb had just finished singing the Bee Gees classic "Lonely Days," his third song of the night, when the superannuated crowd at the TD Garden, standing and cheering, started a chant of "Barry Barry" that seemed to go on forever. The extended ovation got to Gibb, who first smiled widely and then started to cry. When the crowd looked at the Jumbotron and saw the tears streaming down his face, the noise level rose even higher.
It's just emotion that took us all over.

There was a lot of love and emotion in the Garden Thursday night, as Gibb kicked off his "Mythology" tour celebrating the glorious music he created with his brothers Maurice and Robin. The twin brothers of course are gone, Maurice having passed away in 2003 and Robin in 2012. And youngest brother Andy died in 1988 at age 30.

But this was not a night of sadness. It was a celebration of a family that produced some of pop music's greatest enduring hits, a journey that started in Australia, then Britain and America, winding all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

There was also a lot of dancing at the Garden Thursday night, especially to the timeless disco hits the brothers Gibb created for "Saturday Night Fever," which ignited a craze that was both embraced and ridiculed. Gibb and his sterling seven-piece band, aided by three female vocalists who provided the harmonies originally sung by Maurice and Robin, got the crowd pumped up and ready to party with show starters "Jive Talkin'" and "You Should Be Dancing." Gibb's scarifying falsetto was in tip-top shape, showing off a bit with a long sustained note at the end of "Stayin' Alive." About the only time he didn't hit the notes was during a surprise cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" -- Bruce covered "Stayin' Alive" during a show in Australia and Gibb "returned the compliment."
For well over two hours, Gibb and crew delighted fans, performing 33 songs in all, touching on every stage of the Bee Gees career.

The pop hits from the '60s and '70s drew the loudest cheers with good reason: "To Love Somebody," "I've Gotta Get a Message to You" and "New York Mining Disaster 1941" are terrific songs that continue to dazzle. The thunderous ovation after each had Gibb tearing up again. "Spicks and Specks," one of the brothers' first radio-ready songs, had that catchy "Shindig"/Herman's Hermits feel. The lesser-known "In the Morning" was a highlight, starting with just Gibb on acoustic guitar and evolving into a Moody Blues-like slow-burner.

"How Deep is Your Love?" and "Run to Me" had couples hugging and stealing kisses. "Nights on Broadway," "Night Fever" and "More Than a Woman" incited more dancing.
Also showcased were those classic duets and Gibb songs covered by others. Maurice's daughter Sami, a featured vocalist throughout the night, sang "Chain Reaction," a hit for Diana Ross. Beth Cohen shared the stage for the Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton hit "Islands in the Stream" and Barbra Streisand's "Guilty" and "Woman in Love."
And kudos to the sound designers: Every word of every lyric was clear as a bell. Gibb, too, is a hardy soul. He remained on stage for the entire concert.

The we-are-family vibe continues: Barry's son Stephen played guitar and sang and Maurice's daughter Sami displayed real talent as a featured vocalist, especially during a lovely reading of "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?". ("Our Love) Don't Throw it all Away" was dedicated to Andy.
 And there was film, old home movies and videos of the brothers clowning around and having the time of their lives. The show started with a silly Python/Bonzo-like music video of the song "Technicolor Dreams." Most poignant was vintage film of Robin singing "I Started a Joke": It got the whole world crying again. Barry was weeping. Many in the crowd were sobbing. But they were tears of joy, of happy memories inspired by a Bee Gees soundtrack.
Gibb is taking this tour to only six cities. Boston was indeed blessed to be included.


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