The tickets for Harry Connick Jr., were sold out by November 2009, for the February 2010, performance. To only say that Harry Connick, Jr., is cool, is denying him of being in a category of the best entertainers in music, not only today, but of many beloved entertainers in retrospect as well. He charmed the crowd from the instant he walked onto the stage until his encore.
His unprecedented banter with the crowd was most unusual and only added more personality to his show. He stopped singing as a group of latecomers were being seated and stated he like the song and he wanted everyone to hear it. At that point he was directly in front of the local examiner armed with a camera. A few pictures were snapped and he ask if he posed for a few pictures would she not blind him during the concert. She readily agreed. He then jumped down from the eight to ten foot high stage to pose in a picture with the examiner. He complimented the Clay Center and all from Charleston and stated that he wants to return.
Harry Connick, Jr., consistently song after song delivered personality, warmth, and is as smooth as silk vocally and with his stage manner. He demonstrated why he is one of the best entertainers in in music today. His music has become jazzier in recent years; however, he blends the cornucopia of musical styles that are representative of his native New Orleans and maintains a heartthrob charm. He has that Sinatra comedic sexy musical talent that is needed to continue his confirmation and stature as one of the most multifaceted performers today.
Not only is his voice sultry and delicious to the ear, backing him is a sensational orchestra of the finest musicians around. He must have blues in his blood that runs through his veins to deliver; whether it is jazz, swing, scat or crooning Rat Pack style songs, his transitions from scat to jazz to blues to contemporary to remakes to orchestral was smooth and unbelievably enjoyable.
His performances ranged from jazz to blues, the Beatles’ and a bit more rock n’ roll than previously incorporated into his music. He had six violinists, bass player that was incredible, a drummer, two saxophonists, trumpets, and trombones. He did some of his classics. He also did some new songs; he did a take on Paul McCartney’s “And I Love Her”, Sinatra classics, all the while playing the piano and trumpet and singing. It was a beautiful version of each of the artists who had previously done the arrangements. He sang “You Don’t Know Me,” “Besame Mucho,”, “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Mona Lisa,” scat songs like “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey.”
He played the heck out of the piano while tapping his feet . His style was so diverse as to make it difficult to translate into words. He danced New Orlean’s style, scat; he then turned his back to the crowd and shimmied his gluts like the dancers in rap videos. Harry Connick Jr., not only can sing, play instruments, and charm anyone, he can seriously dance. If he tires of the repertoire he currently has; he can definitely be a dancer! The women in the crowd squealed with delight and whistled and called out for more! It was totally fun and delightful!
Neal Caine very adeptly played the bass included in every song. The saxophonist also had a couple of solos. His orchestra is compiled of a group of musicians deserving to only Harry Connick, Jr. The big band that backed him delivered a sensational sound of top-notch instrumental accompaniment. As he introduced his musicians, he spoke of his beloved Super Bowl winners, The New Orleans Saints. While doing so he told a story of meeting Troy Polamalu, who knocked on his door before the beginning of a concert in some other city. The married father of three beautiful girls jokingly stated that he fell in love “just a little bit”. He then said, “just joking, well maybe a little bit.” He then further joked that it was OK because he is an artist.
The talented crooner surely warmed up the cold arctic temperatures outside once the concert began. He once again affirmed that he is one of the best entertainers in music today. He has sold over 25 million albums and has won a Grammy Award. Not many musicians can do mainstream jazz, big band, blues, solo piano,swing, scat, funky rock, remakes, and continues to add to his burgeoning playbook. He leaves you hungry for more!