On Thursday, December 19th, Sight of Sound Magazine covered what would be our last featured review of 2013. This year we have brought as much talent and diversity as we possibly could and we were proud to end the year covering the legendary Kenny G at the Sands Event Center. The show was advertised as a performance for the Holiday’s but it turned out to be much more than that. As some readers may know, Kenny G has performed at the Sands once before and Musikfest in years prior. It is always great to see musicians returning to the Greater Lehigh Valley area for repeat performances because it really shows that we have a good presence in the music scene.
Doors for the show opened at 7PM and fans made their way into the venue to see where their seats were and many of them began lining up at the merchandise booth to pick up a copy of their favorite Kenny G album. As it turned out, Kenny G himself made in appearance at the booth signing albums that fans were buying right up until the point that he had to take the stage. The show was set to began at 8PM and did so almost promptly only starting a few minutes past the planned time. The delay of course was in part to some last minute set ups that had to be made for the start of the show. Before the lights went dark I looked out across the venue and saw a variety of people of all ages and types who had packed the venue to well over 3/4th’s capacity for the show.
This show began in manner that would ultimately set the tone for the rest of the night, the lights went dark and a lone note echoed the venue. Suddenly, a lone spotlight turned on up in the rafters and was pointed in the middle of the venue where Kenny G was standing on top of a box with his saxophone, pumping out the first melodies of the evening. After a 2 song medley showcasing his wide range, capabilities and and instrument change; Kenny G showed the venue why he is the world record holder for holding the longest note as he walked around and shook fan’s hands and even posed for a photo for me as he did so. The level of person connection with the fans that took place that evening in a venue of that size was truly remarkable, you weren’t just watching the show because at any moment you could have become a true part of it. After making the rounds, Kenny G walked up on stage and joined the rest of his band members to start to evening off.
The first half of the show was the Kenny G everyone knows for his classical sounds and technique. It was also a time for him to showcase his band members world class talent in a jam session that lasted close to 20 minutes featuring everything from guitar solos to an incredible percussion session. Sure, he talked a lot but he is a funny guy and it was enjoyable to hear him tell stories from the road and even make fun of Michael Bolton at one point. The most heartfelt story of the night was the one Kenny G told about writing letters to all his family and friends from Lincoln’s desk in the White House. After an hour and a half of playing and stories it came time for a short intermission before the second segment of the evening.
Fans got up, walked around, got some food or beer and were back in their seats well before the intermission ended in anticipation for the second half of the night which would be the Holiday portion. Kenny G took the crowd on a journey with “The 12 Days of Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and even an incredible up tempo rendition of “Sleigh Ride.” The night started to come to a conclusion when Kenny G raffled off one of his signature saxophones that was won buy a couple who said they lived just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Though the encore was short it was a perfect conclusion to a night that was already amazing for every in attendance, the band re-emerged to play “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic and the amount of emotion that came out in each note of the song was just simply stunning.
2013 for us came to a close with a final note of Kenny G’s saxophone and as I walked out of the venue I thought about just how incredible of evening and year it has been. Be sure to check out our exclusive photo gallery of the show below and we look forward to bringing you all more coverage in 2014. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from Sight of Sound Magazine