Barry Manilow at the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, KY 21-AUG-23

Barry Manilow is simply Captivating in Louisville, leaving fans with memories that will last a lifetime!

It’s been a few days since music icon, Barry Manilow’s performance at the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville and I’m honestly struggling to put the appropriate words together to accurately capture the evening. There is no denying the impact and influence of Mr. Manilow’s music over a career that spans 50+ years and counting.  He has recorded and released 51 Top 40 singles on the Adult Contemporary Chart, including 13 that hit number one, 28 that appeared within the top ten, and 36 that reached the top twenty. Manilow has released 13 platinum and six multi-platinum albums.  Manilow has written and performed songs for musicals, films, and commercials. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award (winning once) as a producer, arranger, and performer a total of fifteen times (and in every decade) from 1973 to 2015 He has also produced Grammy-nominated albums for Bette Midler, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson, and Sarah Vaughan. Manilow has sold more than 85 million records as a solo artist worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists!

A great and enthusiastic crowd were immediately on their feet as the house lights dropped and Barry Manilow walked out on to the Yum! Center stage.  Greeted to a rousing ovation, Barry Manilow went straight into his tried-and-true opening song “It’s A Miracle” (It’s a miracle has been a show opening song for more than 30 years and counting) that has the entire arena in fully engaged, singing along, and smiling from ear to ear.  With surgeon like precision fan favorites “Daybreak”, “Somewhere in the Nigh”, “Can’t Smile Without You” and “Looks Like We Made It” come rolling from the stage further amping up the energy and excitement in the arena.

Barry took time between a few of the songs to talk and share stories with us, including thanking us all for being here “I’m just so happy that you are all here tonight – I never know if anybody will show up anymore” drawing laughter from the crowd. Before the medley of “Dancing in the Aisles / Dancing in the Street / Let’s Hang On” Barry explained a recent Tik Tok craze using the song and the stage length video screen rolled various Tik Tok clips during the song and before the Garth Brooks cover of “If Tomorrow Never Comes” Barry explained his admiration for Garth and his songwriting.

A memorable moment of the evening came before “Mandy” as Barry reminisced a bit about Louisville, explaining that the last time in Louisville was 8 years ago and must come back sooner. The first time Barry played in Louisville was way back in 1975, It was at the Kentucky Derby TV special that also had Roberta Flack and Blood Sweat and Tears. The video screen then rolled into footage from a Midnight Special performance of Mandy /It Could Be Magic and ended with Barry behind his piano playing and accompanying the 1975 video footage. If you are interested, I found some footage from that 1975 Kentucky Derby TV Special.

Barry Manilow ended his more than 90 minute performance in Louisville with mega hits “I Write the Songs” (Bruce Johnston cover) and “Copacabana (at the Copa)” closing out a magical evening and leaving fans in attendance with memories that are sure to stay with them for a long time to come.

Before the show, Barry Manilow made a special presentation to Doug Elmore of Floyd Central High School.  The Manilow Music Project Teacher Award and a check for $10,000 to help fund new musical instruments for the Floyd Central High School music program. You can read more by following the link – Manilow Music Project – Doug Elmore.

Barry Manilow
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Manilow Music Project (MMP)
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KFC Yum Center
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