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article imageReview: Kenny Rogers fabulous at NYCB Theatre at Westbury Special

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 23, 2014 in Music
Westbury - On December 23, country superstar Kenny Rogers performed his holiday concert at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, for an excellent turnout.
He began his set with "Love or Something Like It" and continued with "It's a Beautiful Life."
A Country Music Hall of Famer, Rogers had the audience clapping along to "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," and he incorporated it as a sing-along.
Rogers noted that there are two types of people that listen to his music: people that are born around 1980, whose parents forced them to listen to his music, as well as people that are born before 1960, that can no longer remember the 1960s.
He gave his fans a flashback of 1967 with the song "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," back when he was in The First Edition, which was an interesting addition to his set.
"Through the Years" was nostalgic and moving, and the follow-up ballads "You Decorated My Life" and "She Believes in Me" were beautiful, heartfelt vocals.
The stage was graced in orange lights while he sang the fan-favorite "Coward of the County," while the audience was clapping along. He changed the pace of his set with the upbeat and cheery "Daytime Friends."
The country veteran joked that the majority of his hits involve singing about "dysfunctional families."
He invited country sensation Linda Davis (who happens to be the mother of Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum, and Reba McEntire's duet partner for "Does He Love You") on stage with him to sing "You Belong To Me," which was well-received. He immediately broke into his signature tune "The Gambler," for which he earned a standing ovation, and his latest Geico commercial played on the televised screens in the background, which was witty.
The audience was eager to sing along with him on "Lucille," and he continued with the stunning love ballad "Lady," where a pin drop could be heard in the venue, as the nailed the emotion in the song.
Rogers subsequently introduced and complimented his six-piece band. He shared that this marked his 32nd year performing his annual Christmas tour, and he closed the first part of his show with "Islands in the Stream," as he was throwing tambourines into the crowd.
Rogers' second set consisted of Christmas songs. Linda Davis returned to the stage with local children from a choir and they sang "I Believe in Santa Claus." She continued with "It's Christmas" and "Snowed In Christmas."
Rogers returned and sang "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow," as well as a stirring rendition of "White Christmas" and a memorable version of the bittersweet "I'll Be Home for Christmas." He paid homage to Grammy-winning country star Ronnie Milsap with "It's Just Not Christmas (If I Can't Spend it With You)."
After serenading the Long Island crowd to a Jim Brickman piano-driven tune, he delivered such Christmas classics as "Silent Night" and "O Holy Night," as the local choir sang with them. Linda Davis returned for a noteworthy duet of "Mary, Did You Know," and she joined the choir on "Go Tell It on the Mountain," as Rogers stepped aside and watched them while sitting on a stool.
The local choir subsequently sang an a-cappella version of "Carol of the Bells" and their grand finale featured Rogers and Davis performing "Joy to the World" and "Til the Season Comes 'Round Again."
The Verdict
Kenny Rogers was fantastic at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury. Linda Davis, his band and the local choice were all superb as well. The Long Island crowd was well aware that they were in the presence of a true musical giant. The connection that he has with his fans is truly impeccable. It is a substantial indication that "The Gambler's" recent induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum was indeed based on merit. It garnered an A rating.
To learn more about Kenny Rogers, check out his official website.
More about Kenny Rogers, NYCB Theatre at Westbury, Country, Music
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