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Review: Idina Menzel glorious at the new Nassau Coliseum in New York (Includes first-hand account)

“Hey everybody,” she said, greeting the Long Island crowd. She clarified that she stalled from starting the show on time due to the fact that it was the third show at the new Nassau Coliseum and many people were not familiar with the venue, and unable to make it in on time and find their seats, so she was waiting for them to not miss the show. “I wasn’t late,” she said.

She kicked off her set with “Queen of Swords,” which she began with a drum solo on her personalized Idina Menzel drums. It was followed by the piano-driven ballad “Small World,” which was an expressive performance, coupled with a neat echo effect to it.

Menzel made the fans of the musical Rent happy by serenading them with “Seasons of Love.” “How are you guys up there?” she asked, pointing to the nosebleed section. “You guys remember this song?” she asked, and the answer was a resounding “yeah.”

“Did most of you get in already?” Menzel inquired, prior to belting out “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” where she showcased her impressive whistle register and the high notes. “Long Island, it’s good to be home,” she admitted.

When a fan had a sign up with a request for a song, Menzel had a witty response. “You can’t make requests. It’s not a fucking bar mitzvah,” she said.

“Everybody Knows” had an exceptional fiddle solo, and she shared that “Cake” is a track from her new album, which goes out to her significant other, who loves her as if she were “cake.” She told the crowd that her fiancé, Aaron, reassured her that he can handle her, despite her being a “sensitive” and “emotional” person, as well as an “artist.”

She went on to sing “I’m Not That Girl” in an acoustic fashion, where she was able to display her ethereal yet controlled voice. It was followed by yet another acoustic performance of the song “Perfect Story,” which she wrote, and she subsequently dedicated it to her little boy.

Menzel tipped her hat to Bette Midler with a stellar rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings,” where she wore a white veil that formed wings, as a fan was blowing from under them. The highlight performance of the night was her Broadway standard from Wicked, “Defying Gravity,” where she showcased her dynamic voice, as well as her wide range and creativity as a recording artist.

She continued with the mid-tempo and sassy “I Do,” off her new album, and she delivered a killer, piano-driven rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” where several fans were moved to tears, due to the rawness of the timeless lyrics.

The “Karaoke King of Queens,” Steve Bitterman, who was present in the audience, praised her version of the latter classic song. “Idina knocked it out of the park with her gospel take on ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’,” Bitterman said.

“Let’s have some fun, shall we?” she asked, and sang the sassy “Rocksteady.” I love you Long Island,” she said, prior to paying tribute to the late Jonathan Larson with a gorgeous version of “No Day But Today,” which she ended as a sing-along with the crowd. “Thank you so much for being such a great audience,” she said, graciously. “I never take this for granted.” Most impressive about Menzel is that she kept every real, and even brought her own furniture on stage. “This is just my little stool,” she pointed. “Everybody needs a good stool,” as she sat down to deliver another memorable vocal.

She continued with The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence,” which she described as a song about “sisters and childhood.” She expressed her gratitude to her band-mates, crew members, lighting and sound engineers, as well as her management and yet again her fans for an “extraordinary evening.”

After the upbeat “Do You Want to Build A Snowman,” she was able to silence the entire venue as she sang an a cappella and unplugged version of “For Good,” which was utterly fantastic. She closed her set with her signature song, “Let It Go,” which seemed as the new national anthem of the night, with every concertgoer reciting the chorus’ lyrics verbatim. To make this night even more special she invited young children up on stage to sing with her, which was a beautiful spectacle.

“Idina Menzel certainly shows her admiration towards Frozen when she invites the children on stage to sing ‘Let It Go’ from the amazing movie Frozen,” said Isabella, a 10 year-old fan, attended Menzel’s Nassau Coliseum show as her first-ever concert.

The Verdict

Overall, Idina Menzel delighted at her headlining show at the new Nassau Coliseum. Her motto was “You can take the girl out of Hicksville, but you can’t take the Hicksville out of the girl,” and rightfully so. There was a little bit of everything in her show: she was witty, unfiltered in a few instances, emotional in her delivery, and she let her mellifluous vocals to do all the talking. Her live show at Nassau Coliseum garnered an A rating.

Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 15,000 original articles over the past 15 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a five-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past two years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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