I took mom to see Barry Manilow and here’s what I learned

My goal was to give my mom the gift of a dozen Mother’s Days. Something that would endure—and get me off the hook through at least 2027.

When I saw that Barry Manilow’s farewell tour planned a stop in Sacramento, I knew the Barry was the ticket to Mother’s Day legend status. Apologies to my two brothers, but I got this.

It was crucial to dial in the right frame of mind before Barry. I mean, this would be his last concert ever in Sacramento (right, Cher?). I grew up with the guy, unfortunately. My mom would blast his records and vacuum—at the same time. That’s some jacked up shit.

Someone once told me that you’re not allowed to listen to the band you’re about to see in concert on the ride to the concert. That rule gets tossed when it comes to the Barry, apparently.

An estimated 7,000 purchased tickets for the Barry at the venue formerly known as Arco Arena. Dude’s taking home some serious coin!

The ushers working Arco never had this much fun. They’re dancing and singing and no one can find their seats!

Dave Koz, the poor man’s Kenny G, comes out to accompany The Barry and my mom is pumped.

This is when Barry plays a ballad, “I am Your Child,” and my mom straight up cries for the third of fourth time tonight already.

So many tears. During “When Will I Hold You Again,” my mom starts dueting with woman next to me, then they compare Manilow cry stories.

I’m out of beer.

Sac State’s choir joins his 12-person backing band for the closer, “Copacabana.” Streamer explode on cue and dress the crowd in streams of color. Shit is nuts like Kaskade at Coachella, but for Boomers turnt up on pinot grigio.

Definitely a memorable gig—from what I can remember (thank you, live Tweets).

See you in a year or two, Barry!

Our content is free, but not free to produce

If you value our local news, arts and entertainment coverage, become an SN&R supporter with a one-time or recurring donation. Help us keep our reporters at work, bringing you the stories that need to be told.


Stay Updated

For the latest local news, arts and entertainment, sign up for our newsletter.
We'll tell you the story behind the story.