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Review: Harry Connick, Jr. croons Columbus with music, laughter

Pulling the stool next to the piano up to the front of the stage, singer Harry Connick, Jr. asked the man, identified as Fred, to come on stage. After Fred sat down on the stool, Connick put his arm around him, telling the audience why he likes people like Fred, who had fist pumped and hugged the singer a number of times during the evening.

“I hope you’re enjoying the show,” Connick said, turning to Fred with a smile.

Fred moved the microphone to his mouth, turning toward the crowd.

“Actually I’m not — I thought I was seeing Kid Rock,” Fred said as Connick and the audience roared with laughter.

Connick and his band of musicians played for a Columbus audience at the Ohio Theatre as part of his “Every Man Should Know” tour Thursday.

Connick and the musicians on stage performed an array of songs from different genres, including the Christian song “The Old Rugged Cross” to crooner classic “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra, which Connick said to audience members had the best set of lyrics of any song.

Connick also sang songs from his newest album, “Every Man Should Know,” released in June, which he said was the first album of his to have all original songs written by him.

Connick played a number of instruments during the show, jumping from one instrument to the other during certain songs. Connick played the piano, organ, keyboard, trumpet and the Conga drums. After explaining to a 13-year-old girl what Mardi Gras was, he told her he was going to take her there. Connick then played a set up where he had a bass drum at his right foot, a snare drum at his left foot and played them all at once along with piano.

The musicians that made up Connick’s band were highlighted by the New Orleans’-born singer throughout the night, playing songs that allowed them to demonstrate their musical talents.

“These people up here,” Connick said as he pointed to his band, “you’re never going to forget them.”

Lucien Barbarin, lead trombonist for the band, and guitarist Jonathan DuBose, Jr. played and interacted with Connick on different songs. At one point, DuBose walked over to a microphone and grabbed the microphone stand excitedly as the band continued playing.

“Hey are you ready, Columbus?” DuBose said as the crowd cheered.

He then walked to the center of the stage. The lights went from a lively green to a somber blue as DuBose played a rendition of Beethoven’s “Für Elise.” Laughter erupted from the crowd and onstage with the sudden change in music tone.

Connick continues his tour Friday at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wis.

 

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