Music legend Jose Feliciano has had a career spanning 50 years, and is still going strong. And by going strong I don’t just mean resting on his laurels: this man still writes, still delves into new musical arenas and still sounds as solid as he did in the 60s.
Opening for Feliciano was his own band, who delivered a tight, funky set of originals and covers, including Simply the Best and What’s Going On. They truly got the place warmed up. Sound and lighting were spot on from the get-go, allowing the audience to relax and trust that the music would be paramount.
The man himself kicked his set off with California Dreaming, moving gently into In My life (I Love You More), before an unexpected Latinate Billy Jean. The first English-Latin cross-over artist,, he wove a beautifully arranged combination of both. New originals included the beautiful Believe Me, which he wrote for his wife. Old favourites such as Rain sent the crowd into paroxysms. Covers included Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door and To Love Somebody, both of which had the whole venue singing along. The night finished with his most famous number Light My Fire, and his Latin hit Che Sara.
In between numbers, Feliciano chatted casually, giving us his signature line in corny jokes and bad puns, all done with such obvious enjoyment and warmth that one forgives the terrible humour! He also spoke of his foundation for Puerto Rico, his beloved homeland, which is in dire need to help with their rebuilding effort.
Playing for nearly two hours, he did not let the energy flag once. His band is, as one would expect, made up of top-notch musicians, including his son Jonathon Feliciano, on drums. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was professional music performance of the highest standard.
This man is a legend for a reason, and the reason was obvious on Friday night.
Check out his website here.
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