Stephen Hawkes | Reporter
Feb. 13, 2016; 2:36 p.m.
The theater lights gave way to a single spot light as the last of the audience scuffled in. A lone man on a piano began the melody to “Go the Distance”, Michael Bolton’s voice joined in the verse, but the man himself was nowhere to be seen. Then, in what would be a powerful metaphor for the night to come, Bolton strode on stage to the sound of fan’s applause.
Michael Bolton performed at Lindenwood’s J. Scheidegger Center Thursday night in the first concert of his new tour. The show included a wide array of genres. Bolton sang several blues hits such as Eddy Arnold’s “You Don’t Know Me”, Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago” and Frank Sinatra’s “That’s Life.”
He also performed a number of his own songs, including “Said I Loved You… But I Lied” and “How am I Supposed to Live Without You.”
Singer Kelly Levesque joined him midway through the night for several duets, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and “To Make You Feel My Love” composed by Bob Dylan.
A quick glance at the audience revealed an older demographic not commonly seen on a University campus. Age was no hindrance to zeal, however, as shouts of approval were common. “I love you Michael” yelled one audience member, to which Bolton replied “and I love you.”
Bolton showed himself a seasoned performer among his fans, and heavily encouraged his crowd to sing and clap along. “But I have one rule” he said solemnly, “take as many pictures as you like.” His rendition of “When a Man Loves a Woman”, by Ray Charles, was sung in an aisle in the theater, surrounded by fans.
While introducing one song, Bolton recounted how he had started his career at 16, but went without a hit until 34. “Food is good”, he said in summary. It was evident by the end, that Bolton had in fact gone the distance in his career. Bolton left Scheidegger stage only after an encore and two standing ovations.