(The "Birthday Bash" concerts were the last two concerts to be held at Melanie's coffee house/restaurant in Tarpon Springs, Florida, before it closed forever. This concert happened as a result of suggestions from Melanie's online fans.)
The "Birthday Bash" (Friday version -- she also did one on Saturday) was a thoroughly delightful and wonderful experience. First of all, the tables were not removed from Melanie's place as was previously reported. My guess, the number of people crowded into that little room was in the 20's. Melanie's coffee was available for anyone who wanted it.
The concert began with Safka (Melanie's daughters) preforming. Beau did not play guitar with them, but another gentleman, his teacher Norman Rockwell (no relation to the artist), I think, did. Unfortunately, I did not have the presence of mind to write down the names of the songs they did, but most of them were from their latest CD, "About You". They sang a brand new song they just wrote, too. They were just great, of course (well, after all, they are Melanie's kids).
Then Melanie came down the stairs, and of course, everyone cheered. (The "stage entrance" in her "house" is the stairs leading to the upstairs rooms.) I regained my composure enough at this point to remember to write down the names of the songs she did. Here's what I wrote down
People in the Front Row
Center of the Circle
Look What They Done to My Song, Ma
On the Lam from the Law
..and then Beau sang The Angel Song
Melanie asked for requests at the beginning of the show, and Carmen (as apparently is her custom) asked for "Johnny Boy". Now, Patti Petow and Carmen both had told me that she likes for people to request the obscure songs. So I came prepared, and asked for "Here We Go Again". Well, that one stumped her. I don't know if that's the reason she didn't take any more requests, but if so, I'm sorry, folks!
In spite of that, she was in absolutely top form, both in the singing, and in the humorous chatter between songs. If there had been enough room in that crowded room for it, she would have had us rolling on the floor. There probably would have been more songs if there had not been so much chatter, but that part was as enjoyable as the songs. As has been reported, Beau sang a song at the end of the show. This time, Melanie was his backup singer. If I remember correctly, he wrote the song.
One of the non-musical highlights of the show was Leilah's daughter, Christiana. She had free run of the place, and was on the stage sometimes, in the audience sometimes, and completely delightful all of the time. My guess is that she will be performing on stage very soon.
I used up two rolls of film there, and hopefully some of the pictures will come out good. Look for them on my web site soon! After the show, Melanie spent a lot of time signing autographs and talking with folks. I brought the cover of my "Gather Me" record (the first Melanie record I bought, back in '71), for her to sign. Some folks brought as many as 6 record covers for her to sign. She said that once, someone had her sign his forehead!
The pictures from this concert are here.
Back to Melanie's Concert Reviews