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Engelbert Humperdinck
A Concert Review
[More Photos From the Concert]

September 20, 1996

The Rosemont Theatre

Rosemont, IL

A Review by Stu Gotz &
The Dude on the Right
Photos by DOTR
Here he comes!
Stu Gotz's review:
My earliest recollections of Engelbert Humperdinck are from Saturday mornings of my childhood. You see, every Saturday, while I was trying to sleep, my parents would stack the wax on the old phonograph and turn it up to eleven. Why so loud? Well mom wanted to hear the music while she vacuumed the carpet outside my bedroom door. So here it is, a Saturday, 7:30 in the bloody A.M., and the air is filled with the sounds of a vacuum cleaner, Nat King Cole, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, and tuna fish with eggs. The egg thing is not a band but rather my father's favorite breakfast. Don't ask. Combine this with the fact that later in life I'd have to work with an asshole named Nick who loved Engelbert and you can imagine that I really never held the man in high regard. That all changed after seeing him perform at the Rosemont Theater on September 20th.

My thoughts on the show go like this…

Early in the night I noticed that the band and back-up singers really overpowered Engelbert's voice - that and the Humpster wasn't really hitting those long, sustained, high notes that well. I figured it was just the shitty acoustics of a screw up at the sound board. I began to rethink this after Humpty sang a duet with his very attractive daughter and her voice kicked his ass. Meanwhile, later in the night, Hump sang another duet, this time taking the bass line, and his voice came out strong. Hmm... Engelbert is famous for having a 3 1/2 octave vocal range. I'm beginning to think that figure is starting to slip. But hey... the guy is 60 years old and has been singing since he was 17 - even a good set of Sears all-season radials start to go after 40,000 miles.

Enough about his voice. By the end of the night Engelbert had swooned every female in the crowd. He could have had any chick there. Well... there weren't many chicks actually. So, he could have had any hen that was there. Well... considering most of the females were probably past
menopause and would only want to be held rather than be had I guess he could have held any hen that was there.

From the show I get the impression that Engelbert is trying follow in the shoes of Tom Jones and Tony Bennett. With the help of Art of Noise and a Prince song, Tom Jones reintroduced his hip style to Gen-Xers a few years back. Even Tony Bennett got tuned into a young audience. Engelbert is doing his part by recording a song for the up and coming Beavis & Butt-head movie and some tracks off his new album are what I would call "soft rapish" (he says the words more than he sings them). I don't know. MASH and Cheers all had the dignity enough to quit while on top. It took Frank Sinatra to record a terrible duet album, forget the words to a song while on stage, and then fall off that stage before he retired. Now I'm not saying Engelbert should retire, I think he's still got a lot of good stuff left in him. I'm just saying he should try and stick with Baby Boomers and their parents for an audience. Should the day come and Engelbert has blown out his last octave, then he should admit it and do the honorable thing by getting out of the business (muck like Seka did when she ballooned out).

You may be saying to yourself "Geeze! That Stu Gotz is an ass for not liking Engelbert Humperdinck." Ha ha! You're the ass then cause I liked him. I liked him a lot and so did the audience, so I give Engelbert Humperdinck TWO THUMBS UP!


Mr. Humperdinck

The Dude on the Right's Review:
So, yea, I'm going to see Engelbert Humperdinck. Make fun of me if you will, but much like Stu, my fondness for him started in my childhood. Maybe it was the fondness for "Release Me" which I seem to remember from way back (alright, maybe from in the womb 'cause I was born in 1967 - the same year it came out), maybe it was the fact that I heard he was doing something connected with Beavis and Butt-head, or maybe because I've always liked the singers in the same class of Mr. Humperdinck. You know the singers, those with simpler names like Frank, Sammy and Dean; guys like Tom Jones and Elvis, and who could forget Neil Diamond. Well, in any case, Stu and I made our way to the Rosemont Theatre to see the man that from now on I'll call Enge because typing the rest of his name over and over again could take awhile.

My first impression as he made the stage - class. Dressed very dapperly, he comes out, sings a couple of classics, throws out some witty banter to the crowd, and he's right into another song. Well, as the night went on, I began to become enlightened to some other facts about Enge and his fans who would be people like my parents. These people never showed it in front of me before, but they are all just sick, sick, sick. Sick and perverted I say, and I am both shocked and relieved.

Now Stu in his review commented about his voice, but I thought it was a powerful as ever. Personally I think it was the sound people because at times he sounded great, at other times he didn't sound at all, and at other times he even looked a little annoyed. But me, I notice these things. All the crowd seemed to notice was the Enge still had it all, he had the voice, he had the moves, and he had the conversation with the crowd to keep them laughing and singing all night.

Enge's got a new album out called "After Dark," and like many an artist nowadays he
Enge and his guitar player.
headed to Nashville for some help. And you know, it worked, at least for me. His new songs from the CD seemed to show he still can belt out a new song with the best of them, while his older stuff, you know, the songs I heard before I could talk, still kept their original flavor that I see why my parents liked him so much. But what about the sick part.

It seems to me that the people in the crowd, who if you met them on the street you'd never think it, have minds as sick as us in the younger generation. Enge mentioned a mirror above his bed that said "Objects appear larger than they are" or something like that. The crowd loved it. Enge goes into this hilarious imitation of Julio Iglesias, complete with a bad spanish accent, starts pretending to rub himself (well, you know, sort of suggestively), and the crowd just laughs hysterically. Me, I'm shocked. I don't know if more shocked at what I was seeing or the fact that the crowd thought it was hilarious and not appalling. Wow, the secret things you can find out about your parents at a concert. And dammit, Enge even commented about some girlfriend he had as a teenager who, as he put it "Oh, did she have some large tits." My ears were ringing and it wasn't because the music was too loud. So much for class, this guy has a great voice and is out and out hilarious.

But back to the show. From his impressions of Elvis, Dean, Jerry Lewis, and the Julio one, to his singing with a voice that, I don't care what Stu says, sounds as good as ever, I really like Enge. The band was good too, although one lady screamed "They're good but they're too loud" after Enge commented on the band. The dudette singers came out for a little number, too, giving Enge a little break, and as Enge threw the handkerchiefs out at the end, I thought there was going to be a fight between all the women.

And you thought your parents liked Engelbert for his songs. Sure, they're good and all, but don't kid yourself, your parents are looking for a place to show their true colors, and that they do at an Engelbert Humperdinck show. What could you call them then, Humperdinckheads? Hmmmm, too long. Maybe just Humperheads? I guess the possibilities are endless. In any case, the fans at the Rosemont Theatre loved Enge, and I did too. It's a TWO THUMB UPPER for the Enge-meister. I might even have to try to check out his new CD if I get a chance, it sounded pretty cool. I like cool.

That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right. L8R!


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