The Voice

Linda took her show on the road both near and far during 2012, and, as usual, brand new as well as long-time fans are always thrilled when she travels to a venue near them. Through the reviews, stories and photos below, you can experience some of these shows through the eyes of those who were lucky enough to be there. A huge THANK YOU to the fans who took the time to share their experiences with THE VOICE!


Mary Ann Faias from Florida writes…

My First Linda Eder Experience

Fan Mary Ann Hotaling with Linda and Tom Topat
Photo: Greg Kaspar

I had the incredible opportunity to hear the incomparable Linda Eder perform last February in Sarasota, Florida. I was already familiar with Ms. Eder’s work but was thrilled to have this opportunity to hear her live for the very first time. Although she sounds phenomenal in the recording studio, to see and hear her first hand was an extraordinary experience I will never forget. I also had the unique opportunity to meet Linda backstage. Although I was a little nervous to meet this singing sensation, I was quickly made to feel comfortable by her laid back, bubbly, yet modest personality. I was floored how someone with so much talent and beauty can be so down to earth and hospitable to a stranger.

Tom Wopat, of “Dukes of Hazzard” fame, was the opening act for the evening’s performance. Mr. Wopat’s voice and performance was wonderful. But what really caught my attention was his sense of humor and his stage presence. I found him very entertaining and very willing to engage the audience in what seemed like a “one on one” conversation with him on the stage. He is a terrific storyteller and I enjoyed hearing him tell stories from the beloved series from my childhood.

Linda with Miss Florida 2011 Kristin Janolo, EDER-tor Ellen Jacobs, Tom Wopat, and fan Mary Ann Hotaling
Photo: Greg Kaspar

When Linda Eder came onstage, she really lit up the room. She has an inner energy about her that is surely recognized by all in the theater. From start to finish, Linda Eder sang every song to perfection. “Crystal clear” kept coming to mind with each song she sang. Her rendition of “Blue Skies” was the best I have ever heard anyone do, but it was her version of “I Will Wait For You” that had the audience mesmerized. The emotional version of this song made it one of my favorites of the evening. Before seeing Ms. Eder live, I had heard her recorded version of “Someone Like You.” I didn’t think it could get any better, but I was wrong. The live version of her performing this song was incredible and flawless. “Waiting For The Fall” was hands down my favorite and the best of the evening. The emotional strength that Ms. Eder put behind that song was unbelievable, and I truly believed I felt what she was she was feeling in that moment. It is a true gift when a performer can make you feel that way through song. The piano solo in that piece was truly a perfect way to round out the selection. 

I think one of the highlights of the entire evening for me was my exchange with a sweet couple sitting next to me who had not heard of Linda Eder before, but had season tickets to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. As Ms. Eder was taking the stage, the gentleman whispered to me, “Goodness, I hope she is good.” I told him he was going to fall in love with her voice. By the time the show was over and everyone was on their feet in a standing ovation, he looked at me and excitedly said, “Linda Eder is amazing! She better come back to Sarasota again sooner rather than later.” I could not agree more.


Todd D. Bulmash from Illinois writes…

Two Shows, Two Friends, Linda Brings Everyone Together

Linda on stage at Viper Alley

On July 28, 2012 Linda performed two shows at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). While I enjoy every Linda concert I go to, this concert was even more special. The Viper Alley concert brought together so many old friends, many who met at other Linda concerts and some who were regulars on the former Linda Eder Message Board. Among other people, I was at the show with that night was my friend Marissa. Marissa and I met in 2005 while waiting for Linda at the stage door of the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, Illinois. We shared Linda stories, took pictures and passed the time until Linda came out. After we were done, we went our separate ways. A few years later, I was seeing a local production of THOROUGHLY MODERN  MILLIE and one of the girls on stage looked very familiar to me. I went up to her after the show to ask how I knew her. It was then that we realized we knew each other from the Linda concert. We exchanged e-mail addresses and kept in touch, making sure that we connected each time Linda was coming to town. Since then, Marissa and I have become good friends and even did a show together in 2011.

Fan Todd Bulmash, Linda, and Fan Shawn Bechtol
Fans Marissa Hockfield and Todd Bulmash

Since Marissa and I consider ourselves “super fans,” buying tickets to both shows was an easy decision. When Linda saw us at the front row of both performances she even joked by asking, “You know it’s the same show, right?” To us it did not matter. Getting to see her two times in one night was a great way to spend a Saturday.

After opening with the Etta James classic “At Last,” Linda performed a mix of Broadway and pop, as well as some of her classic signature songs including: “Anthem,” “Now,” Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep,” and “Someone Like You” from JEKYLL & HYDE, which Linda said she hears about on the internet when she does not perform it. 

After closing the show, Linda came out for an encore and sang an absolutely beautiful version of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”/ “Over The Rainbow.” For anyone at Viper Alley who had never heard her before, at the end of the night it was clear. Linda Eder is a true artist.

The whole evening was filled with great music and good friends all tucked into an intimate venue that fit Linda and her four piece band perfectly. However, with cabaret tables that came flush up against the stage, Linda wondered “if she should have worn a longer dress.”


Marissa Hockfield from Illinois writes…

Every time I see Linda on stage is magical – from the first time I saw her in JEKYLL & HYDE in 1997, to solo concerts, to performing with the Chicagoland Pops or Michael Feinstein. However, her July concert at Viper Alley was especially magical because it was my first Linda double header! Linda had two performances that evening, and I attended both her 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. shows with my friends Todd and Shawn. We also caught up with many of our Linda fan friends there too. Viper Alley is an intimate concert venue where everyone sits at tables; some people even sat at tables placed on top of Viper Alley’s bowling lanes! The venue perfectly suited Linda’s performance style since she could easily see and interact with the audience. From the first row, I could see and feel every emotion that Linda sang.

Fan Marissa Hockfield and Linda

Linda sang the same set for both concerts, and we were more than happy to hear all the wonderful songs a second time. She did a mixture of her own songs, songs of female “songbirds,” and even songs from the current songbird, Adele. I am still partial to Linda singing her own music, and those songs, for me, were the highlights of the evening.
My favorite moment of the concert was Linda’s performance of “More Than Heaven.” I have always felt a strong emotional connection to this song. I’m not sure whether it is the lyrics, the music, or Linda’s interpretation of the song – most likely a mixture of all of these. I can listen to it on the CD, close my eyes, and just be swept away. Before singing this song, Linda told the audience that she had a concert immediately following the tsunami in Japan last year. She wanted to dedicate a song to the victims and those affected by the tsunami, and when she looked at her song list, this song fit best. I couldn’t agree more. When I went home that night, I looked up the lyrics to this song and listened to it over and over.

The concerts ended with a roaring standing ovation from the enthralled audience and an encore from Linda. Even after two concerts, I would have happily sat through two more concerts! At the end of the second show, Linda came out to the audience and graciously took photos and signed autographs. I was very excited to tell her how much I enjoyed the concerts and have my photo taken with her. I can’t wait until my next Linda concert!



Jonathan Beckett from Massachusetts writes…

I don’t usually go to Provincetown in August because I enjoy it when it is a little more low key. Something made me decide to travel there for Carnival Week this year, and am I ever glad I made that decision! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that Linda Eder was going to be appearing at the Crown & Anchor for two nights! The minute I told my partner about it, he bought us tickets for both nights!

As we sat there waiting for the show to begin that first night, you could sense the excitement in the air. The crowd was obviously comprised mainly of huge Linda Eder fans. The anticipation was very obvious.

Finally Linda took the stage and looked absolutely gorgeous! You could tell she was genuinely touched by the amazing reception she received before she even sang one note. In fact, I wondered if the audience was going to let her sing. They seemed content to just sit there and cheer her!

But she did begin her show with a lovely rendition of “I Will Wait For You” followed by a wonderful arrangement of “Blue Skies.” I am a huge Etta James fan, so I loved hearing Linda sing “At Last.” The song from her latest CD, NOW, which is also titled “Now,” was very similar to opera and it was performed perfectly. Linda sang “Anthem” from CHESS as no other singer could! The deep emotion and soaring vocals amazed the audience! Linda’s “Waiting For The Fall,” which she wrote, was such fun and really showed how much Billy Stein loves his job as pianist and musical director. Adele’s “Someone Like You/Rollin’ In The Deep” really brought the audience more alive than it already was.

I really hesitate to say my favorites of the evening because I loved every selection, but I must do so. The crowning jewels were JEKYLL & HYDE’s “Someone Like You,” “Man Of LaMancha,” and the exquisitely sung “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows/Over The Rainbow.” I can’t come up with adjectives to adequately describe these three.
I hated to see the evening come to a close, but it really didn’t matter because I was coming back the next night for more Linda Eder!



Jeff Bankson (with photos by Jill Olthoff) from Connecticut writes…

A Trip to East Hampton

I decided to write this to express the pure joy I felt after seeing Linda once again at a show. I have been to more Linda shows than I dare admit since my show partner Jill first shared Linda with me. It seems like ages ago when I first sat in the Shubert Theater in New Haven and was wowed by her voice.

The following years saw me planning my life around seeing her perform. (Stalker anyone? LOL) Like so many fans I became addicted. As time went on, some life changes got in the way and I hadn’t been to a Linda show in quite a while. When I saw the details of the show on September 2, 2012 after Jill grabbed tickets for my birthday, I couldn’t wait. “Songbirds” was promising a lot of new material which I had never heard Linda sing, so this added to my excitement.

Sunday began with a ride across Long Island Sound on the Bridgeport Ferry. We found a local hotel in Medford as a place to crash after the show and get a good night’s sleep rather than drive all the way back to Connecticut. How weird was it when we realized that the band Kiss was staying at the same place as they were performing locally. Jill ran into one of them in the morning. Rock on Jill! LOL

We then took the drive out to the Hamptons but continued all the way to Montauk just to do it. We relaxed there for a while and then headed back to a nice dinner in Amagansett before heading to the show in East Hampton.
Upon arrival, I was amazed at how wonderful the theater had been remodeled. It was a small and very personal feeling venue which fit perfectly with the style of the show. Linda came on stage with just 4 band members. I did not know the bass player and drummer but of course seeing Billy Stein brought a smile out of me, and of course Peter Calo has always been one of my favorite guitar players. Linda appeared on stage in a very pretty but “short” dress. Even Linda commented on the height of the stage and the shortness of the dress providing some smiles as only Linda can. She commented in typical Linda fashion, “I would rather be in jeans!” This point was driven home further when for her encore she came to the piano and promptly removed her heels followed by a huge sigh of relief. :-)

The mix of music was wonderful. I won’t try to remember the exact song list but the highlights were hearing her for sing songs I had never seen or heard her do before. A Patsy Cline tribute with a medley of “Crazy” and “Walking After Midnight,” along with an Adele cover medley of “Someone Like You/Rolling in the Deep.” She performed Etta James’ “At Last” as well as any cover I have ever heard.

Of course, there were some of her songs from various albums including her “Waiting For The Fall” from THE OTHER SIDE OF ME. From SOUNDTRACK she performed one of my favorites, “Falling Slowly” and her cover of Bryan Adams’ “Everything I Do.” I think I remember “I Will Wait For You” as well but could be mistaken on that one. She also performed her rendition of Michel Legrand’s “Theme From The Summer Of ’42,” which was beautiful to say the least.

Linda on stage at Guild Hall

There were many more but I was not jotting them down. It was simply a joy to see her perform some of these current and future standards which I had not heard before. Linda has never disappointed and that remains true after attending the event at the Guild Hall in East Hampton.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much fun it is watching Billy Stein as well. I don’t believe I have EVER been to a concert or show where one of the performers appears to be having so much fun. Watching his huge smile almost non-stop brought a smile to me as well.

I need to add one funny story here. For anyone who knows my best friend, Jill, they would know of her total devotion to photography and her love of her beloved Nikon. Well, it had been a number of years since I had a picture with Linda, so after the show there was a brief reception. I knew Linda was anxious to get home since she mentioned it during the show. (Jake’s first night home alone!) Jill and I were standing right there when Linda came out so she quickly got set up for a photo. Jill, for the first time that I have seen, couldn’t get her camera to work. I felt guilty waiting for it to function, so I thanked Linda and moved along, figuring there would be another time and place. So now we have a new memory. No one who really knows Jill will believe it!

Thanks Linda!


Maureen Stewart (with thoughts and photos from Lori Zapata) from New York writes…

Linda with fan Maureen Stewart

Being asked to review a Linda Eder concert is liked being asked to review chocolate.
What’s there to say...  it’s CHOCOLATE! If you haven’t tasted it yet, you have no idea what you are missing. Once you have had a taste, you will keep coming back for more. Chocolate causes a release of serotonin and endorphins, which produce a sense of well being and a rush of euphoria. I can’t say if listening to Linda causes those same metabolic reactions, but I can say that the result is the same. You leave feeling better than before you entered.

Ok, now I’m hungry… on to the show…

I saw the Songbirds show at Feinstein’s when Linda first introduced it. Being in such an intimate setting and hearing Linda sing songs that were outside of her usual repertoire was an unbelievable treat. Some of the songs were a little rough around the edges; Linda said it was because she was still learning them herself. So I went to Guild Hall excited to see how the show had progressed and taken shape over the last 5 ½ months. As usual, I did not leave disappointed. The lyrics stand stood virtually unused throughout the show. Linda seemed much more comfortable and the show had a nice flow to it. 

The evening was a journey through time, back to the days of beautiful torch songs and love songs like “I Will Wait For You,” “At Last,” “Stormy Weather,” and “Crazy.” I am certain the ladies were smiling down as Linda did them proud. There was a great mix of Broadway and Film songs as Linda covered “Charade,” “On The Street Where You Live,” and “Anthem.” Peter Calo provided beautiful harmony on “Falling Slowly.” I could go on and on, every song was lovely, although I did miss Eva Cassidy’s “I Know You By Heart” that Linda sang at Feinstein’s.

The two songs I waited most to hear were Adele’s “Someone Like You” and “Rollin’ in the Deep.” The thrill of hearing them for the first time at Feinstein’s was replaced by the power and emotion that Linda was able to infuse into them now that she had a better grasp of them. I asked Linda after the show when she felt that she had hit her stride with those songs. Modestly, she said that she didn’t think she had. She said she feels that they have the arrangements set, but that she didn’t feel completely comfortable with the lyrics. While Linda was somewhat tentative with “Rollin’ in the Deep,” she nailed “Someone Like You” completely in stride.

Linda on stage at Guild Hall

Linda was, as always, her funny, engaging self. She shared a story about a neighbor coming to pick up a friend of her son’s who mentioned his sister is a singer. It was a comment she brushed off at first, but then she asked her son’s friend what his last name was; it was then that she learned that his Aunt was the Rene Flemming. The story was the intro to “Now,” and it gave me a whole new perspective and appreciation for the song, as well as a reminder of the truly amazing vocal range of Linda Eder.

Back for an encore, Linda did an amazing medley of “I'm Always Chasing Rainbows” and “Over the Rainbow.” “Vienna” is sorely missed as the closing song and you could hear people in the audience shout out for her to sing it. However, seeing as how this show was a tribute to the Songbirds, there could not have been a better song choice to cap off the night.

There was a reception after the show and Linda graciously greeted people as though she had personally invited each and every one of us. She had a long drive home ahead of her, but each time her manager reminded her that it was time to go, she waved him off and told him she still had people she needed to say hello to.
Classy lady. Thank you for a wonderful evening!


 

THE VOICE is pleased to present these videos of Linda on stage at Guild Hall, courtesy of Fan Maureen Stewart.

 

"More Than Heaven"
 
"Now"
 
"Chasing Rainbows/Over The Rainbow"

 

 

 

(c)2013 Linda Eder