Yanni adds "Voices" to his mix at Amway Arena
posted by JimAbbott on Apr 14, 2009 11:03:19 PM
When it comes to genre-bending artistic leaps, adding vocals to the Yanni canon isn’t exactly like Bob Dylan going electric.
Yet it’s the presence of voices that inspires the name of Yanni’s new album and tour, the latter stopping Tuesday at Amway Arena.
As a new wrinkle, the idea worked well on several levels. Mainly, singers Nathan Pacheco, Chloe, Ender Thomas and Leslie Mills injected personality into music that, although lovely, still leans toward the formulaic.Concert Photos
In a two-hour production that incorporated considerable choreography, the show smartly tapped into some pop-culture touchstones.
With four singers sharing the spotlight, an immediate rooting interest surfaced in an American Idol way. "We looovvee you, Chloe!" a woman shouted in the early going.
When Yanni introduced Thomas, the crowd screamed wildly before he took the stage. "Ender’s cousins are here tonight," Yanni joked.
With his frizzy long hair, tight leather pants and vaguely Bohemian vibe, he was the sexy bad boy compared with the buttoned-down operatic Pacheco.
Of course, Yanni himself was the main attraction.
The crowd, which wasn’t large enough to require opening the upper bowl, applauded wildly for Yanni’s mere silhouette in the show’s opening moments. It was kind of like the way Alan Jackson fans go crazy over the holes in his jeans.
Musically, Yanni’s material adheres to two templates: There are fast songs, built on pensive, repetitive keyboard arpeggios, or lush ballads ideal for videos of sparkling lakes, deserts, ancient architecture, or just Yanni himself
After all these years, the man knows how to sell a song, closing his eyes and leaning back as the repetitive arpeggios surged through him. At one point, Chloe joined him on the piano bench to close her eyes, too.
In addition to her singing, Chloe showed off her dancing skills in the second set. When she teamed with heartthrob Thomas for a big production number, it was evident that the show’s producers have been watching Dancing With the Stars, too.
And that’s a good thing. Although Yanni’s music is grand, the sparkling water and deserts can only take things so far. Sometimes, it’s nice to add a wrinkle or two.