Smokey Robinson Paints a Musical Masterpiece at the Hollywood Bowl

Entertainment — By on July 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Smokey Robinson.

By Buddy Sampson

Hollywood, CA.-In one of the most timeless and poignant performances in music  history, Smokey Robinson painted a visual and musical masterpiece at the Hollywood Bowl.

Although there were stage problems that forced his set to start a little late, when Robinson took the stage, it was simply magic. Backed by the Bowl orchestra, which was masterfully conducted by Sarah Hicks, Robinson was in excellent voice, and used The Hollywood Bowl as a showcase to display his unmatchable gift as one of the craftsmen of the music industry.

Smokey Robinson is in a class by itself. He is one of the few remaining balladeers, performers and songwriters from the Motown era, which defined R&B and Soul Music. In his set, he chronicled the history of Motown and gave audience a visual and verbal history of the early days of Motown and how acts like The Supremes, The Marvelettes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, his group, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and other acts would tour on the same bus, going from town to town. He even recalled that he had to drive the bus at times. But watching him on stage is a visual treat. He is a classic performer- a comedian, a storyteller and actor that knows how to work an audience into an unbridaled frenzy.

Robinson recounted his early years as a songwriter, working with Stevie Wonder. He performed several of the songs he wrote for other artists, including The Temptations. One of those songs were “My Girl,” which began the night on a terrific note. His voice was impeccable and if you were in the audience, Robinson made you feel as if you were in his living room, telling jokes. His imitation of 8 track tapes was nothing short of hilarious. Robinson, who is an incredible showman, gyrated and danced and put on a clinic of show business excellence. Reports say that he is 71, but those reports have to be erroneous- he controlled the stage like a 30 year old.

He performed many of his hits, which included “Quiet Storm,” “I Second That Emotion,” and “Going To a Go Go.” He saved the best for last, closing his set with “Cruisin’,” in which he divided The Hollywood Bowl audience in half and made a fun vocal competition of the chorus of the song.

His performance at the Hollywood Bowl on July 21, 2012 should be placed in the annals of music history. It was that good. Smokey Robinson painted a musical masterpiece for the ages.

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