BY PAMELA STERN
Kenny Rogers sold out Empire City’s 2,000 seats for his August show and as the 75-year-old singing sensation has still got his voice and still can pound out his songs as if he recorded them yesterday. Rogers said to the crowd, ”There are two types of people in the audience today, those who were born before 1960, and those who were born since 1980, whose family made them listen to me.”
Rogers, who is celebrating his 50th year being in the music business, was very thankful for his loyal fans. Not only did Rogers perform his music but he incorporated some of his former group’s music as well. Rogers in the 60s was in a group called The First Edition. Some of his most famous songs from that group are: “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was in),” “Ruby,” “Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” and “Reuben James.”
At Empire City Rogers performed ”We’ve Got Tonight,” which he had recorded with Sheena Easton, one of the many recording artists that he has worked with. Rogers got the crowd going with “Through the Years,” “She Believes in Me,” “Ruby,” “Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” “Reuben James” and told the crowd that “The Greatest” is a song that he wrote about baseball.
Rogers also had screens up during his performance showing snip bits of him, through the years. The audience enjoyed seeing this because it brought up remembrances for them. While performing “The Gambler,” his screens showed him in the movie “The Gambler,” a perfect song to be performing at a casino.
His performance of “Lucille” got the crowd going, followed by “Lady,” one of Rogers most popular songs. Rogers told the audience that he hated when performers ended their show and left the stage only to re-enter the stage again for an encore. He said that the crowd knows that you’re coming on back so why mess with the audience, instead.
Rogers closed out the show with “Islands in the Stream,” which is one of his duets with Dolly Parton.
What did the fans think of Kenny Rogers? AnnMarie Heffernan of Yonkers said that this was the first concert that she has seen at Empire City: “My favorite song, hummm ‘Through the Years,’ ‘Lucillle,’ and ‘The Gambler.’ I think that he was very funny with the stuff that he said and he put on a great show.”
Frankie Ferraro of Yonkers said, “Tonight was special for me. When I was young, I never really had any father-son bonding moments with my father because he was always working to support our family. Two and a half years ago, he was diagnosed with stage four cancer. I never thought that I would get the chance to share that special time with him. Tonight, I got that chance and I will always cherish it. I never thought that Kenny Rogers would be our bonding time together.”