Albany, NY
The Pepsi Arena
October 07, 2004

KMB II Review:
Bette Finally Makes It To Albany
By: Julia

Photo: Julia

Miss M was finally able to bring Kiss My Brass to Albany this evening. The crowd made sure she knew how relieved they were. Before the concert began the people in front of us joked that she could not back out now! Lucky for us, there is no snow in October.

As I walked to my seats in the 8th row I could tell security was not going to be friendly tonight. I had brought roses for Bette and was told I would not be allowed to take them to my seat. He took them from me right there in the middle of the isle and said he would give them to her later. This made me scared that my stashed camera would be taken too so I did not take pictures until the 2nd half.

The concert began at 8:15 to a standing ovation. As she got off her horse she turned to the crowd and said "Albany! I finally made it!" She explained how she had been trying to make this concert happen since March. Then came the local jokes which were so accurate and
hilarious it was as if Bette lived there herself. She made mention of the late state budget (yeah STILL late!). Then how Joe Bruno, a local politician, could not make the concert this evening because he was practicing his moves in case the failing SPAC ballet needed him. She referred to the people in the back as her people from Rensselaer, the ones with the mullets! Then asked where her Lark St. people where, a well known gay hang out, commenting how they must be in the back too.

The crowd was on fire, laughing hardest at the Bush jokes. In particular their favorite seemed to be the one about Mrs. Bush selling pot in the 70's. "You know, I finally found something I like about that woman." At one point Bette stopped the show noticing a few people in the section directly to her right who where sitting at the edge of their section next to the curtain and obviously could not see anything on stage. Next to them where plenty of empty seats and Bette demanded they move over so they could see. They hesitated, but she would not go on until they moved.

The remainder of the 1st half went along with the previous concert reports, however to me the Sophie Tucker section seemed much shorter than when I saw her in leg 1. She had a few new jokes which where great, but she left out the vase joke. There where some technical difficulties after Bette popped out the top of the yellow tent. I noticed her tent was off center but figured it was planned. As she popped out she said, "how about a little more upstage and center?" Then she started talking to the man in the tent asking him why she wasn't moving, apparently he could move left and right but not forward and THEN became stuck. She tried starting, "I'll never forget it you know" several times as the person in the tent below her kept moving. Eventually the tent found itself where she wanted it to be, she told one joke from there and then moved on with the concert.

After the intermission came a spruced up Delores DeLago act. As previously reported her tail is now aqua and pink, very cute! The Harlettes stayed in their previous yellow costumes. She still has the red mermaid outfit for the end of the act.

The audience continued to be open to her political remarks, giving a spirited applause to her remarks about Mr. Rogers and needing a new perspective. After Wind Beneath my wings the audience remained standing and clapping while she changed for The Rose. Some people did get up and leave thinking WBMW was the end of the concert. Then
suddenly "The Rose" came on screen and the crowd went wild. They remained standing and clapping for all of Keep On Rockin'. Then Bette told us to sit down as she herself collapsed to the stage. She explained that she was about to sing her most favorite song and loves when the audience sings along. Bette was so overcome by the power of us singing with her that she stopped and let us sing to her for 5 or 6 lines. She then wiped a tear from her eye and rejoined us. We all continued to sing along, as she ended the song there where visible tears in her eyes. She exited stage right, pausing at the door, blowing a few kisses and waved goodbye.

From sweet to sassy, Midler runs the gamut at the Pepsi
The Saratogian 10/09/2004

ALBANY -- It's hard to put into words exactly what a Bette Midler show entails. It is part concert, part comedy show, part theater. There is one word, however, that describes her appearance Thursday night at the Pepsi Arena -- divine.

Running fashionably late, the Divine Miss M entered in grand fashion -- atop a flying carousel horse that whisked her from one end of the stage to the other as she belted out 'Kiss My Brass.'

She looked like Shirley Temple with her curly mop top and sailor suit, which was the perfect complement to her stage set -- Coney Island at the turn of the 19th century. It was just one of her many costumes of the night.
Photo Scan: BaltoBoy Steve

After the exhilarating opening number, Midler went into her comedic commentary.

'I'm not retiring, and you can't make me,' she said, remarking about how much the seats cost and the money she makes. She even referred to those in the front row, aka the expensive seats, as her 'own little Saratoga.'

'Oh Albany, I made it. I've been trying to make it since March,' she said, referring to her previously scheduled show earlier this year that was canceled because of a snowstorm. 'It took so long, I was starting to feel like the budget.'

The New York City resident took the time to crack jokes about state legislators Joe Bruno and Sheldon Silver, as well as Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings.

'Joe Bruno couldn't come,' she said. 'He was practicing his pirouettes in case the ballet calls.'

No one was safe from Midler's sharp tongue, including Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, the president and the 'poor, fat, stupid, hypocritical, drug-addicted' Rush Limbaugh.

'I did my first national tour in the '70s. George W. Bush came to see me,' she said. 'His coke dealer got him tickets.'

At 58, Midler is a ball of energy, but she joked about being out of breath after performing a few numbers.

'I'm huffin' and puffin',' she panted. 'That's what happens when you sing your own songs.'

She said she is still waiting for thank yous from Spears and Christina Aguilera. 'I opened the door for trashy singers,' she cracked.

She also made fun of her old TV show, 'Bette,' ranted about e-mail spam, Viagra and reality television.

In between the laughter came the music. And what a voice Midler has.

Her songs included 'Skylark,' 'Shiver Me Timbers,' 'When a Man Loves a Woman,' 'Chapel of Love,' 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,' 'From a Distance,' and her Rosemary Clooney tribute, 'Hey There' and 'Tenderly.'

She also offered up a tribute to Mr. Rogers, singing a duet of sorts with him.

She did her 'Soph' routine, which included some of the funniest dirty jokes I've heard. Unfortunately, I can't repeat any of them in this newspaper.

After a 30-minute intermission (which was supposed to only be 15 minutes), Midler returned as her legendary Delores DeLago.

This time, she and her dancers, aka The Harlots, performed 'Fishtails Over Broadway,' a melody of show tunes set in an undersea world.

She closed out the two-hour show with a powerful performance of 'Wind Beneath My Wings,' which garnered a huge ovation, and an equally moving encore of 'Keep on Rockin'Ÿ' and one of her signature songs, 'The Rose.'

'I'm running for queen of the world,' she said. 'I don't know if I can change the world, but I know I can't f--- it up anymore.'

Tell you what, Bette, you get my vote.

©The Saratogian 2004

KMB II Review
Bootleg Betty
Bette Gives All to Albany
BLB BetteHead: The Divine Miss P

Albany was really truly fantastic. I know I say that all the time, but Miss M was ON FIRE Thursday night! And the whole audience was right along with her. People kept screaming "I Love You Bette!" throughout the whole show from different sides of the arena. There are some nights, more than others, that you know Bette is having a fabulous time up there and this was one of those nights. Fellow Bettehead Marcia and I went together and met the lovely(and tall!) Julia and her friends. All these young female Bette fans sitting together was quite a sight. All the people sitting around us were amused and impressed with our devotion, which was nice. One of them being the man sitting in front of me who said he worked with Bette's sister, Susan. I asked if they looked alike and he said he didn't think so but they have the same laugh, and she's very kind! There was also a fabulous Bette impersontor(dressed up as "Diva Las Vegas" Bette) in the crowd!

All the Albany jokes went over my head since I am a Jersey girl, but Julia explained them in her review, and the crowd definitely got them. As Julia mentioned, the tent did get stuck during Soph and Bette quickly made a joke of the situation. She called the malfunctioning tent a motherfucker, explaining that she only curses because she knows how much we enjoy it when she does and that in reality she would NEVER curse, which we all know is untrue. Then she said, "Okay, so it(the tent) moves side to side, but not up and down. I know some people like that." It was hilarious!

In the celebrity break-ups section, Anna Nicole Smith and a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken were added. Bette commented on how fat she was and now how thin, and moronic- "that's a special kind of stupid now, isn't it?"

She also talked about "Growing up Gotti" after lamenting the demise of "Bette". She said the boys on the show look like they're wearing Chia pets on their heads and Victoria Gotti's extensions make her look like "Mafia Barbie". She said she actually thinks her show was too tasteful to get good ratings!

After "The Britney Bunch", Bette kept singing a capella and said, "Cute, isn't it?" Also, one itty bitty addition that I forgot about in my last review comes during "Fishtails..." During the "no personal vibrating devices," etc. part, there is a voiceover of Bette saying, "I am Delores DeLago and I approve this message", a jab at political commercials.

I also noticed that the joke in Delores when "Life is a cabaret..." is sung and Delores says "It sounds like a toilet in here" and "It wasn't a cabaret for Liza" was cut. Am I being too specific? Well, I'm just preparing to be a stand-in Harlette in case one of them gets sick or knocked up or something...

The most moving part of the evening, by far, was the audience singing "The Rose" with her. Oh my god, it was just breathtaking. About 9,000 people singing together. Really beautiful. I have to hand it to those Albanites- they make a great audience!

yours truly,

Miss P