SALAMANCA - I have said it before, and it bears saying again. When a legend comes to a venue to play a show the bar is going to be quite high. That mindset was in place April 26, when Kenny Rogers took the stage at the Seneca Allegany Casino's Events Center; the second time in three years, almost to the day.
I was there the last time he took the stage. The same high bar was in play for that show. Both times, I have to say, he cleared it with no problem, soaring over like a high jumper on a good day.
Looking a little stiff from the minute he walked out onto the stage until he left for the evening, but who wouldn't after a knee replacement at the spry age of 75? His voice still carries the trademark rasp that it had back in the First Edition days though, and he was ready to use it.
Kenny Rogers performs to a full house at the Seneca Allegany Casino’s Events Center, in Salamanca. At 75, in his fifth decade, he still is as much of a performer as ever.
Photo by Chris Chapman
From the first note of "Love or Something Like it," until the last note of "Islands in the Stream," Rogers on this trip looked better, and seemed to be more with it than Rogers in 2011 was. The humor was the same, right down to the guy in the front that made some spending cash by raising his hand every time a hit song was played, but it worked, especially with what seemed like a more "with it" Kenny.
It never fails at the Seneca Allegany Casino. For practically every show, a wide range of ages seem to be in attendance. This show had a young man, looking like he was in his pre-teen years, in attendance, wearing his shiny suit coat and bow tie to enjoy seeing a a musical icon perform.
At 75, in his fifth decade of performances, it's really hard to say how many more trips Kenny may be taking to the Seneca Allegany Casino, but the next time he comes, it would be advisable for the Musica Amantem to be there. The man is not only still singing the hits as he recorded them, but he performs and interacts on the stage like the showman you'd expect.
SETLIST: "Love or Something Like It," "It's a Beautiful Life," "If You Want to Find Love," "Through the Years/You Decorated My Life/She Believes in Me/Ruby," "The Greatest," "Love the World Away," "Coward of the County," "Daytime Friends," "Buy Me a Rose," "America," "Something's Burning," "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," "We've Got Tonight," "Have a Little Faith in Me," "The Gambler," "Lucille," "Lady," "Islands in the Stream."