Michael Bolton performing his Love Songs And Greatest Hits Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Monday 11th October 2021.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

It was a packed Royal Concert Hall last night who welcomed a frail looking Michael Bolton back to the stage after the cancellation of several shows on this his Love Songs tour through ill health. But back he was and with his husky, unmistakable voice which elevated him to international stardom, he was still as unique and hypnotic as ever.

There was a respectable crowd already seated for 2010 X Factor runner up, Rebecca Ferguson, who got a great reception especially when performing her audition song, A Change Is Gonna Come. Belting out other songs which included Freedom, Superwoman and Nothing’s Real But Love, she was the perfect opener.

As the blue, green and purple lighting began to flash, the twice Grammy award winner came on to the stage and began the evening’s entertainment with Stand By Me. Following up with The Bee Gee’s To Love Somebody, he had the crowd singing along early doors.

Whilst not known for any super energetic, high flying theatrics and in fact he didn’t move a lot during this performance but he still had the crowd hanging on every word and between songs he had them laughing as he engaged throughout.

And with his reputation for being a master interpreter of crooner classics, he didn’t disappoint with the likes of Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life and Eddy Arnold’s You Don’t Know Me. But it was when he dipped into his self penned catalogue that the temperature levels increased. Said I Loved You…But I Lied was outstanding and he really raised the roof with one of his greatest hits, How Can We Be Lovers If We Can’t Be Friends.

Fans favourite, (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay brought out the best in him, whilst Steel Bars, a song he wrote with Bob Dylan was a real highlight before he finished his main set with Time, Love And Tenderness. For the encore he performed Go The Distance from the 1997 Disney Movie Hercules before he ended the evening with his rendition of Lean On Me which saw Bolton and his talented band line up at the front of the stage to soak up their well earned standing ovation.

No new musical ground was broken last night but Bolton’s songs were undoubtedly the music soundtracks of love, heartache and romance for so many of the crowd and that is why they will be there next time he tours to do it all over again.