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Engelbert Humperdinck makes triumphant return to Medford's Chevalier Theatre

October 13, 2021

LuAnn Thibodeau Special to the Medford Transcript WickedLocal.Com Oct. 13, 2021

To quote a line of lyrics from his song "We’ll Meet Again," “tell everyone in town that Humperdinck is back.”

And what a return it was! The sky was overcast, but Engelbert Humperdinck illuminated the Chevalier Theatre as he triumphantly returned on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.

Starting promptly at 7 p.m., the band began playing the overture as the curtain opened.  The cheers began and the anticipation of the crowd was palpable. 

From off stage, Engelbert’s voice was heard, singing one of his many hits "l Mondo" and the crowd got even louder. Then, when he walked out onto the stage, there was no holding back — the audience was on its feet and the applause and cheering reached a crescendo!

The man, the legend, the king of romance was indeed back and looking better than ever. As he entered stage right, the slim and trim Engelbert, clad in a grey tux and pants, paired so exquisitely with a black and red shirt, displayed his famous, brilliant smile, much to the delight of his fans. 

They now believed that he was indeed back, after a harrowing 18-month break from live concerts that affected the entire music industry and the world in general. The pandemic may have stopped live shows, but it couldn’t stop Humperdinck’s fans from keeping their love from and allegiance to him. 

In fact, through the innovative ways that he used social media, online concerts, weekly Tuesday Museday and Flashback Friday episodes, and more, Engelbert fostered even greater love to his fan base around the world.

His first song, "Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away," brought another standing ovation.  This is a new song to Humperdinck’s show, but you would never have known — he preformed the song as if he had been doing it for years!

After that song, he launched into fan favorites "Am I That Easy To Forget" and "Love Me With All Of Your Heart" before singing "What Am I Living For," a beautiful new song that he released on Nov. 20, 2020.

Engelbert had complete command of the stage, and never missed a beat, even though the were some glitches with his earpiece and microphone. Ever the epitome of a true entertainer, at one point, he sat down and said that perhaps he was going to have to turn the concert into a talk show, because of those issues. He also told several jokes and stories along the way, much to the delight of the audience.

Always wanting the audience to be involved in the show, Englebert encouraged the fans to sing along to "Lonely Is A Man Without Love." He ad-libbed the lyrics a bit when he sang “I cannot face this world that’s falling down on me.

Then instead of the next line — "So if you see my girl, please send her home to me" — he changed it to "I’ve gotta bend my back, it’s giving me agony,” as he mimicked bending over in pain. The audience roared with laughter, and it was obvious that the thespian of the music world was truly back.

Other songs included "Oh Girl Of Mine," which Engelbert told folks to get up and dance to if they wanted to do so. He himself danced around the stage to this song and others.

Two new songs were added to his show this year. The first was a major hit for Elton John. And Humperdinck’s rendition of "Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me" certainly didn’t fail the test of an artist being able to successfully cover a song.

The second song is one that Engelbert himself wrote several years ago. He told the audience that he doesn’t usually sing anything that he has written, but this one was dedicated to a special lady for whom he wrote the song (that special lady is Humperdinck’s darling wife of 56 years, Patricia, who passed away in February of this year after contracting COVID). "Everywhere I Go" brought many to tears as Engelbert poured his heart out, especially at the end of the song, when he looked up to Heaven, then closed his eyes and bowed his head.

Another song that Engelbert covered was "Don’t Let The Old Man In, written by Toby Keith. He explained that the words of this song are ones that he lives by, and anyone who doesn’t know that he is 85 years young would certainly agree with him — his energy level throughout the whole show was astounding.

Next came a song that Engelbert wrote with his daughter, Louise — "Totally Amazing" — and his performance was that and more. Returning to his earlier songs, he sang the title cut from the 1978 album "Last Of The Romantics," which was followed by "After The Lovin,'" the smash hit from 1977, as well as a medley of some of his many other hits.

But of course, no concert would be complete without the blockbuster hit that launched his career into the stratosphere. And when the audience heard the familiar introduction, they were on there feet and applauding loudly as Engelbert started to sing "Release Me."

The song is celebrating its 54th birthday this year, and it is still as popular as ever. The crowd continued its standing ovation as Engelbert finished the song and left the stage.

But it wasn’t the end of the show.

He returned for an encore and finished with a very emotional rendition of "For The Good Times." He then donned his red boxing robe which, on the back side has Engel written above a pair of gold wings and Bert below, and went along the front of the stage to greet fans who had gathered there.

He didn’t give his customary wonderfully warm handshakes due to the still present COVID precautions, but he did toss out few of his signature red hankies, a prized souvenir for those lucky enough to catch one.

He then enthusiastically conducted the band before clasping his hands while bowing to thank the audience, and exited stage right.

And fans left the theater, buoyed by the fantastic performance that they had just been a part of, knowing that, in the words of another line of the lyrics of "We'll Meet Again" — we’ll meet again some sunny day.





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