The season of Christmas entertainment launched in Dallas Fort Worth with a delightful performance of piano sensation Jim Brickman on November 30th at the glorious Bass Hall. This year’s production “Comfort & Joy” is yet another tremendously successful holiday tour that Mr. Brickman has been known for many years. In fact, 2016 concert is a celebration of the two decades of his Christmas tour tradition. Appropriately named “Comfort & Joy”, the show is a beautiful compilation of magical music and heart-felt stories designed to “evoke warm sentiments”, as noted by Billboard in Mr. Brickman’s review.
The two hour long performance was a mixture of Christmas songs – traditional and contemporary, holiday classics and modern favorites, and some of Jim Brickman’s personal hits. “The Gift”, “Sending You A Little Christmas”, “Peace”, “Angel Eyes” and “If You Believe” touched the hearts’ strings and reminded us of the values that hold true all year round. Love, faith and togetherness came to the forefront, as the renowned pianist created his magic on the sparkling stage of the Bass Hall.
It is not only his talent as a pianist that should be noted. Jim Brickman charismatic presence and talent in connecting with the audience created a palpable energy in the space. He also connected with the fellow musicians, who appeared with him on stage – singer Anne Cochran, Broadway vocalist John Trones and electric violinist Tracy Silverman. I particularly enjoyed his duet performance with Kris Allen, the 2008 American Idol winner, of their brand-new holiday single “A Little Bit of Christmas”. I must say it was also very touching to see the guest appearance of the Long Star Youth Chorus. Cherubic vocals of the youth choir emphasized the timelessness and family focus of the Christmas tradition.
The surroundings of the Bass Hall always elevate the atmosphere to a higher degree. Remarkable architecture – appropriately formal, while unmistakably fresh – is a wonderful backdrop to any performance. This time, the stage was decorated by cascading garlands of lights against the backdrop of purple and gold. It was very regal indeed. However, it seemed a little disappointing not seeing a traditional Christmas tree or other elements of Christmas décor on stage.
That said, the evening gave me real pleasure. Next time Jim Brickman comes to DFW, you need to check for yourself to see why he has been named “America’s romantic piano sensation”. His voice stays with you, both in your mind and in your heart.