The full house at the Mary Webb Centre for the Arts was waiting in anticipation for Michael Vanhevel to come out onto the stage on Saturday evening, Oct. 26. When he did, he was given a rousing ovation before he had even started singing. Michael was quite taken aback by the response, and told his band members that they could now go home! For the rest of the evening, Michael had folks eating out of his hand, as they sang along to many of his songs and for a few tunes, some got up to dance in the aisles.
He called his concert “Under the Influence”, because the songs that he sang were ones that had influenced his singing as he grew up. His parents always had music playing at home and in the car and he sang along as he ate breakfast (to “The Monkees” for example), did his homework and just lounged around the house. He sang songs by Elvis, (he does a mean Elvis swivel!) Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darren, Gordon Lightfoot, Burton Cummings, Neil Diamond and a host of other great singers. His 5-piece band were amazing and were having a great time on stage. This up close and personal feeling at TMWC is why performers keep coming back. The constant chatter back and forth between them all was such fun to be part of and the audience was into the fun just as much as the band. While serving at the bar during intermission, I had more than one person tell me that they remembered the words to all the songs Michael was singing. A truly memorable evening. Well worth venturing out in the rain to come to Highgate! Thanks to sponsor Enbridge.
Photo by Bob Sutton
l-r: Randy Rektor on Bass, Mark Dayne on Piano, Dan Baerg on Drums, Michael Vanhevel, Dee Klinger on Guitar and Barry Usher on Sax.