Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Paul Anka Does It His Way

My wife and I had the honor and pleasure of seeing Paul Anka perform last night at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City and meeting him after the show. It was our first time seeing Paul Anka, who I recently interviewed, and his concert exceeded our expectations. 

Paul Anka kicked off the show by walking through the crowd and singing “Diana.” It was a fantastic way to start things off and it set the tone for the evening. At 76-years-old, Paul Anka has more energy than most performers in their 20s. Throughout the evening, he was a bundle of energy that was constantly in motion. Sometimes he’d be walking through the crowd while singing a song, giving high-fives and posing for photos. Other times he’d be conducting his impressive 11-piece band. Whatever he was doing, it was anything but boring.His set was comprised of classics that had the crowd up on their feet singing and clapping along throughout Paul Anka’s formidable performance. “Destiny,” “Lonely Boy,” and “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” among other crowd-pleasers were performed, as well as some unexpected classics including “Let Me Try Again” and “Times Of Your Life.”

At one point Paul Anka performed the song he wrote for Tom Jones, “She’s A Lady,” right in front of me and my wife on a small stage that elevated him when he stood on it, which made for a very cool moment.The show included parts when the crowd got to know Paul Anka better through various videos and photos projected onto the big screens, as well as his humorous stories throughout the evening. I appreciated these moments, as they made for a more intimate experience.The musical highlight of the evening was a stirring rendition of “Do I Love You (Yes In Every Way)” that featured a segue into “Purple Rain” by Prince, which totally caught me off guard and gave me chills. It was a fantastic composition and a clear indicator of how deft a musician and arranger Paul Anka is.The meet and greet with Paul after the show was wonderful. He was very hospitable and talkative, despite being fatigued from having given an epic performance. Paul asked me and my wife about our honeymoon, our thoughts on some exciting projects he has coming up, and more. He also kindly autographed my copy of his autobiography and took photos with us. Following this excellent experience, I’m now a bigger fan of the music and the man.

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