Family Guy funny man and Grammy-nominated artist Seth MacFarlane brought his smooth singing talents and irreverent humor to Baltimore last Thursday night in a sensational performance showcasing his love of Big Band and American Songbook standards with Emmy Award-winning Composer/Conductor Joel McNeely and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for an engaging evening of music and comedy.
A true renaissance man and music enthusiast, encompassing every aspect of the entertainment industry, fans and orchestral patrons alike were able to experience MacFarlane like never before, as he is known as one of the few television show runners in Hollywood who utilizes a complete orchestra and composers on a weekly basis to score each of his three animated shows, Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show.
Debonair and dashing, MacFarlane donned a fitted black suit and commanded the stage with great gusto and swagger, singing about a dozen of his favorite songs, which highlighted treasured gems of the Great American Songbook, as well as accentuated McNeely’s spectacular string arrangements. With perfect pitch and cherubic coolness, MacFarlane delightfully dazzled the audience with his smooth baritone and polished proficiency.
MacFarlane appeared right at home, sipping on a glass of brandy whenever McNeely and the 39-piece, all-star orchestra seized the limelight with their magnificent arrangements, which were absolutely spectacular to behold and hear live.
Quipping saucy between-song comments spiked with his signature sharp brand of humor, MacFarlane revived vintage material, some familiar but generally more obscure, revealing that he is not afraid to delve deeper into American standards and popular show tunes that give tracks like “Old Devil Moon”, “Via Veneto” and “High Anxiety” its kick.
“In case you need to go to your car and fart,” MacFarlane announces in a mischievous, but matter of fact tone, “there’s a brief intermission after this song (“I Have Dreamed”) from The King and I.”
Shifting from waggish to more serious, MacFarlane also revealed his more vulnerable side when he introduced, “I’ll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her” and “No One Ever Tells You”, confessing that he had his own experience of heartache when his feelings for a woman were not reciprocated.
“Seth!” One audience member yelled out to the stage. “What?!” MacFarlane immediately shouts back before he launches into the first of three closing songs for the night, “When You Become a Man.”
Though the entire concert was about 100 minutes, it was clear from the continuous standing ovations that the crowd was not quite ready for the night to end, and MacFarlane obliged, performing not just one, but three energetic encores, which culminated to uproarious cheers with a cover of the one and only “Love Boat Theme”.
Celebrating the classic, sophisticated sound of rich, lush swing orchestrations, Seth MacFarlane shines as much on stage as he does off, demonstrating that he is a fun-loving man of enormous vocal talent who can croon with the best of them.
Running Time: Approximately 2 hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Seth MacFarlane performed for one night only on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall – 1212 Cathedral Street, in Baltimore, MD. Here is more information on other upcoming events.