Smokey Robinson’s Pacific Adventure: Soul legend Smokey Robinson is 82 years old, so perhaps it’s no surprise that his set is a concise and comfortable hour. Maybe a few minutes over, but certainly not many. Judging by recent set lists at other cities, that’s generally the case nowadays. But here’s the thing — Smoke (as we come to learn Stevie Wonder calls him) packs more into an hour than most artists squeeze into two.
There are no opening acts, so it feels like we’re leaving just as we’ve gotten settled. But again, a Smokey show is way more about quality than quantity. Over the course of 60 minutes, the man dances, jokes with the audience, makes at least 50 percent of that same audience swoon on more than one occasion, tells some wonderful Motown stories, and of course sings his heart out.
His voice is still silky smooth when he glides on from the back of the Pacific Amphitheatre, crooning “Being With You.” Miracles gems “I Second That Emotion” and “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me” give way to a medley of Temptation classics that he wrote — “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “Get Ready” and “My Girl.”
Robinson tells us about how great the Motown Christmas parties were back in the day, and about Stevie Wonder’s poetic turns of phrase. He hilariously faux-flirts with a woman in the front row while joking with her husband yet, despite the gentle humor of the situation, there are plenty in the crowd who would have swapped places with her. The man has still got it.
His version of “Fly Me to the Moon” is gorgeous, and of course we get the “Tears” double whammy of “Tears of a Clown” and “The Tracks of My Tears.” Both are performed perfectly by a majestic singer and his awesome band.
There’s no Smoke without fire, and Robinson brought the heat to Orange County.
Smokey Robinson’s Pacific Adventure:
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