Bolton’s still got it

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Michael Bolton performed Saturday at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Michael Bolton performed Saturday at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Michael Bolton performed Saturday at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

It’s difficult to stay on top in any career that spans more than 40 years, particularly one in the fickle music business. Michael Bolton, the soft rock sensation, however, defies those odds.

That’s right, folks. Bolton’s still got it.

Michael Bolton took the stage Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Convention Center, playing a solid two-hour set packed with all the hits and fan favorites that made him the living legend he’s grown to become.

Bolton, beginning his career in 1975, has more than four decades worth of hits, gaining mainstream success in the late 1980s when he crossed over from rock music to easy listening and adult contemporary, for which he has become synonymous.

Bolton’s music was renowned worldwide, touching those right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania to all across the globe.

“This is my first time seeing him live,” said Caroline Verkaik, of Stroudsburg. “I grew up listening to him in my home country of Kenya, I have waited for this moment for so long.”

Bolton’s timeless love ballads strike familiar chords with listeners, causing them to come back time and time again to bask in the soothing tunes.

“This is our second time seeing him, and we are so excited,” gushed Denise and Tom Cheesman of Freeland. “We saw him almost 15 years ago at Montage, he put on an incredible show so when we got the chance to see him again, we said immediately ‘Let’s go!’”

The soft rock crooner wowed the crowd with a diverse set of his hits, classic songs and inventive instrumental jams. Opening with his hit “Soul Provider,” his smooth, sensual croon melted and enraptured the crowd at Mohegan Sun Pocono and left them begging for more.

Bolton, always the showman, was playful with the crowd. When implored to “take it off” by a crowd member, Bolton blushed and assured the crowd “I think you’re mistaken– this is not that type of show!”

He performed his classics, such as “How Can We Be Lovers?,” “Said I Loved You…But I Lied,” “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” and “When A Man Loves a Woman” to the crowd’s content, drawing audience participation for nearly every song.

He also featured Amanda Brown, contestant on the third season of NBC’s The Voice, as his backup singer and duet partner for songs such as “To Make You Feel My Love,” “The Prayer,” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”

Bolton wowed the crowd with his anthems of adoration as well as his pure musical gift, both vocally and on guitar.

“He’s a great musician,” said Holly Paulhamus, of Cogan Station. “We drove 70 miles to see this show. Well worth it.”