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A palpable reverence for Tony Bennett rippled through the Academy of Music / philly.com

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A knowing laugh rippled through the Academy of Music as Tony Bennett leaned against the piano and recited the opening line of "This Is All I Ask." Everyone in that audience, from the front row to the upper balconies, was keenly aware that the charmer crooning "As I approach the prime of my life" is 92 years old, an icon who has seen several primes come and ago over the course of a remarkable lifetime.

The reactions throughout Bennett's performance on Friday night took that unavoidable fact into account. Occasionally that meant wild applause for a simple touch that would have passed largely unnoticed in a younger artist's act: the raised old-fashioned glass (filled with nothing harder than water) at the end of "One for My Baby" or the slow 360 executed during "Who Can I Turn To?" But chiefly it was in the palpable reverence that felt more like an awestruck crowd gazing at a landmark than a group of concertgoers.

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