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2005-12-09 Amstelveen

reviewed by Andrea

 

When we heard that the lads would not come to Germany this year, but at least would tour the Netherlands, it was crystal clear, that we would try to see at least one show over there. But when checking the dates I thought how the hell could I make it in time to the shows after work, because most of the dates were naturally scheduled in the week? So it had to be Amstelveen for us, as this was on a Friday and we could stay overnight. Stupid me, I didnīt even think of Breda on the Saturday, but as it turned out, it was ok for me not to go there, too, as yesterday I was so overtired after that sleepless night and travelling to another city and going out again without a minute of rest.. hmmm... so it was great the way it was and I am happy to have seen that one show. Thanks to Rianne again for all the help with the tickets, they were not easy to get from here, as the ticket office didnīt want to send them over to Germany. So she had to order them for me and she was the one who made it all possible for us.

We arrived in Amstelveen at about 1:45 p.m., knowing there would be this promo gig in the record shop in Amsterdam at 3 oīclock, so we hurried to check in to the hotel (which later proved to be in walking distance to the venue in Amstelveen, it couldnīt have been better!), get our things together and drive in to Amsterdam. Now, that proved to be rather difficult, traffic was horrible, we missed the parking we had chosen which was closest to the street with the record shop, completely lost our way in the centre of Amsterdam as a result, and when we finally found the shop it was all over. As we heard from Anja later, we didnīt miss much as the advertising for that promo gig was so bad that there were only a few people attending. It was such a shame, I canīt believe it. The worst was for me, when I asked a girl at the info desk about that promo gig, that she obviously didnīt even know it had taken place at all! Duuhhh... the room where they sang was just under her feet, so to speak, in the basement!!! Anyway, we couldnīt do anything about it so we took the time to walk around the centre of Amsterdam, had a little meal and then headed back to Amstelveen rather early, to make sure we wouldnīt end up in traffic jams or something and miss the other show, too... horror visions of being late there came to our mind...

It was freezing cold in Amsterdam and Frank was already ill with a bad cold, so when we arrived back at the hotel, he decided to stay there and not come with us, as he felt really low :-( Heike and I then walked over to the venue, it took no longer than 5 minutes, so if they should be there again,maybe next year, we will most definitely choose this place to stay again! We met up with Anja, Beate, Rianne and Belinda, which was of course great, as it is always fantastic to meet up with familiar people, to get to know new people (Rianne and Belinda) and to share the fun :-)

Like Rianne already wrote, Heike and I had our seats on the balcony, but the sight from there (row 3) turned out to be not the best. When we saw that the balcony seats were not sold out completely, we moved up to row 1 on the balcony, and that was ok, but the second half downstairs was so much better :-) Of course we didnīt know yet that we would end up there at that point of time, so we did our best to enjoy ourselves up on the balcony. The lads started with Irelandīs call, but for the life of it I canīt remember the set list, so Rianne will certainly jump in here with the order of the songs. I think I am much the same as Veronika, I usually forget everything and everyone around me when listening to our boys...sigh... ;-) How could I not, as when hearing those beautiful voices every stress one had, all the problems and the like simply goes out of the windows and thereīs nothing left but positive feelings, joy and pleasure. I remember Matthew and James joking about Matthewīs dad has written the Book of Kells and about other things when they were introducing themselves. The boys were joking a lot on stage, but to me the audience seemed a bit reserved at first. Thatīs something I never understand. It happens sometimes that at some shows most of the audience sees them for the first time, but they are so funny, so heartwarming, so positive, and of course sing so beautifully, that they deserve a lot more enthusiasm, even though many people are not familiar with them yet. So we did our best up there to cheer, clap and react to the jokes to wake up the rest around us.

During the interval Rianne came up to us and told us about the free seats in the front row, and no question, we rushed downstairs to take our seats there, and what a difference this made!!! Oh boy, this was the best that could have happened to us! The seats were so close to the stage, that I couldnīt even sit straight without bumping against the stage with my knees, and at first we thought weīd be looking at they boysīfeet only for the rest of the show, but no... when they came back onto the stage it was really like it was written on the tickets: up close and personal!!! Fantastic view, so close to us, and the sound... wow! The acoustics were great anyway in the theater, but down there it was breathtaking. I had this "effect" again, that I once had in Dusseldorf at one show (was it last year? Canīt remember which year it was) that I hear their voices both with and without the microphones. Does that make sense? When they came close to the edge of the stage I hear them more "originally", and when they take one or two steps back I hear them more through the microphones. I love this, it doesnīt happen often, but this time it did. I would have given everything to have heard the show the night before, where they sang completely without microphones!!! This must have been just beyond words!

The second half started off with Granada, and please, Rianne, you know the rest of the set list.. again I drifted away to "my world" when listening, so no chance here to remember any order. Outstanding again was "The Prayer" by Matthew and Deirdre. Matthew joked about Deirdre also being from Kells, and actually being his sister, which made the audience laugh, referring to the joke he made earlier, and then he said "you may laugh, but itīs actually true, she got all the pretty genes and I got all the ugly genes". Yeah, right, Matthew! I couldnīt resist to shout "not really, Matthew", I mean, can anyone of you out there imagine any ugly gene on him???? LOL... Much fun was had during Phil the Fluterīs ball, and much to my embarrassment I played a certain role in that.. ahem... Niall, I just promise that "Suzanne" will pay more attention next time!!! Letīs just say I completely lost the plot for a moment and for the rest of the show I was tempted to vanish under my seat or something ;-)

Caledonia, as usual, almost makes me cry. This song will remain very special to me for the rest of my life, and if I should ever pick a most favourite song, it will be this one. I dearly missed Frank by my side, as this, like many of you know, was our wedding song. Every time I hear it, especially live, I am totally absorbed by its sheer beauty.

The christmas songs were,like Veronika already wrote so beautifully, a very special treat and I enjoyed every second of them. Much too soon it was already Time to say Goodbye. Why oh why was the time passing by so quickly again? The front row gang started the Standing Ovations, which made Niall joke it looked frightening from the stage, as we were so close ;-) Well, we had to give them a fright again after All out of Love, Iīm afraid... This song definitely is another favourite of mine, and I was looking forward to hearing it, as I knew before they would sing it as an encore.

The signing session and meet-and-greet afterwards was one of the best weīve ever had, in my opinion. They stayed for quite a while, fulfilled every wish for autographs, photos and chats, and while I was waiting for my turn I was talking to a Dutchman, who was standing next to me. He asked me if I was waiting to get autographs, too and we chatted away about how fantastic they are etc. He had seen them for the first time that night and was totally enthusiastic, and will certainly come again to see them again together with his wife and I, of course, told him to spread the word and tell everyone how great they are. Always using a chance to advertise ;-)

James, Niall and Matthew, thanks for all the time you took to talk to me. If you should wonder why I wanted to have autographs again, although I do already have quite a few, I try to keep special memories of every year I see you. The first year I think it was the poster and the first CD I got signed, the 2nd was something else, also the 3rd, and this year I had you sign my "We are not Islands"- CD, which is now even more special with the lovely things you all wrote on it. Thanks a lot again!!! I was talking to Niall about that this night was the highlight of my year, and it really was, because I had quite a fight with my boss to get that day off so that I could go see the show. I should have been at a company meeting that night, but sorry, boss... no chance! I asked Matthew about the possibility of them coming over to Germany again. He said theyīd love to, but they are looking for a new agency. I asked what happened to the old one, and he explained that they were obviously more interested in the "Ten Tenors", as they bring in more money. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??!!!! Well, I for one couldnīt believe my ears, when he told me and he said "itīs so unfair". Now this sums it up, if you ask me! He turned around to Peter Boone, who stood behind him and asked about Germany, and Peter said theyīre working on it. So thereīs hope. But, after all, even if it shouldnīt happen in the near future, we "Deutscherins" will always find a way to see you in the Netherlands. Itīs not that easy to get rid of us ;-)

Oh, before I forget, James later told us that there will be a show with a full orchestra in Eindhoven on April 28th next year!!! They had just heard about that themselves that day, so there wasnīt much more information as of yet, but he told us they would sing 3 songs in the first part and 10 in the second and theyīd sing right in the town centre (?) on the "place" (???), so it might be open air, if I got that right? Well, watch this space, Iīm sure heīll fill us in with the details as soon as he gets them. Thanks a lot again for telling us, thatīs definitely something to look forward to. Yesterday when I got home I had a quick look at my map of the Netherlands, just to find out that Eindhoven is even closer to my hometown than Amsterdam is, I guess itīs just about 1,5 hours away or so, woohoo.... :-)