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June 2019
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2005-12 Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Breda

reviewed by Anja


where do I start?? Well... knowing we would get hungry AFTER the concerts (this happend many times before) we decided to have a little snack before to avoid our roaring stomache would disturb the audience. What shall I say... we better had decided to disturb them.... we went to the Hard Rock Cafe and had some nice little spring rolls but.... the waiter poured the Chilli Sauce all over my shirt and trousers. So I had to head off to the bathroom trying to sort this out as there was no time to get changed. It worked in some way but when we arrived at the Concertgebouw to pick up our tickets there were still little bit of sauce on my trousers. So guys - just in case you thought it would be a new fragence called "Eau de Chili" - nooo it wasn't.


We met Christel from Berlin and Sigrid from Linz and Margaret joined us a while later. When they finally opend the "cage" (you had to get up some stairs for the smaller hall in the Concertgebouw and this was locked with an iron bar door) we all went for a drink before finding our seats to enjoy one of the best concerts I have seen in ages...


What a surprise it was when Matt, James and Niall came on stage without microphones! And what a delight that was!!! The beautiful venue carried their voices in the best possible way and the sound was much more natural and much more touching than an "ordinary" concert. One of my all-time-favourites is "Bheir Mi O" and I heard that sung in a church during the last German tour which was breathtaking and I thought that could not be topped... how wrong I was!!!!! This song made me hold my breath and shivers were running up and down my spine (time for Beate to look after me to make sure I wasn't hyperventilating....). What a treasure it was to be able to listen to this concert!!!! "You raise me up", Deirdre's "She moved through the fair", "Here, there and everywhere", "The Prayer" my beloved "Caledonia" and of course their moving three-language-version of "Silent Night" were my personal highlights of that night! No need to mention the guys got standing ovations and roaring applause for this unforgettable concert and it seemed the people would never stop which was the reason why we were treaded to another highlight of that night: an extra encore where we were asked to chose between funny and serious. Guess who screamed for "funny" knowing it would be Galway Bay (okay, thinking about it, the serious choice might have been Mary from Dungloe and I would have loved to hear that one in its natural beauty, too). The audience was down in stitches and from the faces of the people around they also wished this wonderful evening would go on and on forever.


Meet and greet was lovely as ever and it was quite late before we left the building. We decided to walk back to the hotel which meant we had a little time to clear our heads and talk about this wonderful concert experience to make sure we had a silent sleep with pleasant dreams ;-)


After having a nice Mulled Wine the next day on the tiny Christmas Market we headed off to the Fame Music store where we bumped into three tenors having their soundcheck ;-) As everyone said, it was VERY empty and NO promotion so it was very close and personal. Unfortunately Andrea did not make it so we had to wait for that's nights concert to meet her.


The concert that night was in Amstelveen only a short tram ride away from our hotel and we decided to go early to meet Rianne and Belinda for dinner. It was VERY cold that night and we were happy to find a seat in a lovely cafe just across the road (or better the "plein") from the venue. When we headed over we nearly fell into Margarete and Christel who had already settled in the bar with a drink each;-) Some time later Andrea and Heike joined us and soon it was time to find our seats - all in separate areas. This concert was complete different to the one the night before but lovely in a different way. While we sat in row 7 in Amsterdam we could move to row 1 after the break (which was VERY close, we could use the stage to store our belongings and we could have polished the shoes of the guys) all together which - of course - was good fun. The setlist was nearly the same than the night before and I enjoyed it a lot even if I was still dreaming of that magical power of their voices without technical support.....


The next day it was Breda. Having our parents there was something special. My parents had been to the concert in Duesseldorf two years ago and my mum had even been to the one in Duesseldorf during the first German tour so she was quite aware what to expect. Mum owns every single CD and even if she only speaks tiny bits of English she can sing along to EVERY song as she keeps listening to the CDs each day (poor dad....). When we decided to get concert tickets, transport and a hotel for our "oldies" as a Christmas present and I told them mum started the happy dance and she never stopped until she set her foot in that concert venue. From the first song to the last she was smiling and singing and when James went to her during "Phil the Fluter" I thought she would hug and kiss him straight away ;-) Even my father sang along to many songs and both of them were more than delighted when "Silent Night" was dedicated to them :-) so where Beate's parents....


Not to mention four happy parents "entered" the meet and greet with smiling faces and mum was more than delighted when Matt could even remember when she had been to a concert the last time.... Knowing my parents would both manage to talk to the guys directly - even with using their hands and feets - I chatted to Deirdre for a very long time :-) Then we said our goodbyes and wished them a Happy Christmas and went back to the hotel for a last late night drink in the lounge.


All in one my personal resume is that the concert in Amsterdam will be in my heart forever and that "Here, there and everywhere" turns out to be one of my all-time-favourites in concert as by now it has a very special meaning.

Wishing you all a wonderful week and once again a HUGE thank you to James, Matt and Niall for making this trip so very special, even more special than anyone could expect....