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2002-11-16 Cologne

reviewed by Andrea

 

Hello everyone, it's 2 am in the morning here in Germany, I'm just back from Cologne - from one of the most a-m-a-z-i-n-g concerts I've EVER seen!!! I'm still somewhere on cloud 9 and I want to write at least a little bit to get all the impressions and emotions sorted. I hope you bear with me, as I think this will become one of the longer mails ;-)

 

To say that James, Matthew and Niall are lovely, great, caring, witty and and and... is almost an understatement! I have rarely met such wonderful people before, and I can tell you, neverever will I forget this concert night!!!!!!!! I have really rarely seen such an emotional, funny, enchanting, touching, simply wonderful show before!

 

We (Frank and I) started off a little late, at about 5.15 p.m. this afternoon, as we wanted to wait for news from our friends, who were supposed to meet up with us and sit next to us in the 2nd row. We didn't have too much luck on the roads, it was raining heavily and we were stuck in a couple of traffic jams along the way, but we made it to the venue at about 7 p.m. Anja had sent me a text message that the other fan club members, who had already met up, were sitting in a restaurant near the venue, but when Frank phoned them they were already on the way towards the venue, so we went in and waited for them.

 

Not much later the "German gang" arrived: Cassie, Anja, Alex, Ricky, Irmgard, Marion and a special guest: Brid from Ireland!!! A little later Veronika arrived as well:-) It was so great to actually meet the people I seemed to know already through the net, and of course Anja and Alex, whom I haven't seen in a while.


We went in and almost all the front row on the left side of the room was occupied by fanclub sisters plus Veronika on the other side and Frank and myself plus my friends in the 2nd row! So an unspoilt view to the stage was provided and we got all the more excited as the clock ticked on. Before we went in I saw some of the fanclub talking to this great piano player who accompanied the CTs on stage. When he went on stage together with the rest of the musicians a huge cheer started ;-) Guess who started this, hehe


And then it all began! The three adorable men entered the stage and started off with "Mull of Kintyre". I thought I was prepared, but to actually hear all the beloved songs live is indescribable! I have rarely heard such powerful, strong, expressive voices like the voices of James, Niall and Matthew. The set list was as Anja #2 has already written, and for the life of it I could not remember it in the exact order! So please forgive me this, all I can do is write about some outstanding moments that really touched my heart, and there were quite a few.


The most emotional song for me could only be this one: Caledonia! As some of you might remember, this was our wedding song, so lovely sung by Alex, Anja and my friend Heike, who was sitting next to me during the concert. I had already expected I would get quite emotional and had tissues with me, just in case... Well, this case happened! When they sang Caledonia, tears were rolling down my face. You wouldn't believe how wonderful this song sounds live!!! Oh well, you would :-) I was not the only one who was crying with joy, it was interesting to see how much James, Niall and Matthew can touch hearts with their song, all over the concert there were always one or two or even more of us crying during certain songs. When they sang Caledonia Frank was holding my hand and Irmgard, too, she was sitting in front of me. Thank you so much, Irmgard, for your 'support' :-)

 

Matthew dedicated a song to his little son, "The Contender". He was alone on stage and talked about that he became a daddy six days ago. He told us that he wasn't there when his son was born, but as they happened to have a day off yesterday he flew home and saw his son for the first time. Then he sang a so touching version of this song, that I almost cried again. "The contender" is also one of my favourites, and I enjoyed every single second.


Later in the break I was talking to Anja and Alex about how moved we all were during the first part of the show. But Anja "warned" us, it would go on like that. And so it was! Deidre sang some songs, either with James, or Matthew, or Niall, then alone, or with all of them together, and I can only say, she'a star as well! She has a beautiful voice, very strong, clear and powerful. The way all of them were not only singing, but performing the songs is unbelievable. They all put so much power in their performance!

 

"So strong" almost saw me beaten off my seat!!! It is SO hard to sit on a chair, when all you want is to jump up and dance ;-))) This song always gives me strength when I'm feeling weak, and the way they performed it only emphasizes the lyrics!!!

 

Later they dedicated a song to all fanclub members and sang "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz". I know that this is one of Anja's, if not THE favourite song of hers, and I heard her say "es fängt schon wieder an (see, it's starting again)" and she grabbed her tissue...After that we all stood up and the rest of the audience followed. During the encores we remained standing, dancing (eventually!) and clapping to exhaustion!

 

Waaay too soon it was over! We knew that we would meet James, Niall and Matthew afterwards, but I think I can speak for all of us saying that time went by much too quickly!

 

Shortly after the show the three of them came to the foyer where we were waiting. I first met James and had a really nice chat with him. I told him how really moving I found Caledonia, and he even remembered the "wedding song story" and signed a picture for my friend Heike, the "third of the Celtic Mezzosopranoes" :-) He promised me a picture with him, when I asked, but then he was busy signing pictures, CDs and other things and I went on to Matthew. asked him about his little son and his wife and we talked a while about them! He's a really proud daddy and I told him how happy we all are for him! Last but not least I had a chance to talk to Niall as well, and I can only stress again, how wonderful these three men are. All of them were SO extremely nice, friendly, open hearted, down to earth, warm hearted, enchanting....

 

Some time later James came to me and asked "Picture, Andrea?" (he didn't forget!) , he almost made me jump as I had packed away my camera in the meantime. A frantic search in my bag followed, and then I found it again, thank God. I handed Frank my camera, when James grabbed me and pulled me over to Niall and Matthew, asking me if I wanted them to be on the picture as well. WHAT A QUESTION, LOL ;-))) So I was lucky to have a picture taken with ALL of them!!!! I hope it will come out right, but if my camera failed, some of the other fanclub sisters have taken pictures as well. Then it was my turn to take pictures of them all with James, Niall and Matthew.

 

Again, all too soon it was over and they had to go :-( We stayed another while in the foyer, chatting, all of us totally excited. Then we went downstairs and took some pictures of the "German gang", sitting on the stairs together. Frank was the "camera man", he had at least five, if not more cameras to deal with ;-) Later, the girls talked to David Munroe (sp?) again, while I was standing together with Heike and her friend in a different corner. James, Niall and Matthew and some of the musicians went by, said a last goodbye to us and went off. All in all it was such an AMAZING night! Beware, USA and Canada fans, all of you who will go to Chicago, you are in for a REAL TREAT :-) And I hope for each and every one of you who can't go this time, that they will come back to the USA (and Canada!) soon again! To come to an end (finally!), it was SO great to see you all, Irmgard, Cassie, Veronika, Ricky, Alex, Anja, Marion, and especially Brid, who came over only for this show! It was brilliant!