Sunday, 14 April 2013
Monty: Eurovision In Concert
Wow! Another great Eurovision In Concert from the Dutch boys! This was my fifth and despite a weak year for songs they really delivered. Melkweg was packed to the rafters but we squeezed to a very advantageous vantage view point for the show. Hosts Marlain and Linda Wagenmaakers did a great job as almost two-thirds of this year's acts performed. I won't list them all for brevity but I'll pick some highlights.
For me the star of the night was Ireland; after his Retro Bar victory on Thursday this had enormous impact, not least because of Ryan's choice of backing dancer stage left. Oh yes. He could beat out a steady rhythm on my bodhrain any day. Finland too came up in my estimation with the fullest stage show, energetic, camp and self-mocking, replete with a same-sex lesbian kiss at the end, an easy equal marriage zeitgeist gimmick but one that would get Krista some attention on the night. Also with a full band was Greece, who performed twice due to a technical issue but affording me a double glimpse of the singer and the drummer.
Surprise of the night for some seemed to be little Valentina from San Marino, belting out her second entry which is about as far remed from her first as you could get. This could do serious business, though I'm concerned about her second- place draw. Italy was vocally perfect, and my personal favourite this year, though perhaps needing something to make the performance in Malmö a little less static. I'll-advised frock of the night, just as in her video, went to poor Moron from Israel, with even a relatively simple black number showing off every second of her hour-and-a-half glass figure, and not in a good way. She has a great voice, but somebody seriously needs to dress her. Car crash of the night was Switzerland with a performance that just didn't seem to hang together: the guitarist she be fronting the band, and the nonagenarian didn't know whether he was coming or going.
Saint Carola of Schlager did the headline guest spot, serving up, as you'd expect, all three of her Eurovision songs: Främljng in its new remix as performed at Melodifestivalen and her 1991 winner in a bilingual version. She tossed her own legend into the crowd through the medium of CDs, DVDs, and some signed photos. One of these ended up in my face, almost administering a beggar of a paper-cut to my upper lip and causing great hilarity to those around me who know that I'm not the greatest fan. It is however a limited edition of only 500 signed pics. I have number 41. Go me. There's no escaping this girl's evangelism.
It was over to the Dick Van Dyke bar for the after show without even a dodgy Cockney accent where alcohol really was free, or at least the first two drinks with tokens. It was lie being back in the EuroClub in Athens but without the prissy attitude of the drink-token monitor. It was kicking all night and I had a lovely shimmy on the dance floor until 4am, just making it in time for some Vlaamse Frites with hot sauce before bed. The other after party only finished at 10am. I wonder who's still left standing.
Thanks again to the organisers; I've been coming here for 5 years now and it never disappoints. A truly wonderful weekend.