Concert Under the Domtoren


Despite the light rain, Pippo and I went for a quick walk through a bit of town today, including a stop at the Domplein. As we approached, we could hear music and eventually located the source. It was a trio of street performers playing beneath the Domtoren. Not exactly the typical tunes you hear on the street when an accordion is involved, but absolutely perfect for the setting!

A Whole New Take on Tubular Bells

Autumn Domtoren
Last night was the last of the Domtoren carillon summer concerts. To close out the series, carillonneur Malgosia Fiebig, along with pianists Sandra Mol, Jeroen van Veen, and Marcel and Elisabeth Bergmann, performed Mike Oldfield’s classic Tubular Bells. Even if you’re not familiar with Mike Oldfield, you’re probably familiar with the part of Tubular Bells that was used in the horror film classic The Exorcist.

The concert, since it’s performed in the Domtoren, is easy to hear throughout much of the city center. Knowing we can hear the Domtoren during its hourly musical interludes, G and I decided to listen to the concert from our back terrace. Unfortunately, we forgot to account for all of the neighbours around us, who were all eating dinner, watering plants, having phone conversations, and generally making the most of the nice weather. Still, we could hear all but the quietest bits and it really was wonderful to hear it played on such an instrument.

I didn’t realize at the time, but they had seating set up at the Buurkerkhof so that people who enjoy the concert. In addition, they projected on a wall in the square a video image of the musicians performing.

Per the short YouTube video of the concert that I found comes the following trivia:

The pianos were amplified using speakers pointing in four directions at a height of 40 meters (the sound you hear comes from the tower and was heard throughout the city!). The performers were playing in a small room at a height of 70 meters.

I didn’t get any video, but fortunately, others did. Here’s a link to a short section of the concert, and below is another short version of various sections of the concert. Enjoy!

Elbow in Amsterdam

Elbow
We bought the tickets months ago, but there was no way we were going to risk missing Elbow’s concert in Amsterdam last night. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for years, having been incredibly frustrated to learn that they were playing in Amsterdam — at the picturesque Paradiso — shortly after we first moved here, but with tickets well and truly sold out. They played PinkPop, a summer festival here in the Netherlands earlier this year, but summer festivals are a heat stroke waiting to happen for me, so I had to give it a miss.
Early Arrivals
We got to the Heineken Music Hall early last night, not long after the doors opened. We knew that going for a spot on the ground in the standing-room-only section would be a nightmare for us, knowing that we’d probably be surrounded by Dutch giants and not see much at all. Instead, we headed for the seated section in the back, but still got a decent spot. The hall soon filled up, with even the steps next to me in the seated section becoming impromptu seating.
Mirrorball
By the time the show started — which included their beautiful song Mirrorball, of course — the place was packed! The show itself was amazing. So worth the years of waiting to see them live! Besides making great music, they put on a fun show, with lots of laughs, as well as some moments of heart-aching beauty. As the saying goes, “I laughed. I cried. It was better than Cats.”

One of the best moments of the show came when the band joked that since they’re celebrating 20 years together, the audience should sing Happy Birthday to them. We dutifully did, and then things took one of those wonderful turns and the audience ended up surprising the band by launching into the Dutch birthday song. It started off in patches, but eventually, the whole audience came together in one voice, singing and cheering, while the band looked on in amazement. They truly had no idea what was going on but seemed to absolutely love it all! See for yourself:

Ticket Giveaway

So it looks like I’m going to have two free spots for The Phoenix Foundation gig tomorrow night at Paradiso in Amsterdam. If you’re interested, leave me a comment here or e-mail me and we’ll see what we can sort out. Of course, tickets are only €8.50, so you should still go anyway, even if not through me.

If you want to hear their latest album, Buffalo, you can check them out on 3VOOR12!

In the meantime, here are a couple more videos of some of their songs. And don’t forget that their new album, Buffalo, is now available in Europe. You should buy it. It’s good stuff!

Chawsome!


They Ryan Prebble show on Wednesday was fantastic. Truly impressive and I’m so glad I got to see him perform live. He’s crazy talented and really throws himself into the performance, even in a small venue like U Rock Café. He did two songs from his album Fruits, but the rest were new (at least to me). All were great. At one point, he was going to do another song off of Fruits, but then changed his mind. When I spoke to him afterward, he said that he figured the song was a bit too mellow and that the crowd would probably prefer he keep it more energetic. Understandable. He kept the blues/roots theme going for the whole show and hopefully won over a few new fans.

It turns out he actually performed here in Utrecht a few weeks ago at the Uitfeest! He was part of the big concert going on over at the Vredenburg. I looked at the Uitfeest program a lot and saw that concert listing, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t listed at the time. Damn! Sadly, he’s back to New Zealand soon, so no more opportunities to see him any time soon. I’m just glad I found out he was here in time to see the show this week. I also found out that he was touring in Europe last year as a member of The Black Seeds, filling in for Mike Fab. Another series of concerts I was sad to miss, but I think they weren’t playing the most convenient of dates and places for us to make it last year. Oh well.

Ryan has also been a part of some of the Fly My Pretties programs and I think he’s back for the latest installment in December (in New Zealand). I got a kick out of seeing the FMP sticker on his guitar case. (If you’re still reading, you’re either a fan of kiwi music or completely bewildered at this point. Sorry. Most of this post is really just a bit of fan-girl giddiness. 😉 )

Cheers for the awesome show, Ryan!