Monday, December 10, 2018
Night of the Proms
You may have heard of the Night of The Proms?
In spite of some blemishes I still enjoyed myself. Just John Miles' rendering of Wreckingball was worth it all.
Not to be confused with the United Kingdom's Last Night of the Proms, Night of the Proms or NOTP is a combination of some classical music and modern pop music. Original intended to bring classical music to the masses it has become more and more a kind of entertainment show. And there is nothing wrong with that.
On November 28, 2015, my youngest daughter and I visited NOTP in Rotterdam Ahoy. And even though I have some mixed feeling about it, it still was worth it.
Why not that good?
It felt, for he lack of a better word, 'thin'. I was expecting a bit more variation, some other music styles, perhaps a few more 'tender' songs, a few more collaborations between the different artists. Now some of them had too much playtime, playing songs no one knew or cared about... Instead, lots of it was loud. Which I typically like, but that's more the kind of 'epic' loud. This was just boring loud.
The show was a bit short as well (2.5 hours maybe) and (worst of all) my favorite artist (John Miles) only performed two songs: Music and Wreckingball. As I understood the show in Belgium was a few songs longer, and I think that would have been better.
Also, it was LOUD in a very literal way. 100dB+ according to the sound recorder on my phone. Painfully loud.
Basement Jaxx was so so (they might have thrown in a little non Basement Jaxx Raining Men to please the audience), Gavin DeGraw was a complete disappointment. He liked himself a little too much, and his technician liked the volume way too much.
Again, the volume was (literally) the most painful part. And so the first half of the evening passed by rather disappointing.
Why still worth it?
The opening song The Hanging Tree (from the movie Hunger Games) by Natalia Imbruglia and the choir Scala was hauntingly beautiful.
But what saved the evening was a good session by Joe Jackson (who should go easy on the Botox, just google him) especially the all time favorite Is she really going out with him. Then there was Fernando Varela who turned out to be not just an opera singer but a very decent pop artist.
And finally, John Miles and his two songs were the best part of the show (for me). Of course there's my personal number one Music but also an incredible version of Miley Cirrus' Wreckingball, which does deserve a recording, it was that good. (A few additional songs by mister Miles would have been even better.)
On a side note: I had been teasing my daughter by sending some Whatsapp messages to friends and family, proclaiming she'd rather visit a Miley Cirrus concert, and I actually added an image of Miley on a wrecking ball... Without knowing John Miles would perform that song later on. We were shocked when Miles started playing the first few notes...
There's no CD release of Wrecking-ball by Miles, so I ripped my copy of YouTube. Hmm... just tried to find back that clip on YouTube, and the version they have up now is just a little different from the one I ripped in 2015 which was a little better... this version is a little better, but still a different take. Weird. I'm happy I grabbed my favorite version at the time, pfew! 😅
(She looks younger. He sings better.)
The upbeat Hot Damn wrapped things up.
Maybe I had some bad luck with my seating, and maybe the organization behind the show may have to rethink their concept, because fifty bucks feels like a lot for what we got.
Still it was worth the money, and I would go again... as long as it includes John Miles! In hindsight, he's the primary (only?) reason I went in the first place, and may go back again some day.
Interestingly, I’ve read quite a few comments that were of exactly the opposite opinion, they thought the new bits were great, and the ol’ bits (Miles & co) were, well, old. Well, I’ll take the ol’ geezer’s music over anything by DeGraw without a second thought. If you want to know why, listen to John Miles' Rebel album.
(My 16 year old daughter agrees, and she's always right 😊)
He wrote some other interesting songs as well, such as Fella’ in the Cella', Stranger in the City, and tracks 1, 2 and 6 of Zaragon. Miles did some fine work on several Alan Parsons albums as well, and he’s one of the few who can handle Stairway to Heaven, Bohemian Rhapsody and It was a very good year just equally fine. (Dare I say that Miles’ version is much better than Sinatra’s?)
Still… Music was my first love, and it will be my last.