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The Nokia night of the proms 2006
On 2 December, I made what seemed like a very long journey. I started at home (in Denmark) at about 11.00, and at 19.30 I (complete with TB ear rings) was in my seat in Color Line Arena (in Hamburg, Germany), waiting for the show to start. My only stop along the way was to grab dinner.
It was only later that I realized some of the reason this felt so special: Mike Olfield has done almost nothing live, since I last saw him in 1999.
The Arena was much bigger than I expected. But with German efficiency, I had been guided every step of the way, until I could sit down, torn ticket in hand. At first I was dissatisfied with my seat: on the far left, looking down on the stage, seeing everything from the side, and not very close to the action either. But then I discovered, that I could do, what I always love doing: spying on the artists. I could see who was getting ready to go on, watch the techs at work, etc. Lovely stuff!
Finally the lights went down, and we were ready. Hearing the symphony orchestra (Il Novecento) brought tears to my eyes - I have a weak spot for that sound. And then hearing the ouverture include bits of Shadow on the Wall - marvelous surprise.
Then I had a couple of false starts. Is that man with the guitar... no, that's not him. And when it was announced, that the conductor (Robert Groslot) would do us the honor of playing a very special piece, I thought it would be something new. And then it was Tubular Bells!
TB with symphony orchestra isn't really something new. So when we were at the end of part 1, and I was trying to guess what would happen next, I thought: Ommadawn would be neat now. I guess they read my mind ;-)
What especially impressed me with Ommadawn were the flutes. I don't know why - I just noticed them, maybe because it's not quite the same type of flute in the studio version.
All good things must come to an end. Part 1 of the show had to go on, and with so many great artists to choose from, it was okay.
And then part 2. And again trying to guess: will he come on a second time? And if yes, when? As part 2 wound on, everybody seemed to go on again, so I grew confident MO would be back too. But when and how? As it turned out, he was practically the grand finale.
Moonlight Shadow and To France with the obvious female singer (Miriam Stockley). Shadow on the Wall with the obvious male singer (John Miles) - and 3 guitar players in a row. More work for the flute players - they must love MO! Some innovative arrangements for the symphony orchestra. A chance to dance, and sing along.
Apart from the bits, Oldfield appeared in, I really enjoyed the classically trained tenor (Tony Henry). In part 2 he turned contemporary, first singing Delilah, then Whatever you Say, Whatever you do - but in Italian-opera-versions. Fun. And I wish I could hear them again.
Oh yeah. And that guy from OMD just can't dance. It was almost painful to watch. But I guess his joy of life just has to expressed...
This was in many ways a perfect day. Though my journey to the concert was long, it was without incident. Likewise the journey back to my hotel for the night was uneventful. And I could go to sleep feeling open and connected (with musicians, music, audience, you name it), grateful - and tired. Another happy day in the life of a Mike Oldfield fan.
Created: 26 December, 2006 - Last changed: 16 May, 2008 - Comments (0)