Artisteer

Amsterdam ~ 7th May 1999

When it began....


"Let the river run" was the signal for the people in the stalls to come to the stage. Maybe someone should have told the stewards, as they seemed eager to try to keep the fans back, but as there were umpteen of Michael fans they were obviously in a lost position. Now the party started   and we three stood up from our chairs, sung, danced and cheered and simply had the best time. After a few moments I suddenly recognised that we were the only people there standing. All the people around us were still resting in their seats besides one man who sat directly next to me in the other box. Certainly most of them were thinking, we were stupid, strange, mad, but who cares? Indeed I like to think that Sylvia, Nadine and me belonged to those people who caused such an extraordinary atmosphere.

A great evening tended to its end too soon. After the "Blues Brothers Medley" Michael started to talk again and suddenly stopped asking us: "Do you all understand what I am saying?" This caused such an amusement all around and after everyone said yes he just replied: "Well I would have felt very stupid otherwise!" 

The last song of the evening was "Love changes everything". I wonder if Michael knows what kind of mistake he made at the end of the concert. I did not hear this, but my friends both said both afterwards, that Michael said "Danke schön" (German for Thank you!). Well there is in some parts a little rivalry between the Dutch and the German and therefore I would think not all Dutch people there were so enthusiastic about this mistake. Nevertheless a perfect concert was over and it was a huge success for Michael. I am sure he will come back to "Europe". I am just wondering, if this guy knows what charisma he has got!

It was 5:45 am, when I woke that certain Friday morning. The very first thing that came up to my mind was: Today is the day, this evening I will see HIM for the very first time live. It is just too good to be true, I must be dreaming. 

Those weeks before were so full of hope and disappointment. As I live in Germany I was simply not brave enough to make it to England, but then I heard Michael would come to Amsterdam for a concert. Wow, that would be less than 300 kilometres away from my hometown. Hope was rising in me, but all too soon destroyed as a friend told me that concert was already sold out. How I envied all the people who could go and see him live. Just three weeks before the concert hope rose again, as I heard there are some tickets left and Mark (in fact the Ballpoint-Mark) offered to organise some for me. Just one week later I got them. Yessss!

This morning was terrible, as I had to work and time simply did not want to pass. It seemed to last years until I finally went home to prepare for an unforgettable night. After examining approximately 1,000 times my bag for tickets and other important things (camera etc.) I finally left. I just had to collect my friend and there we were on our way to Michael.

I have to admit; I still could not believe that I was going there and seeing within some hours Michael. Furthermore there were so many things that could have happened. Michael could be ill again, my car could break down, we could get into a traffic jam, heaven could fall on our heads (no, I think that was Asterix J ). You see I had a rather pessimistic attitude.

Well finally we reached Amsterdam safe and sound and just had to collect Sylvia from the station in Amsterdam. I met Sylvi just through Michael so to say and it was the first time that I met her. Could there be a better place then a Michael concert? That afternoon, I was once again demonstrated, that I still could not believe what happened: While we walked to the car park, we were searching where we could pay for the parking-ticket. Then Nadine said: "Well can't there be a nice young Dutch fellow who can show us where to pay?" Sylvia responded: "We will see a nice Englishman this evening, that should be sufficient!" Believe it or not: Nadine started to laugh and I stood there thinking: "What Englishman?" Yes I'm ashamed it took me quite a few seconds to understand, that she was talking about Michael! Shame on me!

Now we were on our last stage. The way from the station to the Carré. We found the theatre within a few minutes. If I will ever drive together with you, make sure I will drive and you will have the map!!! All other alternatives will end in a catastrophe! I had the map and told Nadine where to drive and finally I thought we had to be some kilometres away from the theatre, while we were driving past it!

Well that meant at least, that we had enough time to buy a programme and have a nice talk. One of the best surprises (not regarding Michael) was yet to come. As we entered the theatre wanting to take our seats in the 2 nd balcony the guy at the door told us that the concert was not sold out and we could get some places in the boxes, if we would like to. What a question, who could reject such an offer! As we finally entered the boxes we were almost speechless. These seats obtained now were far closer to the stage than those we usually should have occupied. Should I have sat there I think I would have asked for a parachute. It looked very steep from my point of view!

The beginning of the concert was delayed. Just a few minutes, but for me it was enough time to let my negative side rule my mind! Certainly something bad had happened and the concert cannot be proceeded. My suffering was over after a few minutes that seemed to last a lifetime. The band entered the stage and the light was dimmed. What a great moment, when this big silver ball with the M turned up. That time I could already hear his voice! Indeed I think my heartbeat stopped for a second, when this huge ball turned and another Ball appeared!

It all started with "Hot Stuff". Although I have to admit I got the slight impression that Michael was a bit "scared" at the beginning about how the audience would react, the show was really "Hot Stuff". Believe me or not, I was so fascinated by seeing and hearing him that I totally forgot to take some photos. I have to admit I deeply regretted it then, although, I do not think I missed soooo much. Have a look at some examples here and you know what I am talking about. 

Afterwards Michael told us, this would be his first concert in "Europe" (my geographical knowledge seems to be rather poor. Where the hell is England? J ). I think it was not until "Everybody's talkin´" that I finally discovered my camera. "Love on the rocks" was nice, but no comparison to "People are strange". The way he behaved on stage was so strange you could think it was time to call a psychiatrist. I know after that experience, if I hear once more somebody saying Michael cannot act, I will turn to severe aggression. Just watch one of his shows and you will know what I mean. I am sure everyone who saw just one concert will know what I'm talking about.

At this moment I have to mention the people who shared our box! Well I think you can call it the strange box! Michael had lost his nervousness in the meantime and was just having fun, enjoying the show and giving his very best. And do you think the ladies who were sitting in front of us cared? Not the slightest way, they didn't even cheer after the songs! But the worst I even heard later by Sylvia. The guy who was sitting at her side was yawning several times during the concert. Can you believe that? Michael singing "Gethsemane" and you are yawning? Two things I would never say in one sentence. Well maybe they were deaf and blind: People ARE strange!

Certainly I have to mention "Someone else's dream", which is his first own song. Meanwhile I am wondering, if there is just anything on earth this man cannot do? This song was so great that I deeply regret not having it anywhere on tape. I can only appeal to Michael:


Please write more songs!!!

Before the intermission Michael let us know that he was going to sing two songs from two musicals he grew up with: Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. My heart made a jump, because I knew that "Gethsemane" was about to come now, which is my favourite song. First of all he sang "Prepare ye the way of the lord" (BTW, since that song I really think he could sing the phone book and I would buy it. Although the song just is made of these words that get repeated all the time it became one of my favourites!). The end of the first act belonged to "Gethsemane". I never before thought this song 

could even touch me more, than it already did in the past, but I was wrong. This performance was simply breathtaking. No words could do justice to Michael's performance! Especially the way Michael got exhausted. He was breathing so hard during the short singing pause, that you could also hear how exhausting this song is for Michael. No question why he put it at the end of part one! After the song Michael slowly climbed the stairs under standing ovations and then disappeared in the ground. 

The second half started with the "Evita Medley" and Michael coming back on stage singing "Oh, what a circus", followed by "My heart will go on" and finally "Empty chairs at empty tables". Gosh I heard that song so often, but nothing can beat this live-experience. I have to say there are not many artists in this world who are live far better then on CD, but Michael is one of them!!! Concerning his interpretation of ECET I was so touched that I felt the desire to go down and hug him to comfort him and I am sure I was not the only person thinking this way.

Next things got livened up with "Any dream will do" from Joseph. In the UK tour he sang instead "Bread of Heaven", but well obviously he thought Amsterdam would not be the right place for a Welsh anthem J . So he told us that "Joseph" was the first musical he ever appeared in when he was a little 8-year-old in his shorts (must have been a cute picture J ). Well, but then he got disappointed as his teacher did not want him to play Joseph, that should change here. Now we should be the little boy in the chorus he had to play then and he would be Joseph. Thank you Mr. Ball for leaving us the part you did not want. Well as we were not an unforgiving audience we did our best and I think we were a great choir .

Next was "Millennium" to come. As I did not have the chance to see one of his tour concerts I have not heard him sing this song before, but I was eager hear it as so many people praised it so highly. I already loved it sung by Robbie Williams, but believe me, once you have listened to Michael's version, you will never want to hear Robbie sing it again. In fact, when I heard Robbie sing it several months later I was so astonished what I ever liked about the song!

"Let the river run" was the signal for the people in the stalls to come to the stage. Maybe someone should have told the stewards, as they seemed eager to try to keep the fans back, but as there were umpteen of Michael fans they were obviously in a lost position. Now the party started   and we three stood up from our chairs, sung, danced and cheered and simply had the best time. After a few moments I suddenly recognised that we were the only people there standing. All the people around us were still resting in their seats besides one man who sat directly next to me in the other box. Certainly most of them were thinking, we were stupid, strange, mad, but who cares? Indeed I like to think that Sylvia, Nadine and me belonged to those people who caused such an extraordinary atmosphere.

A great evening tended to its end too soon. After the "Blues Brothers Medley" Michael started to talk again and suddenly stopped asking us: "Do you all understand what I am saying?" This caused such an amusement all around and after everyone said yes he just replied: "Well I would have felt very stupid otherwise!" 

The last song of the evening was "Love changes everything". I wonder if Michael knows what kind of mistake he made at the end of the concert. I did not hear this, but my friends both said both afterwards, that Michael said "Danke schön" (German for Thank you!). Well there is in some parts a little rivalry between the Dutch and the German and therefore I would think not all Dutch people there were so enthusiastic about this mistake. Nevertheless a perfect concert was over and it was a huge success for Michael. I am sure he will come back to "Europe". I am just wondering, if this guy knows what charisma he has got!

This night was fabulous thanks to my new friend Sylvia, Nadine, all the other fans who created such an atmosphere and of course Michael! Finally we went to the stage door and all got an autograph by Michael. The evening was almost perfect, the only thing I am still missing is my own photo with Michael and me on it. Well if this means I will have to go to England for my holiday: No problem J !!! 

Michael, thank you so much and just keep up the good work.

Kerstin Wohlgemuth
Dülmen, Germany

04/09/2004 14:32

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