“I wanted to know if you were up for a bit of dancing now – I know it’s a bit tight out there with bodies and antlers and everything, but hey, there’s no excuse…” Words in-between songs by 80s New Wave pop icon Kim Wilde at “Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party” at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London, England on Friday night. Given that these four special shows (one in the Netherlands and three in England) were her first solo gigs in some time, I really had no idea what to expect. And since she just came out with her Wilde Winter Songbook of Christmas songs, I thought perhaps the whole show would be dedicated to maybe an hour or so of holiday music. I really couldn’t have been more wrong, as she ended up doing a mix of pop music (including covers) as well as Christmas music, with a sprawling setlist clocking in at two dozen songs, with a two hour performance. At 53, she still looks stunning and sounds amazing, and it truly had a party-like atmosphere, and among other talented musicians, she was joined on stage by her niece, brother, and father, so it was a real intimate family affair. All in all, a brilliant show, and I feel very fortunate to have had an opportunity to be there for it.
Award-winning English pop star Kim Wilde will be performing her first solo concert dates since 1986 next month. With her Wilde Winter Songbook having been released this year, she will be kicking of her select dates of “Kim Wilde’s Christmas Party” on December 14th at Ankerhallen in Saasveld in the Netherlands, which will be followed three special O2 dates in the UK. Supporting these special concert engagements will be Nik Kershaw. [Read more…]
Last night’s Depeche Mode concert was the last for me, representing the fifth show in the past two weeks. The second of two concerts back-to-back at the O2 Arena in London, as with the night before, I elected to take a spot in the front row center at the end of the catwalk extending into the vast general admission standing floor. Waiting for the band to come out, it was a bit of déjà vu, but it turned out to be anything but… with the prior four shows, the set list was exactly the same at Bratislava, Slovakia’s Štadión Pasienky, Zagreb, Croatia’s Zagreb Arena, Budapest, Hungary’s Puskás Ferenc Stadion, and the prior night’s show at London, England’s O2 Arena. The signal that last night’s gig had something different in store was the familiar sound of distorted guitar feedback that marked the opening of Depeche Mode’s “In Your Room”, which opened into the awesome Zepyhr Mix version of the song. A friend of mine from California also turned out for the two O2 shows, and we turned to each other at the same time with a “holy shit!” expression on our faces. We knew at that point we were going to be treated to an amazing – and unpredictable – show put on by my favorite band on Earth, and they did not disappoint. An epic conclusion to an amazing personal (and literal) journey with the band and their music over the past two weeks, spanning a number of countries all over Europe and coming to a close in their home of England.
“Welcome To My World” – the song Depeche Mode has been using to kick off each gig for the European leg of their Delta Machine World Tour – took on a whole different meaning for me tonight as I had an opportunity to see Depeche Mode play in their native home country of England. Playing two shows back-to-back at The O2 Arena in London, this marks my fourth consecutive Depeche Mode show in the past two weeks (having seen them previously at Bratislava, Slovakia’s Štadión Pasienky, Zagreb, Croatia’s Zagreb Arena and Budapest, Hungary’s Puskás Ferenc Stadion. Surprisingly, though the set list has not changed show to show, the concerts themselves have all been pretty different from one another, and completely different experiences on a personal level to be sure. One thing I didn’t expect with the London shows was that what seemed like a majority of the concert goers (close to stage on the floor at least) were not from England, but other countries, so it was quite a multicultural affair. I’ve also made a concerted effort to change my own point of view – literally – with each show, and with this first O2 gig planted myself at the foot of the catwalk that extends out into the audience (and is much shorter in the indoor arenas compared with the outdoor stadiums), and it was really a fantastic experience. Seeing the expression on Dave Gahan’s face as he came out to the end for “Never Let Me Down Again” – close up and in real life – made this relentless two week country-hopping adventure worth it just for that amazing moment (which I managed to catch on video as well). As I’ve mentioned over and over in the reviews leading up to this, Depeche Mode has long been my favorite band, and these concerts have been nothing short of epic.
As reported in recent months, with 2013 Fleetwood Mac is touring together with their first concert performances since 2009. The band today announced their first set of dates outside of North America, with concerts now scheduled for Europe and the UK in the Fall, beginning in September, following the 47 shows already on sale in the U.S. Additionally, last week Rhino Records released several different versions of Rumors, one of the all-time classic albums produced in all of rock and popular music. Celebrating 35 years since its release, a number of deluxe versions of the album will be available with incredible extras. [Read more…]
This is the seventh and last in a series of photojournals covering concerts during my trip to England and France. Tonight I attended a Rihanna concert at the O2 Arena in London, England on December 20th, 2011. [Read more…]
This is the fourth in a series of photojournals covering concerts during my trip to England and France. Tonight I attended a Duran Duran concert at the O2 Arena in London, England on December 12th, 2011. [Read more…]
This is the first in a series of photojournals covering concerts during my trip to England and France. Tonight’s performance was Coldplay, which took place at the O2 Arena in London, England on December 9th, 2011. [Read more…]