One Saturday morning, mid October, saw both both sets of grandparents (plus one uncle and one aunt) descend upon Gordon’s Bay to join us for Jessica’s playschool musical concert, simply entitled “The Art of Noise”.
The Vergeet-My-Nie Playschool teachers had all been working hard with the kids leading up to the concert (which as I suspect might very well be akin to herding cats), and truth be told, I was rather looking forward to seeing Jessica in costume and up on stage – seeing as I had missed her first ever concert last year due to me being away in Japan at the time!
With Chantelle helping at the door with ticket collection, it was up to me to bring Emily through, where we linked up with everyone already there and took our seats in a rapidly filling Gordon’s Bay Primary school hall (co-incidentally, the school which Jessica starts attending next year).
What followed was a super cute (and noisy) production where the kids with their song and dance routines were without a doubt the stars. I have to say, I was super impressed at just how awesome a performer Jessica is – certainly no such thing as stage fright for my little girl!
(She was similarly as chuffed as I was with her performance post concert mind you!)
After collecting all Jessica’s art (which the school had laid out for the parents to view), we ended off the morning by heading back to our place for a nice family braai, followed by a rather tense quarterfinal World Cup Rugby match which thankfully the Springbok team actually won!
Oh, and thanks to Cara and Jess, the grandparents even got to see a bit of Frozen for the (amazingly) very first time!
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”35037,35038,35039,35040,35041,35042,35043,35044,35045,35046″]
Related Link: Vergeet-My-Nie Playschool
Seeing as I’ve been so lax in terms of my blogging output as of late (sorry about that), I just realized that I still haven’t mentioned just how awesome and how much we enjoyed the recent Bryan Adams music concert we attended at Grandwest Casino, Cape Town a while back. Well, I found this half-finished post lying around my “In Progress” blog post folder and thought I’d better finish it off and post it – after all, I don’t want my fellow bloggers out there to think that I’m becoming a little lazy! ;)
Despite the potential derailing prospect of not making the concert in time thanks to a huge accident involving an overturned taxi and a virtual armada of emergency response vehicles on the N2 just before the Vanguard offramp, I did eventually pitch up in the casino’s parking lot (only after turning around thanks to my missing the correct turn off of course!) with acres of time to spare, and surprisingly enough, just as I was about to enter the casino, Chantelle can sauntering along, having also just arrived.
Although not packed yet, we hit a bit of a snag while trying to locate the Spur for a quick bit to eat (basically we couldn’t find it particularly quickly), and so worried that we might be delayed for the concert should we eventually sit down and order a meal from a proper restaurant, I convinced Chantelle that we should rather just park our backsides at the bustling KFC, taking in some lekker fried chicken to serve as the evening’s main meal.
Of course, impatient as ever, I got us into our seats pretty early on, meaning we sat and admired how late everyone else was streaming in for quite some time. On that note, despite the fact that we thought we had purchased highly over-priced tickets for some crappy seats, it turned out that in fact we had a pretty awesome spot, pretty close to the stage, low down and with an excellent view of the night’s proceedings – so kudos to C for organising those! :)
The opening act for the evening was local boy Justin Bergh, a man whose music I have heard every now and then being played on local radio, and a man with certainly the right voice and style of music to match that of the main act for the evening. However, Mr. Justin really did try to hard to get the crowd involved, even though it was clear that a) they really weren’t paying much attention to him and b) he suffers from a nasty habit of saying thank you for the audience applause even before people have started applauding for him! Still, his music was enjoyable and a decent start to the evening, even if he failed at getting the crowd fired up for the main event.
Though when Bryan did eventually hit the stage it wasn’t like they needed warming up anyway. What a music legend. This likeable man burst onto the stage and went straight for the jugular, churning our energy-infused hit after hit, getting the entire audience on their feet, singing along and just sharing in the noise and energy of the even. The whole performance was just fantastic, with Bryan smoothly switching through all his material, hitting all the big rock hits and sliding in the multitude of big ballads that have made him the success that he is. His guitar skills were sublime and simply put, that persona and voice filled up the whole arena. This was one of the music rock legends alright, with a stage personality required to capture everyone’s attention and more importantly, the voice and skills needed to match!
The rest of his crew were just as fantastic, with his main guitar front-man proving to be as energetic as any of his current younger counterparts could be! The night was electrifying, the music was spellbinding (as it was deafening!) and as a whole, this was an experience that I am so glad to have partaken in. One of my favourite artists proving that he is even bigger and better in real life than what you what he was. Oh, and I must just mention that the crowd participation was absolutely fantastic! Man, I felt like a kid again :)
What a show, what a man, what a legend!
(Oh, and while I’m on the topic of awesome shows, I must just say that the Le Grand Cirque Fantazie circus show that we caught on the Friday night prior to the Bryan Adams concert was just as entertaining. An absolute gem of a visual masterpiece, delighting you with a host of colours, sights and sounds as the cast dazzled you with some out of this world displays of acrobatics, balance, flexibility and strength. Heck, even the clown was funny for a change! :D)
Wow, expensive tickets. Sure, not quite as expensive as those bought by the poor people who wanted to catch that orchestral poser, Andre Rieu in action, but more than expensive enough by the standards of Craig’s usually tightly drawn purse strings.
But despite the expensive tickets, despite the relatively poor seats (we booked late again), and despite the fact that it is on a middle of the new week Tuesday night and not on the glorious evening that would have been a Friday night, it is still going to be absolutely spellbinding and awesome…
…after all, Bryan Adams is here, and come Tuesday July 13th, Chantelle and I are going to be seeing him live and in glorious action! :)
This is a man whose music I have followed since my early days, his being the second ever CD I purchased in my life (the first was Wet Wet Wet in case you were wondering), and one of the very, VERY few musicians which I actually WOULD like to see performing in the flesh.
His classic Summer of ’69 still invokes that raw sense of energy which feeds one’s dancing feet every time you hear it, I still smile at how I wooed Chantelle off her feet by embracing her tightly and singing When a Man Loves a Woman in her ear as we slowly shuffled from side to side on Sun Bell Lodge’s tiled floor, and now I even get tears in my eyes at the sound of Let’s Make a Night to Remember, casting back my mind to that holding of Chantelle tightly against me as we slow danced and whispered sweet promises to one another as the night of our wedding slowly ebbed away.
This is the man whose music I still sing loud and proud to every time his genius crosses the radio airwaves and forget about the golden sounds of silence should one of his CDs find its way into my car!
Simply put: It. Is. Going. To. Be. Legendary <- with a capital L of course! :)
So come on already July 13th. Grandwest Casino, you had better be ready and not let me down – Chantelle and I are ready to be entertained to the fullest!
Man, what a concert. Now neither Chantelle nor I are big Counting Crows fans, but about a month ago Chantelle got wind that they would be playing and decided it might be a great way to spend an evening. As it turned out, yesterday was also Chantelle’s last day of her three week long holiday, making it the perfect way to end off with a bang.
Presented by Big Concert Productions and KFM, you knew at least that the production should run pretty smoothly as opposed to the disastrous Celine Dion concerts that happened a little while ago in Stellenbosch. That said, somehow something did go a little wrong, because the tickets for last night’s show all reflected the concert starting at 20:00 while the radio was touting it as beginning at 19:30!
Just as well we made a conscious effort to arrive well, well before the time, because believe it or not, the bloody thing did start at 19:30 already, catching a lot of people unawares and leaving those of us already in the arena wondering if this truly WAS a sold out concert, as the place was as empty as Loftus during a bad Bulls season! However, I can assure you by that the end of the 2 hour (or so) long show, the arena was as jam-packed as what it ever will be!
The venue for the concert was Grand West Casino’s newly completed Grand Arena which has just come fresh off hosting the phenomenally successful Chris Rock tour (which in hindsight I am a little spiteful that I missed out on because according to everyone that actually saw it, it was flipping fantastic!). This was the first time that Chantelle and I would be visiting the arena, and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised at the space that they’ve come up with. It makes for a solid entertainment venue, offering ample space for both sitting and standing and the acoustics of the hall isn’t too horrible either. Couple everything up with a fantastic lights, big screen and equipment setup, and you’ve got a world class indoor venue on your hands.
Opening act for the show was the popular local band, Flat Stanley, a group which although I wasn’t that familiar with their music, did at least have a name that I actually recognised off the radio. Admittedly, they weren’t all that bad and the lead singer, Andy Mac has a good voice, but this mahusive (combination of massive and humongous in case you’re lost) fellow can’t perform more than a couple of songs before seemingly in desperate need of a rest break, meaning that he did a lot of incessant and unnecessary talking in between, messing up whatever little flow they were trying to build. Honestly, the crowd didn’t really warm up to Flat Stanley all that much, but that might also partly have been because at that stage the arena was still busy filling up – obviously because of the starting time mix-up that I mentioned earlier in this post.
(I must just mention that they did start off with a very cool gimmick though. An indoor drumline started things off, leading us into an energetic Flat Stanley break in when they suddenly appeared on stage. Very cool stuff.)
In any event, the crowd wasn’t there to see any old local band, and when Adam Duritz and the rest of the Counting Crows band members broke onto stage, the arena went wild. The Counting Crows has been around since the early 90’s and although some of the members are starting to look their age (Adam, a very receding hairline just doesn’t work with dreadlocks), it certainly hasn’t affected their music. They put in what can only be described as an electrifying, adrenaline pumping performance, throwing 110% effort behind everything that they put out on stage.
Adam Duritz himself was spectacular, literally losing himself in his music as he poured his heart and soul out into each and every song he belted out. The band literally pushed out hit after hit, and despite the fact that I am not all that familiar with their music, I was amazed at just how much of their music I do in fact recognise! All the hits were of course there, and when they finally got to the one everyone had anxiously been waiting for, Mr. Jones, the arena simply went wild.
It is not often that you see a band put so much energy, effort and heart into a performance, and I can now understand just why the Counting Crows are so well known for their live performances. Funnily enough, we had come to the concert with a mixed view of what to expect, after Ryan let me know of a rather disparaging article that had appeared in the Sunday Times newspaper following the Johannesburg leg of the tour. Basically, the rather ignorant writer had accused Adam from totally screwing up the performance by being either high or completely drunk on stage at the time. As it was, I can see how this uninformed writer could have got this that horribly wrong, because at a glance, Adam with his unique, slightly slurred voice and onstage antics could be mistaken for being not quite with us, but on closer inspection I can’t believe how on earth she missed out that this is a man that literally pours his entire being into each and every song that he performs, quite literally just losing himself in the music.
As it is, Adam himself addressed this issue halfway through the concert, and I am glad that he went to the trouble of doing so, because it is important for people to know that just because something appears in print, it is seldom exactly the case in real life. In any event, I’m going to be surprised if anyone has something negative to say about last night’s concert anyway – it was just that awesome!