That the Night of the Proms was about to change a couple of items was no surprise, but how would the audience react? We were excited when we entered the Sportpaleis and we left with goosebumps all over…
It only took a quarter of an hour and we had already heard a gentle introduction by Scala, scattered across the hall. Fernando Varela had sung the original Marco Borsato ‘Verita’, Basement Jaxx had played the samba and we had started to waltz. Oh my god? Most definitely not! The crew surely had thought this through. Before the break we saw every headliner (except for Joe Jackson, Regi and John Miles) starting off at an easy pace. After the break we had the real NOTP feeling: unexpected turns of events, the tempo got higher and then all of sudden a moment of pureness, of intimacy with Joe Jackson. And in the end fireworks with John Miles, Regi and all the others.
From the moment we met her, we fell in love with the beautiful Alexandra Arrieche. Il Novecento was in perfect shape and Alexandra showed her skills, made some jokes and worked nicely together with the artists. A major congratulations to you, Alexandra. You have a different style than the fantastic Robert Groslot and we already love it.
Fernando Varele showed us that it is absolutely possible to grow during a concert. What a magnificent voice. His Nessum Dorma convinced everybody and the Vivo Per Lei was superb. And who knew he was such a performer? What a show in Uptown Funk! And those shoes with his initials in gold: gorgeous!
Big discovery: Gavin Degraw. You might say Gavin Who, but the ‘younger’ audience knew him immediately. His voice is special and his songs are beauties. Gavin, the more you performed, the more the audience cried for you.
Scala: we know Scala as a technical perfect choir and a beauty to watch. We didn’t see some replacement act for Fine Fleur, no, absolutely not. We saw an artist who opened the Proms magnificently, demanded a well-earned spot on the podium, sang a heavenly With Or Without You and who just has to come back next year(s).
And then we had Natalie Imbruglia on stage. She started with Torn, her biggest hit and continued with Instant Crush, a cover from Daft Punk. That’s how fast 20 years of music pass, but Natalie stays young and her performance is top level.
We almost forgot to mention it, but the lighting was again magnificent. Light screens and spots floated everywhere, not easy to control all these things. Well done, technical crew!
And with all those lights you couldn’t miss them: Basement Jaxx. A golden and cloudy duo who were ready to swing. The tempo and the show went up with Red Alert and Romeo. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your amazing show. Your positive vibrations were absolutely there!
In the meantime we saw a hard-working Kobe Ilsen, the new host. Although his voice still needs some training, he surely got the crowd moving. Kobe is the face of the younger Night of the Proms and we saw him everywhere. On the podium and even on a Wrecking Ball to perform John Miles and his cover of Miley Cyrus. Mr Proms, we had to wait for you until the very end, but you again were worth waiting for. There is no superlative to describe how good you are and how much we love Music.
In the end we also had the intimate Joe Jackson. No real performance, just beautiful songs. Even the noisiest in the Sportpaleis went silent. Joe was what the others weren’t. His singing brought peace and calmness and were a moment of tranquillity before the big finale. Joe, respect.
The classical pieces were well chosen outstanding songs. Antwerp and Rotterdam don’t have that much classical parts anymore, but what they have, is quality.
Regi, dance music, all the artists, party, Uptown Funk, fireworks… now that’s what I call a grand finale! Good show!
We absolutely loved this evening with the New Night of the Proms. Well done, Jan and your entire team. And thank you for the return of the goosebumps while writing this article.