Way back in 2001, at The Night of the Proms in Rotterdam, I was waiting for Meat Loaf. He was headlining, so we got to see Tony Martin of ABC, Adiemus, John “Music was my first love” Miles, surprise act K-otic and Chris de Burgh first. De Burgh started with that godawful song about dancing with some lady in a red dress, and while I can’t recall much else of his set, I really, really liked “Don’t Pay the Ferryman.” Eighties pop-rock drenched in synths, I can get behind that. Not that I was planning to follow up on that, though.
Fast forward to 2016. The Missus saw a different NotP show in 2001 (we hadn’t even met yet), and missed out on seeing Chris de Burgh live ever since. So when she found he was coming over for a show in the magnificent Carré theater in Amsterdam, we got tickets. Row three, right on the center aisle.
Fast forward to April 29, 2017. After some strolling through Amsterdam, some book shopping and diner, we made it to our seats. It wasn’t until well into the second set that mr. De Burgh played a song I recognized. That one about dancing with a lady in a red dress. He made his way through the theater, dancing with every woman in red he could find. After that, a sanctioned stage rush, and more songs I knew. Toto’s “Africa” (on account of having recorded it before), “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” in all its glory, and “High on Emotion” (which I surely have heard on the radio without knowing who was behind it).
Despite my limited knowledge of the man’s work, I had a great time. As I said: synth-drenched eighties pop-rock, I can get behind that. He has a great band, and at times, they were quite heavy. There were a few songs where, with a bit of distortion on the guitars and a slightly different arrangement, you could imagine an eighties hair metal band getting away with it.
But the best thing of the whole evening? Seeing how much fun The Missus was having.
- Seen live
- Chris de Burgh & Band, “A Better World Live” at Koninklijk Theater Carré, Amsterdam on April 29, 2017
- Chris de Burgh: Vocals, guitar, piano / Neil Taylor: Guitars, vocals / Dave Levy: Bass, vocals / Nigel Hopkins: Keyboards, vocals / Philipp Groyssboeck: Drums, percussion
- Set list (Spotify)
- Full Band:Bethlehem / Chain of Command / Lonely Sky / Missing You / Spanish Train / Ship to Shore / A Spaceman Came Travelling / Once in a Lifetime / Homeland / Cry No More / The Revolution / Light a Fire / The Open Door // Acoustic: Oh My Brave Hearts / Heart and Soul / Moonlight and Vodka / Chris de Burg solo: Sailing Away / Suddenly Love / The Head and the Heart / Where Peaceful Waters Flow / Full Band: The Hands of Man / Waiting for the Hurricane / All for Love / Borderline / The Lady in Red / Africa (Toto cover) / The Spirit of Man / Don’t Pay the Ferryman / High on Emotion // Patricia the Stripper / Go Where Your Heart Believes