Adele at André's Munich Olympic Hall Concert
February 1, 2009

I bought my tickets nearly 9 months ago, the day tickets went on sale. No mad scramble as for Maastricht, where the good seats disappear in front of your eyes. I am just 2 seats to the left of dead centre, front row in the arena. Even a couple of days later, there were still a few seats in the front row. Maybe the German public is different; no need to rush. There are 18 concerts on this German tour, and they are back again in September, for a further 6.

Ticket cost, € 79.95, lets say € 100 including the expensive postage you are forced to take. VIP package deals do not exist, no $$$$ for post concert ‘photo with Andre’ etc. No front 5 rows being withheld; it is first come first served, and that just the way I like it, and hope it does not change.

A few days before the concert, the web site indicate that it is sold out; no more seats available, however, there were a few spare seats on the stands.
I arrive in Munich; it is cold, very cold, probably freezing or a few degrees under. Remnants of snow, the streets are well gritted. Meet my friend of 30 years, Liane. She lives in London, and is an ‘opera buff’. She has a bad cold, so plans for sightseeing are abandoned.

Taxi to the Olympic Hall. We are dropped off virtually beside one of the Andre coaches/busses; My excitement is mounting by the second. So this is where they will exit after the concert. Remember this spot for later ...

This will be my 2nd Andre concert in Munich, so I ‘know the ropes’. We reach our seats in very good time, how can you be late for an event like this !
Centre front row. The stage is not set nearly as high as in Maastricht , so I will easily be able to give him my carefully chosen flowers ; half a dozen roses, with a photo of self and my little dog (God rest her soul) with Franco and Cord, taken in Maastricht last summer.

I glance around the arena; a few seats to my left, I spot a lady ‘in red’. I know her. ‘Live in Dublin’, she runs away from the bull. I look at her, she looks at me; she knows that ‘I know her’. It is pretty obvious that I am a fan, with scarf draped over my shoulder. I ask her if she is ‘going to do the same again’.. ‘yes’. She agrees to a photo. I am off to a good start. Her name is Babette.

At 7 pm on the dot, ‘same procedure, like the last times’; 76 trombones; heart is racing. I don’t think he gave any high 5’s. Certainly not to me. I had been a bit naughty, and rushed from my seat to right in front of the stage to try to get a photo of him coming along the aisle. The photo came to nothing, and I was in trouble with security (not Johan)

Andre tells us it is 30 years that they have been performing, that they started with an orchestra of 5; only one thing has not changed in 30 years, and that is us, i.e. the audience. A slight giggle and ripple of applause.. This is Munich, not Maastricht. This is a relatively ‘quiet’ audience; they enjoy, but they are not given to standing ovations.

Andre says ‘ the next piece might be dangerous for people dressed in red’… he looks at me, (orange jacket) .. then at Babette; the music starts. Most people are probably looking at the big screens, which I cannot really see, as I am too much in the centre (gloat gloat).. the bull is in the aisle to my right and moving towards the front, accosting people en route. In front of the stage, the bull pauses, and believe it or not, does a pretend ‘wee wee’. ! (flash back to Maastricht, when my little dog did the same, but then the audience was not laughing, and neither was I. Terribly embarrassing. Not fair that this bull gets a laugh, and I got mainly black looks …

The first part ends with the ‘my fair lady medley’. We know this from the ‘Songs from my heart’ DVD (The first Maastricht DVD, it might have other names). But then it was with Suzan Erens.
Now we have the Platin Tenors and the three sopranos , Kalki Shrijvers, Mirusia, Carmen Monarcha. Lovely spectacle. The girl’s jewelry seems to get more
splendid as time passes. And of course, I know the words. So I am singing along in low voice (don’t want to upset the audience) and Mirusia is looking straight at me, almost like we are singing it together. This was a fabulous, strange interaction. At the end, I stand up, can’t help myself. Even Andre, who is not normally prone to looking at me, makes an approving glance in my direction. I look quickly around, it seems that I am the only standing in this entire place. A standing ovation, consisting of one. They do an encore. Then its time for the break ...

I am having an argument with my camera; I am not a good photographer, wish I could take some lessons from Al (Canada fan). Liane, my friend, is hungry. She wants a sausage; we go to the refreshment centre. It occurs to me that we did not actually have lunch, or dinner; but cake and champagne with Liane’s 93 year old Auntie, before making our way to the venue.
I will not be back late for Andre. He is very strict; it is Ok for him, he does not have to line up behind 50 others, for a bratwurst.
The gong sounds. Second part is starting.. on stage, only the men, where are the
women ?
They start clowning around. Cord Peters starts taking pictures of Andre, with a fake Polaroid camera.. as the photos emerge, Andre takes them and then throws them to the audience. Then some people come down to the front, so Andre is just handing the photos down to them.
I want one. Liane tells me to jolly well go up to the stage and get one.. I do, but Andre does not give me one.. (sob,sob). The girls appear and do the clog dance. Andre goes to sit down.. this is new (for me anyway) and fun.
Mirusia’s ‘time to say goodbye’ is a new item, but sorry if I offend anyone, I just kept thinking of Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s version. Platin tenors are great with the operetta ‘snippets’.’ I go to Maxim’s’ ( Da geh’ich zu Maxim), with the top hats and their little dance.

Now, there’s a bit of trouble from my left (my friend). Remember she is a serious Opera lover.. Andre tells us that he has never heard the next piece sung so well (E lucevan le stelle, from Tosca.)
She mutters ‘ well then, he has never heard Kaufman sing it’. (Jonas Kaufman is an excellent German tenor on the current opera circuit). I am silently thinking, well, it is not really comparable with Pavarotti’s version either. ( I was, and still am, a Pavarotti fan , God rest his soul).
But I understand the difference. Andre does what Andre does. He has done, and does, for classical music, what Pavarotti & the Three Tenors did for opera. Bring it to the people who would otherwise never listen to it. For this Andre has to be highly commended. Nice to see quite a few couples dancing to the ‘waltz of all waltzes’.

We have another slight problem with Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’. I am familiar with the whole symphony, 100 piece orchestra and choir. And I am thinking that maybe this would have been better in Maastricht, last year with the Maastricht choir. (their rendition of ‘Conquest of paradise was excellent)

The Radetzky, then its time for me to give my flowers. First time that I do this. I am the first one up at the stage. On purpose I tell him in English, ‘thank you so much’, he smiles, holds my flowers, with outstretched arms to receive his applause. My photo has flipped over; I can see the words I wrote, in different languages.. ‘thank you for the music and the fun, and thank you for the memories. (sad to see that at the end of the concert, my flowers are taken away by a stage hand, and goodness knows where they ended up).

The encores were well attended ~ now for about the first time
I see some fan scarf’s, and true enthusiasm!

We exit the hall. Make our way to the place where the whole adventure began; the coaches/busses are still there.. lights on. I speak to a young man in security uniform. Yes, he tells me, Andre & the JSO will exit here. I tell him ‘I don’t have anything with me for him to autograph’. ‘it does not matter, we have photos for him to sign’.. a few minutes later, another guard calls out ‘ Andre left already by car’.. my heart sinks. It is perhaps logical.. there is a gap now of a good few days, so maybe he is driving back immediately to Maastricht.

But nothing can take my memories away from me. Next morning I am on the plane back to Ancona, Italy. I spend half the time in tears, there is turbulence and I absolutely hate flying. What on earth am I doing on an airplane?

Ahhhh yes, it was all for Andre ... and it was worth it.

I have now put Three Clips on you tube,
The Clog Dance, The Hofbrauhause Song and Espana Cani.
Here are the links ...

►Clog Dance

►Hofbrauhaus Drinking Song


►Espana Cani

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