2013 USA/Canada Tour
Farewell Concert in Vancouver With Alice

It was nice to see the updates and pics of concerts in the 2013 US/Canada Tour, and fans were getting more excited when the AR buses and trucks got closer and closer to our very own cities. Finally! The last stop of this tour, the day we sooo looked forward to.....Andre Rieu & the Johann Strauss Orchestra, Vancouver, Rogers Arena, March 20! YES!!!

You probably know from previous stories about how the concerts were like in this tour, so I'll share with you those little things that brought me a fun-filled evening. 

Concert started at 8:00pm. As I drove by the venue, I saw the AR buses and thought it'd be nice to take a pic with my own A RIEU in it. Glad it wasn't raining much. We arrived a little early at the venue and it's the first time we used the entrance mostly for people with disabilities and golden age guests. Whow! What a new experience we had. Sofa and extra folding chairs in the waiting area, very nice guest services. Around 6:50pm, other entrances were opened already, but we were not allowed to proceed to the arena yet. One staff told us "We're hoping to let you in @ 7, we have to wait until Mr. Rieu wakes up." Haha! That's new! But of course!! Our entrance was very close to Andre's dressing room, others might not know, but I knew, and as Boss had a long shift, he needed his nap. Before we got to the arena, we passed by some security guards trying to prevent possible trouble, while Boss just got up from his beloved Red Couch.

What a beeeautiful place! You would have forgotten it's a hockey arena. Only Andre would bother decorate every venue with all the works, but didn't charge you extra for the gold trim. The red curtains on the centre background video wall looked sooo real that people thought they were real, the HD quality of the video walls sure gave the venue a facelift.

I checked out the merchandize and wasn't too keen on those T-shirts, and I have all DVDs and CDs already, but had to buy a program book at least. (Oh no! Forgot to ask if gold members would get discount so I could save 2 bucks! Fine!)

Soon I saw Bobbie and John, who had several hugs to deliver (Thanks! Folks! I got them all), and there were Afsaneh and Marjan from Calgary too! Just as lovely as when I saw them in Vancouver, 2010.

There's been quite a lot going on the past months that my parents and I were often rather exhausted by the time the sun went down. I didn't make any paper flags this year, dad is still recovering from his sickness so I didn't want him to work on any glue and chopsticks. We wouldn't have enough time to give away the few hundreds of little flags after most people arrived but before the 76 Trombones started. So, we just brought the little Limburg flags, a few buttons, concert scarf, a banner and lots of Andre spirit.

Before the concert started, specks of "white substances" were flying around, it's interesting to see how other people were wondering what they were. I didn't want to spoil the surprise so I kept my mouth shut.

8:00 pm sharp, 76 Trombones began....Hi guys, welcome back to Vancouver!! Great to be able to see you again....well almost...those people who had seats right in front of us were just a little late and they were still standing up and not seated by the time Boss stepped onto the stage, blocking my camera....would be nice if I had some petite little lady like Judith Durham in front of me!

Frederic's zither sounded sooo good, and it's amazing that they cared to travel around with the carillon so Frank could play for us. So much to transport with special care, but it's beautiful!!

Soon, the background behind the stage was transformed to beautiful trees covered with snow. Ohhhh!! Here it comes!!!! Snowfall warning in effect! I waited until the audience realized what's happening before I took out my poncho.

The Chinese lady next to me was surprised, "What?? You knew this was gonna happen?? How did you know?" "Well....we fans know!!" Interesting among the small percentage of Chinese audiences, I met two ladies originally from Hong Kong sitting right next to us. It's their very first time seeing Andre LIVE and I'm sure they look forward to the next one already. Lucky us, the avalanche came just a few feet in front of our row.

I tried to clean up the snow in my bags a little bit, but the lady in front kept wagging her long hair so I kept getting snow on my belongings. It's all fun though! Kept me occupied that I almost missed Andre's teasing Bobbie and John, but I managed to take a pic of them on the video screen just in time.

Intermission: When the people in front of me stood up and turned around, the lady who had her lovely long hair covered with snow was also shocked "You came prepared???" (Oh! How she wished she had borrowed my poncho); Staff tried to shovel the snow but without much success...too many people walking up and down the aisles.

After intermission: the couple right in front of us never came back to their seats.....guess the pretty lady had to find some other "safe" seats in case Andre really played "a piece about water". Who knows! With Andre, anything could happen!!

Lara's theme was nice, mom loved Dr. Zhivago!...Oh! I mean the music from the movie, not the actor himself, I think my dad was more handsome.

Andre rolled his eyes more often when Carmen did Habanera. LOVE it! Watching the "fire" burning behind the orchestra when Marcel and Glenn did Bolero was for sure a highlight of the evening.

Then "Everything has an end", we all knew the balloons would come down when Boss played Radetzky March but with those on the video screen, there seemed to be more balloons than ever!

By then the audience was getting pretty "high", Andre and us kept exchanging shouts, he said "GO HOME", we said "NO!!", he said "YES!!", we said "NO!", "YES!", "NO!", "YES!" Of course, we won....And the waltz goes on!

LOVE how they do Adieu now, it's fun to watch Andre bend to the side as much as possible and try to hold his position, great photo opportunity!!

After Marina, there's no Lullaby, that's fine, I like it to end with Marina anyway. Lullaby was a bit too sad. It was about 10:45pm, this time I had no after-party to go to, but Bobbie helped fulfill my "flowers opportunity", I was a happy girl and immediately brought the flowers to mom and showed off.

The huge bouquet made a perfect lovely gift for mom and dad as it's still within a month of their 60th wedding anniversary (Thank You Bobbie!!!) But sorry I had to leave my parents again, they had to wait in the car while I tried to get my autograph from Boss.

On my way to the buses, I saw a few fancy limos waiting to pick up some people, not sure who, but it certainly looked expensive and classy, just matched perfectly with an Andre Rieu event in a sense, but then the amazing thing about Andre's music, is that you have people from all walks of life, any age, just wonderful!

While we were waiting at the buses for possible autographs, we saw several JSO members getting on the buses. We figured once we saw Mr. G-Force, it should be a sign of Andre coming out soon. I waved and said "Hi Johan"....I might not have my orange little flags this year, but Mr. G-Force was looking at my jacket and said "That's a very nice jacket!" Thank you, Johan, I LOVE my orange Olympics 2010 jacket, and I'm a proud supporter of The Netherlands team :)

Around 11:40pm, Boss finally came out, I was holding my Serenata black vinyl, and he said the similar thing as when he signed my Serenata CD last time, "That's a very old one!" Yes, we bought it in Hong Kong, 1985. "Andre, are you going to Hong Kong?" "Yes, we'll do Hong Kong..." So, Hong Kong maybe my next out-of-town concert!! ... Mission accomplished! We went home, but still had a lot of things to do before I could go to bed, including cleaning our "snow". Threw my stuff onto the bed and put back my Andre gear. The next morning, I got up for work, made my bed, and guess what I found on my quilt cover?? ... Little flakes of snow!!!