Robbie Williams – Letňany Airport, Prague; August 19th, 2017
In Prague, a city which in my mind has been closely connected to Árstíðir until now, I made new memories and saw a fun Robbie Williams concert to boot. The show was lots of fun too and put a huge smile from my face beginning to end. It brought great music, lots of confetti in my hair and a few surprises. Even though the audience was not as vocal as in Düsseldorf, everyone seemed to have a good time. Robbie gave us his best, assisted by a great band, his dad and his wife too. The show was totally worth the trip.
After a mostly sleepless night and an early morning flight all I wanted to do upon my arrival in Prague was rest, never mind the beautiful weather. Felt better around noon, met my friend J. for lunch and di some sightseeing with her. We both had front of stage tickets for the gig, but unfortunately not on the same side of the stage, so we could not enjoy the gig together. I got there around 5:30, more than two hours after the doors opened and still found a spot only about ten rows back. It was nice and easy.
Passed the waiting time watching people and was happy when Erasure walked on stage at 7:15, all according to schedule. Their setlist was the same as it had been in Düsseldorf and I enjoyed it a lot this time. Andy Bell was in a good mood and not only thanked us for coming but made some pretty funny remarks, first asking us to show him our shiny balls (say what?) and commenting they weren’t so shiny now because they were freshly shaven. Yep, you are right, that was too much information indeed. Later he talked about finding a ringing iPhone in the chemical toilet on the tour bus. It made me laugh and the music was great as well. People seemed to know the same songs they did at the last concert I saw, but the sing along was not as powerful. The audience seemed younger though, at least on average, with surprisingly many men in the crowd. I certainly enjoyed the old hits and had fun watching Andy, Vince and their two fantastic dancers. Well done, thank you for entertaining us while we waited for the main event.
Victim of Love
Love You to the Sky
Love to Hate You
Chains of Love
A Little Respect
The usual waiting, people watching, having a bite of food and constantly checking my watch until it was 8:30 and time for Robbie. ‘God bless our Robbie’ was played and again I smiled at how ironic it was. Gotta love an artist who can laugh at himself. Despite the words being projected on the screen not many people sang along, but everyone cheered loudly with the boxing style announcement from the speakers that called Robbie to the stage. From the very start he was moving all over the place, sometimes very close to me and sometimes hard to see. He used the catwalk a lot, but spent much time on both sides of the stage as well. whenever I could not see him, I had the screens to look at or even better, a band and dancers to watch. They all knew there stuff too. 😀
He kicked things off with ‘The Heavy Entertainment Show’ declaring “I’m Robbie fucking Williams, these are my balls, this is my arse and for the next two hours you are mine.” He had a lot to prove there, but the man knows how to work an audience and of course he managed to capture our attention. ‘Let me entertain you’ had not only me jumping and many hands were in the air too. The song brought us fireworks in the end. 🙂 ‘Monsoon’ has always been one of my favorites and I was happy to still have it on the setlist here. Again I realized that I find it much easier singing along to the older tunes than the new ones.
‘Party like a Russian’ included showers of confetti. I raised my hands to catch them, holding my face up into the paper rain and smiled. This was fun! ‘Minnie the Moocher’ came as a surprise to me. It had a true Blues Brothers feel hat I enjoyed. ‘Freedom’ was great too and I wondered why I had never liked the CD version. He spoke about his admiration for George Michael and a little later he told us how much he adored his kids, how he wanted to protect them and hoped he could teach them to love their lives. He climbed up on a giant boxing glove held by a crane and flew above the audience while singing ‘Love my Life’. It was awesome, everyone sang along and the confetti rain started again. It made me happy to be able to see and hear all this for the second time. <3
During the a cappella medley it was noticeable that the audience here was nowhere near as good in singing along as the one in Düsseldorf was. And Robbie tried hard, even made a quick poll about ages to judge which songs would be better known. It may be a cultural thing though. I am not sure how popular 80ies and 90ies Pop was in Czech. Another reason could be that the audience was much younger on average. I yelled loudly when he asked who was over 40, but there weren’t so many people echoing me. Except for ‘Livin on a Prayer’ it felt like people hardly sang along at all, not even to ‘Back for Good’ after which Robbie explained that he used to be younger and slimmer and in a boyband when many in the audience were not born yet. Before trying ‘Come undone’ he said he’d be disappointed if we didn’t get that one and talked specifically to a “woman with a black top”, promising her a T-shirt if she managed. As the camera showed here it became clear that a woman behind her in a black T-shirt thought he meant her and tried to confirm that, but I am pretty sure he was referring to the one in front of her who was wearing a black top, not T-Shirt. Anyway, they both got it right, so I hope they both got a shirt too.
‘Come undone’ still gets me every time, no matter what the circumstances. It was the song that got me hooked and it still works for me. 🙂 I was expecting Take That Songs at some point, but instead I got ‘Millennium’. Never one of my favorites, but it was great to see everyone waving their arms. 🙂 Robbie prepared for ‘Something Stupid’ by telling us he wanted someone on stage who could not sing better or be better looking than he was. He pointed out someones sign saying “I’m fat and ugly and I can’t sing”. Then he aborted the idea saying “Fuck it, I have someone here I want to sing with” and called his wife Ayda on stage. She was standing by the side and really did not want to come at first, but let him coax her into it. He even made her wear the singing mask for a while. It was really cute though. She humored him and they cuddled out the sofa. <3
We got ‘Rudebox’ with Robbie declaring “I’m a damn good rapper” and ‘Kids’ before Robbie’s dad joined him for ‘Sweet Caroline’ all grand entertainer in a nice suit. I loved watching them together and wished I did not have to watch most of it on the screens. From where I stood that was the only option though. I loved seeing them interact. 🙂 The stage was lit all in green for ‘Feel’ – it looked and sounded beautiful. Finally it was dark too so the lights made an even bigger impression and added to the power of the song. ‘Rock DJ’ was just dancing and fun again.
Robbie barely left before he was back for the encore, this time calling two fans, Leanne and Chris on stage, who had won a contest to be there. While they were on stage, Chris proposed and Leanne said yeas (thank God she did as Robbie pointed out ;)) They were seated on the sofa behind Robbie with some bubbly and he dedicated ‘She’s the one’ to them. It was lovely, but I do admit I missed ‘Strong’. I had loved the new version of it.
‘Angels’ was beautiful, with everyone holding up their phones with the flashlights on and singing along. I felt like a small part of something bigger than myself and sighed deeply when the song ended. Everyone bowed, the band left the stage and Robbie treated us to a solo version of ‘My Way’ before thanking us and taking his leave as well. I loved it , it was a great night, but I do have to say that the audience in Düsseldorf beat the one in Prague by a mile. No regrets though, none at all. Thank you for another amazing night Robbie. See you next tour!
God Bless Our Robbie (to the tune of “Land of Hope and Glory”)
The Heavy Entertainment Show
Let Me Entertain You
Party Like a Russian
Minnie the Moocher (Cab Calloway and His Orchestra cover)
Freedom 90 (George Michael cover)
Love My Life
a cappella medley: Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi) / Rehab (Amy Winehouse) / Take on me (a-ha) / The Best (Tina Turner) / Kiss (Prince) / U Can’t Touch This (MC Hammer) / Stayin’ Alive (Bee Gees) / Candy / Here Comes the Hotstepper (Kamoze) / You’re the One That I Want (Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta) / Back for Good (Take That)
Come Undone (with “Never Forget” outro)
Somethin’ Stupid (Carson and Gaile cover) (with Robbie’s wife Ayda Field)
Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond cover) (with Robbie’s dad)
Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes cover) (snippet)
She’s the One
My Way (Claude François cover) (acoustic)