Amy MacDonald – Arena an der Wassermannhalle, Cologne; August 21st, 2018
Seeing Amy MacDonald perform is always fun. I love her music and I have enjoyed every concert so far. It was the same this time around. Even though she was a little unhappy for having a sore throat and not being able to give 100% I loved every minute of it. She always puts a smile on my face.
Still tired from my trip to Edinburgh and a little annoyed about my train being delayed I arrived at the brand new venue later than expected and soon learned that it didn’t matter at all. There was not really a big crowd yet and I had a front of stage ticket after all. It was gonna be fine. They let us in almost on time, they were slow as if they’d never been security people at a concert, but it didn’t mattet, because I made it to front row, just a bit left of the center. So far, so good! People around me were nice and it was easy to pass the time.
At 7, half and hour before I’d expected her, support act Antje Schomaker was on. It was just her on piano and guitar and Felix on guitar or bass, but they were great. German lyrics, smart and to the point as well as music yo rock out to. I loved it and put her immediately on my list of people to see again. One song about relationships that have ended moved me especially (I think it was called ‘Ganoven’) and I also enjoyed ‘Gotham City’ as a declaration of independence of sorts. ‘Auf und davon’ was about extending a helping hand to someone who suffers from depression and just being there for them. It moved me how Antje talked about a friend with depression and how one can never understand how it really feels like if they don’t suffer from it, but how we can still try to be there for anyone who does. She got the audience going nicely too. We all clapped along in the end and after the show her album was sold out before I made it to the merchandise stand. Good for her! Maybe I’ll catch her on her fall tour. 🙂
Bis mich jemand findet
Für einen Funken Euphorie
Auf und davon
Aller Guten Dinge
Amy started at 8, also a lot earlier than I had expected. Perfect! 🙂 Less perfect was the fact that I hardly could remember any lyrics. Sure, it has been some time since I have listened to Amy, but still hadn’t expected to forget so much. Either way, I enjoyed the music to the fullest and despite Amy’s claim that she could not sing as well as she usually does I thought she sounded great. As the guy next to me put it: “What a voice!”
She started with ‘Under Stars’ and while the audience was very welcoming, they were also a bit slow. Amy did what she does, wonder if people understood what she was saying. Oh we understood her alright, some of us just didn’t react. She kept joking about it from time to time and it got better eventually. At least some people did sing along loudly as she had requested and maybe the others didn’t know the lyrics well enough. Every time I looked around though, people were clearly having fun, moving in tune with the music and having smiles on their faces. Many people in the seats stood up and danced too. Amy loved that. Right at the beginning she asked about the many Scottish flags in the audience and soon learned that only one person carrying one was actually Scottish. 😀 Throughout the show she made a few references to members of the audience, all very friendly. One girl held up a sign that she had lost a lot of weight and Amy congratulated her on the achievement, mentioning how she looked familiar, but was only half of what she used to be now.
All the songs were familiar, but I had a strange blackout on many of the names while I stood there listening to them. Didn’t matter though, they were still beautiful. For ‘Youth of today’ Amy told us that she wrote it when she was young about those who bitch about young people and now that she’d in her thirties she is the one bitching about young people. 😉 Yep, we all do at times. I loved the setlist. It was similar to the one from last year, but still different and the songs flowed nicely between slower and faster. Clapping along, moving and smiling happily were my main activities when I wasn’t singing. For ‘Slow it down’ Amy got a good choir doing saying that those who follow her on tour would already know what to do and the others should just follow. Of course it didn’t work out right on the first try and we had to do it again. 😀
We learned that she had been to Cologne for the first time in 2008, supporting Paul Weller and had gotten to stay at The Hyatt then, but never since. She joked about having taken advantage of it. I can’t remember what she said exactly though. 😛 She seemed generally in a good mood, even though she was struggling a bit with her sore throat. Some time during the show she mentioned how proud she was that she was not croaking yet and that it was difficult because her voice wasn’t working as it usually did. It wasn’t like we could hear it though, she sang wonderfully. I loved the slow songs especially. ‘4th of July’ was gorgeous. <3
Once more I was happily surprised how many of her songs hit home with me. So often there is one part or one line that just gets to me. ‘Leap of Faith’ was somehow perfect that night and ‘Automatic’ always gets to me. It is somehow my theme song after all. Imagine my surprise when she said it was inspired by Bruce Springsteen. She did not go into details and just said that was were it started, but it made me smile, because I love Bruce and I love the song.
Amy’s band was amazing too. I enjoyed watching them and listening to them play. I also tried to capture them with my camera, but her keyboarder/multi instrumentalist proved to be elusive, because there was always a guitar player in the way. 😉 Each member of the band got a chance to shine, playing softly during acoustic numbers or full power during the rockier songs. They worked well together, they looked like they were having fun and especially the bassist conducted the audience in clapping and waving. 😀
‘Woman of the World’, Amy’s song for the Disney movie ‘Patrick’ was one I had not heard yet. She told us about how good it felt to go to the movies and hear her own song. It was great too and I made a mental note to find out more about the movie. ‘Never too late’ was one of the highlights of the night. It is such a beautiful song and she absolutely nailed it. Time went by way too fast and soon we were at the end of the main set. The last song there was ‘Life in a beautiful Light’. Meanwhile it had gotten dark and the lightbulbs that hung above the stage like a curtain had come to life. It fit the song perfectly.
She announced since everyone was using their phones she wanted to use hers too and took a picture of us, gave us good grades for “pretending to have a blast”, then she left the stage. We cheered for more and soon she was back with ‘Prepare to Fall’. Just one woman and her voice. It was incredible. <3 It might have been here that everyone had the lights on their phones on. I don’t remember if it was that song,but I do remember looking around and seeing the lights stretch all the way to the end of the arena. 🙂 The band joined her again for the slow ‘Down by the water’ and the powerful finally of ‘Let’s start a Band’. Somehow I noticed the lyrics of that song for the first time and they instantly clicked with me for it’s message of “Let’s just try this thing together” or at least this is what I hear. I also hear “As long as I can make music, anything works for me” and that is a good place to start for a musician. Right then and there it was a good place to end the night. With a final thank you, they sent us home. I’m sure I will be back.
Youth of Today
Mr. Rock n Roll
Slow it down
4th of July (acoustic)
Leap of Faith
Woman of the World
This is the life
Never too late (acoustic)
Life in a beautiful Light
Prepare to Fall (solo acoustic)
Down by the Water
Let’s start a Band