Slow it down

Amy MacDonald – Palladium, Cologne; November 9th, 2012

I got to the Palladium a good two hours before the doors opened and was surprised to already find about 30 people there, a lot more than in Düsseldorf two years ago. The wait was long but spent in good company. When they opened the doors we all made it to the front on the left. What a nice start!

At 8 p.m. the support act Charlie Simpson started. The band was fun to listen to, playing nice pop tunes that were quite entertaining. They managed to get the audience doing and deserved all the cheers they received. Some people seemed to know them already and sang along. All in all a good warm up.

After a short break, Amy started around 9 p.m. The band slowly walked on stage, with her being last. Back in Düsseldorf in 2010 she’d had screens and a quite big light show, but it was all more reduced this time around. The lighting was great though and fit the music. Once again I was blown away by the strength of Amy’s voice. Her band was pretty amazing too, especially guitarist Mark and bassist Ben who also kept animating the audience, but the other three should benotes as well. They all knew how to play and enjoyed doing it.

Amy was brilliant, her clear voice filling the air and taking everyone in the room prisoner. Her songs tell stories about the daily life, things big and small, people. She just stands there, smiling, talks a bit, explains sometimes, thanks the audience often and just sings. No arrogance about here, just joy of being on stage. It is clear she appreciates her band and her fans.

She played acoustic numbers and wilder ones, jammed her guitar, danced around or just appeared quietly focused. When she was not a picture of full concentration there was a big smile on her face and when she sang all the notes were right. She played old songs and new, radio hits and lesser-known tunes. The audience was very appreciative, listened when there was the need to be quiet and clapped and sang along otherwise. For ‘Slow it down’, Amy “hired” us as a 4000 people strong background choir singing “down, down, down” with her and when she finally played ‘This is the Life’ that she wrote “sitting on my bed when I was 17” the whole pace went nuts. She also got great reactions to many of the other songs she played, from ‘This pretty face’ to ‘The blue and the green’ (“a song about Glasgow”) – people clearly had come for her and knew more than just the hits. A cover of ‘Higher and Higher’ (“a song that always makes me happy”) was also included in her set.

After about 90 minutes it was over. I would have loved to hear more, but was very happy with what I got. It was sure worth going there and for a brief moment I envied A. who stood next to me and had a few more concerts ahead of him. I wished him lots of fun, said goodbye to everyone else around and walked away smiling. Thank you Amy!


4th of July
Poison Prince
The Game
Mr. Rock & Roll
Slow It Down
Love Love
Give It All Up
This Pretty Face
Higher and Higher 
(Jackie Wilson cover)
Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over
The Green and the Blue
No Roots
This Is the Life
Life in a Beautiful Light

The Furthest Star
Barrowland Ballroom
Let’s Start a Band

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