It’s that time of the year again! You know, that time when over 1,300 Eurovision fans and journalists gather in Amsterdam for the biggest pre-Eurovision event of the season: Eurovision in Concert. For the third time running, the Melkweg was the housing venue. Dutch Eurovision commentator Cornald Maas and three-time representative Sandra Reemer hosted the evening, and ESC Daily was on the scene.
Problems for Emmelie de Forest
The evening was opened by last years winner Emmelie de Forest, but she got off to a terrible start. About 20 seconds into the song a technical problem confused the backing tape, and de Forest, who seemed to not hear this in her in-ears, sang completely off-beat for a larger part of the song. It wasn’t until the final chorus before she fixed the issue. The atmosphere in the crowd did not suffer from this mistake, but the technical staff must have had a few worried moments. Nevertheless, de Forests excellent rendition of her new single Rainmaker and the muscular male dancers that accompanied her seemed to make everyone forget about the incident pretty quickly.
Aram booed, Conchita hailed
It may have been somewhat predictable, but the attention on Aram MP3 was not solely for his song Not Alone. Some of his recent statements about Austrian representative Conchita Wurst were perceived as homophobic and Aram was booed by almost half the audience. Hosts Cornald Maas and Sandra Reemer gave him a chance to provide an explanation after his performance, in which he stated that he was misinterpreted, and that matters between him and Conchita are solved. A lukewarm applause came his way afterwards. The singing of Happy Birthday in honour of Arams 30th birthday, started by the hosts, could not have come at a worse time, awkwardly and half-heartedly sung by the audience.
Partly because of the affair between Aram and Conchita, the performance of the latter a little bit later that evening was greeted by the biggest applause of the night, that had the Austrian representative amazed, bowing several times to receive the cheering.
Aarzemnieki sings in Dutch
After one of the most enthusiastically received performances of the night, Aarzemnieki lead singer Jorans Šteinhauers won the crowd over by revealing that he speaks a little Dutch. He sang a few lines of three Dutch classics, including Ik Heb Je Lief by Paul de Leeuw, who presented the Dutch votes in the 2006 and 2007 editions of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Some other songs that did well in the audience were the upbeat songs, like the Greek entry Rise Up, Twin Twins performance of Moustache for France, and Basim from the host country of Denmark, who performed his Cliché Love Song. Much to her own surprise, UK representative Molly was greeted by a loud repetitive cheering of her name before she came on stage. She performed her song Children of the Universe with a lot of energy, and can be considered an outsider at the Grand Final in Denmark.
As each year, the organisation chose to end the night with the fan-favourites while maintaining a nice balance between up-tempo songs and ballads. The last ‘block’ of songs included Dutch representatives The Common Linnets, Ruth Lorenzo from Spain, Carl Espen for Norway and Romanian duo Paula Seling & Ovi.
The night was closed by the special reunion of Frizzle Sizzle, the group that represented the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986. Standing on a stage together for the first time in 25 years, the four ladies sang ABBAs Waterloo (a victory that celebrates its 40-year anniversary this year), parts of Vrede (Ruth Jacott, the Netherlands 1993) and Hemel en Aarde (Edsilia Rombley, the Netherlands 1996) and finished with their own song, Alles Heeft een Ritme, barefoot, just like back in the day. After that, over 1,000 fans and press left the venue in search of either the afterparty in Club Odeon, or the comfort of their warm (hotel)beds.