Here's my concert report:
Booking the Antwerpen ticket was almost a panic reaction at the time when the London date was still wobbly, and the continental European dates were selling out fast, but it turned out to be a very good idea. Firstly, because I found something really useful to do in Antwerpen the next morning, business wise, and secondly because the venue is so well organised. they sent me an email with all the info, including the fact that the concert ticket entitles us to free rides on the local tram, which is just brilliant.
With everything being so well organised and working like clockwork, I actually arrived before they opened the doors, and got my best ever position in a Shakira concert, maybe 4 metres from the stage, almost in the middle. Seeing that for some reason everybody else at these concerts seems to be rather short, it would have been quite antisocial of me to stand any closer.
There were lots of Colombians at the front, complete with flags, plus scarves and hats in national colours. Apart from them, I heard more people speaking French than Dutch. Maybe the concert was on the wrong side of the language border, and there are more fans in Wallonie than in the Flemish part ?
The special guest was a DJ called Cut Chemist. While I'm a sucker for almost any kind of live music, I never quite understood the attraction of watching a not very cool looking guy twiddling a few buttons and scratching a couple of turntables. This one had two saving graces. Firstly that he only stayed for half an hour (and said so upfront). And secondly that he filmed short interviews with 3 people from the audience and then used these for his final set. So at least we know that the whole thing wasn't a pre-recorded computerised presentation which he just reeled off while aping around on the decks ...
Shakira's concert per se has evolved a bit since the early days of the tour seven months ago( http://www.geocities.com/michaelgrr/blog/index.html/28 ).Changes I spotted included her modus of appearance at the beginning of the show. There was still the intro played on the weird instrument, whose name I have forgotten again, but then she appeared centrally behind a semitransparent curtain.
Three pieces were missing from the Madrid setlist: Para obtener un si (sorely missed!) Dia de enero, and Antologia. Newly included to raise the English language content were UYC and Illegal, and Suerte was switched to WW. Still, the Spanish material retained a 10:6 majority. Which makes me worry that the London audience will spend much of the time sitting there with their arms crossed.
Te Dejo Madrid
Si Te Vas
Underneath Your Clothes
Hips Don't Lie
Another change was the "musical chairs" game during the introduction of the band, where each member came forward to be introduced, while somebody else took over there instrument. I really liked that a lot. Then I spotted a bowed electronic double bass in the beginning of one of the slow songs (No?), which I hadn't seen in Madrid, but that may just be me, I may have missed it the first time round.
I think the choreography of the Ojos asi intro was new, but I may be wrong. And then there were the Indian dancers from the VMA performance. I remember someone who said very loud and clear after the VMAs that she'll never take the dancers on tour. Well, at least to Antwerp she did take them, which surprised me too.
Audience wise, people were great where I was standing, but I did notice that there wasn't much going on in the seats around the sides. But hey, I do realise she can't take the Madrid audience with her around Europe, that would be a bit pointless...
Next encounter for me is London, in 6 weeks time or so
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that's how I feel after each concert ...