Three things I had forgotten about Chris De Burgh…
By Jenny Griesel
So often when we see a concert coming up by one of the more veteran artists, we dismiss it as a night that will be filled with nothing but golden oldies, both on stage and in the crowd. I couldn’t have been more wrong about this one, as Chris De Burgh showed us that he still has what it takes to fill an entire arena and captivate fans for hours. I was fortunate to attend his concert at the Sun Arena in Pretoria, after a packed Grand West arena in Cape Town only two nights before.
Here are three things that I had forgotten about this legendary Irish performer, which would leave anyone who missed the South African leg of his A Better World Tour with envy.
His Repertoire is Energetic and Diverse:
Let’s face it, nobody that has been in the entertainment race for so many years can stay there with only a handful of number ones. Chris De Burgh reminded me of his extensive hit filled repertoire with songs like High on Emotion, Spanish Train, I love the night, Don’t Pay the Ferryman, Lady In Red, Diamond in the Dark, Fire on the Water and many others. The packed arena at Times Square in Pretoria, sang along to his umpteen beloved songs in an almost three-hour spectacular show.
His new material is heartfelt, and rich. One can’t help wonder if there are Celtic influences in some of the chords which add a rich dimension to the slower songs. The upbeat numbers are vibrant and contemporary and will no doubt go down like a treat with fans. True to form, they deliver his signature musicality, narrative lyrics, great guitar work, and catchy melodies.
He is a Story Teller:
De Burgh’s songs are filled with rich stories that tell tales of courage, friendship, travelling, the godly realm, our human souls, love, loss and life itself. From the souls of the dead on the Spanish Train to the man bringing a message to mankind, Spaceman Came Travelling, this Irish performer captures your imagination in every song. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as he sang of the power of friendship in The Snows of New York.:
“And when there was just one set of prints in the sand, that was when you carried me.
You have always been such a good friend to me.
Through the thunder and the rain, and when you’re feeling lost in the snows of New York,
Lift your heart and think of me..”
And to end it off, what would a Chris De Burgh show be without every crowd’s guilty pleasure – the tale of good old Patricia the Stripper!
He is a Performer Extraordinaire:
Chris will not only go down as one of our generation’s greatest songwriters but must be commended for his under-rated stage presence. Humble and unassuming, he is a performer extraordinaire. Knowing exactly when to up the tempo after moving, heartfelt ballades, he effortlessly blended his new numbers with his all-time favorites. The ultimate gentleman, he recounted his day spent in Pretoria, and shared what he loves about the capital city. It’s not all serious though – this Irishman also has a sharp sense of humour!
To me, the test of whether an artist takes themselves too seriously, is whether they are willing to put their own material in the backseat for a few minutes, and do a cover of another artist’s song, for the sake of the show. He passed with flying colors! Chris De Burgh got the crowd on their feet as he belted out Toto’s Africa after an emotional show of gratitude for how consistently his music has been received here, since the early days of his career.
In what was probably the most anticipated moment of the evening, De Burgh left the stage and took to the crowd to be up close and personal with the audience as he crooned out Lady in Red. Un-phased by endless hugs and adoration by lady fans, he walked the aisles, all the way around the arena, connecting with as many people as possible during this special song that tickles nostalgia to like no other.
In short, a ticket to this show is worth every cent!
Chris de Burgh’s A Better World Tour, was Another Big Concerts Experience. Coming up in the next few months, are more Big Concerts spectaculars with Santana in April, with Special Guests, Mango Groove. In May, South Africans can get ready for UB4 for UB40 and The Script. In June, there is something for the little people, as the characters of Cartoon Network will be coming here. July, sees the inaugural concerts on SA soil from Katy Perry, and it is official, another date has been added, due to the demand. Please Click here to read more.
This review was voluntarily done by her, and acted purely as a trusted contributor to Stage and Screen. The views depicted in this review, are that of the contributor, but edited and published according to the established identity and standards of the publication. We thank Jenny for the contribution, and hope for many more collaborations to come.
The images in this review are courtesy of The Publicity Workshop and Big Concerts.