This story is written as a blog, by consequence the chapters are in reverse order. You can read the story in sequence by clicking the chapters in the next column.

I hope you have as much fun reading it, as I had writing it and we had living it. Enjoy.

Nice.20ten in het Nederlands

dinsdag 10 augustus 2010

The Concert

Sunday july 25th 20ten, evening
lees dit hoofdstuk in het Nederlands

"Do you guys have your tickets' Kiran Asks. What? We don't have anything. A shock goes trough our bodies just realising that the most important thing we are here for, seeing Prince live, would be something we mis. "Then I will fetch them for you" she reassures us. We are taken care of. The entrance of the stadion is totaly on the other side, so we run after Alfred Bernardin, (his name is Alfred?), the tourmanager.

At the entrance it seems we got tickets for the second ring. Alfred realises that's not realy the place we want to be, so "Je vais arranger ça". Some discussions and phonecalls back and forth "Tu es ou justement?" later the security agrees to let us in the first section. Another problem arises. We would like to continue to experience this whole happening together, all eight of us. Mattias asks Esmoreit how they say eight in French. My son answers 'huit' 'wiet?, strange, very strange WIET'

The first section doesn't seem suitable for a wheelchair. Christine can go inside, but they don't take any responsibility. She won't see a thing if she isn't able to stand up. I run back and forth between Alfred and Christine, who stayed out of the crowd. I switch between French to the tourmanager, explaining everything in English to the other MoQuakers en than reporting in Dutch to Christine, and back English French and back with the second option, French English Dutch. No the choose the platform, ok back;  (He's a language bunny that guy, or something to that sort, it was in Swedish and I don't understand a yoda Swedish)

Too bad, bus we split up, six up front, Tamara and Christine somewhere out back to the right. I try to spot them, but I can't make out where the found there little place. We move forward, little by little. We try to protect our signed posters. I don't have any clue about the time, it seems the crowd is already waiting for a long while. That wouldn't have anything to do with us I hope?
The stadion is very cleverly divided. Nikaia is a concerthall with one side opening up to a stadion. The venue becomes the roofed stage. The make the stadion smaler by putting tribunes in at according to the tickets sold. That way you always have a full house and you put the scalpers out of the market because you can sell tickets till the shows starts. Clever.

Meanwhile rumors about an aftershow start to circulate. The eight of us texting like our life depends on it. Monaco? The stars and bars seems to be refurnished as a restaurant. That way we should finaly be able to grab something to eat. Cannes? Is there even a venue? Saint-Tropez. Oh no, Annie-Claire warned me not to go there, there's only one street, two lanes, one go one back. "C'est bouchonné 24 sur 24". I imagine us trapped in traffic in the middle of the night. Tim gets restless. He tells us about thet tickets he has for Genève, yeah right, that one that was cancelled, so he bought tickets for the show in Nice, and now he is standing here for free. 'I call a taxi and have one waiting so we are at that aftershow fast!' I try to explain him, but it's no use, he's to preoccupied. 'I'm gonna call him right now' he says, slamming his Iphone to his ear. I explain to the other that I'm here by car and that we all fit the car. I ask Tamara if they have any way of transport, because I promised them the ride and a wheelchair takes some space. They made other arragements with friends who are also at the concert. Tim surfaces. What? You have a car? And you just tell me that AFTER I just orderd a taxi? Mattias rises he eyes to the sky. They gibber some Swedish, and Tim's back up to date. He cancels his taxiride.
(I suppose you get the picture of the stress that goes on in fanatic's minds when there is a chance of an aftershow. It's a real reassurance to experience that mayby you're insane, but you certainly are not the only one)
The tourmangers climbes the stage, he annouces the official aftershow at 'Le palais' in Cannes. Is this possible? Just the place where we were this morning?  I'm not sure, because there's talk about a club, and I didn't inspect that precisely. My cellphone is my saviour. I text anyone ( hereby I want to appologise for the nightly disturbance, and I want to express my gratitude at the same time )
who I think they can google, have a little comprehension about aftershowstress and know that I'm here in Nice. It all went so fast that I didn't let anyone know. I get an adress. Indeed I was scouting venues this morning. Ok, 'pas de soucis', we will get there.
Tim isn't that reassured "10 000 people will be heading to Cannes! Cannes where is that? What palace? Who's palace?" I try to calm him down. It doesn't do much. "They are already queuing. We'll have to leave early. Do you have a problem leaving early? We got to leave right now!" I assure him that we will get there fast, I was there just this morning, my car is realy nearby and if we have to I can drive really fast. That last sentence makes his eyes flicker. I think he will be able to enjoy the concert now.
In the meantime Tamara puts a twist in my stomach. She text me about a M&G, and if I will attend. Eh? And what did we experience just half an hour ago? I don't have any clue. I try to make sure she's talking about a meet and greet, she does. But still I'm troubled.
I decide that the show and the aftershow are that most importent things for me now, if there's anything more it's welcome, but we'll see once we get there, and I don't worry anymore
The first keystrokes fill the air, he's getting to it, we move a little closer.

Purple Rain
It immediatly puts me in Vienna, we're good, I liked that setlist a lot.
One just has to do it, starting with you biggest hit, the showstopper becomes the showstarter.
It's a long intro on keyboard, the crowd is gently ooohing.

I never meant 2 cause U any sorrow
It keeps surprising me how Prince touches his strings, you can pick his gitarsound from any other gitarist.
Can I play my guitar,  turn it up
There we go, for the zillionst time goosebumps, I can't explain this. It's just a noch different everytime. Here there is no rain in contrast to Werchter it's cigaly warm.
Somebody help me, come on, I can't hear ya, come on, sing!
Frech ooohs, English ooohs, Flemish oooohs, Swedish ooohs, it doesn't matter.
One jerk at the strings
and we have an instant peak.

Dearly beloved
Let's Go Crazy
Now the quartet starts that seems to glue togheter during the whole tour crazy-delirious-crazy back-1999
Not realy in medleyform, but it's something you see at Princeconcerts a lot these last years. He uses some songs as warming up. Often the opening song changes, an het changes everything that comes after.
Still this is not a routine, Delirious brings Frederic Yonnet for a solo.
Wait a minute band, the line
Morris Hayes goes crazy on keys. Is he back in there?
oh no let's go
a piece of Let's Go Crazy is repeated. the clap 'm is different from Werchter, where we tried to dispel the rain.
Thé guitarsolo flows into 1999
Do you know this song?

Oh, they say 2000 zero zero party over, oops, out of time!
Tell me what you wanna do?
It's strange to here the girls sing 'revolution'.
it should be:
Can't run from Revelation, no!
Sing it 4 your nation, y'all!
but they really sing: revolution.
Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?

The drums take over and we fall into
We got to break it down

Candle light - nono, I don't think so!
The crackle of the flame will just spoil my flow
Besides, I can be your fire baby, yeah
Drippin' all over U like a ball of wax, relax and let go!
Then: can I play my guitar?
I never heard shhh like that. It seems like Princes guitar strings are attached to my spine. Shivers all over my body.
Tonight I'm gonna make you scream, Prince makes love to the crowd, his guitar touches everybody in person. I can only remain silent.
Cora is very strong on drums, so tight.
Final solo in overdrive, just with one hand, that's all I need to touch you all.

Turn the lights on, This has to become a party, the crowd has to sing.
Make the rules, Then break 'em all cuz U are the best.
Right, it's his mantra.
Look up in the air, it's my guitar Oops he nearly forgot his guitar, but he fetches it just in time to go into the solo.
His guitarplay is very funky this tour, just like on the new CD. That's the only way the new cd is audible in this tour. He's doing it for some time now. Het rearranges his whole body of work in the way of the new cd, without playing the songs of that cd themselves.
This time it's one big summer garden party.
Here come the drums!
This time it's Mister Hayes we have to call.
Oh Français!
A crowd is starting to build on stage, singing and dancing.
Oh Français! Musicology
An impossible canon leaves the crowd, can it be funkier than that?
Spotlight! Yonnet, come here brother.
A Love Bizarre
A B   A B C D
A party tumbeling from the stage into the public.
The moon up above is at the appointment. It's full moon above Nice.


What time is it?
Oooh, it's time to get funky!
Prince's guitarriffs are the funkiest in years.
One of his secrets is that there is so much going on that you don't have the time to grasp for air, you have to keep alert all the time and be able to follow his instruction. He keeps everyone on his tows, his band, the backings, the light, the sound but also the crowd. Everybody in full concentration.

Are you crazy? Are you insane?
Every single one admits.
Take me home
After all the firework it's time to calm down a little. Elisa, Live and Shelby in lead.
I must admit, once you met them you find them getting better and better. Clever move. Prince can't get any better in the eyes of the hardcore fan, he's a such an unreachable hight dat meeting him can only bring him closer to you. He would become human. The backings are comming to the foreground once you know them.
Someone told me last night, his ego isn't that big like they tell you, he's giving all the other lot's of space on stage. Even the girls told us themselves, we don't feel like backing, sometimes we're lead.
The got power, those ladies. Certainly when Liv joins in.

Nothing Compares 2 U
He's doing this on better as a duet, it was like that with Rosie Gains, it certainly is with Shelby. He finaly reclames that song. (I always tought Sineads take was stronger, not anymore)
Shelby is realy shining in this song.
Cassandra and Frederic get all the space they need: real music by real musicians!
The crowd does a tough job singing the two most difficult syllables in popmusic: to you.
Shelby tells Prince to take his time to close the song, very emotional.
He burst out:: "We are going to serve captain crunch at the aftershow"
Now we are sure to spend the night with Prince, till the cereals for breakfast.
Were ever I go you go with me, alright?

Take Me with U
Pary again.

seamlessly in
with his guitar in the starring role
I want this guitar turned up so France can hear me
The craziest antics on a guitar.
One more? One more? Encore?
Break, Prince goes off and comes back in a black outfit.
The sky turns rood en Esmoreit knows better then me what song's next.
Little Red Corvette
This song has a totaly differt version since Montreux.

Sedert Montreux in herwerkte versie.
Majestic beautiful on this sultry summer night, close to the see. It's may be sundaynight but who cares?

The audience stirs the pace, but Prince goes fully on the breakes
slow down.
The crowd ends a capella, clapping the rhythm.
This was beautiful
A song he keeps reworking live, he always tries new versions of it.
Now realy stripped down, not much more then a drumbeat and a loop.
Prince is dancing again, somebody say hip?

Owie O, OooOh.
dubbel time!
The crowd willingly takes over the refrain, ending in a fullmouthed KISS!
The gardenpary continues.
empy stage
One of my all time favorites.
I'm sorry girls, but I have to put something of my chest. The girls have to much power and sing to good for this song. Wendy, Lisa en foremoste Susannah were very fragile in this song, the sung it a little out of tune. Thus giving it a certain tension. The same thing for the horns, they go

Een van mijn lievelingsnummers.
Sorry girls, maar hier moet me iets van het hart. De meiden hebben veel te veel power en zingen te goed voor dit nummer. Wendy, Lisa en vooral Susannah zongen dit heel breekbaar lichtjes uit de toon. Dit gaf een zekere spanning aan het nummer. Hetzelfde voor de blazers die vaak atonal, now they are replaced by perfectly played keystrokes.
On the other hand, this song works perfectly as an excuse to play Shake Your Body the Jacksons' song . Elisa in an excellent lead by the way. The whole stade is becoming a dance hall
One beat brings us to Everyday People. We saw a lot of them in the neigbourhood the past few days . Esmoreit and I love to sing along. Same goes for I Want To Take You Higher.
Everything is on fire!
Forever In My Life
Tender song, tender lyrics, sensitively brought only accompanied by a drumloop.
Why it all went wrong with Susannah, I'll never understand.
But just one word, two syllables: alright.
I say allright,
you say alright
He brings this dubbleclapping to When Will We Be Paid, strongly put down by Liv Warfield. Honnoring her familyname.
We had so much fun in Europe, I want to thank you so much for giving us such a wonderfull time.
I love Everybody and Everybody loves me.
Prince get's emotional on stage.
Het thanks us with an unbelievable redation of Dreamer. Often the tempo goes up in this song, usaly by the drums that are running to fast. But this time Prince keeps the reins.
Turn my guitar way up!
a little more
a little more
With a twist he turns it funky, even to the gospel side. Un be lie va ble.
All lights out, completly dark. CELLPHONES!
Technology has replaced the lighters
Don't stop dreaming y'all.
You need to understand,
what you are holding in your hand, 
all your loved ones are right here,
we are one big family tonight,
we are one big family tomorrow,
we are one big family for ever,
and ever!
turn it up!
Dance Disco Heat
It sounds nothing but the conflict.
From rock to disco in a fraction of a second.
Who get's away with this? Right, just Prince.

Lights on, the aftershow is annouced again.
We're still together the six of us.
This can't be over,
It ain't over!
We go for the aftershow,
We didn't get enough,
We just want more!

zondag 8 augustus 2010

meeting the girls!

Sunday july 25th 20ten, late afternoon

At 4:27 pm, finaly the redemtive message arrives. I answer in very tough: "We will be there".
The men decide to have something to eat at first. Les pains we bought on our way from Gourdon with somet jambon cru, saucisson, pâtés et fromages on the side. We have quite an elaborat diner at our terrace.
By five we keep the women company at the pool and try to relax by swimming a few tracs. About a year ago we did just the same in Montreux.  What a royal life, a bit of swimming before attending a princeconcert. We don't want to be overley exited and making a fool of our selves attending the meet and greet, we don't want to come down as fanatics, so we have to keep our cool.
Half past five is time to shower en change clothes. We don't want to be late at our appointment. I don't have any idea how long it wil take to get there, let alone park the car en get to that invitation line.
Surprisingly we are there in ten minutes, I must have booked a hotel at the right side of Nice. A large parkinggarage is reserved for the concert, at een fee of 3 euro. You just have to be out of there within tree quarters of an hour after the concert. Not a big problem considering we might have something going on at night, we hope.
Leaving the parkinglot we don't see the Espace Nikaia immidiatly, so I ask a policemen. He just point to a big grey biulding just in front of us. I didn't know we were that close.

There are some queues, but I have no idea were we'e supposed to be, so I ask a security, again. It seems to be at the right side of the building, the whole way around. In the mean time I enjoy some 'dreamer', they are soundchecking. We find the counter with 'invitations' en see some security.
Suddenly I'm spoken to in French, Annie-Claire, the manager of the hotel we stay in, is here with her assistent, the girl who cleared the tables at breakfast.
"Eh bien? Je pensait que vous alliez backstage?"
Eh, yes, they will pick us up here, I suppose. You found someone to accompany you?
Yeah, but she doesn't know Prince.
There is such a living spieces on earth then? I'm totaly stupified. I'm about to sing some tunes, but Esmoreit prevents me just with his look.

Meanwhile I texted Tamara and Cristine that we are already there, and give them some directions. In a distance I see them getting trough the grounds, a wheelchair is a convenient landmark. By the four of us we can speak Dutch. They are from our neighborhood. Oost-Vlaanderen is in the house!
I buy two bottle of water, for 4 euro/half a liter you can quench your thirst. Kate and Grodon, the winners from the UK so us get around the weelchair, so the join in. We change to English. It's a bit much for Esmoreit, Dutch, French and English in just one conversation. He understands everything but everybody thinks it's also all in a days job for him, switching from one language to another.
We don't find the other two from Sweden. Some texting back and forth with Gav, and they seem te be just near us at the security. 'I don't have any problem, do you?' Tim seems to be quite a funny man. He's there with Mattias, the other winner of the MoQuakecontest. We are complete, and exchange our phonenumbers, we have to be organised once we get some news about an aftershow.

So we wait for Kiran. I don't even have a clue if we wait for a man or a woman, but Tamara is in the know. A former model, a role model?. What else could I have expected prince wanted for personal assistent. A charming beautiful lady waves at us. So a gangstergang is easy recognizable. Kiran proposus us to have some drinks first while the girl get ready.
She tells us they just finished soundchecking. The stage in in full sunlight and it's very hot up there, though work for the band.

We meet extensivly and Kiran realy makes an effort to pronounce 'Esmoreit' well. My son's name is not easy pronounceble in English. She's genuingly interested in where and how much we've seen Prince live. Numbers from 25 over 50 tot 85 (Tim) come by, but Esmoreit sets the record. ONCE. Seeing Prince live for the first time and getting a meet a greet after that, is bullseye! Kiran Tells us that she hasn't been working for Prince that long. She attended the concerts in Londen 2007 as a fan. After seeing one concert she only wanted to see more. We don't differ all that much, do we?
She tought Montreux was magical, so did Prince, she says, that's why he feels so sorry that the Geneva date was canceled.

we acclimatize in the anti-chamber before getting backstage:

foto ©Mattias
Esmoreit, Christine, ik and Tamara

foto ©Mattias
Gordon, Kate and Tim.

Kiran fetches some posters so the girls can autograph them, how thoughtful of her. She checkes if they are ready.
A very warm welcome overwhelms us. We are exentsivly introduced to Shelby Johnson, Liv Warfield and Elisa Fiorillo-Dease. All three they repeat our names, Tamara, Christine, Kate, Gordon, Mattias, Tim, Luc and euh Eis mho rait.They all do their best to pronouce 'Esmoreit', he's touched.
Treasures, those tree ladys. They offer us drinks, some fruits?

foto ©Mattias

We all just stand there, feeling a little awkward, what do you tell them at such an accasion. Kiran propeses the sign the posters, they immidiatly get to their jobs. The run around barefoot, recovering from the shoes and high heels they wear on stage. Surely it's no problem to take pictures, of course not.

foto ©Mattias
our angel with her gardian angel

There's some hilarity as Liv noted that Shelby has a matching 20ten dress. She stands up and poses with the poster. 'I have, I have! Take some pictures as proof and be sure I get them'. We oblige willingly. I want to point out that also the fruits are matching. Realy, every detail is looked after in the princecamp.

During the autograph sessions there's some time for small talk. We inform about the setlist for tonight, but they assure us that they only know what to sing once they get on stage, it'll be a surprise. The same thing for the aftershow.
The ask us if we heard the new CD 20ten. Yes? Everybody is very enthusiastic and the tree girls even more so. The say that often the backings nowadays are mixed to the background, but on this CD they get a leading role. The sing some songlines. When talk about Laydown, how we love that track, Shelby points to Liv, 'She's doing leads on that one!' She? No? As proof she sing the line. No doubt, it's her! They go mad! They sing everywhere. At the airport they get remarks, Who are those three fools? You just feel that singing is what they love the most.
Groupshots, no problem, they pose patiently with everone. Kiron goes to all the trouble of getting everybody the appropriate memory on his one camera.

During the photoshoot Shelby takes Esmoreit firmly in her arms. I'm impressed by the warm hearted Elisa. Liv suddenly yells out: 'I just added you on facebook' Elise looks at me, 'Me too!" With Shelby I'm friends for quite some time now on the social network. (Thanks again Bart)

foto ©Mattias

Time flies and Kiran informs us that the band has to get ready for the gig. She'll bring us to our space at the stade. We extensivly say our goodbeyes and get kisses.

Leaving the room we pass the lobby where all the artist are. I push the door against Joshua the bassplayer, who is resting in the couch. I apologize, but he waves kindly at me. Frederic Yonnet recognizes Crhistine and Tamara and asks his wife to take some pictures. Whe he sees me taking a picture, he points the grisl at mee. Three smiling faces.

Back outside, a little lost. We don't know what came over us realy. We are impressed by the warm reception. Esmoreit summes it up quite nicely: 'It was common but very extraordenary at the same time'
Prince is surrounded by incredibly warm, carring, loving people. Maybe we are not as demanding as their boss, but ordinary people got very special for a moment.

Again special thanks to Gavin McLaughlin and MoQuake, Kiran Sharma, de tourmanager, the three fantastic singers and Prince for giving us this unforgettabke experience. Far did we know that the day had a lot more to offer.


This is not translated yet, you can read it in dutch at Nice.20ten


This is not translated yet, you can read it in dutch at Nice.20ten

La Colle Sur Loup

This is not translated yet, you can read it in dutch at Nice.20ten

Semur en Auxois

This is not yet translated, you can read it in dutch at Nice20ten

The preparation

This is not translated yet, you can read it in dutch at Nice.2010