Night of voices with lots of hits

Robin Gibb, Kim Wilde, Dennis DeYoung, 10CC and Tears for Fears – during the “Night of the Proms” there was no shortage of big names and hits in Stuttgart. Thee hourse of ‘Pop meets classic’.

Popmusic orchestrated with violins and choirs has some appeal. “The Night of the proms” has earned the seal to be at the forefront of the mix between these components. Of course the mix wasn’t always that successful in the past few years, but over time one has earned the feeling to raise nostalgic stars to the highest heights once more.

Now the 7500 visitors has a better edition at the Stuttgarter Schleyerhalle 2008. Hardly any lowpoints, no painful scenes, but a great evening with lots of vocal highlights. Right from the beginning and throughout the evening the “Angels in Harlem Gospel Choir” impressed with their vocal solos and background singing.

With this new start for the choir the organisers have made a good choice, and with the duo Igudesman & Joo, so much more than cheap music clowns, it was the same. With their great solos on piano and violin, Feng Shui in classics and Mozart the balkan way, they got the audience from their seats.

Oh yes, the audience. Smokings and jeans could be seen, teenagers with light in their eyes on the front rows and couples, who dance on the sound of waltzes, while others were merely watching or wallowing in nostalgia. For instance, when Styx-singer Dennis DeYoung, still with a good voice, put his Boat in the river and serenaded his “Babe” behind the piano. 10CC could also score with their “I’m not in love”, ideal for an orchestral arrangement.

The real highlight of the evening was before the break: Tears for Fears. What Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith offered with the orchestra Il Novecento and the choir, had Beatles-qualities in “Sowing the seeds of love”. And later, with “Shout”, the duo rocked the duo and the musicians on stage a lot. The songs were seemingly created for this big format.

This wasn’t automatically so for the pieces that made Kim Wilde popular. Still, “Kids in America” sounded a bit like the Electric Light Orchestra and not like brightly coloured chewing gum. And miss Wilde obviously had fun to rock on stage. So much so, that she joined her colleagues from Harlem, to try a Joy-Rap and a gospel-look.

After all the spectacles, Robin Gibb left a little bit to be desired. Because of his life’s work he was the headliner of the show, but he didn’t live up to his name behind the microphone. The falsetto-sounds came from a background singer and the man himself looked a bit hungry and old. But “Stayin’ alive” still sounded lively, the Schleyerhalle turned into a disco, and during the sound of John Lennon’s “Imagine” everyone rejoiced.