Good evening (again), Amsterdam! Last Saturday more than twenty Eurovision 2015 stars gathered in the Dutch capital for Eurovision In Concert, the biggest pre-Eurovision event and the first dress rehearsal for Vienna. In our first round-up we took a closer look at 10 of the acts. Some of y’all were like, “OMG! Why didn’t you write about the others?” So to stop the onset of more nukes from our dear readers, here are some thoughts on nine more acts. Please note: We also have individual posts on Georgia, Serbia, the UK, Sweden and Israel‘s live performances. You can visit our YouTube channel to watch all of the live performances and to watch our interviews.
Live performance: Monika Kuszynska – “In The Name Of Love” (Poland)
Poland’s Monika Kuszynska went for a more mellow version of “In The Name Of Love”. The Polish representative gave a pleasant performance and seemed so at ease on stage. But perhaps a more vocally daring performance would have made her stand out a bit more. Monika’s voice is dazzling, and so we’d have loved to see her working her full range. That said, the audience inside the Melkweg was loud and riotous, which naturally impacts how we all view it. Her song will stand out more on TV when you can’t hear the chatter of the crowd.
Live performance: John Karayiannis – “One Thing I Should Have Done” (Cyprus)
Poor John from Cyprus had the worst lighting of the night. At some points he seemed to be the invisible man singing for Cyprus, but he still managed to pull a brilliant (sorry, I had to do it) performance. John exudes confidence on stage, and he really poured all of his soul into this. Sadly, the audience would not stop talking, so at certain points we couldn’t even hear him inside the venue. (The emcees asked the audience to be quiet for ballads, but they obvs didn’t hear). We’re sure the audience will be more respectful in Vienna. Tickets are too expensive to miss out on the magic of “One Thing I Should Have Done”.
Live performance: Daniel Kajmakoski – “Autumn Leaves” (F.Y.R. Macedonia)
Daniel Kajmakoski decided to go monochrome for his performance in Amsterdam, thus ditching his yellow shoes from Skopje Fest. The attire wasn’t the only thing that improved: Daniel gave a fantastic performance of “Autumn Leaves”, which works well in both Macedonian and in English. Daniel won X Factor Adria for a reason. He has mastered his full range — check out the falsetto — and he really knows how to lift this song.
Live performance: Boggie – “Wars For Nothing” (Hungary)
Boggie went solo (vocally) for her performance, and although her voice is good enough to fill the stage on its own, her rather inexpressive look needs the help of backing vocalists, just like in A Dal. Her vocals were flawless, but in an informal atmosphere such as EiC, a more relaxed Boggie (like in her Budapest flashmob video), would have shone much brighter. Lose the stone face! Boggie lifted her tune in one of the verses of “Wars For Nothing” (2:30) and it was quite an interesting twist we would like to see developed for Vienna.
Live performance: Monika & Vaidas – “This Time” (Lithuania)
Monika and Vaidas brought their chemistry to Amsterdam. The Lithuanian duo were very confident on stage. Monika already proved in Riga that she has value alone, but two are better than one! This time (I promise this is my last joke with this), both Monika and Vaidas were way more cheerful, which either means they’ve mastered their performance or they’re totally losing it. Luckily it’s the former. Are you feeling this Lithuanian love (looove, looo-ohooove) as much as we are?
Live performance: Maraaya – “Here For You” (Slovenia)
Marjetka’s glossy vocals sounded fantastic, even though she wasn’t on her best form. But still that voice is pure gold! The Slovenian duo demonstrated they can nail their performance without their air violinist (although she HAS TO be an indispensable part of the staging in Vienna!) We were wondering where Raay would be looking on stage, since he didn’t had a camera there to wink at.
Live performance: The Makemakes – “I Am Yours” (Austria)
The Makemakes got rid of their leopard print pants — AMEN! The intimate atmosphere worked well for them: a small stage close to the people. That gave “I Am Yours” that bar band air it needs! Austria may have not burned a piano on stage again, but nothing was really missing in Melkweg. Good voice, good song, good performance!
Live performance: Elnur Huseynov – “Hour Of The Wolf” (Azerbaijan)
Azerbaijan is working the promotional circuit. “The Hour of the Wolf” almost seems like a recurring part of our day, like waking up or eating lunch. Azerbaijan’s Elnur Huseynov has the voice, the attitude and the song, and we’re definitively loving it! Elnur displays his impressive vocal ability wherever he goes, and although he wasn’t showing all he’s got, his performance was still fantastic. We just wish the backing track hadn’t been so loud. Fancy another trip to Baku?
Live performance: Uzari & Maimuna – “Time” (Belarus)
The Belarussian representative is one of the most powerful male voices in the competition and he means business! Maimuna, on the other hand, worked the violin live and looked stunning with her red dress. Did anyone say Eurovision’s Next Top Model?
Live performance playlist
Do you want to relive Germany? Latvia? Montenegro? The Netherlands? Here’s our playlist for Eurovision in Concert for you to watch again and again and again!
Photo: Elena Volotova, Thomas Hanses (EBU)