Fans’ report from Alexander Rybak’s concert on the Keerweer Parade – Rotterdam 22nd September 2017
The parade is organised by the Café Keerweer in Rotterdam and is held over 3 days. The event is a part of the annual Rotterdam pride. And this time, Alexander opened the parade on Friday evening.
A group of Alexander’s fans travelled and met up in Rotterdam to enjoy the show, a little sightseeing and each others company. Here are two of their stories…
Larissa Pöpping (from Germany): Friends reunited.
My parents and I drove to Rotterdam by car setting off at around noon and arrived there at four in the afternoon. I was surprised that the event took place outside, in front of the café and not many people were there yet. I was happy when Katharina joined us a couple of minutes later and we waited for the other Facebookies. Eline (with her friend) and Nienke then came to us and we all were really happy to see each other again!
There was still long time to wait until the concert would start and so we drank something at the café. It is a really small one and quite dark, but cosy. Then Remonda arrived too and together we went outside to the stage to get a good place to watch the concert. It was a quite long stage and quite narrow. I already wondered how Alex would manage to perform there with his dancers. The compere said from time to time that Alex would be on his way from the hotel to the stage but hours seemed to pass.
In the meantime Ulli, Susanne, Marijke and Niels with her mum and her aunt joined us too and we all greeted each other happily. Then, at half past seven, the compere finally announced Alex and he came on stage! He looked so happy and full of energy and all the people cheered like crazy. He started with “Europe’s skies” and already was making fun of how hard it was to perform on such a small stage, which was really funny.
The mood in the audience was great and we all laughed when he said, that for the performance he will now turn to the one side where the people there could look into his face and the people on the other side could look on his… somewhere else.
After that he sang “Fairytale”, “Oah” and then he played” I Dovregubbens Hall”, which was really cool. Then he played” Into a Fantasy”, “Roll with the Wind” and “Kotik” and we all sang along. He even fooled around and flirted with some people while singing, which was really funny.
And he played, in contrast to all the quite fast songs, a slower one, which was “If you were Gone”. This made me really happy as I like this song very much and he played it beautifully!
As a closing song he played the “ESC medley ” with the promise to give it an upgrade the next time, as some new and very cool songs will be added and that we would hear this old version now for the last time. He and his great dancers got loads of applause and he was given flowers.
After the concert it was planned, that Alex would stay for taking some pics and who wants to meet him should wait beside the bar. Unfortunately, hundreds of other people had the same thought to go there and then everything was terribly crowded as the street was very narrow. We Facebookies all were in the bar as we had seen that Alex had gone into it and waited for him. The bar also was terribly crowded. When Alex came down the stairs to go outside we all tried to follow him somehow, but it was almost impossible. I was quite worried when I lost the others and tried to find them by pushing myself through the crowd. Alex was moving on to the open street and when I also had found my way there, he quickly hugged a few of us and then disappeared. I just managed it to give him the chocolate I had brought for him.
We all were a bit sad that we all had only a short time together but also happy that we had met. I found it really hard to say goodbye already, but it also had gotten late. We all agreed to hope that we would meet again very soon! As some of us were quite hungry, Ulli Susanne, Katharina, my parents and me decided to have dinner somewhere. And coincidentally we met Niels at the restaurant “La Crème” around the corner and we talked a bit before each of us had a pizza.
It was such a cosy time and we enjoyed that we could finally talk a lot. After the cosy dinner in the very nice restaurant we said goodbye and prepared to drive home. It took again three hours to get home and when I was home I went directly to bed.
This was a super great day and I really enjoyed seeing everybody again! I hope we can repeat that soon.
Niels Peeters (from Netherlands): Cherished Moments.
We were standing in front of the stage so we had a great view, I was sitting in my wheelchair. Meanwhile it was getting busier and busier and by the time that Alexander began his performance, the square was packed with people.
Again it was a great show and the dancers of Time to Show were also wonderful on stage. Alexander was in his funny mood , Alexander made jokes and spoke a lot between the songs.
Alexander emphasised that the Netherlands is a land of great freedom and tolerance, everybody can be who he/she wants to be!
The ambiance was awesome and we were all singing along.
Alexander songs included: “Europe Skies”; “Oah”; “Fairytale”; “Into a Fantasy”; “Kotik”;” Roll with the Wind” and the “Eurovision Medley”.
He told us a beautiful story about Salvator Sobral as a tribute to him. (Salvator was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2017).
Alexander finished his performance with the Eurovision Medley, which he wants to change into a more modern version in the future. It would be the very last time he would sing this version and I was happy that I was able to witness this unique moment!
There was another special moment for me that I want to share with you: Alexander saw me in the audience. I was standing on my wheelchair and my mother & aunt were holding me because it was not so easy for me. We sang together for a little while and all that time Alexander stared me right in my eyes… A great moment for me and I really enjoyed seeing him perform this way: he was having a great time too!
After the concert we briefly spoke. I always cherish these special moments and most of all I was happy to see him so cheerful and contented.
On our way back to our hotel the Erasmus bridge looked just like a colourful rainbow.
Many thanks to Larrisa and Niels for sharing their adventures in Rotterdam, and also to Marijke, Remonda, Ulli and Niels for the photos in this report.