Original: Blog written June 5th, 2013
Text: Karla Pouya
Photos: Aviva Klein
The Fiddler from Norway: Alexander Rybak comes to Toronto !
First off, before I go any further and begin my endless crazy fan girl mode, I will be breaking up this review into two parts, the first being the actual review of the concert, from the time i got there up until the meet and greet. The second part will be of a more personal nature, like, inspiration, motivation and….most importantly..FAN GIRLING! 🙂 ****Just a friendly warning**** You are warned, that from this point on there will be excessive fangirling, reader discretion is highly advised! Enjoy ! 🙂
On the evening of Saturday, February, 23 , my stomach was in knots …..how I was able to function during work hours, I have no idea ! I finished work at 4 pm and quickly rushed home so I could have all the time in the world(I only had 2 hours!) to prepare for the night’s promising event. As I got ready, I was accompanied by Rybak’s “Europe’s Skies” and “Leave Me Alone” and dancing wildly in my room, thus delaying myself from getting ready…..when I finally looked at the clock and realized it was 5:02 pm… I had less than an hour to shower, get dressed, and fight with my hair !!! For what seemed like endless hours of getting all pretty and emotionally stable for the concert, I was finally out the door and in my dad’s car at 6:05pm ! Once in the car, I begin to educate my father on everything Rybak, which involved playing his top 5 most popular songs over and over and over again…. until finally we got to sneak in a parking spot a few streetlights away from the theater.
As we were coming closer to the main entrance I couldn’t help myself from grinning foolishly at those big bright beautiful lights that showcased his name….^_^ **SIGH** Fifteen minutes before the concert we headed into the main lobby, as expected, there were many people conversing and having drinks amongst themselves. I looked everywhere around me, I couldn’t believe I was here, I was going to see and MEET Alexander Rybak, the violinist that makes everything feel right and sends a burst of energy through your nerves at that instant second when he strikes his bow and magic fills the air.
As I scanned the lobby to see if other fans were present, I saw a group of girls, my age, all dressed nicely in their best. I kindly smiled a hello, and was greeted back with the same excited and friendly warmth that I could not keep to myself any longer…… Finally, the time came to go in and be seated !!! (OH GOD !! OH GOD!!) I was seated in the orchestra section, near the stage. In front of me, sat several of Rybak’s fans, in which most of them were girls ! (no coincidence there ! ) it was 7 pm and still no sign of our charming fiddler…….the audience was growing anxious and so was I, so we started to clap slowly, hoping that he’d pop out soon, instead, the host for the night, Rene Diamante, came out for a welcoming greeting and introduction to the show.
Shortly after, he announced Alexander Rybak to the stage, and for the first time in my life I couldn’t believe it was all real, it all felt surreal….HE WAS WALKING ON STAGE IN THE FLESH !!!!
All through his performance, (which was only 5 songs in 3o minutes, sadly) I was singing the words all the way and clapping my hands along with the rest of the audience to his bidding. Just like on YouTube, and on eurovision, he sang and fiddled, as if it was that same night he won at eurovision in 2009, and played fairytale for the first time to a nation-wide audience. it was inspiring and wonderful to see him with such enthusiasm and energy, when he’s on stage and preforming, but more than anything it was fairytale that came true and moved us all with its’ harmony and magic. Once Alex retreated to the back stage, promising a meet and greet once the concert was finished we had the pleasure of having the Papaduke band play for us. and what a diverse and fresh piece of music they were !! All I can say is that the lead violinist on deck, Vasyl Papaduik was AMAZING, this man had mad skills, how that violin survived, I have no idea, it was left weeping in agony…..
At this point it was about 10 pm and the concert was coming to a close, already people were rushing to the main lobby to be first in line to meet our charming fiddler. as soon as the concert finished, I went to line up amongst hundreds of the other anxious fans awaiting for their one minute in heaven. although it was a long line, it progressed slowly but surely enough, I caught a glimpse of him here and there, and noticed he was taking his time in greeting and snapping shots of himself with his Canadian fans 😉 While in line, I met another fan, who has so generously shared these photos shown here, and we started talking and getting to know each other until we realized who we were on Facebook through a ” All-Canadian-Rybak” group we joined.
As we got closer and closer to our fiddler, I found it hard to breathe and regain my consciousness, after all, this idol of mine that I was meeting, is human…. And in that moment when he said, joyfully, with open arms, “okay who’s next?” I lost all sense of reality….. No, but really, it took me a whole minute to say something, sadly all I managed to say was “I’m sorry, I’m just so nervous right now….” to which he replied ( I think he said this, at this point, I couldn’t focus, because of what came next) ” oh, that’s okay..” and he firmly but gently grasped my wrist and drew me closer to him.
( yeah Karla, just stay there cemented to the ground, like no one’s noticing. -_- # )
So, in a very awkward manner, I managed to get my violin journal signed, followed by a photo together and a hug ! sweet Jesus ! And that was my one minute in heaven 🙂
All in all, that evening, the whole event of the night, was wonderful! Not only did one of my dreams come true, I got meet and see other fans and experience the magic and joy that one has in music.
My Personal View and Inspiration:
Going to this concert was a dream come true for me as it was for many other fans out there. What first engulfed me into his music was that it wasn’t like the popular hits of North America we hear about over and over on the radio, like Justin Beiber, Lady GaGa, Nicki Minaj, not to say that they’re any less talented or not worth listening too, they are, however simply they don’t appeal to my taste. Every one of his songs had a story to it, like a fairytale, or a folk song, and most importantly, it had a very strong and catchy tune that only a violin can expertly execute. Being a violinist myself, I came to discover Alexander Rybak a few years ago, around..2010, 2011 ?, shortly after I downloaded all of his songs on my Mp3, – yes, i have an Mp3 😛 – and replayed them endlessly. What I admire most in him, would be his humble attitude, and his appreciation of what life offers any person….he is genuine, wonderful to chat with and puts you at ease. Enough said. 🙂
At one point in my life, I became depressed, as we all do at some point, and in doing so, we dig ourselves a hole and lie buried there for an eternity. You feel like you don’t want to go out and have any relation with the world outside of your own, life slips by you day by day, and not living seems the best option. However, we are living and we have that honour as an individual to be free and live life to our fullest capacity, and although i was in this “shut down” state, there was that small ounce of inner hope that clinged on firmly to me, so with that ounce that I had left, I went to the gym and played his songs over and over and over until, I my mind succumbed to it’s happiness and energy……
I hope I made my point across and didn’t make you confused. What I’m trying to say is, when I thought I was in this deep black hole of hell, there was that microscopic ounce of light there, all i had to do was find the magnifying glass and take a look, once I did, I started to move on from there and surrounded myself with music, friends, books, exercise- all the things that help to make you happy and be happy. Because Rybak’s songs are so high-energy packed and motivational, they kept me going the extra 30 minutes on that treadmill, even though my heart was beseeching for me to stop.
All I can say is, when you feel like nothing is left out there for you, there is, and there always will be, just take a look closer…..