Thursday, 18 August 2016

Throwback Thursday - Shakira Live in Athens 10 years ago

It was 10 years ago when I went to another concert in Athens with my then new Sony Cybershot digital camera. In fact it was one of those very rare occasions where I also took my video camera along. As you will be able to see I was not close enough for that particular camera to take close up pictures of the artists, but the video camera had (as it was the case back then) a much bigger zoom so I was able to get lots of good footage. I haven't gotten round to processing it yet so this will have to wait for another post.
Anyway, why Shakira? As I used to say back in the day "I had discovered Shakira". Let me explain: Back in late 2001 I was working in a small record shop in Oxford Street. We used to stock some imports from the States. One of these was "Laundry Service" before it was released in the UK. "Listen to this" my colleague told me "she is really good". So I got the album, listened to all of it, decided it was great and yet nobody in the UK knew who Shakira was... yet! (Except those customers who were asking for a recommendation and I told them about it, or those who heard it being played in the shop's sound system, asked me what it was... and then bought it!). About two months after I had bought the album, BBC Radio 1 started playing "Whenever Wherever" which was released as the first single (the album still wasn't out in the UK then) and FHM did a cover story "Shakira's hot!". The single was released, became a hit, then the album was finally released a few weeks later and the rest is, as they say, history. So, if there was one person in Greece who had to see Shakira live, that was me!
The Olympic Stadium arrangement was a bit strange, but logical, since Shakira wasn't expected to fetch the crowds rock acts do in Greece. The stage was placed in the middle of the pitch and only one half of the arena and stands were used.

The two opening acts were local artists. The first one, Rallia Christidou was a female singer who had took part in one of the first Greek TV talent shows. If I remember correctly she withdrew from the show claiming she wasn't expecting to win it, but took part in order to gain some exposure (a plan which apparently worked). Frankly I did not remember seeing her set, and only realized she took part after watching the videos from the day stored on my hard disk.

The second act was C:Real, a Greek pop band that had been around since 1996 (they recently celebrated their 20th anniversary)

Finally around 10 o' clock Shakira came on stage with a set that featured not only songs from her "Oral Fixation" and "Laundry Service" albums but also from the earlier ones when she was only singing in Spanish (My favourite songs from that era were "Ojos Asi" and "Ciega Sordomuda" which she did play.)

I hope that I will finally get down to transfer the footage from my Mini-DV tape to my computer so that you can get a better idea of what it was like on the night. So, watch this space and there will (probably) be an update post on this one!

01. Estoy Aqui
02. Don't Bother
03. Te Dejo Madrid
04. Illegal
05. Antologia
06. Inevitable
07. Si Te Vas
08. La Tortura
09. No
10. Whenever, Wherever
11. La Pared
12. Underneath Your Clothes
13. Dia De Enero
14. Pies descalzos, sueños blancos
15. Ciega, Sordomuda
16. Ojos Asi
17. Hips Don't Lie

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