Sunday, 20 May 2012

Đorđe Balašević in The Hague (2)

Yesterday evening Đorđe Balašević made his appearance in the Lucent Dance Theatre in The Hague. It was the only performance in the Netherlands of this popular singer-songwriter from Novi Sad. A full house, almost entirely filled with a Serbo-Croatian speaking and well-disposed public from all over the country (most of them in their thirties or forties). The show lasted almost four hours: without a break from seven up to five past eleven! The atmosphere was good, very good. Balašević, dressed in a black T-shirt, baggy jeans and red shoes, was in a good mood. That is, he talked a lot. Most of the time in fact. Between his conferences he sang some of his well-known songs, accompanied at the grand piano by an excellent musician. The consequence of this strength was, however, that all songs sounded a bit the same. Those among the public who didn’t speak Serbo-Croatian (I think there were few of them), and who’d hoped (they should have known better) for a full evening’s music programme with an orchestra, must have been slightly disappointed. I was one of them. Two weeks ago Balašević gave a free concert on Trg Slobode in Novi Sad. He was accompanied by his orchestra and he sang many of his songs. Unfortunately it wasn’t a final rehearsal for the concert in The Hague. Most of the public yesterday evening didn’t care. They laughed, applauded and sung along. Seemingly effortless Balašević knows how to captivate his public four hours. He is an excellent entertainer. I don’t regret I was there. In fact, I’m glad I’ve seen and heard him live on stage. By way of compensation for what I missed, I bought two of his CD’s.

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