21.8 C
May 16, 2021

Standing ovations for Chris Rea

In -3 degree Celsius temperatures and heavy snowfall, the eagerly anticipated Chris Rea ‘Still So Far To Go’ tour hit Bucharest in fine style with a sold out show at the Palace Hall on Saturday. A record audience of 4,000 waited impatiently for Chris Rea to make his appearance onstage.

The veteran rocker did not disappoint and delivered one of the best live music performances seen on this Bucharest stage. With a career spanning over 30 years and with a hit list that is not only classic but numerous, Rea is one of those artists who are “cool” to their public, in the sense that they do not bond, but still, somehow manage to create wonderful atmosphere. During the almost 110 minutes of singing onstage, he did not address many words to the audience, except for some brief “thank you’s” but instead spoke in a warmer, and much more universal language, that of music.

The show kicked off with “I Can’t Wait for Love” and went on with all of the artist’s hits “Julia”, Josephine”, “Easy Rider” and so on. Without any doubt, the pieces that raised the audience on feet were Rea’s all-time best, “Looking for the Summer”, “Auberge” or “The Road to Hell”. The ingredients were all there, the deep hoarse voice, the essentially male presence, the charisma and the wonder of quality music. The artist was recalled several times, and each time he delivered another one of his hits.

Chris Rea released his first record in 1978 after signing a deal with Magnet Records. ‘Whatever Happened To Benny Santini?’ gave the musician one of his biggest hit singles in the US when “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also resulted in a Grammy nomination for Song Of The Year.

“On The Beach” and “Dancing with Strangers” were big UK hit records before the ‘New Light Through Old Windows’ compilation album in 1988 brought Chris further chart success and recognition. Two UK No.1 albums followed – the seminal ‘The Road To Hell’ (1989) and ‘Auberge’ (1991), bringing Rea chart success both in the UK and in Europe. Following a severe bout of pancreatitis, and a predicted fifty percent chance of survival after an operation in 2001, Rea promised that if he recovered, he would return to his blues roots. He set up his own JazzeeBlue label in 2003 and since then he has released the blues albums ‘Blue Street (Five Guitars)’ (2003) and then ‘The Blue Jukebox’ (2004) and he has also worked with David Knopfler on two albums: ‘Wishbones’ (2001) and ‘Ship of Dreams’ (2004). 2010 sees the musician returning to the live arena as well as releasing a new studio album in June 2010.

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