a look at the music of Vangelis Papathanassiou
The day of the concert was a clouded one, and pretty windy and cold for the time of year. I still remember walking in the port of Rotterdam in the afternoon near the stage (which in fact was a large floater on the river 'Maas', fixed to one side of the river) and just looking at the people building the stage, when suddenly I spotted Vangelis, walking to the stage with some people surrounding him. You can imagine my excitement, being so close to this great composer :-) I also chatted with another fan there, who obviously knew more about Vangelis than I did (at the time at least ;-).
Before the concert it was rumoured that Vangelis would play new compositions, made especially for this event, and I remember hoping Vangelis would play 'Nerve centre' (from 'The City', which was his latest album at the time), imagining it would perfectly fit the atmosphere in Rotterdam. Unfortunately this piece was never played and no new music either, as most of the concert came from pre-recorded tapes, and Vangelis just played along with the tape during the concert.
The following songs were played at the concert :
The weather circumstances with the darkness due to the clouds was perfect for the accompanying light- and laser show. Unfortunately the occasional showers did not do much good for Vangelis' performance, as his equipment had to be protected from the falling rain with plastic sheets.
Although Vangelis could not be clearly seen from the crowd, the video recording of the event showed Vangelis playing his keyboards, with the choirs standing in the background. Since the stage was a floater on one side of the river, most of the crowd had to watch the concert from the other side of the river, an island in the river 'Maas'. Therefore the best spot to view the concert from was hundreds of meters away from the stage where Vangelis was, so it was impossible to see him play during the concert, except by using binoculars. A lot of people had also gathered on the west-side of the 'Willemsbrug', which connects the island to the riverside, and which gave a nice view on both the stage and the 'performing acts'.
The music of Vangelis was meant as background music for all the events that took place. These events included lasers, creating technology-related images and animations on the buildings right behind the stage. Also many boats were part of the show, patrol-boats, rubber boats with marines, hovercrafts and floating cranes, all moving to the music of Vangelis. Some of the boats floating on the river were thrusting water in the air, creating 'screens' of water, which were used to display even more laser-images. Even planes, choppers and a steam-locomotive participated in the performance, all symbolising the progress of technology in our time. And at several stages during the concert fireworks were launched.
The stage where Vangelis played was decorated as the Parthenon, the famous temple in Athens, with in the back a choir and in the front the synths set up as three parts of a square, surrounding Vangelis. For this event Vangelis was equipped with small camera's attached to his hands while playing the keyboards, a technological novelty, and images from these camera's were used for the live television broadcast. During 'Hymne', the last song of the concert, the top of the 'Parthenon' was lifted and the ceiling of the 'temple' moved from a horizontal to a vertical position. It showed an enormous illuminated sigma sign (like printed on the front of the concert booklet), symbolising 'Eureka'.