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Tag Archives: Dihan Slabbert

Il Divo in Concert

In this computerized age, there is no match for the immediacy of a live concert. I could buy music and play it over and over again, and get instant aural gratification. But to sit in an audience with thousands of like-minded souls, all attuned to the musicians on stage, is an experience on a different plane.

Il Divo in Concert

I saw Il Divo last night a the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY. This was the first time they visited the Coliseum, but not their first visit to NY. Il Divo was magnificent. Or, in Afrikaans-style English: Il Divo were magnificent! They were pitch perfect, with not a missed note or hair or crease out of place. Four really classy looking guys with golden voices, singing really classy sounding songs. I love their music, their sound, and their eye candy.

Il Divo in Concert

Digression…Urs signs autographs with his right hand, but from these shots, he’s a microphone switch hitter!

Back to the programme…each of our Divos got to introduce songs or talk to the audience. David, our American Divo was boisterous. Carlos, the Spaniard was a shameless flirt. Sebastian, the quiet Frenchman was reserved and respectful. And Urs, from Switzerland(**) spoke English with an enchanting lyricism.

The Libra that I am, I have a yang to balance the yin. If I have one criticism of the concert, it’s … what is with the perturbing backdrops? They’re singing this one song, in another language, which sounded fine and beautiful. And then I look up, and displayed on the four floating projector panels, are women’s white dresses. Then flames start to lick at the dresses. It would be fine if they were just dresses, but the dresses looked like they were wrapped around bodies, so it was as if the non-existent woman was being viciously consumed by flames. If their intent was to convey creepiness, they hit the target, otherwise it was negatively distracting. It would have been better to lose those backdrops and focus on the singers. I liked a few of the more classic panels, like the starfield and the stained glass.

There were also gorgeous models on the screens. I think that those photos were intended for the men in the audience who were forcibly dragged by their women to this concert! If they’re going to be bored senseless, they may as well be entertained by pictures of pretty women. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

Il Divo in Concert

Il Divo performed their encore in tuxedos with tails, and their rendition of “Amazing Grace”, and later, “The Impossible Dream”, while signing autographs and shaking hands with the fans. Perfection. I was amused that they were leaning over, signing and schmoozing, but sang in perfect unison, without skipping a beat or waivering a note.

It was overcast and rainy all week. On the night of the concert, the skies cleared — for Il Divo. Bravo, gentlemen!

Here’s my youtube of their banter.


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That was the concert review. Now for a shameless website plug and more hardware geek talk.

Shameless website plug:

Dihan Slabbert Fan Site
If you enjoy powerful vocals in contemporary pop music, I invite you to come have a listen. My fan site is dedicated to the sultry music of a wonderful and exceptional talent. He performs a half a world away, in South Africa, and his name is Dihan.

www.DihanSite.com

It is a flash site, and will take a few seconds to load. I promise you will not be disappointed by the wait because his voice does match his stunning looks! 😉

End of shameless plug.

Geek talk:
Nassau Coliseum Seating Chart Il Divo

If it’s possible to love an inanimate object, I am incurably attached to my new Canon Powershot SX110. It takes the most incredible low light photos. With 10x Optical magnification and image stabilization, it is the ultimate concert camera. The Il Divo photos(*) on this blog page were image captures from an AVI, shot from the distance shown on the venue seating chart above. Don’t ask me how far that is, I am hopeless with distances.

It’s a bit larger than the slim digicams today, with a body that’s a chunky throwback to a compact film camera. But the pictures. Be still my beating heart. The pictures are extraordinary, and the sound is above par for such a tiny device. How I love my cameras. Sigh.

(* Please feel free to steal my photos for your own edification and use. If you’re feeling magnanimous, I only ask for a small favor, a link back to my http://www.dihansite.com. Thank you kindly!)

(** thanks to Lisa for the correction. I am probably the most geographically challenged person you’ll ever meet).

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This idea had been rattling around in my head for quite some time now. “Broken Vow” wasn’t one of my favourite songs of either singer’s repertoire. It is sung in the singular voice, a story about the loss of love. I tend to like the more upbeat hopeful songs that Josh Groban sings. However, when I thought about the duet, it made a lot more sense. The idea of two people having a conversation about “what happened to us?”, reminds me, conceptually, of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.”

I like to dream, big. So here’s my fantasy:

Phone rings. Eve answers. Male voice on the other end identifies himself as Josh Groban. Eve lapses into semi-coma. Josh thanks her for her Youtube contribution and explains that he and Lara are in negotiations to perform the duet. Josh hangs up. Eve faints.

Shortly, after their song tops the charts, phone rings. Female voice with a lilting European accent identifies herself as Lara Fabian. Eve, used to this surreal oddity by now, chats amiably with Lara as if she were a long lost friend. Lara says she is going on tour and is looking for an opening act, someone to accompany her on the duet. Eve whips out her register of “talented and attractive male singers” and offers her a name.

Six months later, Lara Fabian and Dihan Slabbert are engaged in their whirlwind tour of Europe and North America. The tour culminates in a sold-out gig at Madison Square Garden. DIHAN achieves singular name recognition (ala “Celine”, “Prince”, “Bono” and “Shaq”), and becomes South Africa’s musical ambassador.

Back in the U.S., George Clooney proposes to Eve’s friend, Fran. Fran and George live in conjugal bliss. Shush! This is Eve’s fantasy!

Here’s the other scenario:
Phone rings. Eve answers. A male voice on the other end identifies himself as Josh Groban’s attorney. The attorney would like Eve to remove her Youtube video as it is a derivative work, formed in a manner that is unflattering to said client. Eve has a heart attack and lapses into semi-coma. Two minutes later, a stern female voice identifies herself as Lara Fabian’s lawyer, and would like for Eve to remove the Youtube, as it infringes on Lara’s copyright to the song and lyrics. Besides, Lara didn’t have enough lines in the virtual duet. Eve, in her semi-conscious state, manages to delete the Youtube.

Phone rings for a third time. Eve knocks it off the cradle, and punches “speakerphone.” The voice, in what sounds like a clipped Aussie accent, tells Eve that she is not to abuse the name of his client, Dihan, again. Eve tosses the keyboard in the trash, disconnects from the internet, and moves to Micronesia. She lives peacefully with 20 cats, selling hand-woven satchels to tourists.

Back in the U.S., George Clooney proposes to Fran. Fran and George live in conjugal bliss. There are always happy endings in a morality tale.

Here’s a digression into why and how I came to build dihansite.com.

The short version: Some people make things with their hands. I like the challenge of shaping a website. This is the first site in which I’ve had design assistance, and from the subject, no less!

Site building began in Scotland. More specifically, in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel. Does that sound vaguely familiar? It’s intoned by Duncan MacLeod, in the opener of “Highlander”, the TV series.

When I started to make a Youtube about “Highlander”, I searched for a cover of one of Highlander’s theme songs “Dust In the Wind.” As sung by Kansas, it’s a really sad depressing theme and I wanted something uptempo. Amazon.com lists 102 MP3 versions for sale. I narrowed it down , by only auditioning male vocals. David Fourie’s cover was number 78 on the list.

As I was about to purchase his song, I saw other songs in the same album, some in English, others, in a language I had no clue what it was, but the tunes were catchy. I liked enough songs that I bought the entire album. Little did I know that was the start of something really huge.

I discovered that the language was a South African language called “Afrikaans.” Unlike the other languages native to the continent, Afrikaans had European roots, which is why some of the sounds sounded familiar, given that American English retains many Dutch based words.

I liked the sound of Afrikaans so much, I searched for other music. Between Youtube and the music site, rhythmrecords.co.za. I must have checked out dozens of groups and singers. My favorites were a boy band, Hi-5 and a soloist, Dihan Slabbert. I bought “Versoeking”, the album in which Dihan was not a participant. It wasn’t until a little later that I discovered that Dihan was actually a former member of that very group. I think it an eerie coincidence (which I like to think of as a Divine steering), that with no prior knowledge, I chose just those two, out of all the other vocalists.

My ultimate goal, in building websites is that it forces me out of my comfort zone, and opens me to a larger scope of knowledge. I learned a tremendous amount of technical stuff, as evidenced by my mumblings on this blog. I learned a lot of current and not so current events: I was aware of the dissolution of apartheid, but not really aware, nor of its implications. Some of the current backlash, reminds me of the U.S. in its infancy of anti-discrimination laws. And Geography. I can locate Pretoria and Cape Town, which is significant, considering my poor geographical sense. I watched youtubes of beautiful jacaranda trees in bloom, and magnificent historical state buildings in the capital. And the heated debate over a burgeoning political system trying to steer a course.

On a more trivial note, I learned some really useless things (for an American in America) like… given the musical cue, I can sing the South African National Anthem. I learned it mostly phonetically at first, but once I knew some Afrikaans words, it got easier. I can also recite the Lord’s Prayer in Afrikaans. And I can recognize and translate certain words sung in Afrikaans pop songs. Like some people pick up useless statistics, I pick up words in a foreign language, spoken thousands of miles away. It adds a quirky new dimension to my life.

A secondary, but not less important reason for building the dihansite: I wanted to share my enthusiasm for Dihan’s music with as many people as I can. And I wanted to repay him for the good vibes I get from his music. This is my way of sending Dihan Slabbert a really large and public “thank you” card!