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LoremIpsum’s profile is also at the DihanSite

Extra notes and tidbits about my second youtube video on Il Divo at Nassau Coliseum, 2009.

I noticed it getting a ltitle cooler later in the concert stadium. Maybe it’s because I stopped moving. I did notice in my videos that there was a sheen of sweat on Urs’ face early in the concert, and that he stopped sweating later in the concert. Did they crank the A/C up for the singers? Something to consider.

I uploaded this video as I recorded it. Raw. No changes or edits. This is the first concert I attempted to record on my new digicam, a Canon Powershot 110IS. I know, I should have practised. While in movie mode, I attempted to zoom in closer. When I hit zoom again, it made the picture look bigger, but it’s just blowing up the existing pixels. So that’s why the picture looked really noisy halfway through this video. Lesson learned, zoom only once during recording. What I did do right, was that in lieu of trying to take stills in low concert light, just put it into movie mode, and extracted stills from it. The resolution isn’t as high since my max is 640×320, but better than my previous attempts at flashless photos.

While being checked through at the gate, the ticket-taker said that he was relieved this was such a well-behaved crowd. I checked the Coliseum listings and a week earlier, Bruce Springsteen and his E street band played there. It must have been quite raucous, compared to Il Divo fans.*

I arrived exactly on time 7:30, and the show didn’t start til around 8:00. I was expecting a warmup act. There was none. It was all Il Divo show. I also expected hoards of souvenir sellers in the Coliseum lobby. Maybe it was my bad timing, and they’d all packed up, but the only time I saw souvenir programmes sold, was in between acts.

After the concert, there were some goofy drivers on the road. I was stopped at the light and the guy behind me passes me on my right, to run a glaringly red light. Then there was a fender bender, on the road to the Merritt Parkway (did I name that right?). I stopped, the car behind me stopped, and the car behind him…did not…stop. I heard that horrendous thump of a car against car, and I didn’t feel anything. The car behind me did not hit me in a chain reaction. There go I by the Grace of God. That must have ruined at least two peoples’ evenings with Il Divo.

At my work, there’s a large sign about avoiding swine flu. In big bold letters “Avoid large social gatherings.” This concert was in Long Island, where a bunch of schools closed due to swine flu, or avoidance thereof. I saw not a single face mask in the crowd.

* note. Someone should write a book about the humorous observations ushers say about concerts. At a Josh Groban concert, during a bathroom break, an usher asked my hubby “Who is he, some kind of opera singer?” My hubby was dragged to that concert, so I don’t even know if he had the correct answer to the question.


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.


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.

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 Thank you kindly!)

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

For a new year, it should be relatively slow going. Lots of those “indoor chores” that got ignored during the rest of the year start piling up. Like, eBaying things I’ve been putting off selling. Ugh, I’d rather go out and shovel some more snow.

Progress on the language acquisition is … progressing. Afrikaans is an interesting language in that it has just enough words in common with English, like “hard”=hard but pronounced differently, and “voet” = foot, just spelt differently. And then there are those words that have no relation whatsoever to English, like “vordering” = progress. There’s no way on earth I can remember that without resorting to a mnemonic. Oddly, I can remember “pisang” = banana without a problem! My memory is an unpredictable thing.

Here’s my latest musical discovery. I know, they’ve been around for a good number of years now, but I’ve always been a dollar short and a day late.  Their names are David, Carlos, Sebastian, and Urs. No, not a successor to the Beatles, but close. Collectively, they’re known as “Il Divo.” I like their music, and their voices, and I enjoy popera.

I confess, Urs is very easy on the eyes. He reminds me of Keanu Reeves. It must be the long dark hair and the almond-shaped eyes. Then there’s that moment in “The Power of Love”, punctuated by the four quick camera shots,  he takes a sharp intake of breath and looks like he’s stalking for the kill. You Urs fans know, what I’m talking about, eh?  (at 3:36) Swoon!

We all know Urs is a metal rocker underneath the Armani suit 😉 .  I would never have guessed he was Swiss. My initial thought was that he was Spanish.  I took David for a German, but he’s American. And I thought Sebastian was American, because he looks like a self-centered jerk whom I know. Seb himself seems like a sweet fellow.   Tanned Carlos, Brazilian? No, Spanish. I am a lousy judge of nationality.

So, I’m at the ticketing website, agonizing over where I should buy their concert tickets. Do I drive three hours to Boston for a smaller venue, to see them up closer, or one and a half hours, and have to battle crazed New Yorkers on the dreaded Long Island Expressway, at a huge venue. Same price, different driving conditions.

Or should I go for curtain number three: a new 10x optical zoom digital camera – the Panasonic DMC-TZ4/5 with their lovely Leica lens, or the Canon SX 110IS with their consistent SLR quality? Besides the technical details, there’s the mechanical.  I’ve hefted the Canon in my hand, and I don’t like the chunkiness of the AA batteries.  I like the metal in the Panasonic body.

Argh, decisions, decisions, decisions.