Day 9: I’m all out of love….and concerts.

Day 9: I’m all out of love….and concerts.

Well here it is the last day. Spent most of it shopping, sleeping and recovering, however, I did manage to catch up with myself and get my sleep balance sorted out.  Day Nine bought together a rather eclectic group of singers which occured because the Scissor Sisters withdrew from the line up. For some reason they had double booked themselves with the BT River of Music in London and pulled out of Mares Vivas about one month before the event. Good for me that they rescheduled to play in Cascais earlier in the week!

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I headed down to the venue, got there early to watch a fantastic sunset and see Monica Ferraz, a Porto based artist singing in perfect English. Very jazz based and slightly souly, but was a good sound to eat soup to and see the sun slip down for the last evening of 9 days of Hedonism. The buffet was better tonight, Pasta salads and Bacalhau a Bras (salted cod and potato in a crème sauce – it tastes better than in sounds!) with gateaux for pudding.

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The Hives followed with their garage, slightly punk rock sound, a bizarre puppeteer based set and full top hat and tails! I am not a big fan but listened to the whole set. Why the lead singer was speaking with a bizarre strained ghetto Jamaican accent is a mystery, and his banter with the crowd was very bizarre at times. The younger crowd tended to be more interested in this band and the park emptied markably afterwards

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The highlight of the evening was Anastacia. Blasing onto the stage with “Why’d you Lie to me” the next hour and a half was an amazing! A sound problem on the third song “Cowboys and Kisses” was a comedy moment and was shrugged off with the comment “At least you can tell I am singing live!”. She also confused the stage hands by adding songs before the the stunning duet “I Belong to you (il ritmo della passione)”, originally recorded with Eros Ramazzotti, with one of her backing singers.

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 “Not that Kind” followed mid set and started with the backing musicians performing the first verse beat boy style, which was amazing. “Underground Army” – a cool tribute to her fans followed, before she played and interacted with the crowd well, picking up on a impromptu version of “We are family” started by her fans in the front rows.

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A cover version of “Empire State of Mind” followed, after which she sang part of it again, replacing New York with Porto! Then came a procession of her hits which the crowd loved and along to – “Paid my Dues”, “One Day in my Life” and “Left outside alone”. Her encore was the amazing “I’m outta Love” to which I lost it big time, an awesome end to a fantastic set.

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The night wasn’t finished yet, with Pedro Albrunhosa bringing his version of Portuguese Rock to the stage. With his trademark bald head and sunglasses, the Ídolos judge (the Portuguese Pop Idol) judge bought Mares Vivas to a close with a very good set which the crowd enjoyed. He finished with the iconic “Esta Noite” a fitting end to “9 Dias de Hedimismo”.

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Best Song: “I´m Outta Love” Anastacia
Biggest Gripe: Three actually – One, the guys gatecrashing the VIP area through a flap in the tent, which they had undone when the security guy was being chatted up by one of their friends. Two, the three dads standing together,  who in  unison put their young daughters on their shoulders at the beginning of Anastacia – totally blocking the view of the people behind them, including me! – totally rude and selfish. The girls were all looking bored and sleepy, were not interested in Anastacia and were too busy looking at the crowd The crowd was patchy at best and the kids could have seen easily when standing. Sorry rant over! Lastly – Why is it when you have managed to get more than one freebie, everyone expects you to give the duplicates away? I managed twice, on thurday and tonight, to get 3 EDP flashing batons (If you take the outer skin off they make great mood lights)and on the way back to the VIP section I was accosted twice by people insisting that I should give them one! I was lucky I just happened to be standing by the guy giving them away and I managed to get them in the freebie mêlée! I just told them “no I don’t work for EDP and that I had 3 children” and walked away! I managed this in Portuguese – which I was quite impressed with!
Funniest Moment : Again three. Firstly Anastacia being given a “Queen of Porto” sash by a mamber of the audience, parading around the stage to “God Save the Queen” and then giving a pageant acceptance speach in cluding “I am happy to be blond and want to bring peace to the world to make it peaceful!”. Secondly, a girl in the VIP Lounge who obviously had taken a fashion magazine’s advice on what to wear to a concert too literally and was actually wearing green wellies. The article had obviously forgot to say you only need these for concerts in England – it hasn’t rained here in 6 weeks! And lastly, a guy in the crowd trying to look cool – cropped hair, tattoos, gangsta look with his jeans half way down his backside – revealing awful Homer Simpson boxers!
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