03 July 2007

Concert for Diana

A few months back (maybe more than a few now), when tickets for the Princess Diana Birthday Extravaganza went on sale, I wanted one. The idea of royalty fascinates me, not just from a "what would it like to be a princess" perspective, but a "wow, these are real people" perspective. Diana was no exception...how a little girl becomes a princess, and the reality of what that means, to someone who used her celebrity to forward some important causes...this was all amazing to me.

It is incredible that her sons chose to honor her in this way. The monarchy in the UK seems to hang in a tenuous balance, and it is important for their survival that they get in touch with modern society. What better way to do this, and to celebrate a life, than a huge concert where the proceeds go to several charities.

I am partial to festival-type concerts, allowing the audience to be exposed to several different artists in one fell swoop. I came into this one (from the comfort of my living room) about the 3rd or 4th act in. I loved it!

They kept the acts moving, putting some on a large stage and those who could on a smaller stage, so there were very few gaps. They mixed it up with older artists and new modern artists. Take That, who was, if I recall correctly, the British version of N'Sync, has made a comeback, but they played their schmaltzy ballad, "Back for Good." This was fantastic. It is one of those songs you know, but don't want anyone to know you know, but when it's on, you can't help singing with it. But, you're not alone, because everyone else knows it, too. The band seems to know that, too, and just had fun singing it.

Ricky Gervais was also a highlight...poking fun at the young royals in a way that was funny, but not mean-spirited. He revived one of the great television characters of all time, David Brent, and along with sidekick Gareth, sang a lovely hymn.

This was a fun show to watch. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and was able to keep in mind that this was not a memorial, but a celebration of a life cut tragically short.

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