Thanks for another gorgeous photo, Karsten! I love it. It reminds me of the one you took in Buxton in '08, when she was seated at the piano to sing Sonny, wearing her elegant coral/orange gown. This one is very elegant and pretty, as well.
For some reason, Joyce's photos didn't show up for me. Not even red x's, just nothing.
Just read the interesting review from the front row at the Bridgewater Hall. Merci bien.
I too was blessed with a front row seat, right in front of Hayley. Easily Hayley’s most enjoyable and most impressive performance/s yet. I’ll leave the reviews to the experts (and the pictures to the snappers) but just a few general thoughts come to mind.
I found Hayley’s performance/s fascinating too but not just for the interpretative qualities of her voice alone. At this performance and the others I attended, it seemed as if a new Hayley had appeared before us, who seemed fully in command and confident, taking everything in her stride throughout each entire concert.
The ‘new’ Hayley seemed at her finest, not just musically but dramatically too. Subtle hand and body movements and fascinating facial expressions and gestures, continuously seemed to complement her expressive voice, creating right in front of us new and exciting experiences of sight and sound.
No real signs of the previous slight awkwardness in addressing audiences .Hayley seemed to find a new self-assurance and confidence and to engage more personally with her enraptured audience/s.
The feelings of ‘sameness’ and predictability one (sometimes in the past) might have felt about some songs now was replaced with impressions of exciting and engaging freshness and originality that seemed to dramatise as well as sing the songs.
So, to me, the changes mentioned to Pokarekare Ana (for example) were welcome and pleasing ‘variations on a theme’. Just one noticeable example of Hayley now seeming to break free from a cocoon, to explore and reinterpret each song anew.
The overall production of the concert/s too seemed well coordinated, with Hayley’s singing clearly kept at the centre of each performance: ... Sometimes complemented through the abundance of stringed instruments; ... Sometimes highlighted through sensitive, Hayley-centred piano arrangements; ... Sometimes uplifted through the vibrant partnership with her well chosen special guest; ... Sometimes just relying on the colour and majesty of her own increasingly expressive voice and subtle movements and variations in facial expressions.
Some personal favourites come to mind but it would be inappropriate to comment on any details before the end of the tour. Besides, Hayley herself chose each song for inclusion in the concerts and sang each song in her special way – so no disappointments for me.
So, it was a special privilege to witness again, for just a little while, Hayley’s intricate web of musical magic.\ And all that with such good company throughout ……
Juliette, I'm pleased you had such a good time in Manchester, and I'm sure Arnaud was delighted to chat to you in his native language. I'm really looking forward to your videos, and perhaps a few photographs too, but no pressure!
Juliet, I have temporarily removed the name of the opening song, which may still be a nice surprise for those who haven't yet attended a concert but will do soon (Richard to name one! ) and I hope you will understand.
Yes, of course!! I actually modified my post because in fact the name of the song was not essential. Sorry Richard, I hope I haven't spoilt everything...
It was the most wonderful evening, for us the best yet. Hayley was stunning, it's the first time that we have heard her live with an orchestra and it was all incredible. We were also thrilled that she remembered Beth after the event, she commented that she had grown since the last time she saw her. That's Hayley!
It was also lovely to meet up with old and new friends and glad everyone has returned home ok. 'Til the next time!
Can't wait until we see Hayley again.
Andy, Vicki & Beth
Good to hear you made it to a concert on this tour - thought you might have made Rhyl. Manchester is the only one I couldn't get to - not surprised Hayley remembered Bethany - lovely when that happens.
General consensus is that this is the "best ever" Hayley - told her so at Gateshead.
Take care and love to Vicki and Beth
Best wishes Grant
And it was also our first concert without you!! You've always been there so it was strange not meeting up! Even Beth said "where's Grant?"!!
I think we haven't 'come down' yet, we enjoyed it all so much. And looking at all the other messages on here, I'm sure everyone feels the same!