Moving to Holland is not easy, but it's worth the effort. This blog tells the story of shifting from American life in Pittsburgh to Expat life in the Netherlands,
and all of our European adventures that follow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

North Sea Jazz Festival

What if I told you that you could see Prince,

Snoop Dogg,

and Tom Jones

all at the same venue on the same night? Strange, but true... and awesome!

Each year, the North Sea Jazz Festival brings an amazing variety of artists to the area. This year was no exception.

We are fortunate that the festival is at Ahoy, in Rotterdam, which is only a couple metro stops from our apartment. We spent the day with Erin and Hanna, walking around, checking out the different bands and artists, and sampling all of the good food... and maybe a few beverages (OK, and I may have had 2 ice cream cones, too).

We heard some bands that were new to us. We really enjoyed the crazy, dancing big-band conductor Kyteman, and The Jamsessions. That's Jam Sessions, not Jameson's, as I originally read it (you can see where my mind goes). One of our other favorites was Raphael Saadiq. He's R&B, hip hop, soul, funk, etc. And, we didn't realize it at the time, but he was a member of Tony! Toni! Tone! We've already bought one of this albums.

Craziest performer of the night unanimously goes to...

Bootsy Collins!
Look Out!

It's Not Unusual to enjoy a great performance by the great Tom Jones.
(Sorry, this is the best my little point-and-shoot can do at a dark concert)

He is a classic, period. Maybe if I was 20 years older, and had seen him 20 years ago I could see myself screaming and throwing my bra on stage. But now, I just enjoyed his deep, soothing voice, and countless old stories of Frank and the gangsters in Vegas.

And, of course there's the one and only D O double G - Snoop Dogg! One of my favorite rappers ever. I've been a fan since I was 13, and lucky for me, this show was all of his old classics from Doggystyle. Warren G was even there to help Regulate. Hanna was brave enough to walk up into the standing crowd for Snoop. It was great. He played all of the great hits, and we also got to hear his new song with David Guetta, Wet. He was really fun to watch, and everything you would hope to expect seeing him live.

And, I got a kick out of the two Huge security men that stood on guard at each end of the stage for the entire show.
At the end of the night, after a long day of standing and "jumping around," we saw a true legend. Needless to say, Prince was well worth the wait. I've always liked his music, but I wouldn't call myself a fanatic (I reserved that for MJ when I was younger). However , after seeing him live, we understand what all of the hype is about. Anyone would enjoy his show. He is really a true performer, and incredibly talented singer, dancer, and guitarist.
The show got started around half past midnight, and went for over 2 hours. He started with a lot of jam sessions, and more abstract music that I've never heard, for the Jazz Fest crowd. After changing into his iconic blue suit, he came out and set the stage on fire with a lot of classic songs and fancy footwork. It was a blast. We were truly impressed.
Not sure who has higher heels: him or her.

Walking home from the metro around 3:30, we just kept saying to each other how we couldn't believe we saw Snoop AND Prince in the same night. Not to mention all of the other great music. I'm glad we're taking advantage of all that is available in the area while we're still here.

- S

More pics on Flickr:

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