Last friday I played one of the most beautiful venues in Europe: Paradiso Amsterdam.
This former church building was converted into a music venue during the heydays of hippies and squatters. Over the years they professionalized their ideologically inspired endeavors and turned Paradiso into what it is today.
The main stage is where the old apse used to be. A stained glass window prominently towers above the stage, which is quite a sight to behold in certain light conditions. I’ve been to many concerts at Paradiso and it always inspires a certain kind of secular piety in me. Keith Richards said that the acoustic Paradiso concerts in 1995 were the best live shows the Stones ever did. Some people say that music is a religious experience, and in Paradiso it’s not easy to deny that. In many ways, that former church building is still holy ground.
Friday, that beautiful window was covered up to accommodate something unique. The main stage was tastefully transformed into a Mediterranean terrazzo. The room that normally houses 1,500 people was now full of chairs, tables and candles. A starlit sky had been projected on a canvas that was suspended from the upper balcony. The crew was friendly and inviting, the people were in good spirits and receptive and the faucets kept flowing at a steady pace.
This intimacy lent itself very well to a solo singer songwriter performance, but I couldn’t resist bringing my bass drum stomp box so I went out with a little bang! I had a blast and so did the audience. Thanks to everyone who went to see my show and the crew it was a great night, well worth revisiting!
Here is a video of me playing “Cupid is Blind” halfway during the set.