Belated concert in Maastricht
On the 7th of November 2019, Duncan Laurence gave a belated concert in a new pop concert hall of Maastricht (the Netherlands), and yes, I mean that Dutch city that almost was the host of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, but lost to Rotterdam. The concert was belated because Duncan had a serious case of laryngitis, so he was not able to give the performance he wanted to give, resulting in postponing his concert in Maastricht until a later date.
At some point, I was thinking, just for laughs, that the good man did not want to perform in our city, since he said, during interviews, that his favourite city to host the Contest was Rotterdam. But no, that was not the case, he was really ill, and that also earned him a lot of media coverage in the Netherlands. After seeing, and hearing the concert I fully understood why Duncan wanted to save his voice, because this singer knows how to reach some pretty high notes in his songs, and he knows how to share his energy with his audience.
What to expect?
I have to be honest, I did not know what to expect from Duncan Laurence, except for him being the person who brought the Eurovision Song Contest back to the Netherlands after 44 excruciating, long years. I heard Duncan’s latest single “Love It Don’t Hate” once or twice before the concert on a music streaming service, and I liked it, but I was not blown away by it; his victorious song “Arcade”, which he sang during the Eurovision Song Contest this year kept on standing out for me.
Luckily he did not start the concert with Arcade, he saved that one for the second last, which was a well-thought idea because all his other original songs were nothing less than amazing. The music, Duncan’s voice, and the whole entourage around him were all just mesmerizing. This guy has the voice of an angel, and I have not heard a single false note, even when, during one of his songs, he showcased what his voice could do, and how he can reach very high notes.
A setlist to be proud of
Seldomly I have heard a more original setlist to be proud of from an emerging artist. I was amazed by how intense, innovative, and well-sung all songs were. There were none of which I could live without, and I cannot wait for a full album of this great, new Dutch artist to be released. Even more so, I think it was a shame that the club tour of Duncan Laurence is not supported by an already released album or a more extensive single collection, because holding back so much great music from audiences is almost a crime against the contemporary music scene, in which Duncan Laurence fits seamlessly, and could actually make a difference because of his great singing voice. Stand-out songs for me were “Lighthouse”, and “Ice Age”, both songs that are great on a lyrics and music level. During the concert, we could see Duncan dancing to these songs on stage, and the audience getting into a craze, since these songs really rock, and are great up-tempo additions to the song that everything started with, Arcade. When Duncan sang his winning song, he took the whole audience to a great bridge within this song, and you could just hear the Dutch pride reflecting when everybody sang along, while Duncan spread his arms, closed his eyes, and just let the audience do their thing. Magnificent. I was blown away.
Well-meant apologies and Billboard placing
The thing I also liked was that Duncan was really interactive with his audience, which he can, since it is a club tour, and not a huge arena one, but still, he really showed an interest in the audience that was there, and he even took the time to come up with some well-meant apologies. During the whole Dutch city race to host the Eurovision Song Contest Duncan did not always speak positively about the city of Maastricht, which was not that awful or strange, since his roots are in a town near Rotterdam, but still, he took the time to do so, and the Maastricht audience could not do more than just appreciate that gesture.
He also told the audience that his latest single, Love Don’t Hate It, is in the American Billboard charts, which is a huge accomplishment for a non-American musician. He shared with the audience that he, as a youngster, would always check this hitlist, and to be in there now, with his own music, is just a dream come true. The way he told this was just heartfelt, and everybody could feel that.
Do not wait too long to release a full album
Personally I would like to say to Duncan “Do not wait too long to release new songs or a full album”, because in the music business one day you are in, and the next day you are out. It would be a shame for this artist to miss out on great success in the Netherlands, Europe, or even much further, because Duncan, being a fan of your music should not be a losing game…