Mirror Magazine

...and they rocked
The MLTR concert was a roaring success. The music and screaming fans made a great combination and created a thrilling atmosphere. Anushika Gunawardana caught the memorable event

For the record, let it be stated that the rain – the little that poured down before the show started – stopped nobody. The collective vibes of the droves of MLTR fans gathered at the grounds were enough to send away those threatening clouds and make the show the success that it was. They had all come to witness Michael Learns To Rock perform live in Sri Lanka, and that’s exactly what they did!

MLTR has always been a popular household favourite and their music has always made its way into many a request show. Hence the large turn out and the enthusiastic crowd participation. Whether young or old many knew the words of the band’s hits by heart and were able to enjoy the show to the fullest and join in whenever they could. There were even young children balanced on their parents’ shoulders, watching in amazement both the eye-catching show as well as those around them who erupted into song or screamed away to show support. That is what is unique about MLTR; that irrespective of age, one can at some point catch a lyric that is familiar and feel compelled to sing along.

The show was a mix of old MLTR favourites and new tracks taken off their latest album. Time-honoured hits which included many love ballads such as “Out Of The Blue”, “Breaking My Heart”, “25 Minutes” and “Paint My Love” were received with much applause and passion. Jascha Richter, the lead singer and key board player, said that the band had to dig out their old lyrics when it came to performing a song such as “The Actor” which remains one of their earliest chart-breaking hits. This song is one of the classics that will always be associated with MLTR-memory for their Sri Lankan fans. Also included were fast tracks such as “Someday”, “There Is Something You Should Know” and “Angel Eyes” which gave enough and more reason for everyone to join in with much gusto.

Michael Learns To Rock also performed “Sleeping Child”, yet again an old favourite of the crowds. In a touching gesture the band referred to the song as a ‘peace song’; a special selection owing to the prevailing situation in the country. Another memorable instance was their decision to make a music video using the crowds for a song from their new album. That certainly got the fans all impatient with excitement for it is indeed a rare opportunity to be featured in a music video of a band of international calibre.

Songs from their new album were also part of their repertoire and included the likes of “Take Me To Your Heart” and “Final Destination”. Although many didn’t know the lyrics to sing along to, they can always claim that they were among the first to have heard these tracks – performed live as well! Plus the band also gave their fans an early Christmas treat with “Upon A Christmas Night”; a Christmas offering, the single, which will be released later this year.

MLTR did two cover versions of famed tracks – “Take On Me” by A-HA and “Jump”. Both were instant crowd pullers and got many a fan on their feet and indeed jumping up and down.

And who could forget the crowds... Some had brought along posters of the band and were enthusiastically waving them around. When the ballads got the fans moving to the slow beat, almost everyone had their hands up in the air and some even waved around their lighters for effect. Then there were loyal expatriate fans with Danish flags draped around their shoulders and children with small Danish flags, displaying patriotic fervour. The atmosphere was undoubtedly charged both with emotion and energy. They jiggled their bodies to the fast beats and put their arms around each other and swayed to the slow rhythms of the ballads. The band took them through various paces with ease and skill and everyone was able to feel a part of the show.

Michael Learns To Rock comprising Jascha Richter (lead vocals, keyboards), Mikkel Lentz (guitar) and Kare Wanscher (drums) also had a new addition to the band in the form of a new female bass guitar player, Eda, who received a hefty round of applause upon introduction.

With years and years of experience to their name, MLTR pulled off the show without a glitch. At one point it seemed as if there was a power cut which earned a huge outcry from the fans, only to find out that that was designed to make way for an acoustic rendition from Jascha. The guitar riffs by Mikkel, especially on songs such as “25 Minutes” and “That’s Why You Go Away” – which by the way are done specially for live shows – completely rocked the crowd and earned him a number of new fans.

All in all Michael Learns To Rock – Live In Colombo was a great show and was well executed. Whether you are a die-hard fan of the band or just discovering their style, there was something for everyone. The expectant faces at the start turned into happy and satisfied faces by the end. Everyone assuredly had a good time. If the hand-waving, flag-flying, head-bopping, screaming fans were not enough of a testimony for this, then the sore throats the next morning would undoubtedly have been so!

Michael Learns To Rock – Live In Colombo was held on October 6 at CR & FC, Colombo 7. The Asian tour coordinators were Midas Promotions and Showdiff Worldwide (who also produced and managed the show). The hospitality partner was the Taj Samudra, Colombo and the travel partner was Jetwing. The official electronic media sponsors were MTV, Sirasa TV, YES FM and Classic Radio. The official print media sponsors were The Sunday Times, Hi Magazine and the Daily Mirror.


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