Part 2 can be found here:
On to Part 3 - the great emotional finale!
John had used the break to change again and came back in a shiny silvery suit.
He told us that he won’t try to explain in complicated ways but for some reason his and Jodie’s voice do not fit together – they just don’t. For a long time they had wanted to do a duet but could not find the right song.
But now they finally had found one – “So Close” from the Disney Movie “Enchanted” which apparently John and his niece Clare love very much. John and Jodie stood quite a bit apart on either side of the stage, but for the final notes they walked towards each other and hugged at the end.
After Jodie had left John asked, whether we wanted a little Barry Manilow! But he did not want to do “Cobacabana” only standing around, so he had asked his dancers whether they would act the story out. And boy, did they. It was awesome. First there was Lola with the yellow feather in the hair, and Tony who tended the bar (the dancer shook a shaker) who fell in love with each other. But then Rico who wore a diamond came along and there was a fight and Tony died. Then the other girl showed a sign with “Lola’s dream” and the two of them danced quite lovely. But at the end, thirty years later, Lola sat alone at the bar, with a cigarette and a bottle of wine, and the bar is now a disco – and John made some John Travolta moves right there ;)
At some time in the second half of the concert, not exactly sure when, John spilled water while he was drinking. He then used one of his towels to clean the stage, bend down to dry it off and then used it for his face as well – and threw it into the audience. A lucky woman in row two caught it. At some other point of the concert one girl screamed “I love you John!” and John answered: “I love that you love me!”
Somewhere also he did a bit of a talk and with every double entendre the guy at the drums gave some beats, till John turned to him and told him to not encourage us anymore, because we were laughing at everything he said. At one point he complained: “You made me completely lose my train of thoughts!” Unfortunately I didn’t understand much of the whole conversation, and therefore don’t remember what was said. If anybody could help me with this part, that would be great.
John then proudly announced: “Captain Jack will be back!” and the hall exploded in screams. We had waited so long to hear there would be a fourth season of “Torchwood” made and John, who surely knows a bit more about it already, promised us “…it will be bigger and better than ever!”. Many also gave their boos though when he said that it also would be shot in America, not only Cardiff. Well, I am happy to hear that Cardiff at least is still part of it.
And of course now followed “The Doctor And I” which is about how Jack feels about the Doctor. It was six years ago when he first set his foot into the TARDIS, which changed his life. Throughout the video you can hear people squeeing because at the screen in the back they showed some of the most memorable or funny scenes from John guest starring as Captain Jack Harkness in several “Doctor Who” episodes – first with Christopher Eccleston, then with David Tennant as The Doctor. When David appeared on the screen the crowd went wild. In the original video from Cardiff I linked to above you miss some of those scenes – some very nice ones – so if you want to see the whole thing, I have another video from Swindon for you. It was so nice to see it in this form while listening to the song, and especially now that we had been in Cardiff for some days we also recognized some landmarks like the red Pierhead building, when the Doctor disables Jack’s Vortex manipulator. I suddenly got all warm and fuzzy inside, being here, amongst all those people, in this special city. And a bit emotional also, knowing the evening soon would come to an end.
But then John reached the line “May I defabricate you?” and I had to laugh again because whoever had edited the video had included some very meaningful glances between Jack and the Doctor at this moment ;) Since nobody paid much attention to John anyway at the moment, he turned and also watched the screen while singing. And even though I had listened to this song quite a few times already only now it hit me when the line: “Unlimited, my future is unlimited…” came up – a line he did not even have to change at all from the original song of “The Wizard And I” – and yet it is so perfectly fitting for the immortal Jack. I got goose bumps at this moment while watching some scenes of Jack dying on screen. From tears to laughter to goose bumps – all in one song – something only a John Barrowman concert can do to you.
“Rule The World” was the next song and after the first notes the audience squeed. Another song that I heard for the first time ever at this evening (don’t look at me like that!) but it stuck with me and for the past days I had it as a catching tune. Guess I SHOULD have paid a bit more attention to what a certain former boygroup was doing after all. Ah, well. Isn’t it nice that I can explore all this music together with John? And yes, I am biased enough to usually like his versions better ;)
Because the guys that usually play the trumpet, trombone and saxophone had nothing to do in this song they waved their hands in the air – and the audience waved theirs, too. Somehow we could not agree into which direction to go, though. So some mirrored the moves from the stage, while the others preferred the opposite direction. This just as an explanation why the girl taking the video above had to move the camera in time with the moves. At one point John also joined in the waving. At the line “…the stars are coming out tonight for you” John picked out one girl (well, I assume it was a girl, there were 90% girls and women of all ages in the audience) and pointed with his finger to her. What a way to make somebody feel special.
And guess what – Kate and Jenny suddenly went from dancing to singing! They stood on the side and made the background. Although if I now think about it, when there was the Wonder Woman song they probably also already did sing?
Picture by Tannim
It was time for the last official song of the concert – “Let’s Get Loud”. John didn’t have to tell us twice. More and more people were standing up and dancing and singing along and he also took the time to say thanks to all his musicians, each played a little solo on their instruments, and the J4 all got a solo dance. During the song John also shed his jacket and finally sang only in his shirt. Something of which I strangely don’t have any memory – strangely because on the last DVD he seemed to do it after the third song already and I kinda kept waiting for it to happen, but we got many different suits instead - but tannim 's picture proves that he indeed did.
Picture by Tannim
Then John left the stage and we screamed for him to return, which he quickly did – no idea where he found the time to change suits yet again – that made it the fourth? A black one with sparkle all through and through. Very fitting for the emotional highlight of the evening that was about to come. That would explain why he started to undress while still being on stage ;)
“I’ve just whipped up something backstage. A little bit of sequins and some wool.” There was a wolf whistle from the audience. “Thank you! You’re cheque is in the mail! - I’ve got to be totally frankly, totally honest with you – coming out tonight knowing that this is my home town has really made me exceptionally proud. The fact of the matter is, you all know where I live anyway! You’ve all been to my garage sale! As I said earlier to you tonight, I’m always humbled, I’m always overwhelmed by how much people come to me and talk to me and ask for my autograph, ask for my photograph and as much as I can possibly do I always will, you know that. The fact that I’m living my dream is because of you, it’s because of people like you who have allowed me to do what I do and every time I am on television, every time I’m in a show, every time I’m on a radio show or doing an interview or doing something like this it’s the most important thing to me to know that you have been entertained and that’s why I do it!” A huge applause broke loose after that. And even though I wrote the whole quote in here please also listen to his voice saying these things, as hearing it is so much better than just reading. There is so much sincerity and affection and you can’t help being moved, as he really means everything he says.
“So, having said that, this song is dedicated to you.” We all sat down again to listen to “From This Moment On”. It was absolutely beautiful. I got goose bumps again when he sang that he lives only for our happiness and that he would give his last breath, and that his dreams became true because of us and also his body language, putting his hands onto his heart while promising that there is nothing he wouldn’t give.
Thank you very much, codename_sherry that you caught this video of this special moment for us to always remember. When the song ended hell broke lose, all the people stood up at once and there was a big and long applause and the people upstairs even were tromping their feet, which made an incredible noise.
John writes in his second book that one day he would like to learn to write his own lyrics, and I agree it would be nice if he had more than that one own song and I also can’t see him just doing cover-songs for the rest of his life, but as long as he manages to find such gems like the aforementioned “When I Get My Name In Lights” or this “From This Moment On” with lyrics that are so fitting, sounding as if they had been written especially for him, and shares them with us and makes them completely his own, making you forget that they have been done by others before and achieves that one special moment, where the performers on stage and the people in the audience become one big family, then there is nothing to say against that! (Plus, in my case, even though all songs are cover-songs, many of them are new to me anyway, so…) And this probably was the longest English sentence I ever wrote.
I think all of us had tears in their eyes, including Scott, including John. As long as he was singing he had managed to hold it together, but now the song had ended he needed to use the towel to wipe his eyes and then just stood there, humbled, almost embarrassed while we still were squeeing like madly. “Thank you, thank you very much!” and then his voice broke when he said “I can’t explain to you what it’s like to hear about 5,000 people shouting for you, it’s…” but he couldn’t say anything more and had to turn away from the microphone. It was a very special and emotional moment, and I think everyone that was there will never forget it.
John then laughed and said: “You make me a mess.” His voice still was shaky with emotion. “If you cry you can’t sing and I wanna do one more.” Of course, it wouldn’t be a John Barrowman concert without that one certain song. I’m sure everyone was waiting for it. So, after a last wipe and blow of the nose John pulled himself together and told the last story of the evening: “Most recently I’ve been in some meetings with some high powery executives in television…” at this moment the audience gave a wolf whistle – “They didn’t get THAT, believe me! We sat there on the big table and they said to me – they called me Mr. Barrowman – immediately the hairs on the back of my neck went up - they said ‘Don’t you think it’s about time you changed a little bit?’”
We all yelled: “No!!!” John continued: “They said: ‘Don’t you think you should kind of alter your personality slightly?’” – “Nooooo!!!” – “They said: ‘Don’t you think you should grow up a little bit?’” – “Noooooooooooo!!!” – “I’m so glad because I looked at them around that table and I stared at everyone and I said ‘Mr. Barrowman says no!’ and they looked slightly confused and I looked back at them and said: ‘You wanna know why? Because “I Am What I Am”!" and everyone in the Cardiff International Arena recited the title of the song together with John.
And we also made a nice background choir, and of course I sang along, too. I admit, whenever I feel down, I sing that song, and it always helps me feeling better afterwards, after shouting loudly that yes, I am what I am and nothing else, and it is not me that has to change but the others! Try it, it really helps. What a great song that is. Thank you, John, for introducing it to me. I love that it starts so softly, but with every verse it becomes more powerful till the high note at the end.
So, please join me in singing along with John – I am even providing the lyrics for you:
I am what I am
I am what I am
I am my own special creation
So come take a look
Give me the hook or the ovation
It’s my world
That I want to have a little pride in
And it is not a place I have to hide in
Life’s not worth a damn
Till you can say - Hey World!
I am what I am
I am what I am
I don’t want praise, I don’t want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it’s noise, I think it’s pretty
And so what if I love each feather and each bangle
Why not try to see things from a different angle
Your life is a shame
Till you can shout out loud
I am what I am
I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the aces, sometimes the deuces
There’s one life and there’s no return and no deposit
One life so it’s time to open up your closet
Life’s not worth a damn
till you can say – Hey, world!
I AM WHAT I AM!!!
In the first verse, where John sings “give me the hook or the ovation” of course he got ovations from us. For the last time John was running back and fourth on the stage, trying to include all fans, nobody should feel left out. I also love the little jump he does at the end. Afterwards the hall exploded again. That was it, the band was playing on and with a few last bows and waves he left the stage, making certain that I had this song in my ears for the rest of the evening.
The technicians already started to dismantle the stage, and the people slowly filed out of the hall. But a little group gathered around Eve Myles and she had to do some pictures with people and give autographs.
We stood there watching them and waiting for our friends to join us, then we met with the rest of our group outside the hall. We had some excited talk with another group of British girls, who were so kind to do a group picture of us, but then had to catch their bus home. If you read this - thanks again!
We walked a bit around, trying to find a pub that did let us in at this late time in the evening. Which proved to be difficult, as most already had closed at 11 PM – there were people still inside, but they did not allow anyone new in. But finally we found one where we could sit for half an hour and have a drink, till they also threw us out at quarter past midnight. No other choice than to go to bed then. Next time we all book in the same hotel, I bring some booze and we make a room party! Who can go to sleep after a night like this? I mean, really. We didn’t even encounter any other fans in our hotel, I guess everyone stayed in the two hotels that were closer to the arena.
The End? Not yet. Because I have some extras for you. First this wonderful review about the concerts in Cardiff and Bristol – I just wanted to provide a memorable quote, but then I would have to quote the whole thing, so you better read it all here.
John Barrowman is an entertainer with a capital E
And second, there is a sneak preview of the DVD, recorded in the London Royal Albert Hall, which comes out next week – I can hardly wait! It looks awesome.
That’s it, that’s the end of my report. Hope everyone liked the concert and let’s meet next time in Cardiff when John gets his name in lights! If you like to stay with me a little longer, there will also be reports about the other days we spent in Cardiff – sightseeing, visiting of “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood locations”, and I also took my action figures with me. The first part was published here, the rest will come within the next weeks.