On Thursday the 16th of November it was time again for the annual “Het Grote Songfestivalfeest”. The 2023 edition was hosted by Cornald Maas who is the Dutch commentator and Edsilia Rombley who represented The Netherlands in 1998 and 2007.
This is the event for ESC fans to sing their hearts out to old and new fan favourites. The line-up this year was a good mix between ballads and up-tempo songs. Of course big names such as Måns Zelmerlöw, Verka Serduchka, Johnny Logan, Bobbysocks, Ruslana, Käärijä and Emmelie de Forest helped hype up the crowd. Unfortunately ESC 2023 winner Loreen couldn’t be there but she made sure to send a videomessage to all her fans! A lot of ESCEXTRA editors came to the concert and three of them have made the hard choice to tell a little about their favourite performance of the night.
It should be no surprise that my favourite of the evening was Käärijä- I’d showed up to the venue in a shirt with his face on it, after all . Thankfully, my expectations were met! He was already one of the most highly anticipated artists to perform at the show, so it was no surprise to see him towards the end of the setlist. I loved the way that the build up to the song began, with members of his crew walking down the stairs, before Käärijä himself seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Despite the crowd (I assume) not speaking Finnish, everyone was singing and dancing along, with the “cha cha cha” hook making everyone go wild. Käärijä’s energy was incredible and I felt a sense of pride at seeing one of my favourite artists performing in front of a crowd of 10.000 in my hometown! The last minute was especially great, with the rainbow lights making the ZiggoDome light up just like in Liverpool. I loved it!
My favourite performance of the night has to be the man, the myth, the legend – Johnny Logan! Despite his age, his vocals are still perfect. He’s a true performer who visibly has fun on stage, even after 40 years of singing mostly the same two songs. His mood was carried on to the whole audience – from the youngest to the oldest fans in attendance. I’m looking forward to seeing him again next edition
It’s also no big surprise that Måns Zelmerlöw was my favourite performance of the night, since Heroes is my favourite ESC song of all time. He was the opening act and made sure that everyone started the concert in high spirits! I really loved the more jazzy version of Heroes, elevating the song to a higher level. But some things always stay the same as Måns brought along the boy with the balloon, which was part of his staging in Vienna 2015, as well as the audience singing their hearts out to the chorus!
To the readers who attended “Het Grote Songfestivalfeest” as well, what was your favourite performance of the night?