Squashed between Keira and 3 Russian men yesterday evening, I had an epiphany- Dima Bilan is amazing!
We’d been planning to go to the Russian Winter Festival for a while, since we knew it existed really. And when I found out last month that Dima Bilan was going to be there, we started getting pretty excited.
When we arrived, it was ridiculously exciting to hear Nevozmozhnoe Vozmozhno coming from the speakers on the stage. Apart from hearing The Ark a few times in a few shops in Norway, this was the first time for years that I’d heard a song I really like being played in public, which was super :)
We got there really early, considering Dima wasn’t going to be on until 5.40, but once I’d found a good spot near the front and in the middle of the stage, I wasn’t going to move. This was fine during the first lot of performers, a sort of modern folk type group and the wonderful Baikal Ensemble (who were from Eastern Russia, so a bit more on the oriental side of things), but I thought it might have been a bit of a mistake when the Aquaaerobik Project came on.
Being fans of Fabrika Zvezd, we’re pretty used to crazy stage set ups and performances, so we weren’t shocked whatsoever when this ‘Project’ came on stage wearing brightly coloured, skin tight plastic suits (one of them with a shoe attached to his head) and playing giant plastic guitars to the sound of generic electro music and the woman screeching quite unintelligible words. I don’t know, they were different I suppose, but not really my thing.
Then there was 5 minutes of time filling, when some girls from Ukraine and the Baltics were up on stage answering quite stupid questions from the most irritating presenter in the world. She was even more annoying than the woman from Fabrika Zvezd, and that’s saying something. When finally asked “who’s your favourite artist here today?” the girls all responded “Tiiiiiiiishman!” cue disbelieving looks between me and Keira, thinking they must be either joking or mental for clearly not loving Dima Bilan as much as us.
I was quite excited about seeing Mark Tishman actually, I didn’t watch this series of Fabrika Zvezd, but I thought it would be cool to see someone from it. He’s gorgeous in real life, he looks so much like Prohor Shalyapin. The first thing he said in English was “Russians are strange people,” which I thought was quite amusing, and then he went on to talk about the concept of Old New Year and why it’s good to have celebrations because of the ‘deficit of love in the world’ or something like that. Anyway, then he sang a song that he'd written himself,called Yarkim Plamenyem, it was rather Prohor-esque and lovely. Then he did the beautiful I’ll Be Your Angel, and another one that I didn’t know the name of. He was fabulous though, although it was only him on stage, he was a good performer, doing lots of interesting, flamboyant hand movements. It was good, if there’d been anyone else on stage with him I don’t think it would have worked as well. So yes, I can see why the Baltic girls were so excited about him now, hopefully he’ll have a good career and maybe, mmm…come back to the festival next year perhaps? : )