Concert Review: Amy Macdonald Pulls Through At Sala Riviera In Madrid (April 2018)
I like Amy Macdonald very much. When you release a song as iconic as “This Is The Life”, which arrived into our lives back in 2007, the only thing you can do is be a fan of Amy Macdonald for the rest of your life. After four studio albums, the Scottish singer-songwriter is still alive and kicking and stronger than ever, and last Sunday (April 15) I had the opportunity to attend, invited by her management, Amy’s concert at the Sala Riviera, located between the Manzanares river and the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain. In front of a devoted crowd, of all ages (I saw elders, adults, and even kids!), Amy Macdonald performed a concert of almost 20 songs in which the opener was “Under the Stars”, the title track of her latest album released in February 2017. And just a couple of songs into the show, Macdonald gave us, the crowd, the first surprise. And it wasn’t the most thrilling one to be the honest. She told us her throat was super sore since that morning and that she considered canceling the concert but that she quickly threw that idea away from her head because it had been many years since she had performed in the Spanish capital and she didn’t want to disappoint her fans. And such is the connection of Amy with Madrid and her fans here that she remembered her last concert in the city three years ago had taken place in the same venue as she recognized the palm trees (real palm trees! 3 to be more precise!) located in the middle of the indoors, covered venue. Something definitely so peculiar and unique it was impossible to forget.
Amy is a tough girl. For I have read about artists with the mildest health discomforts canceling concerts just like that because they just weren’t going to be ‘in the mood’. But there’s nothing comparable to the strength of this Scottish woman because despite of this throat problem, Amy sounded so brilliant and so booming that honestly for a quick second I thought it was all joke, but after she mentioned the throat issue a few more times (and apologized for it, and said the powerful AC in the backstage didn’t help much as well as the awful weather in Barcelona the previous day) during the concert, I ended up completely believing Amy’s story. But oh my god! Even though she wasn’t giving us her 100%, according to her own words, I was still so amazed by this concert, and I don’t even want to imagine how an Amy Macdonald concert would be if she were 100% healthy. But anyways, the Madrid show took place as planned and she performed for us various of her most popular songs such as “Mr Rock & Roll" and “Run” from her 2007 debut album, “Spark” from the 2010 album “A Curious Thing”, “4th of July" from the 2012 album “Life in a Beautiful Light”, or “Dream On”, “Automatic”, “Leap of Faith” or “The Rise and the Fall” from her most recent album.
The second surprise of the night was when Amy, after spotting a “We want to sing with you!” sign, brought two little girls on stage, who by the guiding of their parents, are two of Amy Macdonald’s youngest fans ever. These two girls got on the main stage to sing with the Scottish star, per request, her song “Slow It Down” (which was not included on the Madrid setlist) and it was hands down the most adorable thing I have seen in my life.
Shortly after, the moment came for the arrival of “This Is The Life”, Amy’s biggest hit of her career, and as expected, I immediately could tell it was most anticipated song of the concert. Amy nailed the performance and the crowd was in pure ecstasy.
After finishing “This Is The Life”, the fake ending of the concert made its arrival. And after a few in-unison shouts of “Que vuelva Amy!” (Amy come back here!), Amy and her band of 3 returned to the stage to do the encore.
Note: Amy told the crowd that she usually tours with a larger band but that for this occasion and for this latest tour she was doing in select European cities, she wanted to do something more intimate and more acoustic, hence the smaller crew.
The first song of the encore was her wonderful Bruce Springsteen cover of “Dancing in the Dark” – which all true Amy Macdonald fans should know existed. And wow! There were many TRUE Amy fans in the crowd (and Spaniards love Bruce Springsteen very much so no surprise the sing-along was particularly louder in this performance).
The penultimate song of the set was “Life in a Beautiful Light”, the title track of her third album, and to wrap it up, Amy, who still had the same spark in her eyes and the same big smile as when the concert first started, sang “Prince Poison” (from her debut album), and the Madrid audience got super energized for one last time and started to even dance along to the instrumentation of the song. And when everything was over, Amy, together with her band, said farewell to the Madrid crowd and we in return gave all of them a very long and very well deserved applauding moment for we had just witnessed a brave Amy Macdonald, despite her sore throat (she said at the beginning she was going to 'pull through' and pulled through she did), killed this concert like she wanted thanks to the energy given to her by her Spanish fans.