So, I'm back from the concert and ready to share some impressions about the gig with you.
First of all, just like four years ago, there were dozens of girls all the way from the metro to the hall offering signed photographs of Chris. I never had this idea before, but my girlfriend said that he couldn't possibly have singed them all, so, maybe, they're not even selling what he would like to sell, but he may even not know anything about himself signing his pictures
We did have an opening act here too, a frontman of 'The Crossroadz', a Russian blues band, played acoustic guitar and sang three or four of his own songs. Unlike Andrew, I found him quite OK, and his English was not as bad as I expected. He got a moderate applause (I think he could have got more if the half of the people were not still enjoying drinks in the lobby) which I think he totally deserved. After that, the break was longer than in St. Petersburg, and the show itself started at exactly 9 pm.
I liked it very much; I must admit, the main reason was that we hear of more deaths of the same disease that Chris survived and I just felt glad about the fact that we can still enjoy his playing and singing. But I also liked the hall (Crocus City Hall sits 6,000 people like Kremlin Palace but seems a bit more intimate somehow, and I could see everything from my seat that was not the most expensive one) and the sound. I only think that Anto Drennan's guitar could have been a bit quieter, sometimes you couldn't really hear Chris's solos. But Anto himself played very well, I must say he gave a fresher sound to the songs that were played almost exactly the same way, although some solos indeed were changed. I got a bit dissapointed by Max Middleton that didn't seem to have changed his technique at all; he played just like he did 25 years ago. When you think how much better Chris plays now than he did then... it feels strange. So I'm not surprised Max didn't have so many solos for himself: Neil Drinkwater handled his solos better.
Since I knew all the songs already, to me, the concert actually consisted almost of one song only: It's All Gone. By coincidence, it's the song that I really really love, and it was breathtaking to hear it performed just like it was performed 25 years ago, even with same rhythm guitar riffs. It was something that meant so much for me and didn't mean that much for the audience that started leaving the hall in earnest after "Let's Dance". There were not so many people who stayed to watch the outro that I also liked. I think the visual part of the concert made it a bit fresher too.
But the main thing for me is that Chris still plays guitars perfectly and that he really is so passionate about everything he sings. He's not become a singing machine, and that's what I value most.