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Saturday, 07 December 2013 12:35

Malta: Teatru Unplugged Lives Up to Its Reputation

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Growing up, I always wanted to attend the illustrious Teatru Unplugged because, having been writing about the creme de la creme of the local music industry, I had heard positive remarks all round and last night, that dream came through as I attended the opening night of the sixteenth edition. t was as everyone had described it, with a line-up which was carefully thought out by the organiser, Jonathan Shaw and his team of dedicated personnel, including Marthese Portelli. From the witty remarks passed forth by Josef Bonello, to the emotional prayer read out to Nirvana Azzopardi, a founder of this superb event, it was truly an evening of breathtaking entertainment, an event which I had not seen in a very long time.

Each of the performers in the line-up had the opportunity to perform between three (3) to five (5) songs and there were several highlights in the choice of tracks, including more than one (1) by certain artists. Nevertheless, I have decided to focus on just one (1) track each in order to have a equal balance between all of the chosen acts who were careful and at times gutsy with their song selections. Having learned that Raquela did not submit to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, I was excited to watch her perform and she did not disappoint, performing a wonderful rendition of Sia’s Titanium, stripping it down completely and showcasing what is a vocal range beyond compare, one which is also focusing on a lower register, a trait which was somewhat lacking up until two to three years back.


Moving onto the next act, Stalko had garnered the attention of escflashmalta.com during the Malta Music Awards with their debut album Grandiloquence proving to be a hit amongst experts of the field and the general public. Their folk sound was very much appreciated and their stand out song was an original, one entitled Two. I was also impressed about the flow from one act to another, leading to the choice of Chris Grech as the next artist. As a semi-finalist in next years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Chris wanted to showcase his vocals in the best possible manner and he took his original song Never Walk Away to a brand new level, giving it a new lease of life and showing the public, how much it actually means to him to perform on the stage of the Manoel Theatre.


Keeping to the rock genre, Red Electrick decided to strip it back for most of their repertoire and whilst this might have been viewed as characteristic due to the unplugged feeling of the show, the public went absolutely crazy for their latest number #1 hit, The Runaway which was a breathe of fresh air, adding to the reasoning that unplugged can also be current. Despite not proving to be as I had hoped on the covers, Rachel Fabri won her place back into the stratosphere of incredible artistry last night as she performed an original song entitled Run to Me. She announced that it will be the lead single off an extended play release set for 2014. My advice would be to tweak the arrangement ever so slightly in order to be more comfortable performing the songs in the set-list.


At this point, the public were very much into the show and as a matter of fact, only got on their feet even more as The Crowns prepared an incredible selection of tracks, out of which the standout was surely Little Talks which featured guest vocalist; Cheryl Camilleri who had accompanied Scar on the stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest last year. The evenings’ final act was Gianluca, Malta’s entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest and of course, Tomorrow is still a firm favourite, with the young doctors’ charm and charisma oozing through the performance. It set-up the audience for a resounding fan-fare, a tribute to the late Nirvana Azzopardi a cover version of Let It Go proving to be the most effective. I cannot help but thank Jonathan Shaw and his dedicated team for a wonderful evening. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the local music industry.

Source: escflashmalta.com


Last modified on Saturday, 07 December 2013 12:40