Marti, 27 octombrie, la Sala Palatului din Capitala a fost seara zambetelor. Vreme de aproape doua ore, Natalie Cole le-a oferit spectatorilor linistea interioara, pornind de la Smile-ul lui Charlie Chaplin si ajungand la Mona Lisa si zambetul ei misterios, a cantat doua piese alaturi de tatal ei, Nat King Cole, a interpretat "my mom and dad's love songs", s-a descaltat la cel de-al doilea bis si ne-a explicat ca dragostea este mai buna decat: branza si chiflele, mierea, eclerul de ciocolata, sampania si covrigii, alunele si pocornul - "better than dining a la carte/ or simply gastronomic art".
"Sit back, relax, enjoy", a fost mesajul lui Natalie Cole la inceputul concertului sustinut la Sala Palatului, marti seara. Ceea ce s-a si intamplat, fapt remarcat chiar de artista, la final: "A fost unul dintre cele mai bune concerte, mi-a placut foarte mult publicul, pentru ca erau foarte receptivi si atenti la ceea ce faceam eu pe scena".
Cu piese pe jumatate energice, pe jumatate romantice, trecand de la un anotimp la altul si de la o stare la alta (de la Summer Sun la Come Rain Or Come Shine si Autumn Leaves), Natalie Cole i-a luat pe spectatori intr-o calatorie muzicala in anii de aur: intai pe un "road to romance" (cu Nice’n’Easy - "this song was made popular by the gentleman that they called Mr. S - Mister Frank Sinatra"), cu multe opriri - "We're on the road to romance, that's safe to say/ But let's make all the stops along the way", apoi pe Route 66: "get your kicks on Route sixty-six".
"Coffee time/ My dreamy friend/ It's coffee time/ Let's sing/ This silly/ Little rhyme/ And have/ A cup of coffee", a decis artista pe Coffee Time (recomandarea speciala a lui Tony Bennet pentru albumul Still Unforgettable), dar fara a ne putea scapa de Fever ("Romeo loved Juliet/ Juliet she felt the same/ When he put his arms around her/ He said: Julie, baby, your my flame!")
"There are a lot of great things outhere in the world, but I gotta say I can't think of anything that sounds better than love", a marturisit Natalie pe Better Than Anything, piesa cantata in original alaturi de Diana Krall.
"Better than cream cheese and bagels/ Better than honey on bread/ Better than champagne and pretzels/ Better than breakfast in bed/ Better than chili rellenos/ Better than chocolate e'clairs/ Better than hothouse/ tomatoes/ Better than fresh Bartlett pears/ Better than dining a la carte/ Or simply gastronomic art/ Better than anything except being in love/ Better than making a million/ Better than being a queen/ Better than oil wells and gold mines/ Better than pastures of green/ Better than finding a horseshoe/ Better than losing your head/ Better than anything ever thought of/ Better than anything ever said/ Better than singing right out loud/ Or being, ha, spotted in a crowd/ Better than anything except being in love/ Better than elephants, elephants are dancing/ Better than clowns on parade/ Better than peanuts and popcorn/ Better than pink lemonade/ Better than rides on the midway/ Better than seals blowing horns/ Better than men shot through cannons/ Better than fresh ears of corn/ Better than balancing on a wire/ Or watching tigers jump through fire/ Better than anything except being in love/ Better than driving 'round the park/ Or watching fireflies after the dark/ Better than anything except being in love".
"This next song was my mom and dad's love song", a fost introducerea lui Our Love Is Here To Stay. "Are there any lovers in the house tonight? We love singing about love!" (In time the Rockies may crumble/ Gibraltar may tumble/ They're only made of clay/ But our love is here to stay").
A urmat apoi un cantec creat de Jack Jones in anii '60, Lollipops & Roses, dedicat barbatilor din sala. "I would like to dedicate this next song to all the guys in the house tonight, because this is a song that, when I was a little girl, I used to think was about girls. But it really is about how guys should treat girls. So it's a little lesson about what we need to do": "So, carry her books, that’s how it starts/ Fourteen to forty, they’re kids in their hearts/ Keep them handy, flowers and candy/ Roses and lollipops/ And lollipops and roses".
Dupa un Sentimental medley, care a adunat fragmente din piese precum For Sentimental Reasons, TenderlysiAutumn Leaves, a venit randul zambetelor invocate de Smile (incredintat de Charlie Chaplin lui Nat King Cole) si Mona Lisa - femeia misterioasa despre care tatal ei ii canta in copilarie si in a carei existenta Natalie Cole a crezut pana cand a crescut, sperand mereu sa o intalneasca. "When I was a little girl, my father used to sing this next song and I always believed that it was about a real lady that I wanted to meet so very badly. And when I grew up, I realisez that she was only a painting. [..] even now, she's still very real to me."
Si, dupa ce Walkin’ My Baby Back Home prilejuise, la inceputul concertului, "a little duet, a special duet" cu tatal sau, a venit si randul celui mai asteptat moment al serii: cel de-al doilea duet al artistei cu Nat King Cole - Unforgettable - ilustrat cu imagini ale cantaretei din copilarie, alaturi de tatal si de restul familiei sale. La finalul piesei, Nat (de pe ecranul care ne-a oferit chipul lui) si Natalie (de pe scena, din lumea celor vii) si-au trimis cate un sarut de "la revedere" care a emotionat sala.
A urmat apoi o lectie de "spelling", mai ales ca termenul "love" a devenit acronim: "L is for the way you look at me/ O is for the only one I see/ V is very, very extraordinary/ E is even more than anyone that you adore" (L.O.V.E.).
Cu ajutorul trupei sale (Alessandro Alessandroni - clape, David Lawrence Koonse Jr - chitara, Edwin Uel Livingston - bass, Robert Lee Miller Jr - tobe, Joshua Lee Nelson - pian si Gail Deadrick - musical director), Natalie Cole a mai cantat Thou Swell si Orange Colored Sky, ca bis.
Si ar fi plecat catre afterparty-ul pregatit special pentru ea la Hard Rock Cafe, daca publicul nu ar fi cerut un nou bis. "Sit, sit, sit!", a insistat Natalie si si-a scos pantofii, pentru a mai canta doua piese: The Very Thought Of You si What A Difference A Day Makes: "It's heaven when you find romance on your menu". ("A lot of my music my dad turned me onto, but there are a few things that my mom can take credit for as well. She turned onto a lady by the name of miss Diana Washington").
- Summer Sun
- Come Rain Or Come Shine
- Something’s Gotta Give
- Walkin’ My Baby Back Home
- Route 66
- Coffee Time
- Better Than Anything
- Tell Me About It
- Somewhere Along The Way
- Our Love Is Here To Stay
- Lollipops & Roses
- Sentimental (medley)
- Mona Lisa
- More Than You’ll Ever Know
- Thou Swell (bis 1)
- Orange Colored Sky (bis 1)
- What a Difference A Day Makes (bis 2)
- The Very Thought Of You (bis 2)