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" ATHENS, I'M COMING !!! "
Memories of Frank (Germany)

 

Hello dear fans and friends,

after a trip to ATHENS for the SANDRA's concert on the 23rd of July 2008 I made a report. I wish you lot of fun while reading... 

All began with a rumour... On Thursday afternoon, on the 29th of May, 2008
there had been an unannounced, Sandra's open air concert, in Büsum. Then, there was another one, adverted by the Booking Agency, informing:
SANDRA - LIVE IN ATHENS - 17. JULY 2008
WOW, for the first time in her career, there was a concert
announced in Greece. Only few performances was filmed in Athens, in 1987.

Is that date really true?! Or just a confusion?!

After enquiries in the management
statements were received, such as: "... it is not yet firmly.", "... it is so far only a question.", ". there are no signed contracts ..."
A few days later, the information from the Booking Agency was cancelled...

A few days later, another date was arranged. There was an information that Sandra will be concerting on the 23rd of July 2008, in Athens, at the "TECHNOPOLIS" and the tickets will cost 35 Euros. This information was also confirmed by the Booking Agency. This date was also seen on the homepage of Sandra's dancer - Toni. It seems, that now everything was done and confirmed and the concert will be in Greece. For me, that was the moment to start thinking about organising a trip to Athens for the concert...

I began planning my trip. I was looking for possible flights and looked for hotels near the concert's location. Weeks went by and different feelings came to me. At that time it was not only about making that trip, but to make sure I've got a few days off from work.

After an unforgettable trip with Alina and Ricardos, in December last year, I've been in such a good mood and I've been hoping they would do it again. However, Ricardos said that this trip would not be possible for him.

The closer the date of concert was coming, the more sure I was of being there. I was telling myself: "I will be definitely there - ATHENS, I'M COMING !!!". It doesn't matter if somebody is coming with me or not. Concerts in different country to your home are something very special and totally different to that ones in Germany. Trips like this can be a great combination of relaxing, meeting a new culture and seeing our beloved SANDRA.

At the beginning of July there ware the first official informations on Greek pages regarding the concert's date and promotional posters.

Two weeks before the concert I had neither a flight, nor a hotel booked and what's more important - I had NO ticket. Basically it would be very easy to get a ticket online in a printable version. However, that was not for me - I was interested to get an ORIGINAL ticket and that was only to get by an order, by a courier.

My trip started very early in the morning, on the 23rd of July 2008 from the Cologne/Bonn airport. Near lunch time I arrived, after an adventurous taxi ride. My hotel was at the Omonia Square. As I arrived to the reception to check in, I heard a known voice behind me "Buhuu, it's me". As I turned around I saw smiling Alina in front of me. After a warm welcome and a short talk I finished my check in and then we went for a moment to the hotel room, to relax a bit.

After a short update about our visit to Athens, about our experiences, we went back to the reception and asked about the shortest way to the "TECHNOPOLIS". 

Well, it was very easy to come to that place. Only one station from "Omonia Station" to "Monastiraki" and then - by another subway - to "Keramikos". Very relaxed we went up the steps and we saw our destination place - "EXIT TECHNOPOLIS - GAZI"

After making a few photos we used the next escalator - high up into increasing heat (33 degrees) and saw directly countless promotional posters about the SANDRA's concert. It was an indescribable and a great feeling to see so many posters all over the walls around the area of "Gazi". It's great to see, how much promotion for Sandra is in other countries...

Frank and Alina with Sandra posters

Only a few minutes to walk away from the subway station, there was the area of the "Technopolis". This time everything was opened and possible to get in. We were walking on the grounds of the old factory and looking at the location - for the evening event. At the rear entrance (closed on that evening) there were technicians - preparing the stage for the concert. Nobody bothered us and it was no problem to look around and check the location. On the premises were many buildings, where we didn't know, what would be inside. In some buildings it seemed as if there were bars inside - but also closed for that evening.

Stage preparation

Before we drove back to our hotel we had used our time to drink something in the heat of the afternoon, in a bar called "HIVER". It was great to see all the walls with many Sandra's posters on.

Sandra's posters on the walls

At 6 o'clock we were ready for the evening and started going back to the area of "Gazi". Back at the main entrance, we were now facing Security and barriers. We were one of the first persons waiting to come in. Sandra had about 1 hour to have her sound check. According to the timetable, it was about 9:30 pm. It was announced that Sandra should start her 60 minutes concert at 10:30 pm. After a quick look around the corner (with direct view on the stage), to see whether we'll not miss anything near the stage, we went back to the main entrance and put ourselves directly in front of the Security. By the place, near the entrance some conversations between Greek fans started. Shortly afterwards, Matt came to us, with a friend of his, and together we saved the main entrance to came in as first. Few minutes after 8:00 pm the doors are opened and we went to our places in front of the stage, in the middle. We were in front of where the microphone was already placed. At the beginning everything seemed quite clear. It was very hot. By the evening, the place had been filling more and more. A Greek DJ warmed up the atmosphere and played many hits, from the 80s. From time to time he played also Sandra's hits, such as "Johnny Wanna Live". As it was getting dark he played also videos to the songs - there was a big screen behind him. He played songs of: Modern Talking, Sabrina and also the German group - Münchner Freiheit and the duet of Sandra & DJ Bobo -"Secrets Of Love".

After 10:00 pm the DJ left the stage and the local amateur band called "VHS" came on the stage and played cover versions of songs such as "Self Control", "Fame", "Rock Me Amadeus" or "Billy Jean". As their 40 minutes on the stage passed by, we got music in the background and people preparing the stage for Sandra's performance.

VHS on the stage

11:00 pm... The stage is dark... The big moment was coming... With bated breath we were looking from one to the other side of the stage and asked ourselves "From where they will enter the stage?!". It's 11:06 pm and we heard the first notes of "The Second Day". It was a super atmosphere on the grounds of the Technopolis with the high, illuminated towers in the background of the evening twilight. With the first sounds of "Maria Magdalena" Toni stormed the stage. Wearing in a white jacket, white hat, blue jeans, dark t-shirt and sport shoes. He was followed by Dominic in similar outfit. Few moments later Sandra came, welcomed with a big applause. She was wearing an elegant, black, long dress and - very unususal in height - shoes. Many people around us were singing loudly the song. Many photographers placed directly in front of us and, from time to time, disturbed our great view on the stage. As the sound stopped, Sandra visibly enjoyed the rising applause. She opened her concert with the words "Hello and welcome. Good evening Greece... I'm very very proud to be here...". Then she was telling about days that she was in Athens previously and gave many interviews that time. Sandra was in an incredibly good mood. The joy and enthusiasm of performance in Athens were indeed of her face. ".I wanna see your lips... and I wanna hear you...". These words and their radiation were immediately captured by the audience by her side.

Sandra sings "Maria Magdalena"

It goes on with "Johnny Wanna Live". In the area between the stage and the barrier, a countless number of photographers stumbles to get the best place to make the best photos. Unfortunately it was not easy for us to make good photos from the first row - the lights on the stage were definitely too bright. Sandra, many times, was walking from the middle to the left side of the stage and to the right side also to see all her fans. She was waving and sending kisses to the audience.

"Johnny Wanna Live"

As the sound stopped, she started talking again. She was in a very great "talking-mood" and there was a loud scream from the audience "SANDRA... WE LOVE YOU." she answered fast "I LOVE YOU TOO." and with typical hand movements she was sending kisses to the direction of the fans. Yiannis, a Greek fan - whom he had a conversation with us before the concert, painted a picture of Sandra and for Sandra. He held it at that moment in the air. Sandra saw this from the stage and came directly to the stage edge to get it transferred to her. Full of excitement, she held the picture up and read the personal dedication on the back: "My beloved Sandra. Thank you for being a timeless inspiration. Forever yours... Yiannis".

Sandra got a painted pictue from Yiannis

Then she began telling us a story about a little girl, for whom she wrote a story like a fairytale, as "CINDARELLA" who lost her shoe. To make a video to it, she was in Venice. It was winter and it was very cold over there. These were the intro words to "Little Girl".

Sandra and "Little Girl"

After this song Sandra noted "There is too much light..." and kept her hand in front of her face. Unfortunately, without any effect to the technicians, what could have been confirmed by the audience. When "Stop For A Minute" started, the audience entered into the spirit of the song.

"Stop For A Minute"

Than she was singing the ballad "Change Your Mind".

Sandra said we all knew the songs she played till that moment. Then she said we would hear something what we may not know about. A song from her last album "The Art Of Love". The audience showed her that she was wrong and she responded then: "...oh you know? Oh, then I should do some more songs".

Album "Close To Seven" came with one of my favorite songs, called "Mirrored In Your Eyes". In her performance she was dancing - with her dancer Toni - very closely.

Sandra is dancing with Toni

"In The Heat Of The Night" moved the audience again. People clapped their hands and were singing loudly, while Sandra was moving on the stage.

Sandra in "In the heat of the night"

After singing seven songs Sandra said: ".now it's enough..." she placed her feet on the box in front of us and undid her shoes."Now we wanna dance.. ok? Put these shoes off!" The audience was laughing in that moment... It was a very funny moment.

At the start of "What Is It About Me" the show goes on with Sandra having no shoes on.

Before Sandra sang the "Hiroshima" - sitting on a chair with her feet on the box in front of her, she had said a few words about the song.

Sandra while "Hiroshima"

"...and now put all your hands up" called Sandra to her fans at the beginning of one of her greatest hits "Everlasting Love". The audience moved again, clapping their hands and singing loudly with her. The mood was overwhelming and Sandra even seemed to have been surprised how many fans she still has in Greece. She smiled and moved from one side to the other side of the stage and there was again a friendly hug with Toni.

"...put all your hands up!!!"

Now it was time to say "Goodbye..." Sandra was leaving the stage with her two boys.

It seems, as if in Greece it's not known that people should scream loudly when they want to hear more songs. The two boys came back shortly afterwards and made the audience to make some noise to bring Sandra back to the stage.

Sandra again on the stage

Sandra came back to the stage with a bottle of water in her hand and the show goes on with "Midnight Man". Her whole face was smiling very much and full of power they were moving together on the stage and they obviously had a fun.

As the song stopped, the audience was screaming very loudly : "SANDRA... SANDRA... SANDRA...!!!"

"Midnight Man"

The last song for this evening was for the second time "Maria Magdalena".

With the words: "Thank you very much! See you next time in Athens..." Sandra said goodbye to the fans. It was noticeable how overwhelmed she was by the audience. Then, together with her boys she left the stage after the 60 minutes concert. Then the stage darkened again...

"Maria Magdalena" for goodbye

Happy due to the concert and the amazing atmosphere of Athens, we were talking excitedly about the concert and were waiting until the place reasonable emptied. Holding cold drinks we stood near the barricade. Well, it was surely unlikely that we will see Sandra and Olaf again, but we wanted to stay near the barricade to keep our eyes on it.

20 minutes later the unexpected happened. Many Greek fans pushed to the isolation and we heard loud voices from there. Sandra came back together with Olaf to the waiting fans at the barrier. Patiently she gave autographs to each of them. Some with a personal dedication. For 5 or 10 minutes Sandra was writing the autographs and showed again, how happy and in what a great mood she was that moment.

Sandra with Olaf after the concert

Together, with Matt and Yiannis, we were celebrating, in a club with cool beats near this place, till the morning light.

The party with Greek fans

Now, here it comes for me to say special thanks to all those people with whom we had so much unforgettable moments in Athens. It was a very nice time with many great impressions and many international conversations. It's always a big pleasure to meet fans from all over the world. To mention all individually, would take too long. I'm sure that every person will know who I mean... Right?! 

And here are a few more impressions of the two following days from Alina and me:

Me and Alina are visiting Athens

After the great visit to the "AKROPOLIS" and hours of run we met in the "Temple of Zeus" - with Chris from Corfu - and walked through the nearby National Park. Then Alina and I visited the Olympic terrain where the 2004 Olympic took place. At night we were together with Paris and his wife in a very nice place in the mountains, where we had a stunning view of "Athens by night". Thank you also very much for the great time we spent together. We enjoyed that very much and it was also a pleasure to meet.

Athens by night

Alina's birthday we spent very relaxed, on a nearby island called Aigena. We spent this day having a leisure walk at the beach and enjoying wine with a tasty meal in a pub, with a view at the sea and the Samos iseland.

Alina's birthday

At the end of this report I would like to say a BIG THANKS to Alina for great days we spent together and for the great memories we now have from our Athens trip.

SANDRA: WE LOVE YOU TILL THE END OF TIME... FOREVER!!!


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Special thanks to Frank for the beautiful photos.