Robbie Williams Entertains Tbilisi

Under the aegis of the ‘Check in Georgia’ project of the Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection, on the 27th of May, world star Robbie Williams dedicated his well-known hits and new songs to Georgian Independence Day, playing at the Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi.

Before the show, played in front of a packed stadium, Robbie Williams met the Georgian Minister of Culture Mikheil Giorgadze who handed the star a modernized Georgian Kabalakh (traditional hood for Western Georgians) as a souvenir.

The audience was made up of as many Georgian as foreigners, many of whom had flown in especially for the concert. GEORGIA TODAY spoke with Sany, a young Chinese lady: “I’ve never been here before. In China it would cost more than 2000 [GEL], so it’s very affordable. I love Robbie and I’m sure hearing him live will sound so much better than on CD!”

“This concert will be part of the history of Georgia. That’s why I came,” Salome Beridze, 22, told GEORGIA TODAY.

Williams kept his fans waiting an hour before the inscription ‘Let me entertain you,’ appeared on the gigantic screen, met with an outpouring of ovation.

The Great Entertainer, a talented and handsome 40-something British man is well-loved in Georgia. He is well known as a joker, and he pushed this side of his personality to the fore when he, upon greeting the crowd with the Georgian “gamarjoba,” then went on to list all the Georgian swear words he knew. The reaction to this was mixed.

Williams seemed somewhat surprised by the Georgian reaction to him (and surprised that they knew him so well), asking several times “Do you know who I am?” to which he received uproarious laughter from the audience. To the question, “Anybody from the 90s here?” there were affirmative screams. To the next question, “Anybody over 40?” there were still many responses to be heard. The last question from this series was the most humorous: “Anybody under 20?” and then, his comment followed, as a sort of black humor characteristic to the last Oscar and other award-giving ceremonies: “Hi, I probably slept with your mothers.” Pop-culture! They are what they are and they do it their way!

Back in the 1990s, as a member of the Take That boy-band, Robbie was one of the favorites of many a Georgian teen. However, his solo career proved to be even more successful. The ‘Let Me Entertain You Tour’ is Williams’ eleventh concert tour, which began in Spain and traveled throughout Europe and Asia in Spring 2015, reaching Australia and New Zealand in October 2015. During the summer months, Williams performed at numerous music festivals in Europe. He was singing in Tbilisi after a 7-month break.

For the generation of the 1990s, the most touching song to hear was ‘Back for Good’ from the repertory of ‘Take That’. Ever the entertainer, he then got to audience to join in with a rendition of Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York,’ substituting the name of the mega-polis with ‘Georgia’ each time. The most lyrical part was ‘Love Supreme’, adorned with lit mobiles all around, making an effect of candles. Williams also performed the outstanding ‘I love rock & roll’. The final part was more ample with less known new compositions. While performing ‘Feel’, a comment towards our country in-between, he exclaimed: “Georgia on my mind”.

Following the concert, Robbie said of the Georgian crowd, “They were sensational, incredibly warm and generous. I could not believe everybody knew the words to my songs considering that I’ve never been here. It seems their energy was eternal and kept on going. It is an experience that will go into my memory, and stay with me forever. I am really happy and can’t wait to come back and perform here again.”

“I cannot put words to my emotions today,” said Minister Giorgadze. “Georgia has not only checked in on the world musical map but it is already sparkling. I am sure that the events to come will be even more successful, and attract even more tourists to Georgia.”

Maka Lomadze

02 June 2016 20:10