Concert Review: Beth Ditto at Paradiso, Amsterdam

Beth Ditto is queen of Paradiso for just one night

Fans of Beth Ditto had to wait quite a while for her return, but the former Gossip leading lady dropped her debut record Fake Sugar earlier this year. The singer made her solo debut back in 2011 with an EP, then recorded her last album with Gossip in 2012. Things became quiet around her until the release of Fake Sugar, with which she toured around the world. After a busy festival summer she came to Paradiso in Amsterdam. It was clear her Dutch fans had missed her!

Ditto brought Annabel Allum with her as supporting act, who took the stage on her own with her guitar, something the main act of the night praised her for later on in her show. Ditto herself stepped on stage in a black and gold jumpsuit with a sparkly belt, together with two guitarists, a drummer and keyboardist. Ditto, visibly nervous at the start of the show, shares with the audience that the tour is almost coming to an end and it is obvious that both her and her band mates want to give it their all for one of the last times. Their chemistry is off the chain throughout and they seem to be having the best time.

Ditto starts out with ‘Oh My God’, one of the best and most energetic tracks from her solo album. During the first few minutes, her voice does not win it from the other instruments due to her microphone not being loud enough. Luckily this is corrected rather quickly, as a lot of her best solo tracks have an early spot on the setlist. ‘In And Out’, a beautifully understated midtempo track from her album, shows off her beautiful voice for the first time that night and she will continue to do so until the moment she steps off the stage.

The more dance and disco inspired ‘I Wrote The Book’ and ‘Open Heart Surgery’ from the 2011 EP, get the crowd properly going early on and her interaction with her fans becomes more entertaining after each track. She lets the audience teach her some Dutch, drips some sweat into their drinks and jokes around with her band members. At times it feels like we are watching the Beth Ditto comedy show, as she likes to call it herself. Towards the end, the pace of the show picks up again and the first people start to jump around to the uplifting new single ‘We Could Run’. She plays Gossip classics ‘Love Long Distance’ and ‘Standing In The Way of Control’, which get the strongest crowd reactions of the night.

As often with concerts, there is quite a few people in the crowd who just come to hear the hit singles, which is not much of a problem if you don’t disturb the rest of the show. One visitor however, felt the need to scream for hit single ‘Heavy Cross’, while Beth was in the midst of singing ‘Clouds’, a personal stripped back song. Ditto replied by flipping the bird at him, before she actually started ‘Heavy Cross’. It of course turned out to be one of the absolute highlights of the night with flawless vocals from a true diva on stage. She ends things with solo material though. ‘Fire’, the lead single of her debut, proves to be the perfect climax to this high energy pop rock show by a true entertainer.

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