With his band Winter Moods currently on a break, frontman Ivan Grech, clearly unable to resist the itch to get back on stage, got together with a band of musicians to put on a solo concert; hardly surprising really, given the success of his first such venture last year. Of particular note this year, having the production costs of the concert covered by partners and sponsors made it possible for all revenue from ticket sales and other donations collected on the night to be passed on to ALS Malta. The total sum, a whopping EUR 20,000+, will surely help Bjorn Formosa's organization and its worthy cause.
Grech’s second solo concert was held on July 18 in the remarkable setting of Ta’ Liesse, Valletta; a performance which, to the surprise of many, did not include any U2 songs at all. Not that it needed any, as the repertoire presented was effective enough without a nod to Bono & Co. The two-hour show saw Grech and his band taking on a number of Winter Moods favourites as well as an appealing selection of covers that the singer claims form part of the soundtrack to his life. No arguments there, as those same songs were more than likely also reference pints in the lives of a great part of the audience present.
The 2000-strong crowd made no secret of their connection to the featured songs, and while it was great fun to sing along to old gems like Tainted Love, Shout or Don't You (Forget About Me), it is rather impressive to see a crowd like this singing Winter Moods' songs practically word for word, and I don't just mean the obvious tunes like Marigold, Everlasting or My Neverland. Personally, one of my favourite tracks on the night was the take on Marillion's Kayleigh, complete with Lavender segue, which worked as well as any U2 song would have.
Special guest Pascal Kravetz added a touch of class to the performance, and with his rather lively attire, quite a lot of colour too. Apart from playing on a few upbeat numbers with the band, the internationally-renowned musician accompanied Grech on a stripped-down piano medley that went down extremely well. In the background the stagehands were busy preparing for the La Voix children's choir to step in and accompany Grech on Bridge Over Troubled Water and Winter Moods' own Miss You.
Commenting about the concert, Grech said, “I'm overwhelmed by the response and feedback. It was yet another memorable night and a big satisfaction to be doing what I enjoy and helping another just cause." Raising over €20,000 for ALS Malta is indeed a big achievement; one that the singer added would not have been possible without the generosity of the people who have always come together to give their support when it was needed. "Thank you to everyone who attended, supported and donated to ALS Malta.”
Ivan Grech was accompanied by Jeremy Micallef and David Cassar Torreggiani on guitars, David Ciantar on keyboards, Robert Galea on bass and Raphael Tonna on drums. The backing vocalists were Angela Spiteri, Jackie Pace Delicata and Louisa Frendo Wirth. Local artist Christabelle performed an opening set.
Ivan Grech in Concert was presented by Hard Rock Café, sponsored by Coca Cola, BOV, MTA and Palumbo, and supported by Renault, Arkadia, BMIT, Marsaxlokk Water Polo Club, Mapfre Middlesea, Scratchers, JSDimech Ltd, Signal 8, Sica, showshappening.com, Come On!, Portomaso Gaming, Sigma, OVO Casino, Jackpot.com, Quasar Gaming, Bit8, Gaming Malta and the Malta Gaming Authority.