Last night Ana Popovic played to a sold out Vanslag church in Borger. It has been a bit over 11 years since I last saw Ana and a lot has happened in those years so it was high time I saw her again.
My history with Ana goes way back to my early days of concert photography. If memory serves me well I saw her in Assen for the first time, back in the day when in the -now closed- discotheque of Assen there were still concerts, and that was back in 2000. My first attempts at concert photography were with a manual focus Olympus OM10. That was a complete and total disaster.
My first photos of Ana Popovic that I still have were taken at the Rhythm & Blues Night festival in Groningen. Ana comes from Belgrade – Serbia, but was living in Amsterdam at the time and had a Dutch backing band. In the following years I saw them a few times, the last time was in 2006…
Ana Popovic moved to America and things started going for here there and her name has been on the rise in the world of Blues ever since. Last year she made her first appearance in the Vanslag venue. I had just returned from my Guatamalan vacation but was too sick to make it to the concert. That was a huge bummer as I was really curious to see how Ana was doing now. Happily I got a second chance as it was announced soon after that Ana would return and yesterday was that date and she did not disappoint!
Since her time in America Ana’s style has only been getting better and she knocks out blues, jazz, soul and rock with flair and style. As I remember from those years ago Ana still dresses immaculately and has a terrific stage performance. Vocally she is much stronger and her guitar-playing is fantastic.
But she’s not alone on stage and is helped by a formidable European band. The Bass player is from the Netherlands (Groningen no less) and is a true showman. Terrific bass player that not simply plays his lines hidden in the shadows, he’s out that front stage pushing on the band and the audience. Add a terrific drummer and keyboard-player and a great horn-section and there’s a grooving, jamming swinging blues and soul band.
A high energy concert, great soundmix, superb lights and kick ass songs. It was good, really good to see Ana again. And if all goes to plan she’ll be back next year, the start of a good tradition? Thanks Vanslag and of course Ana Popovic for a fantastic blues experience!