Pink Martini Review

Pink Martini performed in Prague for their very first time on Wednesday evening

Pink Martini, the American ‘little orchestra’ band as they’re best described, performed in Prague for their very first time on Wednesday evening, despite being around for nearly 20 years. Needless to say there were a lot of excited people present for such a rare occasion, with the Lucerna Music Bar pretty full. Nobody should have been left feeling disappointed.

For anyone unfamiliar with the group the easiest way to describe their style(s) is a mix of classical, big band, Latin and more all thrown together. In fact it’s probably best to just look them up on Youtube. Due to their orchestral style the band has around fifteen members that appear on their albums and about ten of them were playing live. Luckily the stage at Lucerna is quite large so there was room for the grand piano, cello, drums and percussion kits, trumpet, trombone and a few more other instruments.

After all of Pink Martini had piled onstage (which understandably took a few minutes) they opened with a little pop number before moving onto a dancier, salsa style song that upped the tempo and worked a charm as it got a lot of people moving. Singer Storm Large (that is her real name) added to the visual experience with her sultry dancing in a black sequined dress. As the singer and only female in the group she was the main focal point for much of the night but was joined on vocal duties by Timothy Nishimoto for some songs. It was an extra special night for him as not only was it his first time in Prague but also his birthday, as the audience sang to him for a change.

There were a few instrumental arrangements, at which point both singers reverted to playing the tambourine at the back, and an excellent violin/piano duet around the midway point that broke things up nicely. A lot of songs were performed in a few different languages, from English to Italian for the operatic ones, Spanish for the more flamenco styles and possibly a bit of French at one point too, but unsurprisingly none in Czech. This enhanced the authenticity as Pink Martini weren’t just covering other people’s songs but playing their own compositions and managed to keep the audience captivated throughout.

About an hour and a half after they started and it was all over, until they reappeared for a two-song encore, promising they’d be back in Prague again. The fun reached boiling point as a conga line was formed, weaving and swaying through the sea of people in time to the upbeat music flowing out. The musicianship was fantastic throughout and with such a variety of styles and dancing it never once got boring.

Afterwards fans had a chance to get their albums, t-shirts, faces or whatever they pleased signed and pictures taken with the whole band, sat behind one long table. For many it was a unique opportunity not only to see Pink Martini perform but get up close. Based on the reaction they received and if they stay true to their word then Prague can expect to play host to Pink Martini at least once more in the future.

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