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 »  Home  »  Music  »  An Encounter with Oliver Dragojevic in Houston May 7-8 2015
An Encounter with Oliver Dragojevic in Houston May 7-8 2015
By David Byler | Published  05/12/2015 | Music | Unrated
Oliver in Houston May 7-8 2015
When I arrived at the Lone Star Croatian Club in Houston Thursday night, Oliver was already there and the party was well underway. There was a buffet with an abundance of food and a bar with with nearly every beverage you could imagine. What would you expect after all? We are Croatians. We eat and drink. We party!!

Everyone wanted a photo with Oliver so he was graciously posing for everyone and autographing CDs I got my photo as well as an autographed CD for me and another for a friend who could not be there Thursday night. Oliver was kind to personalize that one specially.

I wandered off to sit down with "Chach" and Gordana Cacinovic while the picture taking continued. "Chach" is a special friend. Nenad Bach had introduced us last year at "Ethnic Day" at the White House in Washington DC. My back quit on me and "Chach" very graciously pushed me around in a wheel chair. We saw parts of the White House no one ever sees - a cloak room, the kitchen, and a wall with a panel that magically opens. On this tour, Chach is looking after Oliver who certainly has no need for a wheelchair.

I thought I had come the longest distance to the party. Brownsville to Houston is about 371 miles. To my surprise there was someone there from Buenos Aires and across from me was Petra Tulic who sings out in California. We'll have an article on her before long. She is an up and coming Croatian - American chanteuse we all need to know more about. Her father was beside her at the table. He is a drummer in Dupini who would be accompanying Oliver at the Concert Friday night.

I wanted another CD for my friend so he and Gordana got the whole Dupini band to autograph one along with Oliver too. Fantastic personalities in this band. If you've never heard them, you owe it to yourself to make a point to find where they are playing and enjoy them They are great.

After a while, Oliver motioned me to come to him and, while someone was snapping our picture again, he said "get me outside!" Hey, the great man needed some fresh air so off we went through the crowd. Outside, he told me that he has been singing for fifty five years. Then he asked me about which of his songs I liked the best. Of course I like everyone of them but I've been using some of his older music on "Canovals," my Youtube channel. He encouraged me to begin using the newer music too. He said he enjoyed the new music better. "It's more complicated, more interesting to sing." He told me about his upcoming show in Las Vegas and how there would be a full symphonic orchestra with him. He was excited about the prospect of the orchestra. I wanted to know more about what it felt like for a performer to have the backing of symphonic orchestra. I knew that Nenad Bach has been working toward this in Dubuque so I asked him this morning about that. Nenad said one word - "Exhilarating." That tells the story. Two of our greatest Croatian performers will have a full symphonic orchestra behind them this year. Nenad in Dubuque and Oliver in Las Vegas. There is nothing in the world like a performer who is exhillerated. I predict that we've never heard Oliver like we will hear him on stage at the Pearl Theater in the Palms Casino Resort September 26. That could be one of the best shows of the 21st century. I want to score some tickets before they are all gone.

While Oliver and I were outside a Houston Police car pulled up and parked. The policeman got out of his car. Someone said "Oh oh, Oliver, they've come to arrest you!" Sure enough, the policeman had his handcuffs ready. Oliver surrendered to being handcuffed to one of the pretty young ladies at the party.

The theater in Stafford was the perfect venue for the concert. Intimate, yet a lot of people were in the theater Friday night. Loreta Kovacic Parani from Alchemist Theatre in Houston led off the show with young Sofia. They played and hummed a bit of "Majko," absolutely perfect for Mother's Day weekend Sofia just about stole everyone's heart.

For two and a half hours, Oliver sang a wide variety of his songs for us. At several points the crowd was on its feet dancing and singing along with utter abandon. The way he paced his songs was masterful. After moving our bodies for a while Oliver settled into a set of slower, quieter songs. By the time Oliver sang "Veruj u Ljubav," my emotions were running out of my eyes.

After the concert, Oliver greeted hundreds of fans, signed autographs, and posed for still more photographs with everyone.

Oliver's lightening May USA and Canada tour for 2015 is done. He sang in Cleveland, Montreal, New Orleans, Houston, St Louis, and Mississauga on this tour to sold out or nearly sold out crowds. On the Facebook page for the tour is written: "6 performances, several time zone changes, twice crossing Canada-USA border, 9 flights, 700 miles by the car, taking photos and signing autographs to over a 1,000 fans! All of that in just 11 days!" We all love Oliver Dragojevic, and we are looking forward to seeing him again. Viva Las Vegas! 

Pearl Theater, Palms Casino Resort.  Photo credit:  Oliver in Las Vegas, Chicago, and NYC Facebook page.
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