Thrilling 72,000 fans with a three-and-a-half-hour show at Belgrade’s Red Star soccer stadium, Zdravko Colic will hope for the same sort of reaction when he plays his hometown of Sarajevo on September 8th.
For Colic, the Belgrade show was a homecoming of sorts, as he last played the city and the same stadium in 1978.
"We had to bring in all of the equipment for that ’78 show, including sound, lights, lasers and even the stage. Three big trucks full of equipment came from London," promoter Maxa Catovic of the locally based Komuna explained.
"Back in those days Serbia was a Communist country and it was an incredible thing to happen. It was one of the first big outdoor shows we’d had in the region."
For this year’s show June 23, Catovic still had to bring in production from outside Serbia, although this time the extra gear will be coming from Slovakia, Bulgaria and the neighbouring Balkan countries.
Catovic is confident of selling out the Sarajevo show in the city’s 50,000-capacity Kosovo Stadium, particularly as it’s Colic’s birthplace and his popularity is as strong in Bosnia and Herzegovina as any of the other Balkan states.
He’s also hoping to develop the market further as the city recovers from the Bosnian War, in which it underwent the longest siege in modern military history.
Colic, who was a huge star throughout former Yugoslavia, appears to have retained that following.
He represented Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1973 with "Gori Vatra." It did nowhere near as well as Serbia’s 2006 winning entry but became a massive hit back home.
Ti I Ja (You and Me), his debut album, came out in ’75 but it was ’77’s Ako Prideš Bliže (If You Come Closer) that really established him, selling nearly 1 million copies throughout Yugoslavia.
He peaked at the beginning of the 1980s, when he was arguably the country’s most popular pop performer.
After the war and a long pause, he’s embarking on a live comeback and his legions of fans have clearly stayed loyal.