Sunday, 9 November 2008

Long Live Our Rocking QUEEN!

I was looking forward to seeing Queen + Paul Rodgers last night for a long time, and restless night after night, followed by a “don’t-ask-me-to-do-that-I’m-too-excited” shift at work, and finally an agitating long journey into London, finished in an explosion of sound at Wembley Arena.

I was so excited, walking towards the beautifully lit building, standing powerfully next to the iconic stadium beside it. I got in, got my wristband, and then spent a bit of time emptying my bladder, buying a t-shirt, and changing tops. I felt much better in my official merchandise. I found Mum, gave her my backpack, then raced into the standing area with Fran. It was quite full when we got in, and I rang Charlotte to see where they were. She lifted Jodie up, and I got on Fran’s back. After spotting Jodie’s head bobbing above the crowd, I took Fran’s hand, and weaved between the crowd towards them. They had got a really good spot, about ten rows back. We had a perfect view of the stage. We all stood in anticipation, waiting for the lights to go down. There were no support bands, and eventually it went dark…

The electricity in the audience exploded throughout the arena as the intro began, bursting through lightning on the big screen, then leading into Hammer To Fall. Instantly, the crowd was cheering and singing along. The concert was very good, beginning with original songs to get the night going, then each member performing solo. Roger Taylor’s drum solo was epic. I’ve never seen anything like it. I was in awe. He was at the end of the catwalk, with just one cymbal, and then slowly, roadies brought more and more of his (second) drum kit to him, and he get faster and louder, beats bursting into the air. It was brilliant. Brian’s solo was awesome too, distorted noise filling the vast arena, pulsing right through your body. The band are brilliant. Throughout the night, the band performed a lot of original Queen songs, some of their new ones, and some covers. Paul Rodger’s did a pretty good job, too, though he knows he could never fill Freddie’s place, he did his best.

I was always waiting for the crowd to really get going, though. There were so many old people in the standing area, and I don’t mind that, but I wanna move about, jump, dance crazily, and scream. That’s pretty much what I do at concerts, but this lot glared at you if you moved. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but still, I felt bad that I think I stood on someone’s toe during one moment I was momentarily moshing with Fran, whereas that should be expected at a gig. There was so much space around us, and we could move freely and dance, but obviously not, because the audience didn’t like that. I’m not saying I wanna be absolutely crushed, but lack of space, jumping, and singing so loud, are just part of the experience.

The band, and the music they played, were overall excellent. As the camera swung round in our direction, we jumped around, and it was so cool to see ourselves on the big screen a few times. My favourite songs that night included “I Want It All”, “C-Lebrity”, “Say It Ain’t True”, “Radio GaGa” and of course “Bohemian Rhapsody”, where they used Freddie’s vocals for the first part. It was so moving to see him on the screen, singing so passionately from a past show. They showed pictures and video of him quite a lot during the night, and dedicated songs to him, which was so nice. The band “finished” after Bohemian Rhapsody, and then came back on after the crowd was cheering. Their encore was the best part of the night. “Cosmos Rockin’”, “All Right Now” (-Free cover), “We Will Rock You”, and finally “We Are The Champions”. At this point, the atmosphere got pretty good, and people were singing and dancing, while the people who had seats were actually standing up. We Will Rock You was fantastic. That is such an awesome song. After We Are The Champions, the band took their bows, and left to the English National Anthem, after an epic 2-and-a-half hour concert. It was legendary.

We didn’t manage to get any of the drumsticks the roadies were handing out at the end, but got pretty close. As we were waiting for my parents and the others they were with, we got much-needed water, and talked about our favourite parts. Then, as we left the venue, Fran and I ran through the fountains outside. We jumped through them as the sprinkler went down, and then as I was about to jump back out, another boy collided with me, pushing me into the upcoming water. I was soaked, all up my left side, but it was fun!

The journey home was so nice. It was one of the times I’ll never forget. We stopped for food on the way, so after my chicken sandwich, I enjoyed hot chocolate and a donut at midnight, while driving back in the dark, listening to amazing music streaming through the speakers from my Pod. We were just cruising, the street lights flashing overhead, time to contemplate, relax, unwind, and chill. We weren’t doing anything, but I really enjoyed it! After dropping Fran off home, we got home and to bed at around 2.30am, with aching muscles and amazing memories…

1 comment:

  1. luke, my dear.
    well- i'm not sure where you have been lately.
    actually i do- england.
    i miss you quite simply, we must talk soon. Okay? okay?