Live 8 Hyde Park London 2nd July 2005
I was so excited about this event for three reasons: firstly because I’d been in Wembley Stadium for Live Aid, secondly to see The Who, and thirdly and most of all to see Pink Floyd again. We (me, Marie, David and Laura) all went, staying the weekend in London. I’d managed to get tickets for the Gold Circle which took us right down the front, next to the stage, so we had an excellent view of the entire day’s proceedings.
Bob Geldof opened the proceedings, followed by Paul McCartney with U2 performing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (It was 20 years ago today! Wonderful). Then U2 performed “Beautiful Day” (with a verse of the Beatles’ “Blackbird”), “Vertigo”, “One” (including a segment from “Unchained Melody”). Coldplay were next up and played “In My Place” with a section from “Rockin’ All Over the World” (cheeky; Quo should have been on stage performing this, but weren’t invited although they of course opened Live Aid), “Bitter Sweet Symphony” (joined by Richard Ashcroft), and “Fix You”. David Walliams and Matt Lucas then came on stage in the role of their Little Britain characters Lou and Andy and introduced Elton John who played “The Bitch Is Back”, “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”, and “Children of the Revolution” (with guest Pete Doherty). Bill Gates was then next up on stage to introduce Dido who sang “White Flag” and “Thank You” and “7 Seconds”with Youssou N’Dour.
Stereophonics were followed by REM who were introduced by Ricky Gervais. R.E.M. performed “Imitation of Life”, “Everybody Hurts”, and “Man on the Moon”. Then Kofi Annan introduced Ms. Dynamite who was followed by Keane and Travis. Bob Geldof joined Travis to sing “I Don’t Like Mondays”. Brad Pitt was next on stage to introduce Annie Lennox, then came UB40, Snoop Dogg and Razorlight.
Bob Geldof then introduced 24-year-old Birhan Woldu, the starving Ethiopian child whose image was so powerful in the video shown at Live Aid. Madonna took to the stage, embraced Birhan and held hands with her as she sang “Like a Prayer”.
Madonna was followed by Snow Patrol, The Killers, Joss Stone, Scissor Sisters, and Velvet Revolver (good but a bit out of place at this event). Then Lenny Henry presented Sting who sang the same songs as he performed at Live Aid: “Message in a Bottle”, “Driven To Tears”, and “Every Breath You Take”. Next Dawn French introduced Mariah Carey who was amazing, and David Beckham presented “his friend” Robbie Williams who got the crowd really going with “We Will Rock You”, “Let Me Entertain You”, “Feel”, and “Angels”. Peter Kay sauntered onto the stage and couldn’t resist singing “Is This the Way to Amarillo”.
Now we were moving to the legends; the bands that I had really come to see. The Who played “Who Are You”, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. They were followed by an event which I never thought I would see, the reunion of Pink Floyd and a breath-taking performance of “Speak to Me”/”Breathe”, “Money”, “Wish You Were Here” (real lump in the thrat moment and closed with “Comfortably Numb”. It was left to Paul McCartney to close the show with “Get Back”, “Drive My Car” (with George Michael), “Helter Skelter”, and “The Long and Winding Road”. He finished with “Hey Jude’ to which everyone sang along, and which seemed to go on for ever. We left Hyde Park as the crowd continued to sing “Na Na Na NaNa Na Na….”). The show was originally scheduled to close at 9.30pm, but seriously overran and went on until just after midnight.
The Floyd reunion was, of course, the real highlight for me. Gilmour announced the reunion less than a month before the gig, on 12 June 2005: “ Like most people I want to do everything I can to persuade the G8 leaders to make huge commitments to the relief of poverty and increased aid to the third world. It’s crazy that America gives such a paltry percentage of its GNP to the starving nations. Any squabbles Roger and the band have had in the past are so petty in this context, and if re-forming for this concert will help focus attention then it’s got to be worthwhile.” Waters said on stage: “It’s actually quite emotional standing up here with these three guys after all these years. Standing to be counted with the rest of you. Anyway, we’re doing this for everyone who’s not here, but particularly, of course, for Syd.” The screens showed video from their past shows, and a film of the pig from the Animals flying over Battersea Power Station. This was simply mind-blowing stuff; for me it was a very emotional experience. I found Wish You Were Here particularly powerful; you felt they were singing the song for Syd; which of course they were. Syd sadly passed away the following year. With Wright’s subsequent passing in 2008, this was to be the final concert to feature all four playing together.
A great, momentous day.
Archive for the ‘Coldplay’ Category
Live 8 Hyde Park London 2nd July 2005
Coldplay Newcastle Arena 2005
Support Richard Ashcroft
Is this really 7 seven years ago? It doesn’t seem like anytime at all since David, Laura and I went to this gig, which had sold out in superfast time. Support came from special guest Richard Ashcroft who was worthy of headline status in his own right, and warmed the crowd up with a set which included all the Verve classics. The crowd were really up for it, there was a great sense of anticipation. Tickets were selling outside for around £100 each. Coldplay got a great reception from the Newcastle crowd and delivered a set which included all their anthems. At the end the lights were switched on and the cameras turned on the audience, showing lots of smiling faces on the video screens. Although I wouldn’t pretend to be a fan, I was pretty impressed by Coldplay at this gig. Setlist: Square One; Politik; Yellow; Speed Of Sound; God Put A Smile Upon Your Face; X&Y; White Shadows; How You See The World; The Scientist; ’Til Kingdom Come; Don’t Panic (Acoustic); Clocks; Talk. Encore: Swallowed In The Sea; In My Place; Fix You
I’ve taken a long time to get round to writing anything about this Glastonbury; I seem to have been catching up on things at work and home since we got back.
We (Me, Marie, Laura and David) all made the journey to Pilton Farm this year, again hiring a campervan. This year’s weather was quite a bit different from last year, with lots of rain earlier in the week, making the site very muddy. Our van got stuck deep in the mud on arrival and, after lots of pushes from staff and others, we were finally towed into the field by a giant tractor. As last year, we studied the clashfinder and made lots of plans of who we were all going to see; however the reality was very difficult, with the mud making it very difficult to make great trecks across the whole site from stage to stage. I’d particularly wanted to see the old-timers on the 71 stage, but in the event, didn’t get much of a chance to do so.
Friday was pretty wet and all of the walkways were deep in mood. It was really hard work walking through the mud which was very sticky; wellies were coming off and people were falling over…..
71 stage: managed to wander over through the mud and saw Martin Stone playing some pretty solid blues/rock. David was over there earlier and caught Noel Harrison singing Windmills of my Mind.
B B King: Some great guitar from a legend. Much better than I thought he might be.
Radiohead: Laura and David went over to the Park stage to see Radiohead do their special guest spot. They returned quite disappointed; apparently the sound wasn’t great, and the set focussed on the more recent albums.
Morrissey: Marie and I watched Morrissey’s set while David and Laura were at the Park seeing Radiohead. He was pretty good, although he didn’t seem in a great mood, telling the crowd “I know you’re all waiting for U2; I’ll sing fast”
U2: By now the rain was really coming down. The set had a good selection of old favourites, and Bono was out to impress. Fraid the rain got the better of us in the end, and we retired to the van.
Saturday was much better weather wise with no rain at all. The mud was drying out, but still very deep and sticky on the walkways over to the Other Stage and Arcadia.
Pulp: The highlight for us. When we heard Pulp were reforming I promised Laura (and myself) that we must see them. So when we heard that they might be Saturday’s special guest at the Park stage, we had to go over and see. And Javis and crew didn’t let us down. The field was rammed; they had to close the gates. Everyone was singing along, and I was surprised how many songs I knew. Started with Do You Remember the First Time? The whole field went mental and sang Disco 2000 and Common People like their lives depended on it.
Coldplay: OK; not my favourite band but seemed to go down well with the crowd.
Chemical Brothers: Laura and David went across to the Other Stage for The Chemical Brothers and seemed to have a great time too.
Sunday was red hot.
The Wombles: This was the highlight for Laura. Mike Batt and co played Avalon in their suits. Started with Remember you’re a Womble and finished with the Wombling Song. The tent was packed; everyone determined to have a great sing-a-long. Shame we missed out on getting a Wombles mask, but Laura bought a t-shirt.
Paul Simon: A good set.
Beyonce: I just didn’t get this. Laura thought she was great, but Marie and I weren’t too impressed. Yet when I got home, the first thing everyone I saw said to me was “did you see Beyonce?” and then told me how great she was on the TV coverage. It seems to me that it may have looked better on TV than from the field itself. Everyone around us didn’t seem to be getting into it.
We left straight after Beyonce and, after getting the van pushed out of the mud by a group of friendly guys, we drove all through the night and were back home at 8am on Monday. It took Marie and I 3 hours to clean the mud from the van, before we returned it to the hire company….
Coldplay Newcastle Tyne Theatre 20 Dec 2010
I was lucky enough to score a ticket to this “secret” gig which Coldplay were playing for Crisis, a charity for the homeless. The two gigs, one in Newcastle and one the night before in Liverpool, were announced around one month ago. The venues were kept secret until 24 hours before the gig; all we were told was that it would be an intimate (1000 seater) venue in Newcastle. Tickets went on sale online: a small for local residents, some for general sale and some for auction. By the time I managed to get through to the website (a few minutes after they went on sale) all that was left was single seats. So I bought myself a ticket; although I am not a massive Coldplay fan, I quite fancied seeing them in such a small venue.
As the day of the gig drew closer, I’d sort of figured out that the venue was likely to be the Tyne Theatre. There aren’t many venues of that size in Newcastle and they was a break in the Pantomime run on 20 December! Others on the Coldplay Forum seemed to be of the same opinion. And sure enough on Sunday, I received an email from Crisis telling me that the venue was indeed the Tyne Theatre and instructing me to go along to the Metro Arena to collect my ticket.
So on Monday night I got the train through to Newcastle for the gig. A short walk through the snow to the Arena and I picked up my ticket: Row S in the Stalls! Not a bad position, and to be honest any seat in such a small venue would be fine. Another short walk to the Tyne Theatre and time for a quick drink before time for the support act. Our comperes for the evening were local guys Ant and Dec, who did a great job warming us for the main event. The support act was The Choir With No Name, who are a London based choir of homless people. They aren’t great singers but did a grand job of covering some favourites and got the crowd singing and clapping along with them.
There was a wonderful atmosphere in the theatre. The crowd was made up of Coldplay fans who had come from far and wide. Hearing people around me talking I could see that some had come from all over the UK and Europe. I saw one guy arrive during the interval without a ticket. He explained in a German accent that his plane had been delayed four hours, and that he had just been to the Arena to pick up his ticket and it was closed. The guys on the door seemed to let him in without too much discussion.
After a short break and a build up by Ant and Dec, Coldplay came on stage, starting with Yellow. By now I’d realised that this was a pretty special event. I also realised how many Coldplay songs I actually knew. Lots of singing along in the big choruses (Vida la Vida in particular), and the band looked like they were very much enjoying playing in a small venue. During the encore Chris Martin annouces that they is someone who wants to come on stage and say something. A guy and his girlfriend come up on stage and he kneels down and proposes to her (quite a few people shout “say no!”). The band finish with Christmas Lights, accompanied by and Ant and Dec who are both dressed as Elvis and are playing voilins.
All in all a pretty special event, which I feel lucky to have experienced. Perhaps I am a Coldplay fan after all.
Time for pattie and chips from the corner fish shop and then I catch a metro home.
Setlist: Yellow; Lost!; God Put A Smile Upon Your Face; Cemeteries of London; Trouble; Glass of Water; Til Kingdom Come; Shiver; In My Place; Lovers In Japan; Death And All His Friends; Clocks; Viva La Vida; Fix You
Encore: Politik; The Scientist; Christmas Lights
Coldplay website: http://www.coldplay.com
Choir with no name website: http://www.choirwithnoname.org
Crisis website: http://www.crisis.org.uk