Posts Tagged ‘dave stewart’

Ringo Starr Liverpool the Musical

Ringo Starr

Liverpool the Musical; Official opening of the European Capital of Culture  Jan 2008

Liverpool Echo Arena

This concert was the official opening of the European Capital of Culture at the new Echo Arena. Tickets had been allocated by a ballot and had gone largely to residents of Liverpool, with some sent overseas and to other parts of the UK. As the line-up for the event became clear, Laura and I decided we would like to go along, so we set about trying to get a couple of tickets. Some tickets were going for silly prices on eBay, but we managed to buy a couple for less than face value from someone in Germany.

We booked a room in the Adelphi hotel, which is just the right place to stay when going to Liverpool for a Beatles-related event, and drove down on the Saturday afternoon, arriving just in time to go for a pizza before the show. The Arena is a short walk from the centre of the city, and we got there in plenty of time for the show. We both quite excited about this; going to the new Echo Arena to see Ringo at the launch of the Capital of Culture!

The new Echo Arena is pretty good, pretty modern; some ideas obviously taken from the O2. Its not quite the size of Manchester MEN, but its much better than most of the other arenas that we’ve been to. Our seats are at the back of the arena, but with a direct view of the stage. From listening to the people who are sitting around us it is obvious that most are from around the globe; this block of seats has obviously been allocated for international punters.

The show has been billed as Liverpool – the Musical, a musical based on the history of the city of Liverpool and features many local stars: The Wombats; the Christians, Shack, Connie Lush, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Farm and Pete Wylie. The stage is pretty cleverly set up with the orchestra on a multi-level stage playing from behind a net screen,  and clever use of video footage of Liverpool and the Beatles. The bands play a mixture of their own material and some Beatles classics; Echo and the Bunnymen and the Wombats do most to lift the mood of the crowd.

At one point we see a crowd of children each holding a box of light marching through St Georges Square (this had been filmed the previous evening) ; the children then enter the building and walk through the audience up onto the stage.

As we near the end of the show, Phil Redmond takes the stage and introduces Ringo who joins us to an enormous cheer from the crowd.  Ringo is joined by Dave Stewart and a band, and starts with Liverpool 8 his new single. He then sings With a Little Help from my Friends, with the help of the entire arena singing along with him. To close, he leads us into Power to the People (“this one’s for John”) and it sounds like the roof might lift off the arena.

Then we take the short walk back to the Adelphi, through the streets of Liverpool; this has been a pretty  memorable event, and lived up to all the expectations that we had for it.