Bristol meant two things. Our second and unfortunately last front row of the tour and no photos. Over recent years the venue was quite strict on photo taking. We managed some on our first concert there, but were then stopped. Not much hope there.
You can imagine we were less than thrilled, when we stood in the shadow of the Colston Hall, in the wind channel of wind channels….. for more than an hour. Half frozen to death Mr. Ball walked up the street, stopped at the corner, talking to a group of fans, having photos and all, while we waited just being warmed by seeing him from the distance. Unfortunately, when he walked up, there was no one really wanting anything from him as we all had our fair share and so he greeted us all, asked if we were alright, gave us a smile and was in so quickly that we did not manage to hand him our presents.
We were joined by lovely Angela just a minute after Mr. Ball entered the building. After that the main highlight of the day followed. We met Adrian and had among us six big big hugs and a lovely chat. Gorgeous and so talented man and we hope he will be continue touring with Michael for a long time.
We took our seats in the front row, just next to Callum. So close and so nice and we had some hope when the ushers said “No Flash photography” when we entered. Usually that means photography without flash is alright and this time (as you can tell, if you saw the website) they knew that our camera is far from professional.
Unfortunately the backing singers, musicians and of course Michael entered the stage from the left hand side and not from ours as the stage is so small. In fact there is hardly any space for him to move around.
For “Wake me up” hardly any one got up. There were again just patches of people getting up and some of them were told off by people behind them .We’d really hope that Live Nation would make the effort to give at least a block allocation to the fan club. This is so annoying for the fans, who’ve always been standing for the first half and annoying for those people who don’t know and fear maybe that we will be standing for the rest of the night, spoiling the evening.
During his punk time talk he mentioned again his bondage trousers, which he still has, but they would not fit, not even with larger safety pins.
We told you about that bit about the open auditions for Phantom of the Opera. We said, he got laughs for it and that will mean he will repeat it and rest assured he did and it was even more hilarious.
When we were commenting on the audience at the beginning, we have to say, that our impression during that first song was so wrong. The audience was fabulous and once we reached party time and “The Wonder of you” we turned around and saw that almost the complete audience were on their feet , waving their arms. Seeing that was breathtaking. Now, if you wonder, why Michael strives so much, when the audience is appreciative, you’d only have to see that view yesterday and compare it to a quiet audience with most people sitting. It gave us an enormous buzz and they were not even cheering for us!
An amazing day made extra special by spending it with Angela. Thank you love.Permalink
It wouldn’t be a tour without typing a blog entry whilst driving to the next venue. Well, Kerstin is driving and Julia typing, just in case you were worried there for a moment.
Now, Sheffield. Finding the venue proved to be a little bit tricky to put it mildly. Our sat nav has been on tour with us for a very long time which means it is ten years old. And traffic layouts do change. And never did we get to experience this phenomenon more than in Sheffield. We have never been tp the city (yay! A new tour venue for us!) and spent an awful lot of time panicking because of the many bus lanes and non-existent roundabouts. We had given up all hopes of finding either venue or hotel when all of a sudden there it was: the City Hall. And parked in front of it was one of the two tour busses. HEUREKA! AND there was a small car park right next to the stage door. Another first: our car could experience the joy of stage door-ing with us! We got out and it was glorious sunshine. A good sign surely. The very helpful local fans even pointed us into the direction of our hotel (thank you again!) but once you are at a stage door you don’t leave. It’s a olden rule. So we waited. And waited. And then waited some more. The weather changed from sunshine to small clouds to bigger clouds and then grey skies and cold wind. We got both our jackets out of the car and waited a little more. He arrived at 4:30. There were quite a few fans by that time and a gentleman had a huge stash of newspaper cuttings he asked Michael to sign. So there he stood and signed away. And one point he looked up and said: You can talk among yourselves now, Ladies.
It all was a bit rushed as he still needed to do the sound check obviously and then there are the meet and greets at around 5pm. But everyone got their photos and autographs, of course.
We sat in row five and had a great view. The stage is not too high and the crowd was very keen on Mr Ball. From the first notes you could hear that the day’s rest did his voice a lot of good. Sheffield loved him from the word go and it promised to be a very happy evening.
The “Michael in his teens as a punk” story is evolving. He let us know that his dad was livid when he (Michael) had his ear pierced with 15 (his dad was in the audience, too). We love the look on people’s faces when Michael says he hated punk music but would still do three Sex Pistols songs next! Just kidding, of course (we are sure it would be fun though!). When he did his Michael-Crawford-sings-Sex-Pistols impersonation he remembered an incident back in the early Phantom days. He said Callum will remember it, too, as he was working there at the time (it’s where they met). The held open auditions for the cast change and Michael sneaked in as last singer, in disguise and then sang a few Phantom songs in Michael Crawford’s voice, which he then did for us, well, a few lines. It was hysterical. The woman behind us was crying with laughter.
The whole evening was wonderful. At last a truly appreciative audience again. We would say second best we have seen after legendary York.
We couldn’t take many photos as one of the ushers thought we used a professional camera (we wish!!) which he very kindly explained in the interval. We should feel flattered, we suppose. Professional photographers are only allowed to take pictures during the first three songs (we know that, now we only need to find someone who is paying us for our efforts LOL). He said the artist especially requested for no flash photography (we wouldn’t dream of it), no mobile phones or tablet PCs and no filming. Just for your interest. Sadly the artist had not specified the permitted lense length ;-). But that was fine as we already had a few nice shots to share with you all.
A second innovation came in form of a selfie stick. “I have a very long one..” getting it all to work proved a little difficult though and resulted in the mobile phone taking a first and not so tentative step onto the stage, well, okay, it fell on the stage. But only once and it survived. We even had a countdown to the actual photo to get ready for it. It turned out nicely as you can see on his twitter account.
Sheffield was rounded off by a chat with the ever charming Tony Ball after the concert. And yes, everyone who met Michael’s dad knows where he got it all from. He looked fabulous (two words: Slimming World).
A great evening had by all and we are curious what Bristol will bring.Permalink