The first two rows of the flat stalls in front of the (very high) stage was mainly a MBFC affair. We were on the far side but still on stage level. There were still 10 seats furtehr down the row who mainly had wall and security people in front of them. We felt thes should not have made the rows as wide but with the high stage the view hopefully wasn’t too bad.
For the first time during our leg of the tour the entire audience was on their feet when he appeared on stage for the opening song. And we are happy to report that this reception set the tone for the entire evening. He had tweeted “Brighton…come and get me!X” and we think Brighton did.
At least in our block the vibe was electrified. Lots and lots of noise, standing ovations in all the right places. The New York medley was interspersed with applause for each one of the five talented singers. As we had anticipated with the sun being out and being the last night of a successful tour Michael was “fristky as anything” agrain. He also asked whether anyone else had got sunburnt, because they forgot to put their factor on.
When we got to Misty and him saying that the radio host was played with Clint Eastwood, stressing the uncanny resemblance that got a good laugh. He looked all confused saying “And that’s funny why?”
We even had a final matinee moment during “Rhapsody in Blue” which is usually a very intense moment, with Roger on top of the show stairs in dramatic lights, playing this beautiful music. Michael listens to him then turns to us all and usually says “Mr. Roger Wilson!” and starts singing “New York State of Mind".
Was not quite as sophisticated tonight though. The problem was that we were sitting to the far side, so we could not see, if it was Roger or someone else. But anyhow, this person wore a long wig and looked anything but glamorous. Michael had a right laugh, he obviously had not expected that. Instead of “Mr. Roger Wilson” he managed to get a “What a talent” out between laughing.
After the New York Medley, when he had introduced his five co-singers, he thanked them for making the tour so special. After this mometn of emotion he again praised them for being young, athletic and handsome and announced in consistence with the night before, that they’re fired now.
We could not believe how fast we were back in the second act and he was talking about young, live, virile Marius and that he could still do the juvenile lead. This received a lot of approval from the audience. We all insisted that he did not have to be a mile away, but as we know this is just the intro for getting to Sweeney Todd. He stressed how this was happening very soon now and how his co-star was Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning. For once he looked positively terrified, covered his face with his hands and said “Oh God, what am I doing?". A beautiful rendition of “Pretty Women” and “Not While I’m around", which he then dedicated to Imelda Staunton. Wow! We had sat in the same auditorium as Dolores Umbridge.
Party time was a riot and he seemed genuinly touched by the rousing reception. He thanked all the fans for their support and said again what a wonderful tour it had been. He even called yesterday the perfect day. And he said tomorrow (today) would be his 39th birthday. Everyone in front of the stage had a good laugh, but you know, those who don’t know his birthday by heart would probably have believed him, fit as he is.
This was the third concert in a row and yet he was in top form. The sounds this man is making are uneblievable. We will miss the “Somebody to Love” money note. And it is so impressive how he can switch from the very naughty “Help Yourself” to a so sincere and gentle rendition of “Love changes everything” again with sensational money note. We have heard him live many many times and still this tour kept sitting there with mouth open, spine tingling in complete awe. A true phenomenon. We do hope this will come across on the DVD recording, but nothing will beat seeing him live. It was a wonderful last concert and we all felt rather emotional on our way out.
Back at the stage door the barriers now formed a rectangle with two barriers on each side of the door and two on the street, so he had a good sized space to move around in. We stood just opposite the door and could see the dressing room windows. They had lined up all the cards he had received and at one point Andrew and Imelda Staunton glanced down at us all. Eventually Michael came out in a beautiful flowery shirt (blue) giving his little thank you speech and introducing Ms Lovett to us all. She looked seriously impressed with the amount of ecstatic fans present. Inevitably someone started singing “Happy Birthday” and everyone joined in. While we can understand that you’d want to congratulate him it still felt a bit weird, seeing how superstitious he is and at home we say it is unlucky to congratulate someone before his actual birthday. But anyways it sure sounded nice and he even came to the barriers and signed whatever people popped in front of him. It was quite a frenzy and after a few moments he was back in the remaining tour bus (alone this time the singers would leave in a taxi and waved us all good-bye). The Heroes Tour 2011 was over.
We stayed behind saying good-bye to the boys and then stood a long time, chatting with friends about a wonderful experience. The weather was still brilliant and it was a very warm night, seagulls still over our heads, you could hear the waves crashing at the beach. He was probably right, it was the perfect day!
We are off home today, but will raise a glass to him at the airport. It feels strange to leave the country on his birthday. We hope he has a lovely party and then a well deserved rest before the Sweeney rehearsals. God October feels a long while away, but at least there will be Sunday Brunch against the withdrawel syndrome.
Many,many thanks to all those who have made our summer holiday extra special: Angela and family, Helge and Petra (we hope you have a lovely honeymoon in Hawaii!), Pat and Linda and gang, Pam and Rose-Marie, Bev and Hilary, Gill and Maureen, Joan, Faye, Barbara and Andrew and Saffy, Steve and Emma and everybody else who came up to us and said hello. It was such a joy to meet you all.
A blogged standing ovation to Sandra, Laura, Holly, Gary and Adrian! You guys have been amazing. As we have said; ear and eye candy.
We feel we don’t do this often enough, so we will do it now: Thank you Andrew for taking such good care of Michael and dealing so patiently with all our follies.
As always our final note of thanks must go to Mr. Michael Ball. Without him we would not have met any of the people mentionned above and it’s like he said, we hope we can still do this in 25 years time! Talk to you in October.Permalink