Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Whitesnake / Def Leppard - Thursday 26th June - Wembley Arena

The evening started with a meet at The Globe (Baker St Tube) where we met a couple of other friends purely by chance. I say by chance, every time I go to The Globe I seem to bump into someone I know. It is one of the most "touristy" pubs in London and one with poor service, so who knows what our guests think of that.

We decided to skip the first support act and have a couple of beers in town. This nearly cost us as the journey to Wembley was slow and there was a long queue to get in!

Luckily, we got in just in time for the start of Whitesnake and met up with some more friends about half way back. Unusually for Wembley, the whole of the floor was standing, so there was a reasonable amount of room. Having enjoyed Whitesnake a year or 2 back at Hammersmith, I wasn't as keen this time. The vocals seemed a bit off key and Mr Coverdale's constant swearing (I lost the spread bet with Richard on going for "under 25 F***ks during the show") became a bit tiresome. Still, the timeless classics of "Is This Love", "Here I Go Again" and "Ain't No Love.." went down well.

By contrast Def Leppard, who I'd been disappointed with last time, were excellent. Their setlist was spot on and the energy and guitars spot on too. They were backed by an impressive backdrop which didn't detract from the performance which, of course, has all the sing-a-long anthems you'd expect. All in all, excellent!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Journey - Tuesday 17th June - Hammersmith Apollo

Quite an unusual one this - a headline band who I've not seen before and only own one CD of (the "Greatest Hits"). Based on that CD and a positive review of their previous UK shows, Richard and I trouped off to London's best music venue. The fact that we had secured front row tickets added to the excitement, only slightly dampened by the outrageous £3.85 for a pint of Tuborg in a plastic glass!

Support was provided by John Parr and despite the technical difficulties and poor performance from the road crew - he was really good. Set included "Under A Raging Moon", "The Best A Man Can Get", "Oh Well" and, of course, "St Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)"

It was then onto Journey. At the time of booking, I didn't know they had a new singer, but the pint-sized Arnel Pineda delivered songs new and old with great enthusiasm. We were standing up against the stage in front of guitarist Neil Schon who appeared faultless throughout. We recognised a fair number of the songs and the combination of John Parr and Journey justified the ticket price.

Never Walk Away
Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
Only The Young
Stone In Love
Keep On Running
Ask The Lonely
Who's Crying Now
Change For The Better
After All These Years
Mother, Father
Piano Solo / Open Arms
Wheel In The Sky
Where Did I Lose Your Love
Chain Reaction
Wildest Dream
Edge Of The Blade
Don't Stop Believin'
Any Way You Want It