A Travellerspoint blog

June 2007

Hyde Park Calling

Why standing in the rain for hours really rocks!

all seasons in one day 8 °C

Over the weekend Hyde Park hosted a two day concert called “Hyde Park Calling” … we answered the call.

The main stage at Hyde Park Calling

This ride rocks - Adam and Jen braved it and survived

After a short time in the queue, we found ourselves in the midst of a peculiarly reasonable and courteous bunch of concert goers. I think it was, largely, due to the fact that the headline acts on the first day were Crowded House and Peter Gabriel. We expected to struggle to find a spot close to the action as we had made the decision not to get to the park early. When we walked to the staging area we were surprised to find there was plenty of room on the grassy expanse to lay out a tarp and stretch out our legs. It was a relatively warm and sunny day and a picnic atmosphere predominated.

Surprise packet for the day was local outfit The Feeling restored my faith in diversity. Check them out.

We had a few fleeting moment of scattered rain and when Neil Finn sang "Weather with you" we found the wide blue sky and sunshine a further reminder of home.

Sally & Phil enjoying Crowded House in the sunshine....

Jen & Megs

Stephen & Jen

BUT THEN... the wind picked up, the clouds blackened the sky and it bucketted down. It was some of the heaviest rain we have ever been in, and it didn't look like letting up. Roadies leapt into action and pulled covers over the gear nearer the front of the stage. Neil Finn stood at the back and did a solo set to steel the spirit of the crowd... it worked. We all sang along loudly and felt a kind of bond as the legs of our jeans soaked with rain and turned the backs of our legs icy cold. The band finished and shortly thereafter so did the rain.

Neil Finn - Crowded House

This is Londons Summer?

Phil - Still during Crowded House

The headline act was Peter Gabriel and I, for one, was very excited to finally see him live. His set was amazing! His voice was brilliant as was the band. Wayne would be happy to know that Tony Levin and his Stick were both in fine form. We all jumped about to "Steam" and "Sledgehammer" and felt somewhat connected to "Salisbury Hill" when it rang out around Hyde Park London.

Peter Gabriel

Stephen during Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel

Day Two we went better prepared for what promised to be an even wetter day. Suffice it to say, over the two days of the concert the country received the equivilent to a months rain! We were covered in Rain coats and packed umbrellas (for the intervals between the bands). The first couple of bands were a bit ordinary but by the time Irish rock outfit, the Answer, hit the stage it felt like a 1970's festival. The set was heavily derivative of all the most important British rock acts of the late 60's and early 70's. Jet followed and the day was building momentum nicely. We felt great when they introduced themselves as a band from Melbourne... So are we!...except for the band bit that is.


Adam and Megs

Chris Cornell opened his set with "Spoonman" and the place went nuts, His voice was brilliant and the band was tight. I can't fault the performance.

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell

By the time he had finished we were all feeling a little fatigued and, not being big Aerosmith fans, had felt we had already got what we came for. After a little while the rain suddenly cleared and the giant screens lit up with a video clip featuring a long list of Aerosmith hits. Suddenly the stage was bathed in light and the band kicked out "Love in an elevator" Steve Tyler subtly decked out in a white suit and white cowboy hat! Now, I have to admit... I thought the band would put on a good show but sound pretty terrible. Boy was I wrong. These old guys were polished, sounded great and delivered every rock cliche in the book. Shirts off, prancing down the ego ramp ( a VERY long peice of stage ramp from the middle of the stage well into the crowd). Fantastic! If only we had lighters for "Don't wanna miss a thing" nobody does cheesy rock ballads like Aerosmith. The encore for the night was "Walk this Way" - complete with Darryl Mac from Run DMC.


All in all we had a very wet, very enjoyable time. Rock lives on and the bands didn't let us down.



Posted by StephenJen 04:47 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged events Comments (1)

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