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Music Daze: The (Isle of) Wight Album p. 7 Sunday: We Are The Champions!

This is the seventh part of my series of articles about my experience in the Isle Of Wight. You can read here the FIRST part,  SECOND part, THIRD part, FOURTH part, FIFTH part and SIXTH part.

 

In the crowd in the rain…

At one point during the Ocean Colour Scene set, they sang a song about rain, and just when they finished their last chord, it started to rain much harder. The whole crowd cheered happily, because it felt like a magical moment, where the weather heard the band calling for water!

That was a very nice moment, but honestly, I was mostly anxious, because I wanted to move forward, and once this band finished performing, it was our last chance to move to the front.

So the band finished their set, and it was raining a lot. We had about 45 minutes left before Queen hit the stage, and it was time for our last effort to make it as close as possible to the stage.

Only few people moved around, and we got very near the barrier and to the right side of the stage. That was it; we couldn’t move any further.

At first, I was disappointed, but then I realized I had just two people in front of me before hitting the barrier, and I was just about to see the concert I waited all this year for, just a few feet from the stage! Our position wasn’t as good as the day before, but I was one lucky person to be there, enjoying all these bands, and now about to enjoy a full Queen concert in such a close standing position.

The people in front of me were Queen + Adam Lambert fans, as they had the tour t-shirts on. They were hardcore fans who came from all over England to see these concerts, and my friends and I started to talk with them. They turned out to be very, very nice, and they helped me out, taking some pictures of me and my Chilean flag. My friends told them that I came all the way from South America to see this concert, and they were thrilled.  We had a little chat about cultural differences, music, and some other topics. It was all fun!

While the stage was being set up, I got to see how the roadies installed the guitar amps, the drum set, and some stairs between the catwalk and the Main Stage. All this while flying like coordinated dancing working bees. It was thrilling to me. And very exciting.

A black curtain in the background that was used by the other bands for their scenography, was taken off, and it revealed a big, round L.E.D. screen with a “Q” shape. It was hidden back there all this time, just for this moment. The wings on both sides of the stage were uncovered, too, to reveal yellow stairs as an extension to the Main Stage.

And at this point, a white curtain with the “Queen” logo dropped down covering all the stage. This was gonna be revealed only when the band started their set.

Queen stage right wing

While the rain was still hitting hard, I could see people with brooms nervously trying to dry the floor of both the catwalk and the side wings.

It was awesome to see those backstage details!

Then I started to hear the “Track 13” from the Made Of Heaven álbum, which is the indicator that the show was starting in about 15 minutes. It’s a 15 minute track hidden on that album that mostly contains a D note, played in a strings patch of a synthetizer. It’s so simple, but it sets the exciting atmosphere right away.

A loud sound came from the PA system and the concert was finally starting.

 

On the two big screens, I could see backstage footage of Brian May, Roger Taylor, Adam Lambert, and the whole band getting ready to come on stage while the recorded introduction for the song One Vision started to play. The audience started to go crazy, and by the end of it, the crisp, clear sound of Brian May’s guitar gave us the first notes of the same song. The white curtain was raised, and boom!! I could see for the first time on stage, since my last time in Chile 2015, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and Adam Lambert performing. Everyone started clapping and singing while Adam Lambert inmediately took over the catwalk, wearing a kind of George Michael jacket that shined in the lights.

Just the day before, all the news was about the sad killing of lots of people in a discotheque in Orlando, Florida, and my friends were upset that Adam could be the next victim while singing on stage. I could see many worried guards protecting Adam offstage and upstage, and at this concert, I could tell that they tried to hold him back from using the catwalk or the stage wings that much. My friends could not calm down.

But tonight, no tragedy happened. It was all happiness and fun. Brian May went up to the right wing, getting very near of our position at some songs and it was a full joy. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

At one point, one of the English guys we’d just met asked me if I was ok. They probably thought I was fainting or something. All I remember was jumping and singing every song at the top of my lungs!

Adam Lambert had his own show, singing Killer Queen while sitting on a throne, drinking champagne, and spitting it into the audience. As usual, he thanked Brian and Roger for the chance to be there, just before singing Don’t Stop Me Now. What an amazing frontman!

In the middle of the show, Brian May walked down the catwalk and took a selfie video of the whole audience.  Then, he sang  Love Of My Life, as always, dedicated to the late Freddie Mercury.

Roger Taylor had another drum set on the catwalk too, and he sang some songs there, too (sorry Roger, your voice is not the one that was before!). He had a drum battle between he and his son, and then he performed Under Pressure, dedicated to David Bowie.

Later, Brian May had his trademark Guitar Solo while being raised above the skies in front of the big Q shaped screen in the background of the stage. Not one of the finest musical moments of history, but one of the most impressive moments of the show to me.

Later, during I Want It All, there was this big fire coming from the stage making everyone go crazy.

There was this big emotional moment just before Adam Lambert sang Who Wants To Live Forever. He dedicated this song to all the victims of “irrational hate crimes,” as he called them, referring to the Orlando shooting the day before. This song was embellished with many laser lights and a disco ball that came down from the ceiling, making the show even more impressive. Adam hit every note just right, and it was such a perfect climax.

Much later in the show, the band performed Radio Gaga, and Adam came off the stage to sing in front of the people (much like Iggy Pop the day before). Sadly, he didn’t come to our side, but that was another moment when the audience went crazy.

Then the encore came: We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, which ended impressively with an explosion of gold confetti. The show was over, the band said goodbye from the Main Stage without approaching to the catwalk for the last time, while the recording of God Save The Queen was sounding over the PA system.

The stage was empty again, and I grabbed confetti from the floor to have as a souvenir from this wonderful night.

 

My friends and I hugged, and as we turned back, a big fireworks show started displaying in the beautiful skies of the Isle Of Wight, closing this year’s festival and finishing our adventure on this great Island.

Music Daze: The (Isle of) Wight Album p. 6 Sunday – Helplessly Hoping

This is the sixth part of my series of articles about my experience in the Isle Of Wight. You can read here the FIRST part,  SECOND part, THIRD part, FOURTH part and FIFTH part

The whole park was filled with people, and I started to get more anxious, as I was seeing more and more people with Queen t-shirts, Adam Lambert clothes, and I even saw a couple of Queen + Paul Rodgers t-shirts (Queen performed live with the singer Paul Rodgers between 2005 and 2008 and that project was dead a long time ago). So I started to think that if so many people were there to see Queen, it meant that we had less chance to get to the front.

Once we returned to the bar, we saw the crowd at the Main Stage, and decided it was time to go there and start making our way to the front. This time it wasn’t gonna be as easy as the day before! The place had many more people, and about 70% of them were already waiting for Queen & Adam Lambert,  so they weren’t moving anywhere. We had still more than 3 hours to go, but we decided it was time to start the “get to to the fence or die” operation!

IOW sunday crowd

The crowd in the middle of the day

The clouds were threatening to punish the whole audience with a long and hard rain, but I didn’t care.  All I wanted to do was to get to the front.

Mike + The Mechanics were still on stage and, as we walked through the people, we could only get to the right side of the stage, and not even close to the fence. I noticed that the stage was shaped differently today: the night before, there was installed a catwalk on the center of the stage, and 2 “wings” on both sides that served the purpose of being extensions of the stage. Those wings had stairs and they were covered in plastic paper to protect them from the possible rain. As I saw Queen & Adam Lambert last year in Chile (and on countless Youtube videos too), I knew those nIMG_6740ew things were for the Queen concert, and they were  probably installed by some hard working roadies the night before (who were probably now sleeping inside the big Queen Trucks).

I was actually happy to see that the band was about to use the usual stage props for their show, and not a reduced one, due to the many different bands performing on stage that day.

By the time Mike + The Mechanics finished their set, only very few people moved away, so we had one more chance to keep walking through the people, and start approaching the front. We started walking to the center of the crowd and then forward until we hit a barrier of people who weren’t moving at all!

So we decided to wait there until the next band finished their set, and hopefully then, try again to move a little further to the front. It was exciting and scary at the same time, as I didn’t want to give up on my hope to get to the front, but this time it wasn’t looking as nice as the day before.

 

Next on stage were TThe Cribs IOW stagehe Cribs and we were stuck on the right side of the stage, still not near the front. The band started playing, and I noticed they were a rock band with a grunge attitude, kind of like a mixture between Green Day and Pearl Jam. But oh my God! They sounded so bad. I imagined they were having a bad day or something, because I think that every band on the Main Stage probably deserved being there. But these boys had their instruments and voices completely out of tune. It was painful to hear their one hour set.

Again, I was very surprised about how respectful the audience was. People around me looked equally impressed at how awful this band was, but they still clapped and cheered when each song ended. I didn’t hear anyone booing.

But I must say, the band had a very rock attitude, and the singer/guitarist was the only one I saw using the catwalk installed for Queen. I imagined it was probably forbidden for other acts to use Queen’s scenery, but this guy did it anyway in a rebel rock attitude. In between one of the songs the singer/guitar player said something like “I know you are here for Queen, we all love Queen so we are on the same side”  To me, that was like apologizing for having a bad day, and I got a little sad for them. I imagined that they probably heard people getting bored, or not liking their songs, and being a musician, myself, I can imagine how hard it is to be in such a position.

So, they ended their show with a loud, out-of-tune noise from all the instruments, as if they were about to break everything, and then got off the stage.

OCS IOW stage

Ocean Colour Scene on the stage

After that, we managed to try to keep moving. We were running out of time, as there was only one last band left before Queen & Adam Lambert. We managed to move a little more to the center and front, but still not quite near the barrier.

We stayed there, and after about 45 minutes, the last band came on stage: Ocean Colour Scene. It was a softer rock band than The Cribs, and I could instantly tell the difference in their sound. This one sounded a lot more profesional and clear, from their instruments, musicianship and even to the sound mixing. Everything sounded more polished compared to the last band.

By this time the feared rain started falling on us. At that time I thought it wasn’t really that much rain, but the people around me started quickly covering with rain ponchos as if they knew this was gonna be the end of the world. It wasn’t that cold for me, so I just covered my head with a Chilean flag I had in my bag during the whole time.

 

And I waited…

 

Stay tuned for my next and last article about my experience at the Isle Of Wight festival 2016