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!
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 new 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 The 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.
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