Posts Tagged ‘Leeds Arena’

Elton John gets the party started at Leeds Arena

September 10, 2013


Leeds Arena finally, officially opened its doors last week and looking rather less like a candle in the wind and more like a rhapsody in blue national treasure Elton John blew in and well and truly brought the house down.

The Arena was literally packed to the rafters and it did take a very long time to get those 13,500 bums on their spanking new seats but the atmosphere was amazing and while I may not be Britain’s biggest Elton fan I have to confess I was quite excited to be there.  Big show, sparkly set, grand piano and a living legend about to rock up; definitely not your average Wednesday night. Well maybe yours but not mine.

Standing between the fans and their idol a trusty security guard sat alone in the pit scanning the sea of faces for any issues until he was rudely mobbed by a horde of paparazzi and hastily got to his feet kindly allowing me to pop a knee on his chair for a bit of stability.  What a gent.


What I’d thought would be more of a family show kicked off with a pole dancer video for the opening number The Bitch is Back.  As the only girl in the pit I tried not to take it personally but I was slightly relieved when the pole action was replaced with a rather more comfortably vintage ELTON backdrop for classic B-B-B-Benny and the Jets.


And that was it, two songs and we were out on our ears but still I went away impressed. The performance, the presence, the incredible rapport with the audience and the fact that Elton John can still belt them out after all these years. A truly fantastic opening gig for the arena and glad I was there to see it.  Hope it will be the first of many.


Kelly’s Heroes..

March 21, 2013

RTN_B2865_StereophonicsThe Stereophonics at Leeds O2. Let’s face it there are worse ways to spend a Monday night although the experience was far from perfect. There probably was some kind of support but it took so long to get the release form signed to get into the gig they were long gone before I got there. The pit was full to Indiana Jones snake level, eight of us jockeying for position and the O2 lighting was at an all time low.  The venue was also rammed, not surprising really as the whole tour’s sold out, from Blackpool to Cheltenham and everything in between.  After twenty years on the road the band from Wales and are as popular as ever.

RTN_B2865_StereophonicsCritical support for the Stereophonics may be luke warm but you just can’t escape the fact that they deliver a great performance, consistently knocking out memorable songs and with a soulful lead vocal that maybe reflects all that Welsh valleys heritage.  The reception in Leeds bodes well for their latest album, Graffiti on the Train and I for one was happy to be there.  As the classic A Thousand Trees rolls out, the light falls briefly on Kelly Jones, I manage to snatch a couple of decent shots and that’s it. Game over!

However, this year there will be many more opportunities to get your Stereophonics fix.  They’re doing T in the Park and V festivals  in the summer and in November they’ll be back in Leeds, bigger, and hopefully with better lighting, on a UK arena tour.  Leeds Arena…not long to go now!