How could I have missed this one? Last week and about 45 years ago (13th of February 1970, somewhere in the UK) an album was released, which influenced and kinda changed the musical landscape.
This incident and discussions with friends who knew I was attending the “Farewell and Goodbye Concert” in Hyde Park last year reminded me how great the gig was. In case you’re a fan and weren’t there – you missed a great gig. In case you’re not even interested in the slightest way you may not even read this Blog entry. ;)
Some words in advance – I attended the British Summer Time Festival for the first time, I found information about it through some ads in the web. Together with a friend and her daughter we planned to visit Cardiff, London and Brighton to meet friends, see Neil Gaiman in the Barbican and so on. The concert fell on the right date and we decided immediately to buy some tickets.
On this very day – 4th of July 2014 – right after breakfast we decided to roam around. The girls went to Camden to go shopping and enjoy the sun. Me, I decided to visit the British Library because of an exhibition about comics. Right afterwards I picked up the tickets and we met in the hotel. It was such a wonderful and sunny day, perfect conditions for an open-air-live-concert-in-a-park! :)
We arrived, quite astonished from the place, didn’t expect it to be that big, picked some beers and water. A couple of moments later Faith No More appeared, they played some new material, many hits from their past and they felt amazingly fresh. We enjoyed it a lot. In case of Soundgarden we were a bit skeptical because we didn’t like the actual album that much. When Chris Cornell and the band appeared on the stage and we were told that this day is an anniversary and therefore they decided to play the whole “Superunknown” album everything was forgotten. This is – after all – one of those albums you can listen to from the first to the last track. Yeah, we enjoyed the Faith No More gig a lot, but this one was even better. Soundgarden rocked like never before, between each song Chris Cornell talked to the audience to tell a story about each upcoming song, wether it was a personal story or a just some technical details on which instrument has to be used in that one.
So, Soundgarden left the stage, not without dedicating a song to Black Sabbath and finding some fitting words for the main gig, the one many were waiting for.
The sun was still up when everything went quiet and we heard the sound of helicopters and lights appear on the stage. I went closer to the stage to see more of the video inserts, which were amazing by the way. Accompanied by the intro of the song “War Pigs” video shots from the past years were shown. We saw dictators, military parades, attacks and military conflicts in many different regions of the world. In the middle of all that Ozzy appeared and the audience went wild.
“Generals gathered in their masses,
Just like witches at black masses.
Evil minds that plot destruction,
Sorcerer of death’s construction.
In the fields the bodies burning,
As the war machine keeps turning.
Death and hatred to mankind,
Poisoning their brainwashed minds.
Oh lord yeah!”
The whole audience sang together with Ozzy. The fact that the band started to play into the sunset surely supported the atmosphere. Right from this fabulous beginning there was one rocking performance followed by another. The setlist was amazing, it was a mixture of songs from the past and new material, which by the way is great.
Ozzy, Tony and the band were great – like Chris Cornell before – Ozzy talked to the audience between songs and he was in great condition. He shared personal moments with us by telling that this was not only a good bye because it was the last gig, the last concert of this Farewell Tour but also that this day was the wedding anniversary with his wife Sharon. Unfortunately she didn’t appear on the stage but still it was a very fine moment – something you may never forget.
Apart from the original members, who were in great shape, performing some wonderful soli there has to be mentioned that the drummer who accompanied them was – trying to find fitting words to describe his performance and failing. He had the opportunity, the chance to show what he is capable of and he used it well, he performed a drum solo which not only blew us away completely but one that will make it difficult for every drummer afterwards to follow.
My favourite points at the concert were the opener and later on the song “Children of the Grave”, the guitar and drum staccato made me shiver, Ozzy sounded even better than on the original album which was released so many years ago.
In the end I do also want to stress out that it was perfectly organized, the location was great, the people in the audience were amazing and apart from that the people who were responsible for sound and video did an amazing job. All in all this became one of my Top 5 favourite live concerts of all time. Thank you very much.
So, what’s next at the British Summer Time Festival – the Who, Blur and many more, this makes me wonder – shall I go there and who would be interested, too?! Anyone? ;)