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Live Earth – highlights and no lights

Live Earth – highlights and no lights

Somehow, Miss R and I managed to get tickets to Live Earth at the apparently all-new Wembley Stadium. Although it looks and feels just like Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium to me – except there’s a huge gaping hole in the roof for some reason. Rather silly of them.

Anyway, we got past Wembley Stadium’s woefully inadequate security team, and looked for our seats. After literally being misdirected up and down the wrong set of steps, it turned out that our seats had already been taken by … some black netting. And the stadium’s solution? “Well, you can stand on the pitch” – neglecting our weary feet.

So we ended up being seat gypsys, and grabbing various people’s seats as soon as they vacated them, rather like the seat-fillers at an Oscar ceremony. We did eventually migrate to two fantastic seats near the front right of the stage, where I had a great view of the camera crane swooping over the crowd at regular intervals. Plus someone trying to unfurl a banner that declared that “Robbie Williams is gay”. I wonder why that never made it past the TV cameras…

At one point, while the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were storming the crowd, a stocky bald man came down and tried to shove his way into a spare seat in the row in front, which the guy was (understandably) having none of. So said bald man stood there for a while, watching the Chillis. Then he shouted at them “You fu–ing c–t” and stormed off. I have no idea why.

The general atmosphere at the concert was much less that of a global gathering of environmentally-minded music fans, and more middle-class yuppies having a nice day out sitting in the sunshine watching music. The constant inane corporate propaganda about how to reduce carbon emissions (Top tip from Ben Affleck: buy your music digitally and save on CDs!) didn’t make much of an impact on anyone at the concert, judging by the number of plastic cups strewn across the stadium. It certainly didn’t seem to hit Thandie Newton. She’s a talented actress, very easy on the eyes and has a first-class degree in anthropology from Cambridge University, but telling the crowd that she drove to Wembley Stadium was not a good idea. Even if it was a Prius.

At the moment of the great switch-off of the Wembley Stadium lights (prior to an exceedingly dull speech from Terrance Stamp), the stadium was lit up – with digital camera flashes. Which rather defeats the point.

In another breathtaking moment of hypocrisy, the MSN’s video streaming of the Live Earth concerts is sponsored by car manufacturer Chevy, who produce six different kinds of SUVs. Am I the only person who can’t see the problem with this?

The music itself was pretty good – although I was surprised to find it was the likes of The Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chillis and Metallica that got the audience going. Thankfully, James Blunt did *not* play the most hated song of all time.

Although Madonna and the Pussy Cat Dolls also did their bit. Interestingly, during the Pussy Cat Dolls, the only people dancing were the ladies – all the men sat firmly down. Can’t imagine why. I can’t decide whether the PCD are a progressive feminist burlesque positive act or the ultimate in reducing music to a gyrating beat and thrusting crotches and thighs.

Wembley may have more toilets than anywhere else in the world, but there were still long snakes forming outside ladies toilets.

And in a totally random moment, I was walking past the exit for a ladies toilet when I literally bumped into an old friend from University I hadn’t seen since 2002. And they say the world is a big place. 🙁

Oh, and it took us two hours to get to our Kensington hotel from Wembley Stadium. For future reference.

Next time, I might just watch it on TV!


  • It was one of the finest moments of culture being so far up its own arse ever seen (from the comfort of my sofa.) Saying people need to change their lightbulbs and turn off things in standby is too little, too late.

  • I tuned in for five seconds just to make sure it wasn't some new David Attenborough documentary before switching over to something else, probably BBC 24, but I'm not sure as I only have the telly on as background noise while I use the computer. My lightbulbs are on all day as my house doesn't get enough light for my eye condition. I don't drive though, and I did live two years in the wilderness without electricity, so fuck 'em.

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