[Review] ABLE2UK CLASSIC: Reliving Live8 - Live8 - The Concert
There was no body else who could had been chosen to open such a momentous day. Sir Paul McCartney was joined by Bono on stage to sing Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The day had well and truly started and as Macca finished, U2 started. When the first bars of 'One' were heard we knew that the day ahead was going to one to cherish and will were experiencing a piece of music history. Everyone in Hyde Park was having a time of their lives, despite being crammed up like animals in a Spanish zoo. Little animal cruelty was seen in the U2 set though as doves were released out into the audience, the idea was presumably to watch our feathered friends fly out across the park, this didn't happen as they turned round and headed backstage, and these doves had their heads screwed on! From one cemented rock idol to a new one, Bono's band was replaced by Chris Martins'. Coldplay made the crowd numb when they played one of the most moving songs penned since Live Aid, Fix You is the song which could make world leaders don a white wristband, cancel debt and bring world peace. OK, maybe it isn't 'that' powerful, but it certainly brought a tear to our eyes. Water kept dripping down our cheekbones afterwards but happily they drops were from tears of laughter as Matt Lucas and David Walliams introduced Elton John as Andy & Lou. After Andy being 'wheeled off' the only gay on the bill (except Michael Stripe, Scissor Sisters and Robbie who hasn't a clue which side he bats for!) Elton John with came on stage and told us Saturday Night is Alright For Fighting Back. This is an ideal opportunity for this very writer to waffle on about the true meaning of LIVE8 and how the world was fighting for justice in third world countries. Instead we will just carry on with our report and tell you that Pete Docherty amazingly turned up in time to ruin Elton's final song and as Dido was next on the bill it seemed an ideal opportunity to nip backstage for some light refreshment.
After last years NME's most hated band, Stereophonics wiped the smile off journalist faces and raised the standard again which Dido lowered it was time for Michael Stripe to find the nearest pot of blue paint, brush it over his eyes and take to the London stage. REM rarely fail to disappoint and their LIVE8 set was no exception, battling it out for tear jerker of the day against Coldplay the funeral favourite, 'Everybody Hurts' made the grass of Hyde Park grow a few more millimetres thanks to the weeps of the women in the crowd. After Miss Dynamite and Keane it was time for Travis to ask the crowd why it always rain on them, except of course it didn't. Annie Lennox received a warm welcome and everything seemed right in the world, until of course another film was shown on the giant screens to remind us what the day was all about. UB40 allowed those who could a loo break, we didn't bother watching them either, but made a beeline to the pit to watch the first act of the day which made the executives at the BBC cover their ears and wish they opted for a pre recording, Snoop Dogg. It didn't matter to Snoop that he was live on every radio station, BBC1 and playing to 2 billion people across the world there was no reason not to drop a few 'motherfucks' in his good clean banter between his motherfucking songs. Those who were quickly putting pen to paper and complaining about their TV license being put to bad use allowing rock stars of today swearing at tea time should have done one of two things. Either calmed down so they wouldn't miss Razorlight and Bob Geldof playing or at least waited twenty minutes so they could also add their disgust at Madonna telling the 9.6 million UK audiences to 'fucking do something!’ There was no bad language with Snow Patrol who followed, but probably a couple of curses from the audience when they heard that Joss Stone was on the bill! Joss has had an incredible year and has sold more records than any other UK female singer (probably!) however we still think she isn't much cop! The guys from Scissor Sisters must have had a difficult decision on their hands, in spitting distance of the venue the annual gay pride was taking place. A day where the gay community pounce around the capital stopping traffic hoping to make people aware of gay rights. Two things to point out, firstly they march went unnoticed in the press thanks to LIVE 8 and secondly disrupting traffic isn't the best way to win people over, especially when there's the worlds biggest gig taking place and the public transport is bad enough trying to accompany music fans. Luckily Scissor Sisters waved the rainbow flag properly and gave a storming performance fit for any kind of Queen!
Slash is a legend. One of the finest guitarist of our time he managed to make his latest band, Velvet Revolver one the most exciting acts of the day and Brandon Flowers from the Killers had the difficult task to follow, even though they only played one number it was one up on The Bravery who are their rival band! Sting then told us about a message in a bottle which may have read 'Be warned, the diva from hell, Mariah Carey will play next after you and demands a red velvet carpet with diamonds sewn on by the hand of an African goddess leading straight from her dressing room onto the stage'. Apparently, it turned out that all Carey demanded was a decent microphone. One of her 'Yes' people probably didn't have the balls to tell her that it was her high pitch voice which made her crap and not the mic. After the sudden demand of earplugs and the howl of dogs being taking for a walk elsewhere in the park Mariah left the stage ready for the man who can do no wrong. Robbie Williams. Everybody's favourite rock star broke his policy not to play his most famous song and gave Hyde Park to chance to sing 'Angels'. The Robster also sang 'Feel' and 'Rock DJ' this was his first live gig since Knebworth two years ago and rumours are he will be back on tour next year. Before Paul McCartney returned to the stage to end the incredible day there were still two legendary bands to take centre stage. The Who and the reformed Pink Floyd made sure their albums made a nice profit over the following week, although Pink Floyd crushed hopes to their fans that this was the start of a comeback. Even though our pass allowed us on the stage we resisted joining the stars that congregated for the finale led by Macca and George Michael. Midnight saw the end of the ten hour spectacular show which we believe will never be topped in our lifetime and for that matter, probably nobody else's! The overall highlight was probably the girl Bob Geldof brought on stage after showing a picture of her twenty years ago when she had minutes to live which just went to prove that history can change and the day could make an enormous difference to those living in poverty.