After arriving home last night from two weeks in Germany ( which i will get around to blogging about), being back for 16 hours , it was time to drive over to Wakefield to pick up John Kelly from Philadelphia, Frank fro Arizona and his girlfriend Dora from Hawaii. They had been in London the last couple of days seen the show at Wembley 2 nights ago and had taken the 10am train up to Wakefield.
After picking them up at the train station we headed back to my home town, Holmfirth.They got to meet m dad at the house and we all headed on for a drink and pub lunch in the village.
We started the drive over to Manchester around 2:30 and arrived at the Premier Inn in Manchester just before 4pm. The guys checked in and i waited in the lobby. No idea what these girls were doing in the lobby but the head in their bag looked a little suspect!
Just as we were about to leave, who should walk out of the bar but Glenn (Povey) he was staying here too and the five of us jumped in my car and drove down to park by the arena for tonight's show. I had arranged a pre show meet up at Henry J Beans in The Printworks which was a five minute walk from the venue. As we passed the box office John wanted to see if he could better his seat for tonight's show, he had second row in front of Jon and Harry at the moment but as he said, there was another row ahead of him that would put him 3 feet nearer! We bumped into Matt Leonard from Boston and his friend Barry from the UK while at the box office. it looked like John had to be content with 2nd row tonight (such a shame huh John? : ) Glenn had been to the box office earlier in the day and managed to pick up a9th row dead centre for the show so he was happy, Matt Leonard had just bought two tickets in the 2nd block back on the side so he was also pretty happy.
We all headed out to the pre show meet up bar, John and i calling at a hotel on the way to pick up his ticket that he’d bought off a guy on one of the forums.As it turned out I'd met a couple of them on the last tour, we had a quick chat John got his ticket and we headed back to the bar. We’d met in this same bar 4 or 5 times over the past few years/tours so most people knew where to go whether they had seen it on the blog or not. Elzira and Alberto from Brazil arrived, as did Mat Johns, Mark from Liverpool and Greg from New Jersey who John had bought a ticket from for Paris and arranged to meet at the bar.
Three or Four months ago I’d had an e mail through my blog from a guy (Gary) who lived in my hometown of Huddersfield and he was going to the Manchester show and wanted to meet up. While John was in London inline for the Wembley show he was stood next to a guy from my hometown and started chatting to him, they went in the show and stood together during the show. John sent me an e mail the next day telling me the above. Not an hour later i got an e mail from gray telling me he had met a friend of mine, John from the USA and had seen the show with him!!!! Small world! Anyway Gary showed up at the meet up too and it was great to finally meet him ace to face.
We all started to head down to the venue a few at a time and on arrival i bumped into Kevin, He’s been in Europe working with Leonard Cohen shows the past few weeks so hasn't done as many Roger shows as he normally would, but he’s happy and doing something that he enjoys and that's what counts:) On entering the venue immediately bumped into Graham Pippet and his wife, we've known each other going on ten year, have met up all over the world and he had also come up from London after seeing the Wembley show, was going out to Dublin as we were the next day and then also flying to Paris to see the last show. I headed down to the floor area, found John and it turned out graham and his wife were sat right in front of him in that row that was 3 feet closer, the front one!
Robbie came out to the front of the stage to see us before the show, Alberto and Elzira posed for a few pictures with him and as always he was chatty and happy to oblige to people asking him for pictures and autographs.
I was 16th row dead centre tonight, sitting next to Kevin, although for the 2nd set we sat 2nd row on the aisle right in front of Roger. The past shows in Manchester have been amazing, the crowd have always made the shows what they are and the help of a few thousand “scousers” from Liverpool has always made it a show to remember with hundreds of people singing and cheering the whole night. Tonight was different though, as much as i knew and had heard there were lots of people there from Liverpool, the crowd stayed seated for all of the first half of the show.
What amazed me more than anything about tonight though was how small the wall looked! It had been a while since I'd seen an indoor show and the Manchester Venue while it is similar to a normal indoor arena, its a very narrow arena with only 3 blocks of seats across and each block only holding 20 seats at the most. This was even more evident when you looked over at where the hotel room would come out, actually right onto some of the sets on the first tier!!
Manchester Arena (post show)
The crowd did pick up a lot during the second half of the show, Roger getting everyone to their feet during Comfy Numb and Run Like Hell.The projections and the sound was incredible, made me decide that i do prefer the indoor Arena shows, until i saw Dublin and again my mind was changed lol. When the hotel room did come out, one guy ran up to behind Roger and took a couple of pictures, he didn't return to his seat though he just stood their watching. it was the nearest I've ever seen anyone get to Roger during a show and Duncan and Todd ( Rogers security) were going crazy on the floor below the hotel room, waving the guy to go back and trying to tell the local security to get the guy back, took probably 60 seconds for this to happen though! Dave’s shadow at the back of the arena during Comfy Numb was fantastic tonight,show three clear “shadow Daves” unfortunately i was a bit too slow with my camera as the solo tonight was unreal and i was concentrating on that! During the first half of the show as Roger was doing his “Mother speech” they showed Roger on the big screen behind him,which looked great! this is the first time they have done that and it just shows you even though there's only 3 shows left, Rogers still looking at things and changing things all the time.
Few shots below from In The Flesh, Run Like Hell and Waiting For The Worms:
As you can see from the above pictures, Kevin and i moved up to second row dead centre for the second half just off the aisle, and John came across from his 3rd row seat in front of Jon Carin and joined us too.
I kept looking back at my friend Mark Poole from, Liverpool, he had come over with his friends and was having a blast in the 4th row, standing up all the time and trying to get everyone else to, also getting noticed what he was doing by Roger and getting lots of eye contact and encouragement from him to carry on what he was doing to help!
The show its self went without incident and it was a great reminder as to just exactly how far this show had come along, after seeing countless outdoor and Arena shows, to see it in such a small venue again was great! I dropped Frank, Dora and john off at their hotel and i drive the 45 minutes back home. I was getting the train over to Manchester airport the nest morning to meet up with John as we were both flying over to Dublin at 3:30pm