Stryder1978 Posted June 1, 2013 Share Posted June 1, 2013 I thought some of you might be interested in a snippet of my journal about the support acts for the O2 event in 2007: At 1900 hours Harvey Goldsmith (the promoter that came up with the ticket allotment idea), came on stage and introduced the show. I was expecting to hear boos, but I didn’t hear any. It was funny when Harvey said, “We know why you are here, but the REAL reason we are here is to honor Ahmet Ertagun”. He introduced a 15 minute video clip that showed Ahmet with all the artists he had signed for Atlantic Records. Every time they showed Jimmy or Robert on the screen, everyone started yelling and clapping. There was a 5 minute pause after the video and the lights went out at 1915 hours. An orchestra came out from stage right and started to set up. The crowd was like “What the hell?” Then from stage left, out came Chris Squire (bass player for Yes), Simon Kirke (drummer for Bad Company), Alan White (the drummer for Yes) and Keith Emerson (the keyboard player for ELP). Alan White went to a pair of kettle drums and Simon Kirke got behind a drum kit. Chris Squire said “Good Evening” and then the brass section of the orchestra started Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” (which ELP did a version of back in the day). You might not know the song by name, but it is the instrumental that they use to start the Olympics. It was a brilliant way to start the show. Nobody in line was keen on any of the supporting acts, but when that song started every ones mouths dropped open! It was an incredible version – they even snuck some snippets of “Kashmir” in it (much to the delight of the crowd) and a little bit of “Roundabout”. After the song, the four “stars” went to center stage and took a bow. Alan White even threw the kettle drum sticks to the crowd. Great start to the evening. After most of the orchestra cleared the stage, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings entered. There were four guitarists on stage with him and a set of three “Doo Wop” girls on the stage left. They started playing and from the side of the stage came a portly guy in a red zoot suit and felt hat with a long feather in it. It was a singer named Mike Sanchez. He sang the Ray Charles classic “I Got a Woman” and commanded the stage with his presence. The band stayed on stage and next was Paolo Nutini, a Scottish lad barely 18 who was the last artist Ahmet signed to Atlantic records. He went up to the mike and kinda said “Wow, this is incredible” and sounded like a dork. But when he opened his mouth and started singing the classic Ray Charles hit “Mess Around” (actually written by Ahmet) he got our attention. Incredible strong growly blues voice that was perfect for those R&B numbers. He did a second song as well, “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)” made famous by Cher in the early 70’s. The BWRK stayed on stage and provided the accompaniment for Maggie Bell (a soulful blues singer) who did a flawless version of Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”. One of BWRK guitarists was none other than Albert Lee who stepped up to the mike and sang “Baby That’s Rock and Roll”. It was more a rocker and the crowd loved it. Finally, one of the “Doo Wop” girls stepped forward. It was Beverley Skeete who did an awesome version of “Show Me” (“show me a good woman who’s got a good man!”) The orchestra brass left the stage and from stage right came Paul Rogers (former lead singer in Free and Bad Company and fresh off a stint as singer for Queen). He paid homage to his first band Free with “All Right Now”. It was note for note perfection especially the guitar solo and the crowd went nuts and everyone was singing along. The entire stage emptied except for Paul and then a roadie came out and handed him a unique custom acoustic guitar which Paul used to accompany himself for the Bad Company hit “Seagull”. Leaving the stage to incredible applause, another band came out. Foreigner (whose sole remaining original member is guitarist Mick Jones) came out and started the keyboard intro to “I Wanna Know What Love Is”). Everybody in line was bad mouthing Foreigner and it didn’t help their cause to come out with this song after Paul Roger’s rockers. The lead singer kept shouting to the crowd to sing along, but the crowd really didn’t get into it, even when a choir of children came out to sing the final chorus. The supporting acts finished at 2045 hours, that gave the road crew 15 minutes to clear the stage for the main act (which was already set up behind the front equipment of the support acts). I didn’t think they’d be ready, but at 2103 hours, the auditorium lights went out and the screams began. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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