Tired. So fucking tired. 6 PM, laying in my bed after a long day of school trying not to fall asleep. But I have to get to the secret Gorillaz concert…well so called ‘secret’ concert, just for the fan-base. I’m weighing the fact that not only will there not be any reasonable priced tickets, but that there probably will be NO tickets. But I said I’ll try, I’ll stop being lazy and do shit. Sigh.
I get 40£ from a cash-machine, telling myself I will haggle like hell with the ticket touts and not go higher than 30…35…ok 40, but that’s it! ‘cause that’s all I have. Long sigh.
I’m on my way to the Junction and I am already starting to regret going, considering that once I’ll get there I’ll probably immediately make my way back.
I get there. A small queue for regulars. Another one for G-Club members. Apparently there might be tickets. My pessimism fades. A guy asks around if somebody wants a ticket, ‘cause his friend bailed on him. “How much?” “Regular price, 25.” “All right!” Ticket looks fine, but still I am suspicious. But sure enough five minutes later I’m in. I pay another 2£ for wardrobe, a decision which will later prove very wise indeed. An hour to go. I am glad I got away under 30 quid, and I vow to keep the rest safe. So immediately I buy a poster for 9£ (which I really not regret) and an over-priced Stella Artois, which is stale and bitter and not cold enough (which I regretted on the spot).
The crowd is strangely disproportionate. Bunch of teens on one side and a bunch of people who weren’t really young when Blur first started, and haven’t grown younger since. Not as many people in their 20s-30s as I expected. The crowd is still thin and I walk around for a while, but I soon chose my place, which is only a few of rows from the stage, and I can actually see stuff happening up there. Two guys behind me wonder why is it that the first three rows at concerts are always filled by people over 6’ tall (1,80 m for the normal people). A valid question. I had a similar theory at the Thom Yorke concert, people should be allowed in according to their height, tallest people last, so everyone can fucking see.
Well an hour later, the lights go down and the crowd goes wild. About ten people come on stage dressed in navy costumes and grab their instruments. As Damon Albarn comes on stage, people in the crowd shout “Happy Birthday!”, true fans apparently. He salutes them and the whole crowd starts singing “Happy Birthday”!
We are soon informed that this is a rehearsal gig for the upcoming tour so there are no visuals and stuff, “At least you’re here!” somebody shouts. At least I’m there, I think. Later he tells us that Bruce Willis isn’t there either! (if you don’t get it, click here).
I despised the Yorke crowd, they were slow, and didn’t seem to let the music get to their minds, and this crowd starts off slowly as well. Few people are immediately drawn into the music and start dancing, but slowly the movement spreads, and although there are still plenty of the “I’m here to enjoy the concert, thank you, not to monkey around!” people, a good vibe rises. Part of it is the music, but mostly it’s due to Albarn. That man has a lot of energy and knows how to get a crowd moving. He makes jokes, dances around, gets close to people, cools us off by baptizing us with his water-bottle. I didn’t really have an opinion on the guy before, but now I really love’im! The band plays for an hour and half, mostly songs from their new album, “Plastic Beach”, maybe exclusively, I’ve listened to all their albums, but I don’t know them good enough to recognize most of the songs. I’m not actually a big fan, alright?
Anyway, at one point when I was really getting hyped and the music had gotten to my had and I was moving frenetically, they suddenly stop, and exit stage left. What? That’s it? There are so many songs which have not been sung, sure we all know you are keeping the two golden ones for the encore, but what about “Tomorrow Comes Today”, “19-2001” and “Rock the House”? What about them Damon? Damn you!
The crowd makes noise for quite a while until the bands enters stage right (clever, mister Albarn, clever). People scream out titles randomly! Jesus, when will these people learnt the set-list has been done a long time ago, their screaming is nothing more than useless and annoying! He lets us now that the nest song will be a ballad; “Park Life” somebody sings shouting from the crowd (click here if you don’t get it), “Not exactly!” he answers amused as the crowd laughs; “The one where you go
I am still energetic as I wait with some other people outside for the band to come out. I don’t usually care much for autographs, but I had the poster, and if I bought it I might as well get it signed. A porter lets us know that his whole family is in there, and they got a cake, and the band might be out in 20 minutes, but it will more likely be 2 hours. Fuck’it! The poster and my memory is enough! After nearly 3 hours of standing I go home with ten times more energy than when I left!