CONCERT REPORT: Birmingham, November 22

September 21 - November 30, 2008. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
terry shute
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby terry shute » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:22 am

Birmingham was unforgettable. a truly life-enhancing experience.
can't believe there are folks 'noticing' that he faltered over one line!
He gave us 25 songs, over more than three hours - the guy was perfection.
You choose to point out one altered line? obviously, you've never been to a Dylan show!
Let's hope LC will be back one day, but I doubt he will. Did anyone make a good mental note of his parting remarks, after the final encore - they sounded to me very much like a farewell.
brokenhill
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Location: West Midlands UK

Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby brokenhill » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:12 am

terry shute wrote: can't believe there are folks 'noticing' that he faltered over one line!
To quote a little known artist you may have heard of: "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"!
Still reliving every second of:1970 Isle of Wight, 1985 Birmingham, 2008 Manchester OH , Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Birmingham, 2009 Liverpool and ................ :o)
davidrichards
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Location: far north of Scotland

Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby davidrichards » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:28 pm

Worth every one of the 980 odd mile round trip from the north of Scotland. Better than Dublin and Edinburgh. Will the drive to Manchester next week be worth it just as much? Somehow I think it will!!!!! :D
Dave
tommylen
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby tommylen » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:54 pm

Ive followed this forum since the tour dates were announced months ago and like many contributors I have seen Leonard a few times on tour.
What I have liked about the forum is the next day posts from people who have been at concerts.
Its a real lift to read their feelings of joy and elation pleasure whatever its called.
The concerts have been superb and there is David thinking nothing of traveling 900 odd miles to be at the final show.(Are you working on the Monday?)
Dave. I will be doing the same because I want to have the memory of seeing Leonards final U.K. performance.

The tour must be a hard slog for the band and especially for Leonard.We probably all know that when you travel you need rest not work.
Travelling over Europe and napping as you go is tough on the mind and body and I take my hat off to the band.
Their professionalism and standards are top notch.
They deserve a long winter rest and a bit of relaxation.
Roll on Manchester.Promises to be some night.
honeyrose
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby honeyrose » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:09 pm

I have to add my comments about the venue. We had never been to the Arena before and drove in off the M42 motorway and followed the NEC car park signs. We told the attendant there we were headed for the Arena and he told us the West car park (where we were) was as near as we would get unless we were disabled. So we parked and paid the £8 parking fee and set off for a long hike in the cold. We arrived outside the back of the theatre (the gates which appeared to lead to a footbridge across the complex were locked shut) but the doors weren't open yet and in any case we wanted to eat first. We were directed to go through the station complex where we were told there was a food hall. The only outfits open there were a Subway and a Wetherspoons - and that had just closed its doors because it was full. Everywhere else was closed. This was just before 6 o'clock and the doors of the Arena did not open until 6.30pm. We managed after wandering around a bit, to get into the Bistro pub in the Hilton where we did get something to eat, but it seems astonishing to me that the venue can be expecting what 8-9000 people on a Saturday night and there is almost nowhere to eat. (There was an Italian restaurant advertised in the station as nearby but that did not open until 7pm).

After a meal we set off to the theatre. Inside the entrance it was total chaos with people barging in all directions to get to their seats. I dread to think what would have happened if there had been a fire. We sat on the main floor and there I must say it scored over the Royal Albert Hall, which we were at on Tuesday. We sat in a similar location (front block to right of stage about half way down). This time we had a much better view of the stage as the rows were further apart and more roomy, the seats were more comfortable and the stage was higher with better sight lines. I was surprised how much difference that made. At the RAH I had to crane my neck and peer round the corner of the people in front to catch sight of Leonard. At the Arena I had a clear view of the entire stage and the band and could see their interactions with each other, and even the expressions on their faces and this actually greatly enhanced the experience. The experience of course was magical.

Leaving I wanted to use the Ladies but found the nearest one was Out of Order. I had to struggle through another tremendous crush of people at the entrance to reach the one which was open. It was OK, although my husband said the male toilets left a good deal to be desired. (He saw someone in there reading a set list though!) Outside we tried to take the signed direct route back to the West car park but it was blocked by heavies who directed us the long way round via the station.

On the escalator in the station complex, I commented about the poor layout of the site to someone behind me. Mistake. He must have been a local. He said it had grown rather like Topsy but also that it was next to the main airport and railway and you couldn't say that about London. Well that is all very well but if there are no facilities for concert goers I don't see it is a great benefit.

So top marks for the seating and view of the stage and nul points for the management of "traffic flows" of people inside the theatre which is frankly dangerous and nul points for catering. In Blackpool I know they issue lists of what's on from the Chamber of Commerce so that the taxi drivers, hotels, restuarants all know what is on and when they need to cater for an influx of people. Do they do that in Birmingham?. Also I am a bit puzzled by comments that the theatre is about to be updated. According to its website it already had substantial refurbishment.
devilsinkwell
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby devilsinkwell » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:56 pm

after another fabulous evening in leonards company i feel i must also complain about the behaviour of the audience ,not the lone whistler "yes its very annoying and out of place"but its the lifeless ,static attitude of many that seem to think that anyone clapping louder than 3 decibel or god forbid even singing along should be met with a resounding"TUT". a young couple sat next to my wife were given looks of derision for having the audacity to enjoy thier first experience of leonard!
ah well roll on manchester
dublin june 14th manchester 18th june birmingham nov 22nd manchester nov 30th
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Neville 45
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Location: Warwick, UK

Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby Neville 45 » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:03 pm

For future reference on visiting the Nec you may want to try what we did. On Saturday we paid to go into the hospitality suite upstairs and had the doors open at 5.30pm to champagne reception with a 4 course meal! But the big treat was empty tiolets and a cloakroom! We also went back in the interval for drinks and after the show instead of having to rush home.....We figured we had paid so much for Leonard already on the tour a little extravagence would not go a miss, something i now am so grateful for having seen the horrendous organisation downstairs for tiolets, seats etc. To all who went, it was a very special night....
Love is the Law
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hydriot
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby hydriot » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:04 pm

devilsinkwell wrote:"but its the lifeless ,static attitude of many that seem to think that anyone clapping louder than 3 decibel or god forbid even singing along should be met with a resounding"TUT".
Lifeless? Good grief! Those who want to enjoy Leonard's performance rather than that of the neighbours have a powerful and cerebral inner life. We're dancing and singing too, but inside our heads, in a private communion with Leonard. Oliver Wendall Holmes said "Your right to swing your arm ends where my nose begins". Quite so. Everyone is perfectly free to express themselves in any way they choose, up to the point that they begin to spoil another person's enjoyment.
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
devilsinkwell
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby devilsinkwell » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:08 pm

i rest my case
dublin june 14th manchester 18th june birmingham nov 22nd manchester nov 30th
shadowsonthewood
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby shadowsonthewood » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:17 pm

devilsinkwell wrote: many that seem to think that anyone clapping louder than 3 decibel or god forbid even singing along should be met with a resounding"TUT"
when a nice 'shut the fuck up' will do nicely.
devilsinkwell
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby devilsinkwell » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:20 pm

at last a respose from someone who uses the queens english,even if it is spoken through his arseole :D
Last edited by devilsinkwell on Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
dublin june 14th manchester 18th june birmingham nov 22nd manchester nov 30th
shadowsonthewood
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby shadowsonthewood » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:28 pm

Well, when Hydriot's beautiful post comes to nothing, what's the point?
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Pete
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby Pete » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:31 pm

honeyrose wrote:Also I am a bit puzzled by comments that the theatre is about to be updated. According to its website it already had substantial refurbishment.
NEC set for revamp!!!

http://www.birminghammail.net/news/soli ... -21540926/

Hi Honeyrose
Found this link on the web...hopefully it will improve the facilities.

I've visited the NEC a number of times over the last 20+ years and everything which has been said about the toilets, the queueing, the crush in the concourse has always been the case.

Inside the auditorium was superb though. My seat was comfortable and the view was good...hope they don't mess that up in the revamp!!

pete
1974: Brighton Dome 1976: Birmingham Town Hall 1993: London RAH 2008: Manchester Opera House, London O2, Matlock Bandstand, Birmingham NEC 2009: Liverpool Echo Arena 2013 Birmingham
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philjones
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby philjones » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:16 pm

just got to say how I enjoyed this gig, and this time took my wife as it was the daughter and I at glasto! and what a contrast glasto was fab a very youthfull appreciative audience that sang their hearts out for leonard and was probably the best 80 mins ever in front of the pyramid stage! so it was with trepidation that we arrived at the NEC from cornwall wondering if it would be as good (what a ridiculous thought) well we had the full blown nearly three hours worth of captivating heart searching beautifully enchanting mesmerising performance i have ever witnessed, leonard i take my hat off to you and so glad to have been amongst your freinds this year! And thanks for touring once again, we will never forget the experience!!!!! :D
honeyrose
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby honeyrose » Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:54 pm

Our seats at the Arena were fine, nice and spacious with room to stretch your legs and we had a good view, much better than the same location in the RAH or at the Opera House in Manchester. There are murmurs on the Arena website though about the revamp including more seating. I do hope that doesn't mean they will be cramming more seats onto the floor of the arena itself. As for having the Hospitality package, well this was our third trip to see Leonard this year (London Manchester and Birmingham) and we have had top priced seats each time - and travelling and accommodation (at Manchester) so while he is worth it, we have maxed out our credit cards for the present so far as Hospitality packages are concerned. They did look very tempting at the RAH though.

Honeyrose

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