Monday, July 02, 2007

Wembley ROCKED for Diana

Yesterday’s Concert for Diana was awesome. We knew it was going to be one of those amazing events to see live, but the whole 6.5 hour experience was unforgettable.

Walking into the new Wembley stadium is significant – it’s new and sparkly and absolutely vast! It was three quarters full by the time we took our seats, and the noise coming out the stadium was deafening.

The crowd roared when Elton John came out to the stage and sang Your Song. Huge black and white images of Diana flashed in the background, reminding us all why we were there. Kim, Carol, Anne Marie and I compared the goosebumps that instantly appeared on our arms, and the first droplets of emotion rolled down our faces. As opposed to the second and third droplets that strangely resembled beer.

Princes William and Harry came out onto the stage, booming: “Hello Wembley”. The crowd erupted once again, as they explained what they wanted the concert to achieve – that we all come together to celebrate their mother’s life, with many of the things she enjoyed: music, dance, charities and good friends.

The line up of star performers and celebs was great. The highlight for me was definitely Rod Stewart singing Maggie and Sailing. They’re just classic songs that everyone knows and loves. P Diddy’s tailored version of I’ll be Missing You was haunting – the crowd really seemed to get into it, and that bloke surely knows how to get a crowd moving.

The ever-stylish Bryan Ferry played classics like Slave to Love and Let’s Stick Together, and Roger Hodgson bashed out a few iconic Supertramp tracks.

More contemporary artists like Joss Stone, Lily Allen, Nelly Furtado, Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, Orson and The Feeling did a number or two each, with the English National Ballet performing a scene from Swan Lake. The best shots of that performance were the aerial shots – you just never really get to look down onto a ballet performance.

The Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical medley was fab, with the highlight being Any Dream Will Do by past and present Josephs. Kim and I had been threatening to sing this all afternoon, and were able to let loose when the time came. I reckon we were pretty good! Or maybe that was the beer ears kicking in….

The crowd practically wet itself with excitement when a newly blond and crew-cutted David Beckham mosied out on stage to introduce Take That. The boys were in top form as they belted out Shine, Patience and Want You Back for Good.

There was much speculation as to whether Elton John would finish with Candle in the Wind – either the version he sang at Diana’s funeral, or the original. Unfortunately, it was not to be…I reckon it would have been the perfect way to end, but the never-before seen home movie footage of a young Diana, overlaid with Queen’s These Are The Days of Our Lives, made for a pretty poignant ending to an unforgettable evening.

Getting out of Wembley and onto the trains was a bit of a nightmare, but all the way home I saw people clutching their Official Concert for Diana program.

The night proved that Diana, Princess of Wales, truly was the people’s princess, and always will be.

PS - Huge thanks to Kim, Carol and Ann-Marie for a GREAT day!

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