Monday, 18 July 2011

Al Fresco Boys ............

I had a last minute opportunity to get my hands on some 1/2 price tickets to see my fav boys Westlife again, and this time it was going to be only 30 mins from me and in an outdoor performance. Could I? Should I? No question, of course I should, and even Maintenance Man said I should go. Within an hour I had bought 2 tickets and my best friend Ali (Lady List) and I were set to go. July 17, Broadlands outdoor arena in Romsey. A bit of girl time and a much needed time out for both of us.
Now, me being just a bit excited, spent the next 10 days googling everything from the weather to what strategy must be put in place to make sure we had half a chance of a front row place. Last time I saw them it was too far away for my liking and I was going to have to make a plan for success this time.
It was decided we would leave home by 2 pm (only 3 hrs to wait for gate opening) and then hopefully get a good place in the queue.
July 17 - 12pm I am ready and raring to go but 2pm was the sheduled set off time so I had to keep busy for a wee while yet.
2pm, Ali and I are off, coffee and bottles of water, biscuits and chocolate for the queue, garden chairs and umbrellas just in case.
2.30pm arrive at destination - OMG how did all those people get there already? So much for being first - Note to self - camp out the night before maybe? In fact there were only about 60 - 70 others in front of us. We put up the chairs, got out the coffee and biscuits and settled down for the wait.
The atmosphere was great and everyone was chatting and laughing, listening to bits of sound checking coming from the massive arena stage and trying to guess who's voice we could hear and how to get a sneaky look through the gates. 4.30pm - Ali and I decided we needed a plan cos when the gates opened it looked like it was going to be every man for himself to get to the front. So, Ali would take the chairs and I would run as fast as possible to the front of the stage and she would find me. All good.

Arena / Stage
Gates open and we are off. Well, it must have looked hilarious. Hundreds of  more mature (in years only, as we had regressed back to teenagers by the end of the evening), mainly female, fans racing like their lives depended on it, to get the best place to see the boys. No holds barred, and I was thinking that any minute now I am going to fall flat on my face and get crushed in the stampede. The last time I ran like that it was in the Mums Race at school sports day and I pulled a muscle in my leg, but it seems the gym work had paid off cos we made it - right to the front row, bar one person. Ali finally located me and we took a breather. Now, having never been to on outdoor concert before I was trying to be guided by what everyone else was doing. Behind us people were setting up camp again to wait for the start of the show, so we set up our chairs again too. Interesting views of the backs of peoples knees (I now remember what it feels like to be 4 years old). Well, there had to be one group of women who were not happy with this, probably because they didn't have a chair and the grass was wet, and they decided to moan and bitch very loudly about our seating (which were taking up less space than the people sitting on the floor etc all around the place. My initial thought was "Hey, stop moaning we all just want to enjoy ourselves" and Ali even reassured them that we would most definitely be putting the chairs up when things got going, but they continued to gripe and stare blackly at us. I was at this point feeling intimidated and quite anxious (these were scary women, who knows what they were capable of in an environment bubbling over with hormones and emotions..... and WESTLIFE !!)
Anyway, we held out til about 1/2 an hour before the support act were due on and then decided to put the chairs away and get ready for the show. Support acts were very good, but unfortunately I was getting concerned that the beer I had drunk was now taking its effect and I would most certainly need the loo before long. I decided to take my life into my hands and make my way out to the toilets before the boys came on. Getting out was not too much of a problem, although I was a little taken aback by the girl also going out behind me shouting "I am coming back in, take note of my face, no arguing on the way back". Toilet stop accomplished, now to get back to my spot with Ali. I now began to realise why the girl had shouted that stuff on the way out. How can, I assume normally quite pleasant people, turn into such agressive and animal-like beings in a millisecond? I was growled and sworn at, pushed and deliberately obstructed in my attempts to get back in (who knows, I may have been lying about my already having a space, God forbid). I made it back alive and decided I would have cross my legs if I needed to go again. Thank god it was only 1 beer.
The moment was approaching and the crowd was getting hungry for some action. We had been here for the best part of 6 / 7 hours now and we wanted what we had come for. Where were they? What were they doing? You look fine, stop faffing about in the dressing room and GET OUT HERE.
How to go from 44 to 17 again in 2.5 seconds. Lights up, music LOUD, and they were on. Even better than before and now within 6 feet away from me. In all seriousness (just for a second) they are really good live, they sounded brilliant and looked amazing. Definitely no airbrushing there I can assure you.  
We sang, we danced, we screamed and cheered. The park was electric. Half way through the show, Nicky did the banner reading - some very funny and others hysterical but too rude to write on here. They then decided to get people onto the stage. A girl who's 18th birthday it was, and her friend, another random girl and the couple in front of me who were obviously avid fans. The lucky few were helped onto the stage where they kissed and hugged all the boys (GRRRR) and then chatted a bit with them all. An amazing thing then happened, when Nicky asked the couple if they were married, the guy started to say he wanted to say something to the lady, was handed the microphone and proposed right there in front of everyone. Of course she said yes. How amazing to take an impromptu opportunity and make such a special moment even more memorable. Hats off to him and well done Westlife for helping make that happen.
The evening was fantastic. They finished all too soon but we left feeling so lucky to have managed get right to the front this time, even if we did have to be a bit hard core and strategic about it, but it was so worth every second. We had fun, we had a lot of laughs and we had a great girly day out just being girls again.
Cant wait for the next time and I would do it all again.


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