Monday, November 07, 2005

Face Value

Well, my face is red. I recently commented that Mr. Phil Collins is a has-been and since then, I have been thoroughly and irrefutably proved wrong. Saturday night's concert was brilliant. He started off by proving that he was still the drummer he always was and never let up from there. Not a song was played that everyone couldn't mumble along to. He was the consummate showman, showed a great sense of humour and even made the (not inconsiderable) effort to say more in Arabic than the requisite "Marhaba" (hello) and "Shukran" (thank you), and thanked the Lebanese for their friendship and hospitality (although that was probably the rock tour equivalent of "Hey (insert city name here), we love you...... You ROCK!!!") I imagine the Turks had heard the same a couple of days before - but I digress.
He was brilliant. I take back anything bad I said about him and put forth my abject apologies. I'm sorry. There Mac, I did it. But I still mean it about everyone else I mentioned....

Of course, not everything was well with my concert experience, but that had nothing with Mr. Collins nor his formidable band. As Sartre said, "Hell is other people"
I make the same mistake every time there's a show, thinking that the most expensive seats are the better ones. As far as the view goes they are, but for concert experience they leave a lot to be desired. The couple in front of me, in their 40's, spent the whole time looking behind them and waving to their friends. Not before the show, but during it. Yes. It was quite disconcerting to have the guy immediately in front of me seemingly stare at me way too often. I could see most of the other people (dressed in their finest) around the VIP section wondering who the hell this Paul Collings is and what he plays....
All the fun was happening behind us, the dancing, the clapping, the whooping and shouting, even a couple of catfights, according to MacDara & the G-Man.
The thing is that, generally speaking, the people who buy VIP tickets (a real misnomer) don't really give a monkey's about who's performing, they just want to see and be seen, and have a cushion chucked on their seats. The real fans who can't pony up $200 a ticket are moved back and the fun part with them. From now on organizers should put the VIP section in the back or even the car park and put fans up front. Of course, failing that, they might want to put ticket prices in line with reality.

On an altogether more depressing note, Manchester United ended my lovely Chelsea's 40-game winning streak with a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford. They deserved the win and that's all I'm going to say. Except something about them winning battles, not wars. Or maybe that we're still top of the league and staying there. And yes, blue is still the colour. But that's all.
Plenty of football and rugby this month so I shall be glued to the screen in a nice way.

Alright, back to Monday. See ya.


Charles Malik said...

But can it really be considered a "rock" concert if the President's wife, the Prime Minister and his wife, and the head of a prominent newspaper and member of Parliament and his wife are all in attendance?

In fact, doesn't the entire concept of a VIP section go against rock and roll? Would Phil have stood for it back in the day?

Does Peter Gabriel have VIP sections? Sting probably does, but I'd be surprised if Bowie did.

Then again, the Stones have always gotten off on being cultural/establishment promoters instead of being against the grain. I was invited to one of their concerts back in the day in the Stade de France. I was in the VIP section. It sucked. The people sitting next to me were this 60-something couple who couldn't stop talking about how amazing Alice Cooper was in concert. I felt like I was in the hippies' version of the symphony. That wouldn't have been bad if I hadn't been expecting Altamont.

desmond said...

You're right, LP, but something tells me that Phil probably didn't have much choice in the allocation of tickets, plus you forgot to mention the presence of the heads of a couple of our most prominent banks!