Monday, March 24, 2008

The Eagles

Way back in January I spent £140 on two tickets to see The Eagles at the O2 (don't call it the Millennium Dome, they don't like it) for Dad's birthday. On Easter Sunday we set off early, around 2pm, just in case of snow.

Well, the weather held off (apart from being bitterly cold) and we got up to London in plenty of time. On the Old Kent Road we decided to stop in for a KFC - being Tong men, we get hungry regularly. Taking advantage of the new Flavour station things (which were really nice) we sat down and realised that wearing white tops probably wasn't the best idea as they were extremely messy. I avoided spilling either the sauce or the gravy down me but was blind sided by the Pepsi and chucked a lot of that down my top instead.

After food we drove back towards the Greenwich Peninsula and parked up, being fisted for £20 to park the car (mind you, driving up was a hell of a lot warmer than riding). I think we'll get the train to Avril Lavigne in June. Walking up to the Dome I was taken at how many young people were also heading that way - it turns out there was other stuff there for the kids, and I probably would be one of the youngest in the gig. On the path between the car parks and the Dome there was a rather large (we're talking a good five storeys here) metal spike which served no apparent purpose whatsoever, apart from being a severe danger to health and safety - if someone were to fall out of a plane and land on it, they could do themselves a serious injury.

Once inside I was overawed by the architectural splendor and beauty...sorry, I mean I was overawed by how much advertising there was. I felt like I was bombarded with it. The arena entrance was bright and sparkly, and the staff members outside helpfully told me that as an O2 customer I could text to get access to the O2 Lounge. I promptly did, as I have trouble resisting instructions from pretty girls (which is why Katy loves me) and then we wandered round inside. It was like walking round your everyday shopping mall food court, same chain restaurants (although Nando's is the same price as Canterbury, so we'll be eating there before Av Lav). The only popular place was the pub, which had people standing four deep outside watching the football.

Back round the front I got a text saying I'd got access to the O2 lounge so I asked one of the staff members (a fella this time) what I had to do with it. He pointed me in the direction of a redhead and said some other stuff which I didn't hear, owing to the fact that my attention had shifted to the redhead. She gave me and Dad wristbands and we walked down a neon purple tunnel into the Lounge, which was a bar with padded seats and walls. Reasonably priced for a gig venue (£2 for half a litre of Pepsi) we relaxed and marvelled at the silver serving trays with neon blue rings inside. At half 6 when the doors opened we trotted out, towards a lift which took us to the first floor, where we changed and got another lift to the fourth floor (where our seats were - I'm not made of money). As we got to our block the steward asked if we'd like an upgrade.

Never ones to look a gift horse in the mouth we enquired as to what the catch was. "No catch" said the steward, "there are a few empty seats in the lower levels and the band don't like to see them when they're playing". Fair enough we thought, and traded in our tickets. On the way back to the lift we noticed that we were now on the floor. That's right, we'd gone from being up in nosebleed territory to down on the expensive bits, free of charge. Result! Looking over the balcony I saw the queues of people all waiting to get in, something that we'd bypassed. Getting to our new seats we found we were more or less in the centre of the floor seating and we spent the next hour before the band came on giggling to each other about our luck.

As to be expected from a band with a new album out, they opened with a few tracks from it. The fourth song they played was a surprise though. It's a sign of how much confidence a band has in their own material that they can play arguably their most famous song before 8pm in the evening. Hotel California (you knew that, right) got a predictably popular response, but I was surprised to see people who had paid £110 plus for their tickets leaving after that! For a bunch of guys in their sixties, they didn't half move about a lot and I had a cracking time. Well worth the £70 tickets.

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