t almost looked like this one wouldn't come off. A "severe thunderstorm watch" was in effect. Fork lightening had been spotted very near to the rather heavily treed park, and the sky was turning an ominous shade of green. The crowd didn't seem to care. Rain ponchos were being sold at a brisk pace, and umbrellas were much in evidence.
This was probably the oldest crowd I had seen, and the tail-gate parties in the parking lot seemed to suggest this was going to be a special evening.
Finally, the lights go down, and "South Downs" is heard over the PA. And we're off! Remake/Remodel is a barnstormer. The band seem tighter. The 3 couples to my right put their feet up on the stage riser and suck back on their beers. Oh Goody, party-poopers.
Streetlife is ripped through like yesterday's newspapers also. Roxy are out for blood tonight. I look behind me, the sky is orange now. (I start to wonder if "Whirlwind" might get added.)
I can't wait for Ladytron. I'm sitting (yes - still) right in front of Phil, and he's going for the solo again. From up close, I feel really sorry for that poor Strat. A friend a few rows back comments later that Phil's solo was her highlight of the night.
Heart Still Beating - I still can't get into that one, but it seemed to go over quite nicely. I notice that I seem to have a completely different mix from the other side of the stage. I Toronto and Boston I was at stage right, and found Zev Katz's bass to be nothing more than a rumble, and I frequently lost Andy in the mix. From down front and stage left, I have much cleaner sound, and I know I'm picking up some of the stage mix. Phil's guitar was just screaming! YEAH!
Out of the Blue - seems the storm has hit. My feet are wet from all the water running down through the pavillion and I wonder if the show will be cut short. No problem - I amuse myself ticking off the guy next to me (who obviously wouldn't know Roxy if they came up and bit him on the ass) by singing along, and beating time with my foot and getting his legs wet. Stand up and dance - you ain't dead. By comparison, the crowd in front of Bryan, and Andy are having the time of their lives. Wishing I was stage right again - just for fan reaction! And yes - Lucy was brilliant again.
Was it my imagination, or was Colin Good's intro to A Song for Europe shorter tonight? Pity, it's been lovely listening to him. The storm seems to have passed. But the band is still ferocious. What got into them tonight?
Things tone down a little for My Only Love. Chris and Sarah have a wonderful time. One day I'll learn to love this tune.
Then the stage gets all orange and green and the keyboards get creepy. In Every Dreamhome... This is just too good. I can hear a great roar of approval behind me and Bryan camps it up bigtime.
Oh Yeah is next. Very nicely done, and there are some dancers finally in the crowd. Note to journalists: "On the radio" is not the proper name for this tune, it is a subtitle. Do your homework, kiddies.
Both Ends Burning is up next. And finally this crowd is on its feet. Serious dancing happening everywhere, and the band love it. The dancing girls really seem to get the crowd going. If they were more visible behind TGPT, and used more often more North American audiences might shake their collective booties.
Tara follows. It is beautiful, as usual - but the crowd all sits down again. Its a wonderful arrangement, but could be moved in the set.
Then I get lucky again. Mother of Pearl is back! If I close my eyes, its 1973 all over again. "Oh Mother of Pearl, I wouldn't change you for the whole world". Thank you, on my last night I get another of my favourites.
Avalon follows, and for anyone with web access, Yannick Etienne was not a surprise, but a wonderful addition. For those who didn't recognise the name, they sure recognised the voice. She was very warmly appreciated, both on and off stage. And really nice that she stayed for the rest of the night.
Dance Away - I actually managed to dance. It was nice, I was there - again, not one of my personal favourites, but it was warmly received by those unfamiliar with early Roxy.
Jealous Guy was magnificent. Roxy have done to this tune what John Lennon never got around to doing. It is a wonderful, emotional song. Phil - loved the "oops" when you got the wrong sound of of the Gibson! Nice and loud, too! Seemed our man was getting a little too good, so a nice "whoopsie" just confirmed it really was Mr. M on guitar.
As usual lately, Editions of You closed the set. The audience was on its feet. And the band was having too much fun on stage again. Mucho rave-up on stage, and a prolonged goodbye. The band seemed really to have enjoyed this gig. Very relaxed and very professional onstage, but the overall feeling of a bunch of friends having fun just seemed to ooze off the front of the stage.
Encore was Love is the Drug. We're still dancing (even the sourpusses to my right). The security gorilla has given up trying to get people back into their rightful seats. This event didn't even need security, we were too well behaved.
Do the Strand kept the place on its feet. This was a party, and even the soggy, rainsoaked back rows were up for another round.
And finally, For Your Pleasure. Still the classiest end to a rock concert. The curtain dropped. The house lights went up, and I didn't want to leave. This was my last show (unless my lottery numbers come up in time), and it was fitting. An excellent show. An excellent band. And the chance to see them one more time, and you played my favourites. Thank you. I didn't even miss Virginia Plain.
And to paraphrase: "Here as I sit, at this lonely desk, thinking of you... I remember, All those moments, lost in wonder..."
Think I"m gonna cry now. Helen Thorpe