22 Apr 2012

Top 5 Fave 'Opening Song' Gig Moments

Everyone who has been to a gig has had this experience. The band you have been waiting to see forever com on stage and they play the opening bars of the first song and you simply wet yourself. That's happened to you right? No? Just me then. Well that's OK because it was worth the wet trousers to see some of my favourite bands. So without further ado here are 5 of my favourite all time 'opening song' gig experiences (in no particular order). Enjoy and then tell me yours. (Please keep your pant wetting stories to yourself.)

1. Manic Street Preachers- 'Australia' Ulster Hall, Belfast, August 31st 1998

I very nearly never made it to this gig since it was on a Sunday and Sunday gigs were a big no no. However enough pleading from myself and my friend Peter to our parents and we were allowed to join the rest of our friends at this. I will be forever grateful for that decision too since I am pretty sure we had already bought tickets anyway and to see my favourite band of the time, on the night they got their first number 1 single with 'If you tolerate this.. was just incredible'. Life changing.


2. Cliff Richard- 'No idea'- Kings Hall, Belfast, Sometime in the early 90's

So with this entry you can rest assured they I won't put any obscure cult bands that only a few people will have heard of, just to sound cool. Because Cliff Richard is not cool. I know right? Shocking. My parents assured me was. Regardless I did listen to quite a bit of old Cliffy growing up and this was my first actual gig and it was mind blowing. I can't remember what song he started with but the way that the image of him on stage changed into the real Cliff Richard blew me away. It was my first experience of a stage show and it got me hooked on live performances. Say what you like about Sir Cliff but he knew how to get the crowd going... Even if most them of were OAP's.

3. That That- 'The Opening'- RDS Arena, Dublin, June 28th 2006

Not so much an opening song as an opening video. Intercutting sound bites and footage from their breakup press conference with footage of the band being brought back to 'life', I was genuinely ready to cry. Am I embarrassed about that? Not at all. You weren't there ok? I was there before Robbie came back! You don't understand! (Runs off crying) Alright, so maybe the soldier in a war syndrome analogies are going a bit far but standing there waiting with thousands of other people when the biggest boy band ever to reform finally appeared on stage was pretty awesome. The next 3 hours were even better. The little girl at 1:07 pretty much sums up how I felt. Pop at it's best...And they are a man band now so it's ok to like them alright?! Haters... back off!

4. Radiohead- 'There There'- Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, May 21st 2003

When Radiohead's tour of 'intimate' shows were announced I knew I had to be in Edinburgh that night. I knew tickets would sell like warmed through cakes and I was going to be at a computer when they did. The day they were released I slept in. I didn't get tickets. Radiohead were clamping down on touts so even after I bought a ticket for 80 quid off ebay I couldn't take it. Imagine my sheer abounding joy when one day in the computer labs in Stirling Uni. I saw that more tickets were being released. I had been given a second chance and I was not going to mess it up. Radiohead were amazing and the opening song of 'There There was a great choice with it's drum intro and the dull, wet setting of Edinburgh was perfect for the night. Standing there watching Radiohead for the second time was all the more satisfying because of the trouble getting tickets...And I'd do it all again.

5. Pearl Jam- 'Sometimes'- The Point, Dublin, June 1st 2000

Some bands are worth missing school for. Pearl Jam are without a doubt one of them. Not least because of the way they change things around. While I was used to hearing bands start off with big, fast songs; Pearl Jam don't follow the established way of doing things and instead opted for the quiet and subdued 'Sometimes' off 'No Code'. This was brilliant not only because I didn't see it coming but also because it set up the second, faster, jumper friendly song 'Breakerfall' perfectly. Yes. Definately worth missing a double History for.

What are some of your favourite gig opening song experiences? 

Tune in for more top 5 gig lists where I reveal my top 5 'crying at a gig' experiences and 'trying to get served drink while underage' gig experiences. Some of which strangely overlap. Go figure.


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