Tuesday, August 6, 2013

London 2013 Part IV: Return, Wembley, Departure

Brandon Flowers is on the cover of the new NME (which I purchase at the tiny corner store, and walk down the road reading), The Killers are playing at Wembley in three days, and I'm in London. This is about as close as it gets to perfect.

One can literally never have enough time in London - there's just far too much to do and see. We take a trip to Covent Garden and the West End on the Thursday, and of course this has nothing to do with NME's comment about The Killers being in some kind of upper-class West End hotel. The entire area is a conglomeration of neon signs advertising stage plays, mixed with Chinese restaurants, a scattering of casinos, and the usual tourist shops. We settle on lunch at an Italian restaurant, and proceed to watch the window carefully for any signs of certain celebs. We are, however, unsuccessful in that particular mission.

It's getting difficult to concentrate on anything but what is to come on Saturday, and so Friday is supposed to be a quiet, relaxing day to help us prepare. It's also the day that half of the world is descending upon London for the same reason we're there: the Victims are arriving. Amii's coach gets in to Victoria, which is just down the road from the hotel, so we kill time having a burger at the bus station before crossing the road to the coach station to meet her. Cue Victim freak-out because guess what? We're seeing The Killers! That's right, The actual Killers.

In the evening we take a walk along the bank of the Thames, all the way to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. This part of London still confuses me no end. How the heck did we end up here?! I was pretty sure this was in a completely different part of town. Anyway. Sleep is a problem tonight because everything is just far too exciting. There are soundchecks and tweets and plots and plans and friends and of course we're seeing a certain amazing band in the morning...

I've blogged about the Wembley show before, but if you don't feel like reading that mammoth of a post, suffice it to say that it was perfection. From sitting all day in the freezing cold and rain, to meeting and re-meeting Victim friends, to having the band photographer take our picture, to finding out that the show was being filmed for a DVD... then to the mad rush inside, the stage with the massive lightening bolts, the fact that The Gaslight Anthem were one of the opening acts, to the beautiful opener of 'Enterlude' and 'When You Were Young', to the Wembley song and Dustland, to getting our dancing shoes on for 'From Here On Out', it was simply perfection. We left feeling both satisfied and hungry for more... luckily for some there was an intimate show at something called 'The Garage' in Islington at 1.45am.

We waded our way through the crowds and hopped on the first tube to Green Park, where we got a bus back to Victoria. At Victoria we caught the bus to Islington, and then walked until we found the venue, unfortunately arriving just after it had reached capacity. But anyway, as I sat on the bus back to Victoria, almost falling asleep, I couldn't summon the energy to be disappointed at not getting in. And hey, at least we found the place. Plus we're off to Paris in the morning, so I can do with all the sleep I can get...

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