I’m very lucky to have the best and most thoughtful brother who surprises me with amazing things like tickets to the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, London! I couldn’t believe it when he announced that he had got us tickets earlier this year. Not only is a music festival right up my street, but I have always wanted to see The Killers too. I love their rock music which is so vibrant, exciting and energetic. Mr Brightside was the soundtrack to my university days as it was always played in every club, without fail! So they have remained on my concert wish list ever since.
Supporting The Killers in Hyde Park were 80’s pop/rock band Tear for Fears and 90’s rock band Elbow. I knew a bit of their music, especially Tears for Fears because I’ve always enjoyed something about 80’s music. So the line up was looking pretty good for British Summer Time in Hyde Park and we had the most amazing weather to go with it which didn’t resemble the average British summer at all. We had glorious sunshine, hot sun and cloudless skies – perfect for a music festival in the centre of a big city like London, except it felt more like we were abroad in Spain instead!
Hyde Park was buzzing with excitement, with various support acts playing throughout the morning and early afternoon in preparation for the main acts later in the day. Even though I had never heard of these bands or heard their music before, I always find that support acts create such a great atmosphere as they warm the crowd up and build on the ever mounting excitement! So as we wandered around Hyde Park appreciating the tunes playing in the background and scouting out the best spots for a good view of the stage, we took advantage of the chance to explore the various food stalls on offer. We saw a Japanese stand that was just our cup of tea, as they had Katsu Curry on the menu. Decision made! Before we hade a repeat of our Camden/Spitalfields/Brick Lane/China Town experience, we made a definitive decision on what we wanted to eat. This sounds easy, but if you have read my London market blog you will realise that this is no mean feat at all!
So with dinner sorted, we headed towards the main stage, only to find that you needed special wristbands to get close to the stage and into the golden circle. It was just our luck that all the free wristbands (all 7000 of them) had already been handed out earlier in the day, so we came to terms with the fact that we wouldn’t be as close to the stage as we might have hoped. On this note, we took a little shelter from the sun in a shaded spot next to the wristband-only entrance and it turned out that we were very much in the right place at the right time! The lady checking people’s wristbands took a liking to us (and probably felt a bit sorry for us with our disappointed faces!) and she found a lost wristband on the floor, which she quickly attached to my wrist. But one between two was no good, so we waited patiently until I spotted another drifting across the floor with my eagle eyes and before we knew it, we both had wristbands are got into the golden circle by the stage. Perfect!
The crowd was excitable, noisy and full of energy. There’s nothing quite like listening to live music in the open air. The atmosphere is like no other and the acoustics are unbeatable! Tears for Fears and Elbow drowned out the distant background noise of the city until we just had music ringing in our ears and the crowd was getting more and more jeered up. Gradually the crowd became closer and denser as people closed in on the stage ready for The Killers. So we took this as our cue to make a speedy exit to grab our Katsu curry before the main act took to the stage. It’s a good job we went when we did, because the queue was already so long. But the Katsu curry was well worth the wait. Just what we needed to keep us going all night!
As soon as Elbow finished playing, there was a mass exodus from the golden circle as people made their way to the food stalls and bars for refreshments before The Killers lit up the stage. We timed it perfectly. Now was our chance to get back into the golden circle and find a good spot with a clear view of the stage. We achieved this, only to be squashed by thousands of people as they made their way back into the area, but we didn’t care. We had a great view and we were right there in the middle of it all, jumping up and down and singing along with the crowd as The Killers did their thing.
The main singer, Brandon Flowers, rocked onto the stage in a baby pink leather jacket, which somehow he managed to pull off and look pretty good in! Except he didn’t keep it on for long, because the band announced that this was probably the hottest temperature they had ever performed in, despite the fact that they were in Britain which is not exactly known for it’s tropical climates! The Killers hadn’t played in the UK since 2010 and British Summer Time in Hyde Park was certainly a great come back. They played all of their top hits and fan favourites, including Human, Runaways, Sam’s Town, When You Were Young, The River is Wild, Shot at the Night, Dustland Fairytale and of course, my favourite, Mr Brightside, which they saved until the very last song of their set. Best ’till last!!
The whole concert was incredible, with confetti cannons showering down on us and fireworks for the finale. I wanted to record every song, but didn’t want to waste time and miss anything at all. I sang so much my voice was hoarse and danced so much that my back was hurting, but it was all worth it. The Killers put on an extraordinary show. I think I say this about nearly every concert I go to, but this has to be up there with the best, if not THE VERY BEST yet! And guess what?! The Killers are doing a UK tour soon and you can be sure that I’ll be there singing and dancing my heart out all over again!