Right now I'm pretty exhausted, so there is a danger of this pose becoming one long, run on paragraph punctuated with random squeeing and exclamation marks, but I'll try not to!
Before we went, we visited Steve Clarke's grave and left flowers. I've never been there before, and while we were close by, I felt like I should. Half my mum's family are buried in the same cemetery, so we left some for them too.
We got to the arena what I thought was quite late, around quarter to five when the gates opened at six. Maybe because it was a weekday and people had to work, or maybe for some other reason, there was almost no one there queuing, just a few random hardcore fans sitting round leaving against the doors or lounging on the stairs playing music from their phones (one of the only times I've ever approved of phone music being blasted out!) So we joined them in the sitting around, and around five the security guard called us all down to make a queue. We were the fourth group in our queue.
One of the most awesome things about queuing to see a band is that everyone in the queue it obviously into the same music as you, and has been to the same shows, so there is loads to talk about, so it's never boring, queuing for a show. And it was sunny, too. Which was good, because I had risked freezing to death by wearing shorts, remembering how ridiculously warm it was in there last time.
Anyway, we got in and went straight through to find ourselves looking out into an empty arena. There were a fer people gathering over near the very front, so we made out way down there are quickly as possible. And we got on the front row! OMG! I was about a meter from the stage!
The stage was set up with a middle part protruding into the crowd. We were standing down the left side of that. It was absolutely amazing. I've never been that close before, right up against the barrier.
The support group were really good. I've forgotten what they were called though, so I'll have to find out and get one of their CDs, becuase they were great. Then Whitesnake.
So, I don't know Whitesnake at all. Apart from a few of their most famous songs I had no idea. But wow. They were so good. After seeing that, I'd go and see them again tomorrow if I could. The singer (I don't even know his name. I should find out really) was so great at engaging the crowd. Of course, it didn't hurt that he kept looking right at me! Almost as soon as he walked on stage (he spent most of the performance up the forwards part of the stage) he looked right at me and seemed to just stare until I made eye contact. I'm sure it was less that a second, but it seemed longer. Then he kept coming back again and again. I mean, obviously he was doing the same thing to loads of other people, but it was very cool. But I was just thinking "Oh my God! I'm right at the front and I don't know any of the songs!" Turns out I either had heard them somewhere before or you just kind of learn them by osmosis, because I ended up singing along with everyone else. He is an great front man though, he knows exactly how to get everyone involved in a performance, and I loved how he kept grinning like he was having the most amazing time ever. Like even after 30 years, he's still loving it.
Now, Def Leppard.
I've only seen them once before, two years ago. I thought I'd managed to get close then, but it was nothing compared to this. They did most of my favourite songs, which is awesome. I wpildn't like to say which show was better, becuase they were both just to amazing. The fact that it's their home town (well, for three of them) probably makes a difference. There was a woman in the queue saying they're always better in Sheffield, and I can believe it because I find it hard to imagine them being able to be better than they were.
I'm still on too much of a music high, which is probably going to last for a few weeks if last time is anything to go by, to go into any detail, but wow. That's all I can say, really. Jennie managed to get Sav's pick, which I'm really jealous of. It's got a Union Jack on one side and his signature on the other. He did a base solo again. I really like that. I actually think I preferred it last time, but maybe I've idealised it in my head, but anyway. A base guitar can make a really beautiful noise in the right hands. (When I saw the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl said we didn't want a base solo when he was introducing everyone, because it would sound like dance music, and I was just thinking, well, that's not true at all.)
At one point, while introducing everyone, Joe was saying that Phil had been in the band for 26 years, then he started pointing to random members of the audience, going "you weren't born then, you weren't born, you weren't born," and he pointed at me! He was wrong, because Phil joined in 1982 and I was born in '81, but hey, cool!
We got some really good pictures (some really crap ones too) but it's late and I'm exhausted, so I can't post them now. Tomorrow I will though.
The day couldn't possibly have gone better. Only trouble is, now I want to do it all over again, and who knows when I'll get chance. Just like last time though, Joe did promise "Next time, and there will be a next time..." so hopefully that won't be too far into the future, because I already can't wait.