Anyone that has been to the o2 Arena knows just has massively big it is! And anyone who has been in any of the block 400’s know exactly what a pisser it is. As you enter the building and you keep going up and up and up the escalators, its a feeling of doom that although the concert will look great from up there, the artist you are going to see will the size of an ant. You spend more time looking at the big screen and even more time thinking ” well at least the DVD will be out in a couple of months”. Of course now I have my fabulous camera at least I know I can take full advantage of the zoom & take some of my own memories of the concert. It takes a bit of mental preparation to sit in the Level 4 sections of the o2. Firstly the sheer height. The drop is pant wettingly steep! If you have any inkling you don’t like heights – DON’T BUY A TICKET! It’s as easy as that! That’s one of the reasons if blocks 400 come up when I’m perusing Ticketmaster, then I’ll generally leave it till the last minute and wait for the production seats to be quietly released! I’m sure for some shows the 400’s are great, like for the ice shows, dinosaur shows and “in the round” shows. But for “end stage” gigs, it’s just pap.
My first o2 experience was for the Spice Girls reunion gig back in 2008. I had no idea where any seat in the o2 was and definitely was not prepared for this one! I had been to Wembley Arena a few times and didn’t realise that the o2 was so much taller. So after the initial wow factor of the o2 complex, walking up & up & up the escalators was a bit disheartening! But hey you get over it quick – the concert was loads of fun -I remember the crowd cheered whenever Victoria Beckham sang – was that to drown out her vocals? mmmm, but no DVD release, can’t believe they didn’t take advantage of that cash cow! As well it being my first 02 experience it was also my first experience of the crap rail links from Central London to Brighton, thou an earlier “points failure” was apparently to blame.
My next o2 experience was over a year later and was a mighty Girls Aloud gig! I just love Girls Aloud and was soooo excited about seeing them for the first time after missing them in Brighton on the Tangled Up tour. I still wasn’t totally clear on the o2 seating plan, but nothing prepared me for being on the BACK ROW of the o2! I had no idea it only went up to row U on the 400’s!! N was bad enough for the Spices!! I admit I spent most of the gig leaning back on my seat cos standing – couldn’t even contemplate a boogie – at that height was just plain FRIGHTENING! and because it was on a Sunday, I just knew that the trains would be rubbish and we had to leave before the end of the encore! But at least Girls Aloud had a B stage in the centre of the arena so when they were on that they looked like big ants as opposed to regular sized ants. At least I got to see them closer a few months later – more on that SOON – My next gig at the o2 was for Miss Britney Jean Spears and my first experience of a great o2 seat.
Block 112…..well well…so this is what its like on Level 1. Amazing. Britney’s concert was “in the round” and was superb entertainment although she didn’t sing a word live or say a word to the crowd apart from “hey London” which is a bit poor really. I couldn’t believe how good the seats would have been for an “end stage” gig and decided that if I can help it, I won’t put myself through the height & hell of block 400! It was then I really started to memorize the o2 seating plan! I kept thinking how amazing that Michael Jackson would be playing here in just over a months time…..
So my next o2 gigs were Madonna & Lady Gaga, which you can read about on the previous blogs. My next o2 gigs all come at once! In a space of six days I have Alicia Keys – block A4 – so close! Black Eyed Peas – block 421😦 and then round two of Lady Gaga – block 103 so expect a lot of words then. I think my main dislike for the 400’s has come about because of the utterly amazing seats I’ve had since then, although to be fair any seat is good in the o2 because of it’s curvyness! It’s still the best venue in the UK, maybe Europe! I am on every o2 priority/presale list I can be to ensure good seats everytime – I just cannot do row U again!!
Check my View From The O2 blog on the sidebar for more pics & views from various blocks