Morning! Hoping that you are all well this fine blue skied spring morning?
Yas, I have woken with a spring in my step today – a first for this week. Surely this must mean that I have FINALLY caught up on my beauty sleep following my busy (but fantastic) Friday night/Saturday morning at the SSE Hydro shaking my bootie along to Beyonce?
Gosh, a five day recovery period – how old do I sound? (Umm – actually, on second thoughts, don’t answer that!)
Pre-gig meal: The Gannet, Glasgow
Incase you missed part one of the Big Night Out, you can read my review of our pre-gig meal at The Gannet, Glasgow here.
Glasgow Hydro: Mrs Carter World Tour 2014
I shall pick up upon our arrival at the venue with a cautionary tale.
This was my first time at the Hydro, and, as the latest addition to Glasgow’s riverside skyline, it is a very impressive looking building indeed, particularly in comparison to the neighbouring SECC.
The venue itself has a capacity of 12,000 seated (13,000 standing) and was designed and built at a cost of £125 million. The building was constructed with acoustics in mind and the seating is based upon Roman and Greek amphitheatres, the theory being maximum visibility for punters in the auditorium.
One slight word of warning though. We had procured £85 tickets which were in 2nd floor, G block (which is to the left side of the venue). We were allocated these seats as the “best available” when booking by phone and we were delighted considering all three nights were a sell out.
Despite this cost, and the amphitheatre concept, these seats were absolutely awful. They were very high up and only gave a limited side view of the stage, which we had believed was going to be centrally located but was not. The “big” viewing screen was neither particularly big nor visible from our seats.
Thankfully, the staff were amazing when we politely asked if there was any chance we could be moved to a better location. Much to our delight and amazement, we were whisked straight down to the front of the venue. They were standing tickets, but we were so close!
This just goes to show that it pays to be polite in such situations, unlike some others we saw! The attached photo shows the view of where our tickets were (right up at the back) from where we ended up being (right down at the front).
My friend did email the venue after the gig about the cost associated with such terrible seats and the response was as follows:
“The allocation is selected by the customer prior to purchase and seating plans can be checked before agreeing to seats.”
This response was as we expected it to be, however, do maintain that for that price we would have expected at the very least a big screen facing out to the left. This may be more to do with an artist’s staging design but I do feel is something that the Hydro could help address when booking acts.
With the seating debacle behind us, we were beyond excited about the evening ahead. Despite not coming on until after 10pm (guess we can forgive her for that!), Mrs Carter appeared through the floor to “who run the world?” which got the crowd bouncing. Interestingly, I had heard that this was a change to the set list from the previous night in which she opened with one of her new album tracks. As with most concerts, I always come away wishing that more of the back catalogue was included, and here was no different, the show only containing a smattering of oldies with the prime focus being on the new album. Hopefully, some of this new material will grow on me as I must admit none of it really felt as catchy as her hits “crazy in love” or “single ladies” – both the biggest crowd pleasers of the night. At one point she also gave a rendition of “shout” which was gusty enough to give local lass Lulu a run for her money! Amazing!!
At the end of the gig, we collected our coats from the cloakroom with only a ten minute line and then headed across to the adjacent bar in the Crowne Plaza Hotel with some friends that we had bumped into. The taxi queues at the venue looked beyond horrendous but the plaza’s bar was buzzing with post Beyonce energy and was a far better idea than standing in the pouring rain waiting for a taxi!
My sober reflections of the gig are mixed. I am a huge Beyonce fan, and having been to a Destiny’s Child concert back in the day, I had vowed for years to get back to see Beyonce as soon as the opportunity presented itself. To be honest, I was that keen, I probably would have done Madison Square Gardens if anyone had been up for it. Whilst the energy from the crowd was there, the heart and soul from the stage felt slightly lacking for some reason and I just didn’t get the same “hairs of back of neck” feel that I have experienced at gigs before. Don’t get me wrong, it was world class, but perhaps I was expecting and had had built up in my mind the furore of THAT headline Glastonbury act, and sadly it just wasn’t quite there. All in all a laughter, wine and bootylicious filled evening though!
Were you at the Beyonce concert in Glasgow or elsewhere? What did you think? I would love to hear from you.