Saturday saw the Chime For Change concert take place at the home of Rugby Union, Twickenham stadium. There was something fittingly symbolic about a venue usually so crammed full of alpha males that just breathing the surrounding air on match day could make you sprout chest hairs, being used to highlight the plight of women everywhere.
Some of you may know that I was lucky enough to attend the concert- and had an amazing time, thanks for asking. But this post isn't really going to offer a play by play of the concert, instead I thought I'd post MY top three best and worst things about the night. Doing that should hopefully stop me from rambling and let you get to the performances quicker. (Or you could just ignore all of this and just scroll straight down, you scoundrels!)
(1) The Cause: Like you didn't see that coming. Between each act we were given speeches on the subject from speakers as diverse as Gloria Steinem to Aishwarya Rai. We were also treated to videos that highlighted the struggle for female equality in different parts of the world.
(2)Florence and The Machine: I know I love Florence but it seems so does everyone else- the crowd went seriously nuts when she came on. Her voice was the clearest of anyone who graced the stage that day and it cut through the audience like a resonate bell. Shame she was only on for three songs.
(3) MJB!: Seriously, Jennifer Lopez introducing Mary J Blige for her Michael Jackson tribute would have physically brought the roof down- if Twickenham had one.That might just have been the most memorable moment of the entire concert.
(1) The crowd: The atmosphere was amazing and the crowd were in fine spirits throughout the five hour event, but they didn't seem to give two hoots about the cause. Speakers who weren't big names or hot didn't gain much traction with the crowd, who either chose those moments to hit the bar or use the "facilitates" before the next musical act came on.(I was embarrassed for feminists everywhere when James Franco got the biggest and longest applause of the day- bar Madonna- and that was before he'd opened his mouth)! I initially thought that those on stage hadn't noticed the lack of interest but Madonna imploring the crowd to listen- partway through her own speech- showed the apathy for the cause (but love for celebrity) was reaching the stage.
(2)The Publicity: Seriously, where was the hype for this event? I was speaking to friends a day before the show and they had no idea what I was talking about. Even more embarrassing is that one of those friends lives ten minutes from the stadium!! Somebody really dropped the ball when it came to promoting the concert and thus the great cause!
Just check out the YouTube videos I've had to use! God bless those people for uploading them but an event like this should have spawned hundreds of quality uploads. Chime For Change could learn from The Eurovision Song Contest, which had all their videos uploaded to their YouTube page the night after the event!
(3)Beyonce: Now hold up. Don't crucify me yet. It was awesome that Bey was there, and it was her name that probably attracted most of the publicity and ticket sales (it's why I had mine). She was also as flawless as ever on stage and her genuine emotional reaction to the crowd and the cause was beautiful to see. Now here's my problem: the song choices. They were perfect for the majority female crowd, but since I really don't like If I Were A Boy and Irreplaceable it meant I didn't enjoy a quarter of the set. And when I say "don't like", that's polite speak for I hate those songs. I was also confused by the inclusion of At Last. However, opening with A Change Is Gonna Come was such an apt choice and at least now I can say I've seen Beyonce live!!
Anyway, now on to the performances! ENJOY!
Florence + The Machine:
Ellie Goulding :