Blur at Wembley

I went with my son (early 30s) last night.

Blur were great and Damon seemed to be genuinely touched by the size/reaction of the crowd plus the history of Wembley (reflecting on all the passion and emotion that had been expressed here in the past, he described it (paraphrased) as a temple for agnostics) he made a specific mention of Freddie and live aid earlier in the show.

However… the sound for the support acts was absolutely dreadful (it sounded as if the PA was being driven into distortion) it got progressively better but Jockstrap and Sleaford Mods were just impossible to listen to; apparently Jason from Sleaford Mods apologised for/complained against the sound quality from the stage… the quality was so bad I couldn’t make out his words. Honestly Wembley you really should have done better. I wondered if it was because the PA needed the ‘loading’ of the crowd to work properly, even if this was the case it’s no bloody excuse.

However… well worth the drive and time. Even if I feel a bit second hand this morning after getting home at 2AM.

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I’ve never seen a concert at Wembley, whereabouts were you sitting, and what was the overall experience like?

Saw Genesis at Twickenham in 2007 but we had exceptional seats near the front, the folk at the back seemed to be miles away.

Pretty much central at the very back of the seated area. I’ve seen a few bands at Wembley before and haven’t ever had a problem with the sound. Frankly I don’t think there’s any excuse for it…

The view was good enough, though you couldn’t really see anything without the screens; the screens were well filmed/projected so no particular complaints there (although at the start there was a lot of lag between the voice and video; this seemed to reduce or I might have just compensated for it and stopped mentally complaining!)

(and it’s not just my aging ears, my son had the same problem!)

Ive heard rumors of larger venues deliberately messing with opening acts EQ in order to make the headliner sound larger and better, but can’t imagine professional sound people actually doing anything so callous. Management, however…

More likely though it’s probably down to opening acts getting little sound check time, sound engineers and stage hands not wanting to fudge with the levels and mics of the headliners, and opening acts typically being smaller bands that just don’t have a stadium sound. Sleaford Mods seem an odd fit, in many ways, for Wembley. Probably better configured for a small concert hall or club. A real shame about not hearing the vocals, though—that’s what makes the Sleaford Mods!

I thought large or small this was always the ploy.

It’s always gone on. Especially when it looks like the support act might blow the headliners off stage. An especially infamous example was the 1979 Buzzcocks tour – Joy Division, the support act, had terrible sound, which miraculously improved when Shelley and Co. came on stage. This was certainly the case when I saw them at The Rainbow in London.

July '82, Roundhay Park Leeds, and Joe Jackson is opening the afternoon’s proceedings, followed by The J. Geils Band.

The sound seems awfully subdued, and the crowd is getting restless.

The Stones trundle onto the huge outdoor stage, and, as if by magic, the volume is cranked up massively, and the crowd let themselves go and start partying.

Once their set is complete, folk start wandering off towards the exits, not interested in some unknown band who come on last, George Thorogood and The Destroyers, (Who?), just to wind things down for the day … … … except, they’re still playing at Stones’ volume levels, and cranking out some good ol’ down home blooooze and rock 'n’roll.

They certainly stopped everyone in their tracks, and I thought they showed Mick & Co. the way home.

I was there!


I believe the best bands get their own guys to muscle hustle into the mixing platform, regardless of line up.
If the band aren’t properly supporting their own crew - well…
Don’t take it as Gospel.
My favourite standing place at a small venue is behind the mixing section. I just love to watch the (usually bearded with a dreadlocked top knot) musos looking at their big screens and twiddling knobs, as much as the band…
At big concerts my favourite standing place is always at the front of the mixing platform.
Over the years I have witnessed many skirmishes when there’s a change of bands - with the big guys with Walkie Talkies coming to diffuse the situation. :rofl:

The promotional poster showed Paul Weller as a special guest did he appear?

Mr Weller was support tonight Bob, got there just too late to see him. Blur on splendid form, as they were the night before.

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Well, I’m a big Blur fan. I really enjoyed last night, but the sound was a total let-down. Boomy and mushy, really, really poor. My 18 year old son commented on it without prompting, so it wasn’t just my ageing ears! I’ve decided I hate stadium concerts, it’s just money grabbing. The band would’ve had a much better time in a smaller venue - more gigs, smaller places is my wish. Blur at the Brighton Centre - that’d be amazing!!

Great story, and good for George!

I’ve seen many concerts at the Brighton Centre including The Jam, Paul Weller, Oasis, The Who and though they all had a great atmosphere the sound was never great. I saw Oasis at the East Wing of the Brighton Centre and that atmosphere was electric.

But I agree that large outdoor events are never the best and smaller venues are much better.

Agreed - Brighton Centre not the best sound either, just local to me and smaller

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A long while ago I was talking about why so many support acts sounded dreadful & the main act excellent, through the same PA system at large venues, with a friend who was a member of ‘The Blues Band’.

He said this was almost always because the support acts were invariably newer bands trying to establish themselves & had support technicians with little or no experience of playing large venues & using ‘top of the range’ equipment. They therefore got hold of the mixing desk & turned all the knobs to 11! All this ever achieved was a very loud, distorted sound.

The main acts sound engineers usually knew exactly what they were doing & balanced the sound properly, using years of experience in all sorts of venues.

The acts I have seen in arena venues that sounded good to very good include Clapton, Eagles, Elton John, Genesis, Mark Knopfler, Page & Plant &, of course, The Blues Band.

Not so good major acts, Fleetwood Mac, Moody Blues.

Very poor, Alice Cooper, Nils Lofgren.

Down right dreadful, Wolfsbain (supporting Chris De Burg - good sound from same system) & several other heavy metal support acts.

We saw Fleetwood Mac a few years back at Wembley stadium and the sound was terrible, widely reported too at the time from memory.
I don’t think I’ve heard any stadium or arena sound good but maybe we’re a picky bunch due to our hobby.

Had the opposite at the old Wembley stadium, Gun and Texas were supporting acts to Simple Minds and both were brilliant.

Simple Minds came on and it was like a Roberts radio had been miked up, they sounded awful.

Don’t mention Gun…

I saw them at Thekla [1] (it’s an old cargo boat moored in Bristol). I don’t think I’ve ever been at a gig that was so loud (because it was in a metal box- the hold of the boat). My ears were ringing for days afterwards.


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Sounds awful, made me proper laugh, sorry.

We just arrived for Blur. Sat at the rear on second level.
Sound was awful, way too loud, and third harmonic distortion whistling. I’m seriously wondering if these sound levels are even healthy.
Guitar not balanced, painful, and drowned out vocals. Both my younger son I heard the same.
I think they basically had too many line arrays installed. From, middle, rear, above. Probably the worst sound I’ve heard from any band, so these sound guys have not been doing their job making sure the sound is good from all parts of the stadium . Interestingly, sound is much better at the front when watching you tube videos of the concert. There is no excuse. We had great sound with guns n roses and hans zimmer, both in large stadiums. Band were great but seriously let down by the production staff.

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