Visit London Blog » gigs Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Sound of Change Concert at Twickenham Stadium Tue, 04 Jun 2013 10:47:02 +0000 Florence and the Machine Confetti rains down on crowd during concert Beyonce headlines Sound of Change via Twitter @LauraHarper1 @OliviaWestlake @AlexWestlake04

Beyonce ended the European leg of her Mrs Carter tour on Saturday by headlining The Sound of Change. The concert, which saw a stellar line-up of A-list celebrities descend on London, launched the Gucci-founded global campaign Chime for Change.

I was lucky enough to join an audience of 50,000 people to watch the four hour show, which was also broadcast live from Twickenham Stadium to an audience of 1 billion across 150 countries.

Short sets came from a predominantly female line up including surprise act Jessie J, who opened the concert. She was followed by Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, Laura Pausini, Florence and the Machine, John Legend, Haim and Ellie Goulding, who all performed a selection of their top hits. Jennifer Lopez was joined on stage by Mary J Blige for the Beatles classic Come Together. Timbaland was also joined on stage by another surprise act, Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon.

Each act was interspersed with moving and inspirational short films, introduced by a line-up of presenters as impressive as the musical one, including James Franco, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Jada Pinkett Smith and Madonna. The hard hitting films presented the audience with statistics and highlighted issues and real life experiences.

What better and more fitting way to end an extraordinary event than with Chime for Change co-founder Beyonce. She opened with Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come, followed by Etta James’ At Last. Her empowering songs included Run the World (Girls), Destiny’s Child hit Survivor and If I were a Boy. She also performed a haunting rendition of the late Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You which lead into Halo. A highlight for me and considering the response, the whole audience, was when she was joined on stage by rapper husband Jay Z during Crazy in Love.

Co-founders Salma Hayek, Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, were joined by the biggest stars in the world right now to support an amazing cause. Chime for Change campaigns for education, health and justice “for every girl, every woman, everywhere” and the Sound of Change is its first event. The sell-out concert is expected to fund at least 120 projects in more than 70 countries from ticket sales alone. In a world first, ticket buyers could choose which project to fund and 100% of their money would go straight to the non-profit organisations.

Ellie was a guest of Freud.

]]> 0
Five London Gigs to Look Forward to in 2011 Sun, 02 Jan 2011 10:00:34 +0000

There are so many brilliant gigs coming up in London this year, it was hard to narrow it down to just five. But here are a few I think will be extra-special:

  • Pulp at Wireless – Return to the 90s for a few hours! Pulp’s eagerly anticipated reunion gigs include a headlining slot at Wireless in Hyde Park. 3 Jul
  • Take That – Robbie’s back and they’re heading to Wembley Stadium. Congratulations if you managed to get tickets. 30 Jun, 1-2, 4-5, 6, 8-9 Jul
  • The Wall Live – See the classic Pink Floyd album performed in its entirety by Roger Waters and his handpicked band at what promises to be an epic gig. 11, 12, 14-15, 17-18 May
  • Glee Live! In Concert – As a team full of Gleeks, we can’t wait to see the cast here in London. 25-26, 28-29 Jun
  • The Vaccines – This indie quartet made the BBC’s “Sound of 2011″ list. See what all the hype’s about at the Brixton Academy. 19 Feb

Which gigs are you looking forward in London to this year?

]]> 1
Space-Age Muse Rock London’s Wembley Stadium Mon, 13 Sep 2010 10:05:02 +0000

Muse confirmed their tag as one of the world’s best live bands last weekend with two sell-out gigs at London’s Wembley Stadium – and I was lucky enough to be among the 90,000 crowd.

The boys from Devon rocked the foundations of the iconic stadium in two breathtaking shows on Friday and Saturday, which included a floating UFO, a spaceship set and cannons firing streamers.

For British rock bands, it can’t get much better than playing at Wembley Stadium, where the likes of Queen and U2 have played defining gigs. But while some flounder, Muse have shown once more that they are worthy of being named in the same breath as arguably two of the greatest bands the British Isles have ever produced.

The first time I saw Muse was also at Wembley in 2007, but while that performance was incredible, this went one step further showing more maturity and a better use of their repertoire – strengthened further by their chart-topping album The Resistance.

Along with their ability to produce awe-inspiring shows, one of Muse’s greatest assets is the trio’s ability to mix styles and switch effortlessly between ballads such as Soldier’s Poem and the manic Stockholm Syndrome and Hysteria.

The former led to lighters and mobile phones lighting-up the crowd like a colony of glow worms, while the latter two produced frenzied waves of arms and heads bobbing up and down in the mosh pit.

After rousing performances of Starlight, Plug in Baby and Guiding Light; Matt Bellamy and his band ended with a lengthened version of their hit Knights of Cydonia.

Muse show no signs of slowing down just yet, with rumours of another album surfacing – and Wembley Stadium surely beckons once more?

Muse were supported by a pregnant Lily Allen, who played her last gig before retiring, which also featured a duet with Professor Green. Biffy Clyro supported Muse on Saturday.

Did you see Muse at Wembley this weekend?

]]> 4
Ben and Jerry’s Sundae on The Common 2010 Tue, 27 Jul 2010 14:01:47 +0000 The main stage at Ben and Jerry's Sundae on the Common Scouting For Girls Fans enjoy the music

Another successful Ben and Jerry’s Sundae on The Common came and went this weekend. Millions of calories of delicious free ice cream were consumed (if the amount we ate was anything to go by!), there were great sets from the likes of Doves and Idlewild, and there was all the usual Ben and Jerry’s fun to be had (toe wrestling anyone?)

Festival-goers paid their respects to gone-but-not-forgotten ice creams at the Flavour Graveyard, and were rewarded with pieces of the legendary ‘Wich (ice cream sandwich) which was resurrected for one weekend only.

This year’s event had a Fair Trade focus as the ice cream brand is committed to making all its products Fair Trade by 2011. As if we needed another reason to eat ice cream!

]]> 0
Photo of the Week: Dizzee Rascal at Lovebox Sat, 24 Jul 2010 09:00:11 +0000

This week’s photo is for anyone reminiscing about last weekend’s Lovebox festival, with Dizzee Rascal playing his headline set on Friday night.

Keep adding your photos to Visit London’s flickr pool and we might just feature one of your pics as our Photo of the Week.

]]> 0
Super-Chilled Jack Johnson a Hit at London’s O2 Arena Thu, 01 Jul 2010 14:00:14 +0000 Hot on the heels of his performance at Glastonbury, American singer-songwriter Jack Johnson put on a super-chilled performance at London’s O2 Arena last night.

The man who is so laid back he is almost horizontal played a set featuring well-known hits from five of his albums, including his latest release To the Sea.

Even a few early misplaced chords and forgotten lyrics failed to take anything away from a fantastic performance.

There were also surprises in store as the bassist Merlo added a rap solo to Sitting, Wating, Wishing, and Johnson’s friend Ben Stiller made an appearance jamming with the former pro surfer.

Hit songs Flake, Taylor and Good People had the crowd singing along and Johnson ended the set with the mellow Do You Remember and Constellations.

There was a sense of calm around the O2 Arena as the crowd left. Maybe doctors should start prescribing Johnson’s music to combat stress – on last night’s performance it would certainly work.

]]> 2
Bon Jovi at The O2 Tue, 15 Jun 2010 09:23:00 +0000 Bon Jovi’s sell-out London gig at The O2 last Thursday was a real treat for their many fans and with a 27-year history they gave an unforgettable show!

The band have sold more than 120 million albums to date and performed for more than 34 million fans. 

It’s clear how much Bon Jovi appreciate their fans, as they played for almost two and a half hours and seemed to genuinely love every minute of it.

The eternally young Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres gave spectacular performances.

Bon Jovi performed their classics including Sleep When I’m Dead, Bad Medicine and Livin’ on a Prayer as well as new material. The experience of being among so many appreciative and loyal fans while being at an incredible venue like The O2 was superb.

Bon Jovi has a summer residency at The O2 and are playing until 26 June 2010. Book tickets

]]> 0
Rage Against The Machine at Finsbury Park Wed, 09 Jun 2010 13:23:45 +0000 On Sunday night Rage Against the Machine played to 40,000 fans at Finsbury Park as a “thank you” for their Christmas No. 1.

It all began last December when a Facebook campaign put Californian band Rage Against the Machine’s song Killing In The Name at the top of the UK single charts, beating X Factor winner Joe McElderry to Christmas number one. It was the first time in five years that a winner from the TV talent show ( as well as producer Simon Cowell) had not enjoyed a Christmas No. 1.

More than 180,000 people applied for tickets to the concert via an online lottery. I was one of the lucky 40,000 winners, but that didn’t stop several hundred ticketless fans scaling the fence.

It was a star-studded list of support bands including punk-veterans Gallows, hip-hop superstar Roots Manuva and gypsy-punks Gogol Bordello, who warmed up the crowd.

The crowd was ferocious when RATM came on stage and the band didn’t disappoint. Their rendition of popular 1992 track Bullet in the Head confirmed the band had lost none of its raw energy.

RATM called Jon and Tracy Morter, the couple who orchestrated the Facebook campaign, on to the stage in order to present a cheque — 100% of the proceeds from the Killing In The Name single were donated to the homeless charity Shelter.

Zach De la Rocha then paid tribute to the British punk tradition with a cover of The Clash‘s White Riot.

Finally the band left the stage before the encore, and the sound system pumped out X Factor winner’s single The Climb, while quotes from the newspapers filled the screens recounting the countdown to the Christmas Number one single sales. The words flashed up: “YOU Made History” as the the band rejoined the stage to play their biggest hit and last song of the night, Killing in the Name, and the crowd went wild.

]]> 0
Visit London Asks: Which Gigs Are You Looking Forward To This Summer? Mon, 07 Jun 2010 09:36:03 +0000 We’re more than a little excited that Bon Jovi are kicking off their summer residency at The O2 tonight (they’re even performing a few classics on top of The O2 this afternoon to celebrate).

And after the warm weekend, our thoughts can’t help but turn to summer festivals and gigs.

Which London gig are you headed to this summer? Will you be watching Dizzee Rascal at Lovebox or Florence and The Machine at Somerset House? Were you lucky enough to get tickets to see Kings of Leon in Hyde Park?

Let us know…

]]> 3
Bon Jovi Exhibition Coming To The British Music Experience Tue, 25 May 2010 12:18:37 +0000 Bon Jovi continue their London takeover this summer (12 nights at The O2) with a photography exhibition at the British Music Experience (BME) in June.

Fans can peruse two floors of images, shot by “band insider” Phil Griffin including previously unpublished and private photos, as well as pics from upcoming official Bon Jovi book When We Were Beautiful. The British Music Experience will also be showing teaser screenings of the soon-to-be-released Bon Jovi documentary of the same name.

If you’ve already got Bon Jovi gig tickets, there’s an extra reason to get your ripped denim-clad self to the BME, as entry is reduced to £5 for Bon Jovi ticket holders.

Here’s Jon Bon proving he’s still a beauty rocking a fetching skull necklace.

When We Were Beautiful at the British Music Experience, 7-25 Jun 2010, entrance to museum £15, £5 for Bon Jovi ticket holders.

]]> 4