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Well I’m not sure where to start or what to say to be honest. David is the expert writer on the team. (NOT TRUE -- DAVID)
As we expected Rachel just featured in a group song performance of ‘Light At The End Of The Tunnel’ from Starlight Express so I guess I better tell you a bit about the show and my experience otherwise it’s going to be a very short review.
After battling through the M4 traffic I eventually arrived at Hyde Park at 2:00pm but it was 3:00pm by the time I’d found somewhere suitable to park the car and I could make my way across the park to the concert. The doors were due to open at 4:30pm but there was already a sizeable queue by the time I got there and I thought my chances of getting anywhere near the stage were pretty slim. When I eventually gained entry it looked like I had a few thousand people in front of me but I ran faster than Usain Bolt with a rocket up his ass, hurdling people already lying on the ground and somehow managed to get to the front; albeit a little off to the side of the stage.
About an hour later the show began with Joss Stone performing Superstar. The orchestra were really loud during that performance so it was a little hard to hear her but she would definitely win the prize for the shortest dress of the evening. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one that doesn’t come down below the waist before lol.
I’m not going to talk about every performance otherwise we’ll be here all day but it wasn’t long before Jessie took to the stage and gave a beautiful rendition of ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’.
I think some of the biggest cheers of the day were for Lee Mead, Idina Menzel and John Barrowman. The latter seemed to have a massive smile on his face all evening which was no doubt because he had the opportunity to meet Rachel again back stage.
Acts came and went and I was patiently waiting for my first ever chance to see our girl in the flesh. I kept checking my programme for the running order and as soon as Philip Achille had left the stage I had my camera ready.
To my dismay there was no sign of Rachel and instead they made some stage adjustments and brought on Julian Lloyd Webber wearing what seemed to me to be a Leyton Orient shirt. Being an avid Bristol Rovers fan I'm afraid I had to look away at this point.
I wasn’t too worried at this stage and thought they had probably just changed the order a little but as time ticked on I was beginning to fear the worst. I must also add that I hadn’t eaten anything, had a drink or been to the toilet since about 11:30am, my back by this stage was as stiff as a board and I had cramp in my left foot. It was also getting surprisingly cold and I’d come somewhat under dressed for those conditions after what had been a pretty hot day.
Thankfully just I when I thought all hope was gone Rachel bounced onto the stage with Jessie, Niamh, Keisha, Keith Jack, Ben James Ellis, Daniel Boys and Lewis Bradley. I could hardly breathe. There right in front of me was this superstar who until that point I’d only ever seen on TV. Unfortunately the girls went to the far side of the stage which was the furthest point from where I was standing and Rachel was sandwiched between Jessie and Niamh but I could still see clearly enough and I didn’t take my eyes off her until she walked off waving to her fans in the crowd.
She only had one solo line to sing but you’ll excuse my bias if I say it was the best damn line of the entire show.
Even though this was a group song you could still tell this was what Rachel was born to do. It’s not just her incredible talent, acting skills, beautiful voice or stunning looks, she seems to have so much fun on stage and that transmits itself to the audience.
We had another brief glimpse of our girl shortly after when all the performers came on stage to wish Andrew happy birthday; even though as he pointed out, that was actually 6 months ago lol.
I can’t remember whether that was before or after the fireworks to be honest because by this time I was in a daze but the show ended in spectacular fashion.
I didn’t go in search of Rachel afterwards, partly because I was scared to death and didn’t have a clue where to go or whether it was possible but mainly because I was in agony with my back and I didn’t want to introduce myself looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame lol. Hopefully I’ll pluck up the courage after a few stiff drinks with David and get the chance next week.
I’m afraid I was on the wrong side of the stage to take any good photos and I also must admit I didn’t even look at my camera during the performance. I simply pointed it roughly in her direction and kept clicking. I had seen Rachel on screen enough and didn’t want to watch the performance through my camera. I’ve posted a few of the half decent pictures but I’m sure some of you guys got some much better shots which as always we’d love to feature if you’re happy to share.
Check out the fantastic fan photos below. OMG Rachel’s looks AMAZING. I feel faint just looking at them. If I’d have met her last night looking as stunning as that I would have passed clean out and wouldn’t have come round in time for opening night.