Sunday, 4 July 2010

Dan's Review!!!


As I'd got to West End Live about 9am and it already had a massive queue, I decided to go even earlier for Pride just to make sure I got to the front for Rachel. I ended up getting there around 8.30 after going out the night before with work people. I got there expecting to see hundreds of people already, but actually.... there was no-one there. I wandered around and chatted with one of the security guards who showed me his schedule which showed Rachel was on at around 4pm. Other than that I sat in various places to a) get the sun and b) be able to get into the stage area the quickest. One place a huge bumble bee landed on me :o

At around 10.30 a load of other people showed up who sat at the opposite side of the square where I was sitting, next to the fountains. So I spotted a place at the stage I wanted to aim for. My friend had arrived shortly after and whilst chatting to him, I failed to notice that they'd moved the barriers from the other side already!!! Unfortunately these other people who were waiting on the other side decided they wanted exactly the spot I had picked... well ok not exactly but right next to it... so i felt a bit weird going to stand RIGHT next to them haha. I thought I should really chat to them a bit, so I asked what they were here to see.
"WICKED" was the answer.

Here was the view I had, so I thought yes this is a great spot.

Shortly after, they begun setting up the mics and staging and 2 people started doing a sound check for various things, so I assumed they'd do all the sets etc. About 20 minutes later I heard a bit of the backing for Defying Gravity and jumped up. I saw this small girl at the back of the stage in a straw hat then doing some very high vocal warm ups... she then
moved to the centre of the stage to chat with the sound crew etc. Looking at her I was really not sure who it was... with the big straw hat and HUGE sunglasses which covered her face.

- It suddenly dawned on me that this could well be Rachel... I asked the people next to me
"is that RACHEL?"
- "who's Rachel?" - was the answer!?!?
"uh....the star of Wicked?"
"oh my god really? Are you sure?"

So I thought ok, lets find out
she looked round quite shocked so I smiled and gave her a thumbs up, to which she waved, laughed and smiled. I took a few pictures of Rachel in her sound check gear.

She did half the song which i recorded. Then later she did the last half by which time some others had arrived to the other side of the stage and were singing along, so Rachel kept not singing bits and putting the microphone towards us all. It got to the high notes at the end and I did my best Defying Gravity high notes with everyone, which were all surprisingly good!
"wow I don't even need to do it haha" said Rachel.

We met some lovely lesbians who were stood to the left of us, who said
"is she in a band or something, she's amazing!"
I told them she was in Wicked and they said they'd definitely be going to see that now!

Just before the show was about to start they set up a very tall camera RIGHT in front of me
"uh no, you've got to be kidding i've been here since 8.30"
"sorry." was the answer I got.

Look what they did to me!!

Luckily the nice lesbians took pity on me and said I can stand with them when Rachel is on if I wanted.

A large crowd soon gathered and the first few acts were on, starting with Nikk Mager who was in Phixx. - was slightly unimpressed that he MIMED his songs. - not good. A few other acts... some girlband called Scarlett something... who were a bit rubbish quite frankly. - although their 4 part harmonies were great. It was then the turn of Kelly Pepper, a dance act who my friend was dancing for.(the friend that could have gotten me in backstage) so I knew that Rachel would be next. I got out my poster which I'd made (see west end blog) and quite a few friends who'd joined me at the front gave me funny looks.
"i don't make posters for just anyone!... you just wait"

Just realised I actually didn't get any pictures of Rachel on stage!!! I was concentrating so hard on making a good video (although for some reason the start was very shaky... probably as I was trying to hold up the poster AND camera)

So Rachel came on in a gorgeous blue flowing gown with a silver glittery waistband. They'd played another one of the video messages from the Wicked cast, which thankfully played in the right time this time. Rachel was of course amazing... although at some points I felt like her voice sounded a little tired... I think maybe Rachel needs a holiday (although...
hopefully NOT for August 27th ;) It was odd hearing Defying Gravity without Glinda, but she actually changed the middle bit and sung a section of Wizard & I so that the wording made sense.

The crowd loved it, I looked round to see many people just watching her with mouths open! "THAT'S why" I told my friends...
which they nodded and agreed I was right.

So Rachel finished and I thought, well you know what i'm going to try to get backstage anyway, or at least the exit to see her afterwards. I met a lovely french girl that had followed Rachels career since way before I'd do anything. - if she's reading this, my stupid phone deleted your name, so I can't find you on facebook!

Anyway, there was another big group of young people all waiting too... of course for Rachel. She came out and was lovely but said can she do a group photo as she needs to get to the theatre quick. - luckily I think she meant just for the big group as they were all friends and I took their picture for them. Next came my turn and I thought I would give Rachel the poster I made. She said she'd seen it and LOVED it! The lovely french girl actually took a picture of me giving it to her :)

Here's the shot I've been waiting for! - The Rachel & I (lol)

Rachel then said goodbye and went off with her people... which i noticed were all loving the poster! :) ... I wonder if Rachel will put it in her dressing room hehe

I made my way back to the stage and saw most of the other acts, one that shocked me was Kym Mazzelle who had 3 backing singers, one of which was one of my favourites from the Dorothy show, STEPH. She looked incredible and sung fantastically. Not really sure if she's just friends with the lead singer or what but she definitely sounded great.

Also Same Difference were there, I'd predicted that they would do covers of Glee songs - obviously they did don't stop believing and somebody to love. They also sung their new single... which is actually VERY good!

I soon realised I'd been quite scalded by the very hot sunny weather and had quite a headache, so when HAIR came on, which I'd seen, I decided to go home.

great day though, THANKS RACHEL!!!

stay tuned for the video ;)


Andy said...

Wow! Front row position, Rachel soundcheck, Defying Gravity and pictures with the lady herself. Perfect!

Thanks for the great review and pictures.

Dan said...

no problem, always a pleasure! :)

don't forget the video ;)