First concert in three months ahead of a flurry over the final weeks of 2022. It is my sad duty to report that The Odyssey is still a shambles. George Ezra was ok though.
Where do you start? I suppose, trying to get into the place.
I left around 7.10pm/7.15pm, standard leaving time for a concert.
Unfortunately, it took me one hour to get from Queen’s Bridge into The Odyssey due to a traffic jam. I even had to put up with some cheeky bastards trying to budge in front of me.
No bother, i’ll sit in a traffic jam just so you can jump in front of me. Fuck off.
I haven’t been radicalised by the reaction to Phil and Holly, i’ve always been this way.
Eventually, when I reached the Car Park, it was full, something i’ve never experienced, meaning I had to go and park at the Car Park beside BIFHE.
I really don’t want to sound demanding, but if you’re going to make money out of a Car Park, might I suggest having even ground and maybe some painted parking bays? Just a suggestion.
Eventually, I did get parked somewhere. Not even sure if it was a parking space, just a bit of spare land.
There was so little space to move, people had no way to turn back once they realised there wasn’t a space available.
In order to pay, I had to type my registration number into a machine. It’s a good job mine is memorable. I can only imagine some people would have had to go back to find out what there’s is. More time wasted.
Isn’t technology supposed to make things more convenient?
£4.50 for the privilege of all this.
Getting the train would be convenient for me if it wasn’t for the fact that the last train to get me home would be 10.51pm, I would have absolutely no chance of getting, once you get through the bottleneck getting out of The Odyssey, then walking to the Train Station, then making your way to the platform on the other side for trains bound for Portadown.
I know you can say that I should have left earlier, but it was a Wednesday. Some of us have jobs to go to.
Surely Translink and The Odyssey could work together and have shuttle buses from Belfast City Centre.
Even better, have Park and Rides to Connswater and/or Holywood Exchange.
That would eliminate traffic coming from North Down.
Or even better, have a train service that allows people to see the show.
If i’ve paid for a ticket, i’m not leaving early, meaning i’m not going to make the 10.51pm train from Bridgend.
Why does going out in Belfast feel like such a chore? I shouldn’t be entering a concert in a shitty mood.
Eventually, I arrived in the venue around 8.25pm, missing the support act and missing out on getting a decent view of George.
If this was the Queen concert in May, I would have missed the first few songs.
And then, to add to it all, there were scumbags vaping around me.
I had to take matters into my own hands and have a word with them and let them know I won’t be tolerating it.
I’ve already binned outdoor concerts due to this to my own detriment, I won’t be doing the same with indoor concerts.
That is why I gave his Belsonic show in 2019 a miss.
I should not have to resort to vigilante behaviour just to get some basic courtesy.
Seriously Belfast, raise your game and stop being such a backward shithole.
Although, actually getting on the floor was a drama as well.
I went to go to the floor after being scanned at the front door, and got told I wouldn’t be allowed in without a wristband.
Then, I headed to the front door to get a wristband and was told I didn’t need one,
So, I headed back and was told I needed one and was referred to Security, who made me prove my ID.
It seems that a Tesco Clubcard can be used as a legitimate form of identification.
Just in case I nicked some guy’s phone and realised he had a George Ezra ticket so I decided to pop along.
For George, this was his first time at The Odyssey, he’s at that level now.
The first time, I saw him was at The Limelight in 2014.
Curiously, that night in 2014 saw Northern Ireland play away to Greece.
This came the night after Northern Ireland played away to Greece. Perhaps he should have brought this forward by a day as it might have been an omen for a good result for Northern Ireland
Back in 2014, he had literally just scored his first Number 1 album. Literally, that week.
This was just a few months after being an unknown singer performing in Derry for a recording of Other Voices.
Now on his third Number 1 album, he was ready to take on The Odyssey, his first concert at the venue.
If you’ve ever been to a George Ezra show, you’ll know that he loves to talk. A lot. Most songs usually come with a story. Sometimes to do with the song, sometimes not.
He also loves to produce big anthemic tunes you can sing along to. The crowd, filled with 40 year old Karens. were happy to dance and sing along.
We were too be thankful that he was here at all, having spoken about how he wanted to quit the limelight (as in, being in the public eye, not the music venue) and may do it again when this tour ends.
Might as well make the most of it.
That is what he did, strolling onto the stage in double denim, turning around to reveal it had Gold Rush Kid (the name of his newest album) printed on the back.
Always important to get the branding right.
After starting with Anyone For You, the hits came one after each other.
Cassy O, Pretty Shining People, Barcelona, Budapest, Shotgun, Blame It On Me and Green Green Grass.
Green Green Grass came with a story. Turns out the song was inspired by him accidentally stumbling onto a wake whilst on his travels. The live version had an 80s feel, with jangly guitars similar to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
Remember, good girls go to Heaven and bad girls go to Budapest.
A few weeks after this concert, George Ezra announced a Belsonic gig for 2023. I’ll be giving this as miss as I can’t be bothered with outdoor concerts for reasons already stated.
This kickstarted a run of concerts through the second half of 2022.
One of those might have been Ian Brown.
I was tempted when his tour was announced in 2020 with an Ulster Hall gig.
Nothing was purchased, but as it turned out, it was cancelled due to you know what.
The thing he calls a psyop.
Had a bit of a lucky escape when I saw the photos doing the rounds of his show at Leeds on Social Media.
Elsewhere, I got a ticket to see John Power at Mandela Hall in November for the sum of £0.00.
I only found out about this because Facebook’s algorithm advertised something useful to me, instead of advertising tickets for Glentoran matches.
This will be my first concert (unless something dramatic happens between now and then) at the newly rebuilt Mandela Hall, so looking forward to this.
I have already had a sneaky look at the facility, having been walking past this on my way home from another event.
The reason for it being free, is that is a charity concert and there is an unwritten rule that you donate non perishable food instead of paying a ticket fee.
You get to listen to Cast classics and do your bit to help others.
You can find out more information here.
George Ezra live at The Limelight 2014
George Ezra live at The Limelight 2017
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