Keep On Rockin’ in the Free World

So yesterday, Gary and I made our way to London’s Hyde Park for the Hard Rock Calling festival. A festival run by, the ‘ambassadors of rock’,  Hard Rock Cafe. I’ve been to two other events at Hyde Park, (REM and Red Hot Chili Peppers), but not a festival, so I was intrigued.

The park was split up with different stages, but most impressive was a large tent which was actually a Hard Rock Cafe restaraunt, complete with memoribilia on the walls, and a merchandise tent next door.

The whole week the weather had been changing from hot to rain to hot and rain, to storms, to fog – we didn’t know what to expect. But it was really rather warm and just a little cloudy.

We had a walk to have a look round. There was a big pyramid tend with a star on the top and loads of people standing underneath it. We walked in and there was a mist of fine water droplets showering down. An instant walk through cooler. Amazing! What we needed too!

We sat for a while in front of the main stage watching Seasick Steve and decided to have something to eat. I LOVE festival food, but it was a bit manky this time 😦 Ah well. I popped to go to the porter loos (surprisingly clean) and when I came out Gary told me about the lightning he’d seen. And lo and behold a huge rain cloud had appeared and was heading towards us. Time for rain wear – so we bought some ponchos and prepared for the impending down pour. And it happened as we were make our way to the front of the crowd to see Fleet Foxes. I love thunder storms and wasn’t disappointed! People were soaked but I was dry under my bright orange rain poncho!

The Fleet Foxes were amazing. They re create their sound live, perfectly. Their harmonies and the tightness of the band was brilliant and created a perfect ambiance as the rain stopped and the sun began to shine again.

the fleet foxes
the fleet foxes

Then we waited for the headliner, Neil Young. Gary’s a huge fan and has educated me in the ways of Mr Young for years now, so I was quite looking forward to seeing him perform. I’d watched him on Glastonbury the night before and wasn’t really sure if I’d enjoy the long guitar solos, but I did! I even danced through most of Down by The River which is about 15 minutes long 🙂 He got the crowd singing and swaying throughout. When he played Rockin’ in the Free World the crowd went manic!

Rockin' in the Free World, Neil Young
Keep On Rockin In The Free World

His encore for the whole of his world tour has been A Day in The Life by The Beatles. Just before he began to play, he walked off stage and gave someone a hug. Gary looked at me and shouted ‘that was Paul McCartney’ – his Super Beatle Sense was tingling. And sure enough, when he got to Paul’s part in the song, paul sauntered on and sung with him. Gary and I went ape! One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. See it here:

So it was an amazing day, with a super amazing end. I love seeing music live and outside (as you will have seen from my other blogs) but this was up there with the best. Bring on next year’s festival season 🙂

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