Live 8: Memorable Moments

A few things I jotted down that haven’t really fitted in anywhere else…

Bob Geldof on Stage

The guy standing behind us during the Pink Floyd set was apparently a huge fan of theirs, and we knew when exciting things were happening because he kept saying ‘oh my god’. Apparently the band members putting their arms around each other was a big moment! Good for him – it’s nice to see such enthusiasm.

Large beach balls (and inflatable fish) flew around the audience from time to time, relying on people to punch them back up into the air. One landed on me twice.

Between acts the big screens would cut to footage from the other worldwide concerts. We saw Greenday, Bon Jovi, Will Smith, Destiny’s Child, Bryan Adams, and the Pet Shop Boys. And the Pet Shop Boys again. And again. I think the Moscow concert consisted of the Pet Shop Boys only ๐Ÿ™‚

When Sting was playing the guy standing next to Lil was jigging around, and from my vantage point it looked very much like he was, well, wanking. Sorry to be crude, but he did! I don’t *think* he actually was, but I couldn’t get a close enough look to say for sure.

Shortly before Paul McCartney walked on stage for the finale, the audience began singing ‘Hey Jude’, which he then sang. How did they know?

Kofi Annan was there! Kofi Annan! He didn’t say much, oddly, but he was on stage!


The most emotional moment of the concert, for me, was when Bob Geldof showed a film of starving African children, which ended by focusing onto one young girl. Bob turned around and said: “We don’t clap that, do we. This girl had ten minutes to live, and because of Live Aid she this year took her agriculture exam. This beautiful woman is here today.” At which point she walked on stage to the loudest applause yet. It was a stunning moment, I thought. She thanked the crowd through an interpreter, and then remained on stage while Madonna dedicated ‘Like a prayer’ to her.

As Lil and I were making our way through the crowd, the announcer said: “Ladies and gentlemen – Brad Pitt!”. You should have heard the screams. A woman next to us turned to the people around her and said “He’s promised to me, I just need to get near him” and promptly darted forward, pushing her way through the crowd. People were hoisted up onto shoulders and cries of ‘We love you Brad!’ abounded. He was quite eloquent, too.

The ladies toilets had no queue at one point! That was just weird.

David Beckham introduced Robbie Williams – the scream factor doesn’t really get much bigger than that!

View from Above

At various points the screen showed photographs of the world leaders who’ll be present at the G8. Only George W. Bush got booed.

George Michael made a surprise two minute appearance with Paul McCartney in the finale. It was rather odd – he walked out, sang one song, then walked off again. A good surprise, though. I’d have liked to have heard a duet between them on The Long and Winding Road – it’s a close call on whose version I prefer.

Travis sang ‘Staying Alive’, which must have taken some doing! Fran Healey said he had to wear particularly tight underwear, then proceeded to pull them from his trousers – they had a ‘Make Poverty History’ waistband.

I was watching Dido when somebody behind me said “Hey, she’s lip-syncing!” She wasn’t. The big screens had no sound, so the picture was necessarily a little ahead of the sound from the stage. Like she’d be lip-syncing ๐Ÿ™‚

Peter Kay filled in time before The Who, but was a little strange. He walked out and said: “Hmmmm, what shall I sing?”, then lead us all in ‘Show me the way to Amarillo’. He was a bit weird after that, walking off for a couple of minutes after finding out that The Who would need some more time.

Ricky Gervais doing 'The Dance'Ricky Gervais said that Bob Geldof had just taken a conference call with Tony Blair and George Bush, who had agreed to quadruple aid, so we could all go home! Then he admitted that wasn’t true: “good news! There are still lots of poor people – we can carry on!” He then did ‘The Dance’ from The Office, to rapturous applause ๐Ÿ™‚

Dawn French made the mistake of saying she wouldn’t sing, which prompted a chorus of ‘sing! sing! sing!’ from the crowd.

Most of the merchandise sellers were my age and very attractive. That was a bit mean, how am I meant to think straight and order three different sizes of t-shirt in varying quantities correctly in those circumstances? Not that I got to that point, as it happened.

Madonna, amongst others, swore quite spectacularly – we wondered whether the BBC had the show on a delay. They didn’t, apparently. 400 complaints! It’s not like the swearing was aggressive, though. Well, apart from Snoop Dog.