Now, okay, Wembley Stadium has in fact been razed to the ground and rebuilt since I last visited it, so one might expect some changes. But consider the following:
- sufficient ladies' toilets with no significant queue
- plenty of establishments selling drinks and food, even including some variety in the food -- and again with no queue
- comfortable seats with some actual padding involved
- polite and friendly security staff
- a sane and functional system for getting people away from the stadium at the end of an event
... when compared with the clusterf**k that used to be involved with going to Wembley, this was nothing short of miraculous.
So, we went to see the Foo Fighters -- we bought seated tickets, on the grounds of being Old and Boring (unlike sweet_lil_sis who was down at the front on the barrier). While you can get back to our neck of the woods on public transport after a Stadium gig (it's often touch and go after a show at the Arena, as their curfew is later), it's long and crowded, so we usually prefer to drive to somewhere just slightly further out of town than Wembley and get the train or tube in from there. South Ruislip seemed to work pretty well as a staging post aside from it taking about two hours to get there (M25, Friday afternoon, the usual sort of thing) -- gig finished at 2215 and we were home by midnight, which included waiting for sweet_lil_sis who had been on the next train after us out of Wembley Stadium station.
Supergrass were supporting and they were okay but nothing special (they did at least play "Moving" which is the song of theirs that I like best).
The Foos were pretty damn good. Lots of energy, lots of good songs (sweet_lil_sis had prepared us a CD of songs likely to be on the set list -- and she wasn't all that far out ;) -- so that we could prepare properly). The stage setup was a little bit odd -- sort of semi-in-the-round but not central; on the plus side the "not central" bit put it towards our end so we could see pretty well, even if not really looking at the front of it. (It did rotate a couple of times.) The sound worked a lot better than some of the previous times I'd been at the stadium, too.
Downsides? Um... I can't really think of too many connected with the band. I might have been a bit unhappy if I'd been desperate to stare into Dave Grohl's eyes for the duration of the gig since they were mostly facing partly away from us. We quite fancied getting some dinner from the "Champagne and Seafood Bar", except that they were only selling sushi and smoked salmon bagels (can't eat the bagels, can't eat the rice from the sushi) and wine and champagne by the bottle (not so feasible for two people where one of you is driving home).
I look forward to seeing sweet_lil_sis's photos, though she tells me she doesn't think they'll be as good as those from previous gigs because the pit between barrier and stage was wider. (No, I did not take my new long lens -- sheesh, I'd like to keep it for longer than a few hours rather than having it confiscated by Wembley!). She's back there again today, queueing to get in at 4pm and make that dash to the barrier... ;)