Mr. Grumpy goes to see George Benson’s green check shirt at the Phil’

Having forked out £60 for a ticket to see George Benson at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall last night I must say it was a mixed experience for a number of reasons.

Of course Benson was a great performer as I had expected him to be although oddly his must have been the first concert I have ever been to where no encore took place. It just seemed to end quite abruptly.

And what about the Phil’ itself? Well for some odd reason (I would love to know why) they kept turning very bright lights on the audience. It happened on a number of occasions and I mean very bright lights especially when, as you’d expect, the audience was mostly in darkness during the performance. One chap I spoke to said he was glad he had brought his sunglasses! Very off putting indeed being almost blinded randomly. Please stop it Philharmonic Hall assuming it’s a regular thing you do at concerts.

It was not possible to order drinks for the interval before the concert started so you can imagine how mad the bar area was at half time; not worth the hassle to get a drink, but why set things up like that I wonder? The answer became clear, the bar never closed so it was another reason for the audience to be in perpetual motion.

Then there was the audience made up, I would guess, mainly of people like me well over the age of 50 – there were clearly quite a number much older than me too. But did a large number of them think they were at a Weak Bladder Convention? It was like an audience in perpetual motion with people in and out of the auditorium by the second. Having paid top Dollar for a ticket you’d have thought they would cross their legs to try to get some value for their money:-)

And what about George Benson’s green check shirt? Well for around a third of the concert he may as well have been wearing one as that was all I could see because a mature gent in front of me had decided to stand up thereby blocking my view completely.

A lady just along from him was photoing the concert on her phone, which was supposedly against the Phil’s rules. She got some ‘advice’ from a steward but seemed to take little notice and it was apparent that the signs saying don’t take photos or film the concert, or words to that effect, were seemingly not meant to be taken seriously as folks all over the audience were snapping and videoing to their heart’s content. Trouble is people doing this tend to light up the area around them with their phone screens, which you could do without.

Was the concert worth £60, on balance no not really, there were too many distractions which took the edge off seeing a world famous jazz singer and guitarist.

Stop Press:- Thanks to the Champion newspaper for printing my letter on this subject in their edition of 16th October 2019

3 thoughts on “Mr. Grumpy goes to see George Benson’s green check shirt at the Phil’

  1. Phil Holden says:

    What a shame. I first experienced the bright lights in face at a Chris de Burgh gig at the Empire around 1983. Not pleasant but I suppose it lets the performer see the audience. We have also had some gigs spoiled by the audience. Sometimes its just the awful realisation that they all look so old – when many if them are younger than us! Bright lights shining off bald pates can be distracting as well. But how was Mr B’s guitar playing?

    • Benson was good Phil but for me he did not do enough of his guitar playing and concentrated more on his singing. The other aspect of the audience moving around all the time which I did not mention was them going to the bar. I must be old fashioned as I expect a bar to close during a performance.

  2. Frank (Fellow Grumpy) says:

    I had the same mobile phone distraction experience in the Phil when we went to see a fantastic performance by the Rumours of Fleetwood Mac in April. Loads of people all over filming thus lighting up the Hall but the worst problem was in the row immediately in front of us where eight people raised their phones for long periods ruining the view/experience, a lady next to us politely complained but was responded to in a confrontational manner, her request ignored followed by niggling behaviour, so she and her partner moved thinking that their behaviour was enhanced by drugs. It is a shame that the Phil can’t do more to resolve this issue and for the people who use their phones why can’t they simply enjoy the experience in the present rather than telling their absent friends what they are doing for Facebook ‘likes’!

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