Concert: Rick Wakeman (2024)

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I took the train over to Birmingham tonight to see Rick Wakeman in concert. I met up ex-business partner, good mate – and fellow prog-rocker, Ian, and we headed for the venue – Symphony Hall – for what is rumoured to be RW’s last batch of live tours! ๐Ÿ˜•

Well, I’ve heard that one before with mega rock stars like Rick, but he is now in his 70s and probably deserves to call it a day!

From experience, if he ever gives up the keyboard, he’d (still) make an excellent living as a raconteur (having seen him quite a few times, in his ‘one-man shows’, reflecting on his ‘colourful’ life ). The last time Ian and I saw him in ‘talk mode’ and without a Band was back in December 2019 at Warwick Arts Centre!

Journey to…

First things first – I had to get to Birmingham. With driving still off the menu because of my hand injury, it was down to the trains to help me out. Ann dropped me at Kettering Station and then it was a short hop to Leicester and then onto Birmingham New Street. However, what would make things more challenging would be the return journey to the centre of the earth once the Concert was over. Connections were sparse at that time of night – actually for both of us – and so we planned to stay over for a night in Brum instead and booked ahead.

So far, so good. Ian met me at New Street just after 4pm and we took a cab to the Premiere Inn in Broad Street. After checking-in, we then enjoyed a quick bite, courtesy of nearby Zizzi’s, (great food, shame about the service!) before heading to Symphony Hall. Actually, it was a much shorter walk than we thought – Ten minutes later, we were in our seats.

The Concert

7.31pm: We’re off!

Entitled ‘The Return of the Caped Crusader’, the performance was in two parts. The first set consisted of classic ‘Yes’ tracks…

…whilst after the interval, we were treated to ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ in its entirety. And, if you think you know Journey… (based on the 1974 original) tonight included the extra tracks from the later version re-recorded in 2012. Great stuff! – and a real treat for fans like us!

Was it any good, or was this another faded mega-star desperate to relive his golden years?

Oh yes! This was Rick at his very best, musically, with the Band having the time of their lives too! In recognition, there were not one, but two, well-deserved standing ovations plus a genuine ‘thank-you’ from Rick to us, the fans, that brought the evening to a close.

9.55pm: We both agreed that it had been a fantastic concert – let’s hope he’s not really retiring! And if he is, we’ll be first in the queue for his ‘comeback tour’!! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘

10.15pm: A brisk walk in the cold night air of Brum and we were back at the Hotel. As a couple of retirees, we’re living the dream, ehh!?!? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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