A Waste of Time and Money


12. Feb. 2012, 19:20

Fri 10 Feb – The Black Keys, Band of Skulls

Alexandra Palace is a large building steeped in history. Also known as Ally Pally or the People's Palace, the building dates back to 1873 and is closely linked with the history of BBC television and radio broadcasting.

On the 10th February 2012 Alexandra Palace played host to over 10,000 people when The Black Keys played alongside supporting act Band of Skulls. The latter were crowd pleasers, their music bland and instantly forgettable with a female backup vocalist who sounds like Annie Lennox. Nevertheless they put on a good show and were very professional. The Black Keys themselves of course stole the show, their set list featuring hits from past and present and were backed up by a dazzling light show.

All this sounds like a wonderful event, but the evening was swiftly and irredeemably ruined by a selfish and violent crowd. From people blithely smoking cigarettes, cups of beer being lobbed overhead (covering hair, clothes and glasses in the stinking, sticky substance) to a group of men rubbing methamphetamine into their gums, it soon became clear that the concept of respect (both for self and others) was nowhere to be seen. Add to this the very real possibility of being injured by the seething mass of bodies slamming back and forth and the endless irritating crowd-surfers and piggy-back riders, it became a challenge to even stay upright let alone enjoy the music.

So an evening with my beloved and a band we have enjoyed much together was ruined for me, and my faith in gigs in general dragged down to rock bottom. I'll stick with my iPod to experience my favourite bands from now on.


  • antonjw

    i hung back at the rear of the crowd, thankfully, on reading your review. it is a truly shite venue. The Black Keys are just intent on making as much money as possible right now. New album not on Spotify, playing ridiculous enormo-venues. They played good, thought the new stuff sounded good, but it's no place for musical enjoyment. Those places just turn everyone into assholes. It's farming. Just stick to smaller venues and screw those bands who won't play them anymore. Smaller venues is where the magic is at...

    12. Feb. 2012, 22:17
  • MsFranx66

    Interesting review. I had a pretty different experience. The sort of crowd you are describing are present at every single gig I go to. They are very annoying indeed. I would recommend never to stand in the middle front of the stage. I was in front but on the side and the people around me were civilised. There was no pushing and nobody was too drunk. I had never been to a gig at Ally Pally before and I actually liked the venue, much better than Brixton Academy! The acoustics were very good which is often not the case. I totally disagree with you about Band of Skulls, I had seen them before and I thought they totally delivered, and were probably the best support band I have ever seen to be honest. Some of them are shockingly bad!!! Sticking to small venue is great as long as the band you're going to see are not well known. As soon as they are successful, bands move on to big venues. It's the price of success and the fans are paying!

    13. Feb. 2012, 18:17
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