Weather is set fair for tomorrow so it should be a nice day. Hayley on GMTV today seemed excited about her London concerts. I am hoping to get some good photos but I might have to wander out of my seat as we're not too near the front. Looking forward to meeting up with you all again.
I was at Wembley Arena in London last night, along with Roger, Dave and the Hayter twins, Steve and Stuart, and it was a great evening. As in previous concerts of the UK leg of the Il Divo tour, Hayley sang with a backing track, but here she also had a guitarist whose name I didn't catch. She sang seven songs in her set, which lasted just over half an hour. They were:-
She Moved Through The Fair The Water Is Wide Both Sides Now Scarborough Fair Amazing Grace (a capella) Pokarekare Ana Across The Universe Of Time
Hayley gave another stunning performance. Her voice was strong and beautifully clear in the vast auditorium, and the audience gave her the attention she deserved. They were very quiet while she was singing, and applauded warmly after each song. I was particularly impressed with the way Hayley chatted to the audience between the songs. Playing to so many big audiences on the Il Divo tour has clearly boosted her confidence.
I won't say much about Il Divo, but I felt they lacked a focal point. Rather than working together as a group, they seemed to be competing with each other for their fans' attention. For most of their set they were all over the huge stage and I really didn't know where to look. I've never had that problem with Hayley, and the simple production of her set was much more effective! i.postimg.cc/9fYxy370/smilie-big-grin.gif
Being such a huge venue, it wasn't practical for Hayley to meet her fans as she usually does at smaller concerts. However, I was there early and managed to meet her at the entrance to the private car park when she arrived. A small group of women were waiting for Il Divo, and they also seized the opportunity to talk to Hayley. Some of them had seen her at previous concerts on the tour, and they were all very appreciative.
Many thanks for your wonderful Wembley Concert Review- AND well done for being there to welcome Hayley on her arrival! i.postimg.cc/9fYxy370/smilie-big-grin.gif I'm sure Hayley would have appreciated your moral support
I'm delighted to hear you enjoyed yourself last night. Yes, touring with 'Il Divo' has been great for Hayley. The opportunity has allowed her music to reach a wider audience, so her mission is being accomplished beautifully!
Well I too went to see Hayley at Wembley Arena on the 12th but i didn't arrive until about 50 minutes before it was due to start so all i got to talk to was... Richard and Roger! (only joking chaps!)
Hayley sang I think as well as i've ever heard her and she was certainly helped by an excellent sound system and acoustics in the newly refurbished Arena, with the biggest indoor speaker systems I've ever seen hung anything from 50 feet up, high above the front of the stage.
Hayley walked on stage at exactly 7:30 to the dimming of the Arena lights and the accompaniment of her backing track from the start of "She Moves Through The Fair". There was a murmur of surprise from the audience followed by a few moments of appreciative applause from an audience who., let's face it, were nearly all there to see the "main act" later on... and Hayley's performance was underway.
Richard has listed the seven songs above and Hayley also made a few comments to the audience in between some of the tracks but I thought the response was a bit muted, even when she complimented the "amazing" Il Divo. But she put on an excellent high quality performance and had this been her own headlining concert, it would have brought the house down. Soon after she started, Hayley introduced a young and very good guitarist who accompanied her - but we didn't catch his name unfortunately. If anyone recognises him from his photos when I post them, please tell us!!!
All too soon, Hayley had finished with "Across The Universe Of Time" and as she walked off the stage to our left - right in front of us - there was some good appreciative applause from the audience, with not a word of complaint or adverse comment to be heard, as has been reported from a few of the earlier concerts, in the US I think. There were some pockets of rapturous applause and one such was in row 7 near the front, where she got a standing ovation! I think the guys concerned are called something like... Richard, Roger and Dave i.postimg.cc/9fYxy370/smilie-big-grin.gif But anyway, Hayley certainly looked happy with a job well done as she waved and left the stage - and it would have been hard for her to miss us!
Then came the interval and we met Steve, Hayley's manager (senior manager ) and he promised to try and fix up a meeting. At the end of the interval, he came back to explain that Hayley was tied up with media interviews (good news for Hayley!) and would be for some time - but he would text us when she'd finished. And so he did, over an hour later, but unfortunately, the message was delayed due no doubt to network congestion. There seemed to be a text message competition in the Arena itself, with the winner being announced at the end of the show - and Steve's message arrived 24 minutes after it was sent, when we were already on our way home and so would have been Hayley by then. Disappointing, certainly, but we are delighted to know that he and Hayley *tried* to meet us, Steve and Stuart too - who we also met there. If there is a next time, we will all know what NOT to rely on... mobile phone technology.
I'll shortly post a few photos that I managed to take (though I had only a standard fixed lens on my digital camera during Hayley's performance) and I'll post my thoughts on Il Divo later on.
The concert was a real success from Hayley's perspective, she sang beautifully and this was added to by the superb acoustics in the new arena. The selection of songs was just right for that audience.
the only negative point for me was having most of Hayley's 35 minutes interrupted by umpteen late arrivals that decided that because it was dark they would just stand in front of me at the front of the balcony and talk loudly to one another.
Following meeting up with Dave Roger and Richard, during the interval, we returned to S13 about 1/2 mile from the stage! to be told that we could not go in because it would disturb IL Divo, This was the same young lady that let about 200 people in during Hayley's performance.
needless to say I had a polite chat with her about professional courtesy to ALL the artists performing that evening!! and we were eventually let back in.
I will report on the IL Divo part of the evening later.
Sorry Dave I forgot to say the pictures are great, you have certainly got a great camera there, we look forward to your photographic contributions during the summer months as you get even more used to it! David Bailey has nothing on this guy!
Just a fer words to add to the reviews already written about Hayley's performance on the 12th at Wembley. My brother and I were at the rear of the hall (in S13) and therefore saw the concert from a different (and distant) perspective. The sound quality of the concert was amazing and the clarity of Hayley's voice gave me goose bumps on the back of my neck.
Visually, however, the "behind the Screen" lighting on the stage made it very difficult to see more than an outline of Hayley, who only had the front of the stage to perform on. Personally, I would have got a lot more from the concert if the cameras had been on Hayley, as they were for Il Divo, showing her on the two huge big screens.
Also, the lighting and effects were not very sophisticated compared to what followed. Don't get me wrong, Hayley was fantastic. She could have come out in a bin bag and sung "My old man's a dustman" and I would have loved it as she's my hero. But there were only a small number of "Hayley Fans" there and what she needed to do was win over thousands of fans who were there to see their heroes and the only thing she had to do this was her voice. The lighting and effects are an important part of any show and its a shame that Hayley and her promoters didn't have at her disposal all the technology that would have made a great performance a real show stopper. Il Divo had at least 30 musicians supporting them an Hayley had just the one guitarist, good though he was.
These were the kind of comments that we got from Il Divo fans on the tube from Wembley Park and these are the people (Well, women mainly!) who Hayley is hoping to win round.
Thus said, it was a great evening, not least because we met up with Roger, Dave and Richard during the interval, and it was clear from Steve (Hayley's Manager) that he values the contribution that HWI make to Hayley's profile.
I cant pretend I wasn't gutted that his efforts to get us another opportunity to meet Hayley again were thwarted. I would have loved to wish her a Happy Birthday and good luck in the charts this week!.
Thanks for your long range photos Stuart - they give a nice "wide angle" impression of the overall scene - something that was impossible from where we were sitting! Yes, it was a great pity that our - well Steve Abbott's plans actually - were thwarted by the dreaded text delay.
Now, I have a treat for you all from Vanessa - who posted that wonderful photo here of Hayley in Cardiff. The following photo is from Wembley and she didn't state which date but judging from the time of her post it was probably the 12th. Here it is: