Whoever thought "A Symbol" could sound so good!
4th June 2014
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I love music, as I’m sure that many Brummies do. Life would be a dull place without, that is for certain. It has to power to lift our sprits, to inspire us and to take us to places that simply do not exist in our everyday lives. There are times in your life, special moments, when music simply transcends the material world that we live in. Last Monday I was fortunate enough to experience such an occasion. 


The LG Arena was the venue.  I had been dragged there by my better half to a Prince concert. I didn’t really know that much about the artist, in truth. I vaguely remember a cheesy film from the early eighties that he had appeared in; the only other times that I ever heard of him were negative press in the world’s media. When I was at college I even recall a friend’s girlfriend telling me that she worked at the NEC and saw him. Apparently Prince demanded that no one look him in the eye, or else they would be fired. This was around the time when Prince was going by some other name – or even a symbol – and essentially in the middle of his mid-life crisis/eccentric pop star period (the likes of which us humble members of the public can only ever dream of). So, in short, I did not have any desire to see this man in the present day. However, as many other men must have done on that evening, I reluctantly agreed to go in order to please my wife.


They say that the best things in life are free. Whoever is peddling such nonsense couldn’t possible have been at the LG Arena last Monday. From the opening bars it was clear that the paying audience were in for a very special night. The kick drums resonated around the arena rhythmically pumping through the racing hearts of all those in attendance. The synthesizers and guitars ably backed the artist and gave him the platform the deliver a powerful set which took the audience to a new level of concert experience. His vocals were as clear as any digitally remastered album and suffice to say I soon found myself dancing crazily like the other ten thousand people in the arena.  The funniest thing was that when the last squeals of ‘Purple Rain’ had long since ended, and most of the audience had left, Prince returned to the stage to deliver a twenty-minute encore. It felt like a private gig!


As a music lover I felt privileged to have witnessed such an incredible event. The simple beauty of not expecting anything from a concert and then being taken to such spiritual highs reminded me of just how special these nights are. We are blessed also to have the pick of amazing venues here in Birmingham. The National indoor Arena has held its fair share of great gigs. The Symphony Hall regularly attracts the cream of musical talent. The trendy young things have the best of up-and-coming bands showcasing their skills at the O2 Academy. This is not to mention the plethora of more intimate venues dotted around this great city. Indeed we are blessed to have these places in Birmingham, and with the world’s biggest stars now coming to us we must take every opportunity to savour their sounds and be transcended to wonderful places through their music. 


Author: Tim Cole

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