JUNE 6, 1999


The drive to Sheffield was mostly dry with a few showers, but that was all about to change by concert time. As we neared the venue, Don Valley Stadium, Graham had us on the lookout for signs that read "Concert P", which meant a car park near the stadium. Or so we thought. We asked the female attendant how far a walk it was to the stadium & she sounded sure it was only a 15 minutes walk. So for $5, we decided to go for it. At least there was a loo in the car park, which was it's only saving grace that day. We were early, so we sat in the car listening to Stones tunes, eating bread & some sort of cake things-was this our only meal that day? I can't recall.

My crew itinerary book from '99 UK

The sky was darkening ominously & there was a chill in the air as we finally hit the loo & headed toward the stadium to pick up our tickets. We followed a bunch of others out of the car park & up a hill, the wrong way! Then we all turned around & found the correct way, and we walked, and the rain began to drop, and we walked and the rain pelted heavier, and we walked, and it poured, and we walked some more. After about 35 minutes (15 minutes walk my ass!), we arrived in a downpour, umbrella-less, drenched, and looking for Will Call. Graham bought us garbage bags to put over us to try to keep what was still dry on us dry. Hey Keith, those skull scarves make good rain hats I found! As it continued to piss down, we still saw no sign of a Will Call window & got into a queue behind some folks who were looking for the same. Someone they knew came up later & gave them All Access passes & they disappeared. Finally the one woman in front of us was smart & she butt into the other line & asked where our tickets were? They had them at the regular window all along! Fine time to find out. So we cut in line too, picked up our tickets, checked the envelope, thanked the Lord that we could head inside for dryer territory.

Ah, it didn't take long at all. We raced inside & took off our coats to dry off a bit, seeing our Japanese friends, we sat at their table with them & promptly grabbed a few beers. Fosters! Imagine that. We had Miller Genuine Draft in Edinburgh & in Sheffield we have Fosters. I wonder who does the beer selection for these events? This time we had a nice girl as a bartender & we chatted with her quite a bit. E & Graham ended up trading their tickets for her 2 uncut tickets, so that the girl's parents could have seats. We watched the bar for her as she went out to get more chairs when the weather cleared & the room became more crowded. We had our standing joke about all the "candy" in the VIP room. Candy, salsa & chips are the main staples of the lounge we've found. I went to talk to the security guy at the door & found that we had just missed the Stones coming into the venue by about 5 minutes! Sheesh, nice of him to tell us. The official announcement of the club gig with the real details wasn't going to be announced on the radio until the following morning after 8am.

Once back upstairs we stepped outside & watched a few of Sheryl's numbers from stage right second level. Then we made our way down to the pitch. Tonight's set changes were to be Ruby Tuesday in place of Angie and Keith throwing in You Don't Have To Mean It for a reggae blast, other than that we didn't hear anything we hadn't heard recently. They did Respectable tonight, but of course if you saw the NS Tour that was a staple as well. Even so, it didn't make the show any less exciting & when the rain began again, it only added to the fun instead of detracting from it. By this time we didn't care & we danced & sang in the rain having the time of our lives. It was a beautiful sight looking up into the lights as the rain came down in sheets & the Stones music rang in our ears. Sheffield was wet & wild & we loved it!

As the show ended, we were wet & our shoes were muddy, but we were happy to have seen UK show #2. We dreaded the long walk back to the car park in the dark, but finally our tired feet arrived. I had gotten blisters on both feet from my feet being wet & sliding back & forth in my sandals. Once back to Cambridge we phoned our friend, who was already in line at Tower Records, telling us there were already 70 people in the queue. Oh no! We immediately formulated a plan & decided we would go for it. We changed clothes, packed some food, finally remembered umbrellas & got back into the car for the drive to London and Picadilly Circus. See Shepherd's Bush Review.