From the Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen, Murrayfield Stadium rocks with the best of them
The Rolling Stones were all in their mid to late 50s when I first saw them live. It was at Murrayfield Stadium in 1999 where they were playing a date on one of their early, if not first, farewell tours. Even then, the wrinkly rockers lookedolder than their years, decades of their infamous rock'n'roll lifestyle having taken its toll.
Over the years, Murrayfield has welcomed some of the world's biggest rock and pop stars, everyone from The Eagles to the Spice Girls, Robbie Williams to the Foo Fighters and One Direction to Madonna. All have played the 56,000 capacity stadium, some more than once.
So have Kings of Leon, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robbie Williams, Celine Dion, Tina Turner, R.E.M. and the Thin White Duke himself, David Bowie.
As a venue, I've found Murrayfield swamps some acts. Watching from the seating can become a voyeuristic experience. There can be a disconnect, like being on the outside looking in as the party people revel in the music with that atmosphere never reaching beyond the standing area on the pitch.
That said, there are always exceptions to the rule. When Oasis played there in 2009 it was with a sense of relief I discovered my tickets were in the stand with access to the VIP bar and lounge and a bird's eye view of the carnage unfolding on the pitch as fans went battling with each other and pint glasses of urine flew threw the air as the gig reached its climax with the Gallagher siblings belting out Champagne Supernova.
Another act I caught there, way back in 2005, was the late James Brown. He certainly knew how to captivate every single person in the stadium and left us all feeling good. He was probably the performer I felt owned the venue more than any of the others I have seen there.
This week, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band announced their plan to open their 2023 four-date UK arena tour at the home of Scottish Rugby - if anyone can match Brown's commanding presence and own a stadium the size of Murrayfield, it's The Boss.
Demand for tickets, which go on sale at 9am on Thursday, July 21, is sure to be high, especially as the tour marks the first UK live shows for Springsteen and The E Street Band since 2016 and their 14-month, worldwide The River Tour. With their most recent studio album, Letter To You, debuting at No 1 in 11 countries it's safe to expect tracks from that release to feature on the night along with all the classic anthems.
Despite earlier misgivings about Edinburgh's biggest 'sometime music venue', nothing can beat Murrayfield for atmosphere when hosting an act that knows how to work its 52,000 capacity. My money is on Bruce and the E Street Band being just the guys to reach even the furthest away seats, ensuring everyone enjoys what one super-fan assured me will be an almost "Biblical experience".
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