Monday, 26 June 2017

Caught Live (4): Jeff Lynne's ELO @ Wembley 24/06/17

#1,289: Just under a year ago, whilst basking in the afterglow of a phenomenal performance at Glastonbury, fans of ELO were thrilled to hear the news that Jeff Lynne's ELO were to land at London's iconic Wembley Stadium for one glorious June night. Since then, elobeatlesforever (elobf) has been counting down the days to Saturday 24th June as the anticipation and excitement for the concert mounted in the wake of their April induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Ably supported by The Shires and Keane's Tom Chaplin on impressive solo duty, Jeff Lynne's ELO took their places on stage to the familiar sight and sound of rain and thunder to herald the first notes of "Concerto For A Rainy Day" and 'new' opener "Standin' In The Rain" (replacing last years "Tightrope"). The absence of the much missed Richard Tandy meant that Marcus Byrne again stepped up on piano and vocoder duties with Jeff promising the return of his right hand man on "the next leg of the tour".
There's now an air of familiarity about Jeff's touring troupe of thirteen in 2017 and that on stage bond - much marshalled by ace Musical Director Mike Stevens - meant that they had as much fun on stage as the 70,000+ folks watching them, under a what could only be described as a marvellous re-imagination of the spaceship insert that graced the inside sleeve of many thousands of copies of the classic "Out Of The Blue" 2LP some forty (40) years earlier upon a stage design that was literally out of this world.
A radical set list change was also confirmed following on from their Sheffield date three days earlier with four songs from the 2015 song roster including "Secret Messages" moved aside to accommodate a healthy influx of 'new' numbers including "Handle With Care", "Xanadu", "Ma Ma Ma Belle", "Last Train To London", "Do Ya" and "Twilight". All those song changes meant that those assembled got to see and hear an extended set of twenty three ELO classics in 110 minutes of sonic and visual excellence in perhaps the most atmospheric if not stratospheric of gigs thanks to the pre-show announcement that the show was being filmed for a future Blu-ray and DVD release, most likely in time to be included at the top of many a Christmas present list.
The beaming smiles and frequent breaking out into song of the throngs ensured that this electric light fantastic concert, lauded as one of the gigs of the year, more than lived up to its billing. Many a review has doubtless already been written and published about ELO's latest Wembley spectacular but, for me, this was a truly sublime experience - and sure to propel their #1 multi-platinum selling "All Over The World" compilation back up the album charts!
It was truly momentous for this writer to hear Jeff deliver the vocals for "Twilight", "Handle With Care", "Do Ya", "Last Train To London" and "Ma Ma Ma Belle" for the first time, having listened to them as records for years! On such a night as this was, it's difficult to choose a fave but if you pushed me, I'd have to say that "Standin' In The Rain", "Ma Ma Ma Belle", "Do Ya" and "Twilight" were special. Yours Truly KJS did miss "Secret Messages" though, for obvious reasons. May the next ELO tour also be as dramatic, entertaining and wonderful as this one with perhaps a song too from (of course) "Secret Messages" and "Balance Of Power" to top it off ...
Jeff Lynne's ELO performed: "Standin' In The Rain" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "Do Ya" ~ "When I Was A Boy" ~ "Handle With Care" ~ "Last Train To London" ~ "Xanadu" ~ "Rockaria!" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Prologue/Twilight" ~ "Ma Ma Ma Belle" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven"
Jeff Lynne's ELO were: Jeff Lynne (Lead vocals/guitars) ~ Mike Stevens (Musical Director)(Guitars/vocals) ~ Milton McDonald (Guitars/vocals) ~ Lee Pomeroy (Bass/vocals) ~ Donavan Hepburn (Drums) ~ Marcus Byrne (Piano/keyboards/vocoder) ~ Bernie Smith (Keyboards) ~ Jo Webb (Keyboards) ~ Iain Hornal (Backing vocals/guitars) ~ Melanie Lewis McDonald (Backing vocals) ~ Rosie Langley (Violin) ~ Amy Langley (Cello) ~ Jess Cox (Cello)

Find out what Jeff Lynne's ELO are up to by visiting their official website via this link thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who love ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Traveling Wilburys, The Move, The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 26-June-2017


  1. Nice write up Keith so glad you enjoyed it

  2. Great review Keith, looks absolutely magical. Those of us who love the music but also the images and album artwork of ELO have been really rewarded this past year. I had really hoped to see this one but for health reasons couldn't be there. I hope you're right and that Jeff will tour again. My son, who is 26, saw him with me in Dublin and has listened to every album since. I had wondered what venue would feature in any future DVD release, but it could only be one place really...

  3. Brilliant review yet again Keith, love your blogs so much xxx

  4. Excellent review and great pictures, thanks Keith . What an utterly amazing show :-)

  5. At least Jeff acknowledged the fact that Richard will return on the next tour. But he still didnt say if he was ill or not. I believe fans want to know how he is doing. If he is sick then just say that. You dont have to give us details. People care a lot about the members of this band (past or present). I still think that the previous elo members should reunite. Put aside your differences, legal issues etc. Life is too short to be holding onto grudges and ill feelings from the past.

  6. Jeff said he'd been unwell and was revering. Perhaps RT doesn't want the details put out there and his privacy is being respected.

  7. I missed having stepping out on set list but was surprised at how good Xanadu was live and it seemed to me that rock aria was the first song that got 100% of crowd rocking.
    Was seated(obviously stood up for whole concert) and found how special it was on can't get it out of my head to see all the phone lights around the almost 100% full stadium.
    O2 was obviously amazing for those of us who thought we would never have the chance to see him live but have to say Wembley did beat that experience.

  8. What time did ELO come on stage? I'm going to Hull on Saturday but not bothered about the support acts. Doors open at 5pm. Thanks

    1. Doors opened at 4:30PM @ Wembley with JLELO on at 8:30PM. I reckon no later than 8:30PM on that basis. I'd make sure you are in your seat for 8:00PM. Hope this helps ... KJS@elobf

  9. I waited since 1978 for Jeff and ELO to return to Australia.
    In the end I decided it isn't going to happen.
    So, 24 hours and 17,000 kilometres of flying we landed in England two days before the Wembley gig.
    The problem with such a commitment as this in time and money is will the performance live up to the expectation?
    And believe me, my expectations were huge.
    But from the opening bars of Standing In The Rain, which I never expected to see live, my worries about being everything I expected were washed away.
    We were 4 rows from the front, you don't commit to going half way around the world to sit in the clouds, and Jeff never failed to lift us into the stratosphere.
    Waiting impatiently for the DVD.