Texas at Birmingham NEC on Nov. 5 1999
“Oh, What a Night !”
By Sophie van Rooijen
While sitting in a train going from Leicester to Birmingham, I finally awoke from my, what seemed to be a never-ending, dream. Yes! I was actually going to see Texas live on my birthday. Unfortunately, though very typical, the weather was terrible. Looking out into dark gray skies did not exactly set the mood I had hoped for.
After checking into a bed and breakfast, where the lady of the house was surprisingly friendly, a friend and I set out to go to the NEC. Of course, it was pouring outside and we were stupid enough to leave our jackets at home. We arrived at the NEC building at 7:35pm. People were filing into the building; inside, they were buying T-shirts and drinking beer- you know, the usual stuff. In the background, Bernard Butler was on doing his thing in front of a not-so-interested crowd. People crowded around the official merchandise stands, where, luckily, they accepted credit cards ! Naturally, I got carried away and spent an excessive amount of money. But don't we all do that when we see anything that has to do with Texas !
Texas finally set the stage at 9:00pm. Sharleen wearing an orange blouse and what looked like beige pants from where I was sitting. Two background singers dressed in black outfits joined the band. Strangely enough, they were in the spotlight with Sharleen. Johnny and Eddie where practically invisible ! The lighting and the screen were stunning.
They started off the show with “In Our Lifetime” and the band, unlike the crowd, was really into it. Sharleen was really pumped up, which was evident in her dancing, Tony seemed to be in a good mood for a change, and even the background singers were jumping up and down. The singers were too much during the first few songs. It was very difficult to hear Sharleen's voice, but they lightened up during “Insane”. It took the crowd about five songs to get their party masks on properly, and even after they did most people still had trouble with the lyrics to “Prayer for you”.
Some songs that really stood out were “Postcard”, “Saint”, “Put Your Arms Around Me”, “Halo”, “Tell me the Answer” and of course, “Say What you Want”. Sharleen was very interactive. For example, she told us that someone gave her a toy guitar (the ones that make guitar sounds) and that she wanted to let us hear it. Then later, there was a little showdown between Ally and Tony. They each had to do their thing best, while Sharleen continued to play with her toy guitar. Mikey and Mark One also did an excellent prelude to “Say What you Want” together.
There were two encores that the crowd didn't catch on to. During the first encore, after they played Summer Son, some people started to leave, even though it was only 10:10. It was an absolute nightmare during the second encore. People started to file out of the room, and once the band came back on they couldn't get back to their places anymore ! It was too ridiculous for words.
Texas was in top shape that night, as was Sharleen's voice. Mark One did an excellent job spicing up some old songs, while Ally elongated our favorite songs with his guitar. It was a great way to spend a birthday; a night I'll never forget.
© 1999 - Texas On Line - Sophie van Rooijen.