ELO- The Night the Light Went on in Manchester: A Concert Review

Last night, I had the joy of going to Manchester to see Jeff Lynne’s ELO perform. It is the first music concert I’ve been to in that arena, and the first time I’ve seen a rock band perform. What did I think?

Let’s start off with the main thing: The band was excellent. Jeff Lynne brought his blend of feel-good rock anthems, tinged with latter-day Beatles and 50’s rock aesthetic, to an amazing stage show with a fantastic live band, containing the right mix of orchestral, rock, and synth that one can expect from ELO. The atmosphere in the arena was like a party. No, it was a party. From the little children to the big kids, everyone was dancing to the songs, swaying, singing, it was like a carnival.

Jeff Lynne's ELO
Jeff Lynne’s ELO perform with style.

The big hits were in full force throughout the night. Turn to Stone, Livin’ Thing, Showdown, Mr Blue Sky, and others. All of it was punctuated with excellent visuals. Because of the lights, the lasers, and the screen displaying images behind the band, it was more than a concert. It was an experience. And it will be one that I am sure anyone who went will treasure. I sure will.

Regarding the rest of the experience around going, I just want to take some time to comment on the trains. Northern really need to sort this shit out. Trains are cancelled on a Saturday because of strikes. Just give your workers whatever they want. Therefore, you will not have huge problems when two of the North West’s cities are holding huge events. My Uncle and I instead drove up to a Park and Ride somewhere in Greater Manchester, and got the bus into Deansgate. 

Another thing about Manchester is how big it is, and I am not a fan. Its a big city, and it is very imposing, and that is something I don’t like. This is why I like Liverpool more because its a smaller city and a little more self-contained. We had dinner in Nando’s in the Arndale Centre, which wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be. It was recommended we avoid Printworks, and we did. I can imagine it being heaving with customers.

As for the arena, security was tight. Understandably so since the terror attack. Because of my watch and belt, I ended up getting frisked. Its good to know I was being kept safe, though for someone with anxiety, it is a bit unnerving. Despite that, all was well. We left the concert around half past 10, and we got home just before midnight. All in all, a good night out. I even bought a pin badge and a programme. 

And with that, I will end this post with a spotify playlist of some of my favourite ELO songs. Hope you enjoy. They’re all deep cuts, but listen to Mister Kingdom:

About the author


Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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