Top 11: Music and musicians at football grounds

Paolo Di Canio performing Dancing in the Moonlight with Toploader
Di Canio in the moonlight (Image: YouTube/Kios2525)

Ever been to a gig at a football ground? Soulless or wonderful? Perhaps you agree with Harry Grindell Matthews on the When Saturday Comes forum:

Being in a football ground for a gig is a truly depressing experience, it seems like the venue is taunting you with the fact that it was built for a far better purpose than the one you’re there for.

If Paolo Di Canio joins in with one of the nation’s favourite songs though, your experience may be legendary:

1. Toploader & Paolo Di Canio at Swindon Town’s County Ground (May 2012)

2. Elton John at Watford’s Vicarage Road (May 1974, May 2010)

Watch ’70s Elton and the star showing off Watford’s new shirt to an adoring crowd thirty-six years later. Elton also played at at the Vic in 2005, but we don’t want to go Elton crazy just now.

3. Michael Jackson at Exeter City’s St. James’ Park (June 2002)

Michael Jackson joined forces with his friend Uri Geller to become an honourary director of Exeter City in 2002 and made a duly appropriate speech. Jackson and Geller were also accompanied by magician David Blaine.

4. Cliff Richard at Aston Villa’s Villa Park (June 1984)

American evangelist Billy Graham reportedly attracted 257,181 people to a series of prayer meetings held at Villa Park over the summer of 1984. Here’s Cliff performing at the Billy Graham Crusade.

5. The Who at Charlton Athletic’s The Valley (May 1976)

This event made it into the Guinness Book Of Records for the loudest ever gig, reportedly measuring 120 decibels from 50 metres away. Apparently 120 decibels is what the World Health Organisation call the threshold of pain. Many fans remember the gig for the violence, wet weather and delays however.

Read more about The Who’s gig at The Valley on Timeout’s website.

6. The Beatles at Filipino national stadium, the Rizal Memorial Stadium (July 1966)

The Beatles played two shows Live in Manila on the same day, to an estimated total audience of 80,000.

7. Bruce Springsteen at Aston Villa’s Villa Park (June 1988)

Great news clips from his Tunnel of Love tour:

8. The Rolling Stones at Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park (June 1982)

9. U2 at Rotherham United’s Don Valley Stadium (August 2009)

See what caused this:

Rotherham United's pitch at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield that was left in a poor state after U2 gig
Rotherham United’s pitch was left in a poor state after the U2 gig (Image: soccer24-7.com Forums/Thiggy)

Another U2 gig, this time at Hampden Park in August 2009, caused a forthcoming match between Queen’s Park and Albion Rovers to be called off because of damage to playing surface – who could have seen that coming?

10. UB40 at Birmingham City’s St. Andrew’s Stadium (June 1989)

11. Jon Bon Jovi at Coventry City’s Ricoh Arena (June 2008)

Bon Jovi duet with a young boy named Jack, plucked from the crowd: