My favorite place to hear music: The 02 Arena
December 20, 2010 Leave a comment
Everyone in the UK knows about the 02, it was first opened in 2000 under the title of the 'Millennium Dome' and was meant to symbolise the nation marching into a new age with pride. Its original purpose can only be described as a huge science exhibit. There were countless displays of technology and innovation, such as a huge human body you could enter and explore, or a dome containing controlled examples of the earth’s climate.
After the year 2000 passed, the Dome fell into disuse, the exhibits were auctioned off, and the place was forgotten. A few years later I heard plans to turn it into a huge arena for music and sport events.
My next experience of the place wouldn't be until January 2008. A friend and I went to see a Linkin Park concert, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
When I first walked in I was left stunned, the area around the edge of the dome had been turned into what looked like a scene from Blade Runner, huge glowing sculptures moved like space-craft overhead. Countless screens showed everything from concert details to examples of modern art.
The concert hall itself was little more than a huge concrete room, but that was the Arenas party piece. Its simplistic design meant it could be changed on the fly. In fact, the week following the concert would be spent transforming the hall into a huge motocross arena. This made me think of the Roman Coliseum, which could be a sand pit one day, and could be flooded for navel battles the next.
Ultimately this is one of my favourite venues. Its ability to capture your imagination makes it one to remember, and I hope to one day return there, because its originality is something that nearly all other venues lack.