Xpression, Ipswich Town Football Stadium UK (26 Jun 2005)
Last modified: 26 Jun 2005
Venue: Ipswich Town Football Stadium UK
Author: Dave Wood
Date: 26 Jun 2005
The stadium belonging to Ipswich Town Football Club was the venue for Xpression05, a youth worship event organised by the Church Of England. The setting was slightly unusual as far as concerts go. The stage was placed on the pitch in front of the main seating stand, running length-ways down the football pitch. The crowd were seated in the three-tier seating section, taking up only the middle section of the stand. With the area in front of the stage not being available for fans to use, the result was a larger than normal gulf between stage and crowd.
Despite the distance to their heros, the crowd made adequate noise to keep the atmosphere alive. Having already been entertained by three other bands by the time Delirious? took to the stage, the crowd were certainly warmed up by the time Andy Hawthorne announced their arrival. Making the long walk from the players tunnel to the stage in the middle of the pitch, the crowd roared at the first glimpse of the five suited d: musicians. Once on stage they launched headlong into a boistrous rendition of 'My Glorious', following it up with a set mainly composed of tracks from their latest album 'World Service'.
'Rain Down' gave the fans a chance to join in, helped along by the words being displayed on huge video screens hanging either side of the stage. 'With You' came next and then 'Mountains High', with its curious video of an alien figure struggling up a mountain. The stunning 'Majesty' had the stadium in awe, and the band kept the song going with an extended instrumental ending featuring some blinding guitar riffs from Stu G.
"This song is for all the Ipswich History Makers!" shouted Martin, playing to the home crowd. Responding loudly, the fans danced and sung until their feet were sore and their throats dry. Next it was Stu G's turn to step up to the mic, as the wonderfully moody 'Inside Outside' began. Again accompanied by the video, the band performed as if their lives depended on it. Stew thrashed his arms around, thumping the drums with every last ounce of strength, whilst Jon hoped from foot to foot, emitting bass lines that rocketed across the stage.
As Martin took up his place at the Rhodes keyboard, he took a few moments to address the crowd. Unfortunately his mind was still in preaching mode as he attempted to start 'Every Little Thing'. Several lines in he lost his place, threw his arms in the air and said "Sorry, I was thinking too much about what I'd just been saying". Smiles all round as he successfully restarted the song. As the song came to a close, Martin moved into a few spontaneous choruses of 'I Could Sing' followed by a gentle introduction to 'God In Heaven'. Launching into the song properly, Stu G appeared back on stage this time wearing the local Ipswich football shirt, complete with "Stu G" and the number 5 printed on the reverse. It had earlier been gifted to him by the event organisers, recognising his return to the town he lived in as a child. The shirt was greeted with the loudest cheer yet from the crowd, and as if spurred on with a fresh dose of energy Stu gave an electrifying guitar solo in the middle of 'God In Heaven'.
As night started to fall across the stadium, the stage lights became stronger and brighter, drenching the stage in a striking array of blue and purple colours for the beautiful 'Investigate'. Wanting to end the show on a worshipful note, Martin silently lit a candle and raised it high above his head. After a few moments he called out in a loud voice, "There is a light, that shines in the darkness. His name is Jesus", repeating it several times over, as the applause from the crowd grew louder, this time aimed heavenward rather than towards the stage. The band humbly left the stage, leaving behind them an atmosphere of intense worship.