Performing with Roger Daltrey in Gothenburg

17 October 2012

As an international event band, now and again you’re lucky enough to find yourself sharing the stage with bona fide rock legends – and this happened to us last weekend when we were booked to perform with The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Roger Taylor from Queen at the annual IFS Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Starstruck, us?!

We often used to come onstage to the soundtrack of The Who’s Baba O’Riley, so to be standing in a soundcheck listening to Roger Daltrey perform it live was pretty surreal! We all did our utmost to come across as cool and aloof, of course, and not in any way starstruck – although our sound engineer Danny may have blown this when he asked Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson (who happened to be there as well) for a photo. To be fair though, it’s one to show the grandkids!

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A few hours later, we were standing backstage planning our set while the SAS Band whipped the huge crowd into a frenzy. To be fair I never expected to be having a discussion about whether or not to play Bohemian Rhapsody with Queen’s actual drummer standing right behind us – but it happened! Not only that, but when we asked Roger Taylor if he was cool with it, he graciously replied: “Sure, knock yourself out”. Then he walked onstage to perform We Will Rock You. Amazing.

The Lightyears hit the stage

SAS ended on We Are The Champions (you kinda have to, right?!) and left the stage to deafening applause from the crowd. It was getting late (1.15am – probably our latest ever start!) so we piled onstage and got rocking as quickly as possible. I had a whale of time up on my piano player’s riser – normally I’m stuck behind the speaker, so this was a real boon for me – and Tony thrashed away at the drums while John and George bombed about on the massive stage soloing like loons and grinning from ear to ear. In the end there wasn’t enough time for Bohemian Rhapsody, but we didn’t mind. The adrenalin rush was absolutely killer.

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Tumbling back into the wings at the end of our set, we concluded that there was only one thing for it – head backstage to party with The Legends.

Partying with the Rogers

Both Daltrey and Taylor took time to chat with us afterwards, and we asked Roger D how he finds performing Baba time after time, after all these years. “I just sing it like it’s the first time, every time,” he said, very simply, and you could tell he meant it. At the end of the day, I guess that’s the basic secret of performance – and there’s a man who should know.

Roger T was wearing an amazing fur coat and was, unsurprisingly, effortlessly cool. We had our photo taken together, shook hands with them and eventually parted ways, genuinely humbled by the experience.

Looking forward to hopefully being part of more IFS events in the future!

Chris Lightyear

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Click here to see The Lightyears Gothenburg photo album