Southampton was one of the surprise cities for this tour, an outsider that was rumoured, but I just could not believe The Rolling Stones would visit Southampton and the relatively smaller sized St Mary’s Stadium on this tour. But that was exactly what happened. I flew in to London Heathrow Airport Monday evening, took a bus the two hours or so ride to Southampton, via the beautiful small city Winchter, and arrived into Southampton at 10pm the evening before the show. This is the story of my 36 hours in Southampton on the Stones tour 2018.
I picked the IBIS hotel in Southampton because it gave easy access to both the National Express bus station, the Southampton train station, as well as the city center. And the walk to St Mary’s stadium should be some 30 minutes. Right next to the IBIS hotel was a monster sized blue IKEA building, also a large shopping center. If you compare these two monster building complexes to the beauty of the old city, these new shopping machines was so different, I just curved around them and ignored their existence.
The pictures on these pages are taken on show day. I worked in my hotel room during the day. Some time before noon we had some heavy rain showers. Then the sky cleared a bit, and I headed out to the city around 2pm. Soon after there was another heavy rain shower. I had an umbrella with me, but I did still get pretty wet. Luckily The Standing Order pub on 30 High Street, the one I had got recommended by locals, was nearby, and I found shelter there, with friends. The perfect meeting place for Stones fans!
The Standing Order is a great pub, they have cheap and great beer, ales, and there were plenty of Stones fans on show day, some I knew, others I met for the first time. After a couple of hours and a meal, I headed back to my hotel, a 20 minutes walk, to prepare for the show. By 5:30pm I was on my way to St Mary’s Stadium.
The trick is to try remembering how you walk, so that the return after the show will be smooth and easy. I messed around in the city a bit, but after 35 or so minutes I found St Mary’s Stadium. Lots of fans and people all around of course, but the entrance was quick and easy. I made pictures of the large merchandise stand outside the stadium. There were many itemms for sale.
Then show time, but before that the support act The Vaccines, a great band. The Rolling Stones were on like the clock, shortly before 8:30am. Another great show, see links to show reports and pictures below.
After the show I went back to The Standing Order pub. I had to settle down, relax, and think about the show. I was there around 10:45pm, and got some Apple Crumble and a Doom Bar ale. Relaxing, thinking about the show, talking to friends arriving from the show. Then at midnight I headed back for the hotel. Checking out photos from the show, it took a couple of hours, then at 2am it was time to go to bed. A great day with The Rolling Stones, fans and friends in Southampton.
Next day I was on the train to Birmingham at 10am. Goodbye Southampton, it was great to be a guest of the city for a while. Great show, great crowd, great city!
Show reports and pictures: