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Fatboy Slim gives Brighton stadium the thumbs up
Fatboy Slim has given the thumbs up to the American Express Community Stadium as a gig venue after saying the ground passed the test.
The Hove DJ said the success of his two historic gigs at the £100 million ground on Friday and Saturday night proved the Amex could be a top music venue.
The 48-year-old said it had been an emotional weekend but he had to keep those emotions in check to make sure he put on a top show for his fans.
More than 35,000 fans witnessed the historic gigs as Norman brought his Big Beach Boutique party into the stadium.
With Norman playing more than 90-minute sets on each night, fans were dazzled by a stunning spectacle of 10m high animations, lasers, fire and high-intensity dance music.
Norman told The Argus he would take the memories of looking from the stage over a rocking Amex to his grave.
And he said that he risked the threat of electrocution in the rain to make sure he delivered what he described afterwards as “a pretty flawless show”.
The thousands of fans watching on included Norman’s wife Zoe, son Woody, close family as well as Brighton music duo Rizzle Kicks, Sussex cricketer Matt Prior and boxer Derek Chisora.
Enjoying the moment
Norman said: “I allowed myself in the last half an hour on Saturday to take in the occasion.
“I went for a walk along the catwalk and took a mental snapshot that I will take with me to my grave.
“On Friday, I would enjoy the moment and then I would tell myself to concentrate.
“If I got carried away with the moment, I would mess it up.
“I had to do the opposite of pinching myself to tell myself this isn't a dream, I have got a job to do.
“Friday night was very emotional, it was tense.
“I was most emotional near the end, it was a feeling of yes I didn't mess it up.
“It would have been bad after all this work if I had played a really bad gig.“We didn’t know if it would all work, especially moving it from a beach.
“No one had done a rave in a football stadium before. When you are in uncharted territory, you just don't know.
“I think we have proved that people can have fun in here, proved logistically that it can work.”
Norman was joined by a host of other performers including close friend Carl Cox and highly-rated Nero to provide party-goers with seven hours of almost non-stop, high-octane entertainment on both nights.
Even a smaller than hoped for crowd on Friday, June 1 and a downpour during Norman’s set on Saturday couldn’t dampen a truly successful homecoming almost four years since his last Big Beach Boutique party.
Norman said: “The rain kept us on our toes.
“We were moments away from putting covers on the decks which would have affected the mirrors and put the lasers at half-strength.
“Instead I thought I would rather risk getting electrocuted.”
Norman paid tribute to his fans for being on their best behaviour over the two nights as well as Amex staff and the army of bus drivers that got ticketholders to and from the event.
Norman said he had to put on an Occupy protester mask over his face when walking from his viewing from behind the stage in the East Stand to walk over to the West Stand during the event to avoid being swamped by fans.
He said he even posed for a photo with other mask wearers who were oblivious to his true identity.