View from the crowd
12pm - Warming up
I walk round the Stadium twice in an attempt to find an entrance. After a bit of delicate negotiation with security, I'm on the pitch. But it's not all over yet by a long shot. It's a glorious day for Al Gore's climate change shindig; there's no mud anywhere except on Razorlight's flightcases, who seem to have bought a bit of Glastonbury with them.
I meet Sharon and Matt from North London who are very pleased to find themselves near the stage. They're excited about seeing The Foo Fighters, Metallica and Bloc Party but think that they might nip off for a beer when James Blunt comes on. They're also slightly worried about Genesis who are off to play at Old Trafford tonight and then in Twickenham tomorrow; what size is their carbon footprint, we wonder?
1.30pm - The drumming starts
Things kick off with a massed display of drumming led by Queen's Roger Taylor. I banish all thoughts of drummer jokes, as do the crowd who are clearly loving every minute. It's a good start.
Opening any gig on this scale must be a daunting task, even for seasoned pros like Genesis, currently back together for a tour. Kicking off with a slice of proper old school prog with more time signatures that you could shake a pair of flared trousers at, they then run through a selection of their greatest hits. Phil Collins looks like he might be wearing pyjamas and says a rude word during 'Invisible Touch' (the first of many through the afternoon as it turns out), but the crowd are clearly loving it...
Judging from the number of hands in the air as Razorlight take the stage, it looks like this event might belong to the indie kids. And the band pull off a great set despite a few technical difficulties. Not only that, they deliver the first real shock of the afternoon - Johnny Borrell isn't wearing white trousers!
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody is wearing a rather dapper tartan jumper (a bit like the kilts worn by the drummers at the start of the show). From what I can hear of their set above the screaming of teenage girls, it's a slick performance that goes down extremely well.
David Gray and Damien Rice
A little way into their set it seems that somehow messrs Gray and Rice have turned an 80,000 capacity stadium into something more like the back room of an Irish bar with their intimate performance. They even manage to coax the crowd into joining them in a (slightly re-written) version of Doris Day's 'Que Sera Sera'.
For a few short minutes, Kasabian make Wembley their own with their powerful blend of glam, baggy and indie. While imploring us to save the penguins, lead vocalist Tom Meighan swaggers and struts round the stage like a young Mick Jagger. And if that wasn't enough, Sergio Pizzorno's nonchalant cool seems more than a little reminiscent of Keith Richard...
By contrast, Paolo Nutini's laidback sophisticated pop doesn't seem to engage the audience quite so much, despite fellow Scot Edith Bowman is cheering him on from the wings. Having said that, his recent single 'Jenny Don't be Hasty' lifts things up a notch and gets a better response from the crowd.
Out In The Crowd
I get chatting to someone called Rodrigo, who's Brazilian. He's here for The Foo Fighters (as it seems, so is everyone else). It turns out he hasn't made the trip especially for the gig, which is a a shame as that would be a good story. But I do notice a huge number of national flags in the audience; so far I've spotted ones from Ecuador, Israel, Italy and Venezuela. Luckily I always carry my Observer Book of Flags with me...
Black Eyed Peas
The Peas get the crowd jumping almost immediately with 'Pump It', and their song written especially for the occasion proves that they do seem to genuinely care about the issues of climate change. 'Where is The Love' proves to be the real crowdpleaser though...
John Legend was almost self effacing by contrast and unfortunately his slightly introspective and delicate performance seemed to pass most of the crowd by.
Duran Duran's entrance is accompanied by an extraordinary outbreak of bad dancing from some of the more, er, senior members of the audience. Meanwhile the indie kids look around bemused and ask each other when The Foo Fighters are on. Simon and co manage four numbers (including, of course, 'Planet Earth') which isn't bad considering the obvious exertions of playing Wembley twice in a week.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Anthony Kiedis bounces onto the stage wearing a shawl covered in headlines relating to climate change. I'm in the stands now and immediately the crowd are on their feet, arms in the air. A small boy near me opts to put his fingers in his ears instead. In the distance I can see Vanessa Feltz strutting her stuff. Though the crowd are clearly loving it, the Peppers aren't quite doing it for me tonight. I'm clearly in the minority though...
Bloc Party's Kele Okereke wears a T-shirt with the words 'Save The Planet' in very big letters. The band turn in a brilliant, assured performance and in between songs Kele implores the audience to make pledges and even manages to get a Mexican Wave going throughout the stadium. For a while Wembley belongs to him. It's a shame that he can't do anything about the queue for the cash machine...
Corinne Bailey Rae
Ms Bailey Rae went down extremely well with the crowd but failed to engage your correspondent; John Legend joined her for a fairly perfunctory version of Marvin Gaye's 'Mercy Mercy' but she left things on a high with 'Put Your Records On'. The queue at the cash machine hasn't got any shorter.
You could almost hear the crowd saying 'who?' as Ms Naomi took the stage armed only with an acoustic guitar and her song written in response to Al Gore's film. Though the sentiments were spot on, I'm not sure that the music went down quite as well.
An extremely svelte Tom Chaplin is naturally the focus for Keane's set. They make the most of their short time on stage, with Chaplin working the gangway and the crowd like a stadium pro. Maybe he could do something about the cash machine queue...
Unfortunately when Metallica hit the stage your humble correspondent was tucking into some pie and mash. The combination worked surprisingly well (you might like to try it some time). The cheer that greeted the opening chords of 'Enter Sandman' was definitely the loudest of the day so far.
Following Metallica is no easy task, but The Tap manage to pull it off with a storming version of 'Stonehenge' complete with midget monks and a mandolin solo which left some of the audience in hysterics and some in a state of bemusement, including my neighbour in the stands Helena (from Malta). Fortunately their drummer didn't explode, but they did manage to persuade pretty much every other bass player present (16 in all) to join them for the classic 'Big Bottom'.
In the old Wembley Stadium there were 361 toilets. In the new Wembley Stadium there are approaximately ten times that number. However, during James Blunt's set there was still a very lengthy queue for the gents. Nearly as long as the queue for the cash machine.
The Beastie Boys
The Boys literally go green for their set with some rather nifty shiny green suits; their eclectic mix of rap, rock and funk gets a mixed reception from the audience but not from your humble correspondent, who loved it.
I have never seen so many men reaching for their camera phones at once, and to be frank, I'm not that surprised. Appearing as a heavily choreographed blur of lipgloss, jewellery and clothes that didn't really fit them properly, the girls did manage to captivate pretty much everybody in the place, especially when they launched into 'Don't 'Cha'.
Words fail me. In fact, all through their performance, cliches were rolling through my head about The Foo Fighters rocking Wembley to its core, etc etc. In short, they were great. And the crowd thought so too, especially the girl near me who was doing an Irish jig whilst wearing a Mexican football shirt. That's not something you see every day.
Well, what can you say? No-one looks more at home in a stadium than Madonna. Dressed in black and clutching a black Les Paul, she treated us to a rifftastic version of 'Ray of Light' complete with a spot of guitar heroics at the end. Did she outrock the Foo Fighters or Metallica? Well, not exactly. The highlight had to be 'La Isla Bonita' featuring gypsy punk types Gogol Bordello and more dancers than I could count. A showstopping performance, and a fitting finale. In the words of my new friend Daniel (also from Malta) - 'The whole day was amazing. I just hope people take something from the message'.