Was this going to be a very pale imitation performed by a cast of old-timers endeavouring to supplement their imminent pensions? The new line-up consists of Kelly Groucutt (bass guitar and vocals) and Mik Kaminski (violin) from the original group. They're joined by strings' arranger Louis Clark (moving from behind the scenes onto the stage), Eric Troyer (keyboards, vocals and occasional guitar), Parthenon Huxley (lead guitar and vocals) and Gordon Townsend (drums).
Electric Light Orchestra
Any worries I had very quickly dissipated as they took to the stage to a rapturous welcome from the sell-out audience.
The hits from yesteryear were belted out from the first moment. Evil Woman was the opener and the audience was singing along from the off.
Living Thing, Showdown (Mik Kaminski's opening solo on that legendary blue violin sent a shiver down my back), Ma Ma Belle, Rockaria .... were it not for the fact that the majority of those attending were quadraginarians and over, we would all have been on our feet four tracks in.
Well written records will stand the test of time, providing they are delivered with a high level of musical expertise of course, and this is exactly what ELO Part 2 possesses, in bundles. Indeed they compare very favourably in this department with the original group.
Kaminski is even better, Groucutt is a performer par excellence and, free from 'big brother' Jeff Lynne's presence, he led proceedings from centre-stage with humour and confidence. I thought the three transatlantic additions to the group delivered high quality musicianship throughout.
Electric Light Orchestra
The Orchestra (ELO Part II former members)
Troyer is just as talented on the keyboards as the erstwhile Richard Tandy and he possesses the added bonus of a splendid alto voice, helping to deliver the famous ELO harmonies. Whether by accident or design Hux's singing voice is very similar to Jeff Lynne's, while he proved to be a superb lead guitarist.
Gordon Townsend offered a masterclass of drumming, which, and I never thought I'd say it, even the legendary Bev Bevan would have been proud of.
The hits just kept on coming: Sweet Talking Woman, Hold On Tight, Standing In The Rain, Mr. Blue Sky and Roll Over Beethoven in particular bringing the proverbial house down. It wasn't all memories, as a new track Brave New Boy and Girl was delivered with consummate skill by Hux, as was Eric Troyer's arrangement of Twist and Shout.
Simon Warr - That'll Teach 'Em
The audience applauded and applauded at the conclusion and the group just had to return for an encore, offering us that thunderous number Don't Bring Me Down. After this master show it will be a long time before anyone can bring down ELO Part 2.
Alright, they could be called ELO Just 2, but I would strongly recommend anyone with a liking of good, clean rock to try and catch them, even if you missed ELO the first time around.
I overheard a 20-something woman on the way out, saying that it was the best rock concert that she had been to: she, of course, did not attend that Wembley extravaganza in the 70s.