48 Hours To Go!
Watching you guys re-live your favorite gig moments over the past few weeks has been pretty cool. We didn’t want to miss out on all the fun, so we thought that we’d pick some of our favorite concert memories and put pen to paper ourselves!
Although we won’t be claiming any of the amazing prizes (waah!), it’s been a whole lot of fun getting involved with the competition spirit and replaying our top concert experiences.
We thought we’d share a couple with you as some final inspiration in case you’re all out of juice. There’s still 48 hours of competition left, so you could still be in with a chance to get your hands on our awesome booty, including $500 worth of festival tickets, and $100 worth of concert tickets.
You’ve got to be in it to win it, so it’s time to pick some of your gig highlights, and tell us all about them. Go, go, go, the clock is ticking!
Whether his messianic stature is bona fide or self-professed, one thing’s still for certain: an evening with Kanye West will blow your freaking mind.
Love him or loathe him, there are number of things we say about ‘Ye for certain. The guy boasts a repertoire of hits hotter than Seth Rogen’s motorcycle seat. This is a guy with the talent to dethrone his mentor, with the vision to produce the totally unexpected, and with the ego to say and do exactly what he wants. All in all, those ingredients synthesise to produce the greatest live music experience on offer in the modern age. Hands down.
However it’s what we can’t say for certain about West that polarises crowds the world over. The rants, the fights, the Jesus lookalikes; to some extent, it’s no great surprise that the rapper has found himself at loggerheads with audiences on multiple occasions.
But if that’s the price we have to pay to accept this visionary into our lives, then show me where to sign. When Kanye delivers, he arrives first class. “One of the greatest hip-hop sets of all time”, so said the Hollywood Reporter of Coachella 2011. “I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things”, so said Kanye of himself. Hear, hear, Mr. West.
Quite a few years of bad press and some very public run ins with the law have meant that Chris Brown has lost some of his credibility as an artist. It seems that many have forgotten that since the age of 16, he has provided us with some of the biggest RnB and Hip-Hop hits of the last decade.
Though chances to see him live now may be few and far between, any chance that you get, you should take it!
Seeing Chris at the Indigo2 in 2009 was one of my best concert experiences ever, hands-down. Just 19 years old at the time, he commanded the stage and the audience with a presence far wiser than his years. His expert dance moves and voice to match have drawn comparisons to some of the biggest artists such as Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
As he made his way though a string of hits, including ‘With You’, ‘Wall to Wall’ and ‘Run It’, the energy in the room never slumped, a testament to the quality of both his music and performance.
Some very unfortunate incidents have left Chris Brown with a much-scarred public persona. Seeing him live is a chance to see him at his best, as an artist.
If you allow the dulcet tones of the country-folk duo, First Aid Kit, to wash over you, the seamless harmonies and timeless pedal steel guitar transport you to a pocket of relaxation, rare in the technological 21st Century. I first saw the sisters perform in London back in 2012, and was immediately captivated by their fresh sound. The venue was small and intimate, and the duo held the silence of the audience throughout their opening song ‘Wolf’ before the final chord echoed and the audience erupted into delighted and impressed cheers.
It’s easy to forget that they started out as a YouTube sensation with their cover of Fleet Foxes whilst they were both still in school, but watching them perform leaves no doubt that they have worked hard and entirely deserve the credit they are given. First Aid Kit are not a YouTube fame sensation in the way you may expect, they have built critical acclaim and constantly perform knock out shows. They have earned the respect of the audience to such a degree, that save the moments when we were encouraged to sing along, silence swept the venue.
The harmonies from the girls was something that really stood out, and is even more accentuated in a live performance rather than on a recording. We heard the fragile vibratos intertwining in a ghostly manner, alongside the support and power that was demonstrated. A live performance from First Aid Kit really shows something that seems to be lacking in the music industry today – genuine talent, conviction, passion, and enjoyment. A fantastic experience.
The Growlers were first introduced to me via their surreal, car meets spacecraft transported journey through metallic-noir-insect-infested-galaxies music video for “One Million Lovers:” and what an introduction it was. Their unique blend of surrealist folk, late 60s psychedelic rock influence and lo-fi garage sounds make for a modern day band with an authentic throwback quality that’s quite hard to find.
Brooks Nielsen’s voice can take a lot (but by no means all) of the credit for this due to his raspy tones and lazy diction, especially evident on tracks such as “Acid Rain” and “A Man With No God” from their 2009 debut album, ‘Are You In or Are You Out?’ a live rendition of which they performed for Dickies Sounds and can be found on YouTube. As well as the aforementioned “One Million Lovers,” another single from The Growlers’ 2013 album, ‘Hung at Heart’ entitled “Someday” makes for another delightfully folk-soaked, California surf-rock infused track to get your teeth stuck into if you’re not acquainted with The Growlers already.
As for seeing them live, I managed to catch their Halloween weekend London show at Scala. All dressed in cloaks and witches hats, the five California boys brought their subtle quirky theatrics and laid back performance style to the venue, playing a mix of crowd pleasers and older songs; keeping the audience both entertained and guessing, a nice compromise from a band with such an extensive repertoire of three studio albums and five EPs to boast of. If you like your surf rock slow but steady and appreciate a varied show, I cannot recommend going to see The Growlers enough.
With his reverb drenched guitar parts and deceivingly world-weary vocals, King Krule (otherwise known as Archy Marshall) chooses not to overcrowd his songs with unnecessary layers of sound, preferring instead to place more onus on his incredibly individual and surprisingly deep and crunchy voice. Infusing his youthful indie angst with an impressive lyrical palette, and being influenced somewhat by his interest in Hip Hop (have a listen to some of his Edgar The Beatmaker material and his collaborations with the likes of RATKING), he has succeeded in sculpting a very individual sound for himself.
His live performances are not to be missed, if only to show you that he is far younger than his morose tone may suggest. His awkwardness on stage only adds to the tortured-poet image that he has cultivated, and he does not fail to exhibit his mellow jangly guitar skills when singing songs such as ‘Ocean Bed’ and ‘The krockadile’, both of which are definite personal favourites.
An emotionally simmering songwriter, he is also a skillful performer whose shows are well worth catching: This London based talent is not to be missed.