Falls Festival – A Year In The Making

Falls Festival – A Year In The Making

So December was decidedly one of the best endings I could have had to the year 2018. It was a great month filled with hanging out with friends and family, going out to celebrate birthdays and the big gear up towards what I had spent the last half of the year waiting for, Falls Festival.

If you read my wish-list post from a little while ago, you may recall that I was absolutely shattered when my best friend and I missed out on tickets last year to scalpers who basically bought up the bulk of all tickets. If you then read my updated wish list post, you’d know that this year we managed to snag five tickets for the festival, which takes place over New Year’s Eve, from the 28th of December to the 1st of January.

So the remaining months of 2018 were spent in wild anticipation. This was only made even better when one of our tickets opened up and your favourite blogging superwoman Mia, ended up joining our group of gals!

Three days of live music, camping with my best friends and a road trip that Mia and I had wished for since the start of the year that somehow manifested itself into existence? Yes please.

The drive to Lorne was beautiful. I’ve never done the drive myself before, I’ve always been a passenger with my family, but getting to drive down with Mia was great. We had great music playing and highly intellectual conversations about Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Aquaman and other thought-provoking topics.

The car line to get into the festival was a lot better than I had expected and all our efforts of hiding alcohol in moisturiser bottles, setting spray bottles and Victoria Secret sprays went to waste when they waved our two cars through without a second glance.

One of the downers for the camping situation that wasn’t so much of a downer more so  huge nuisance, was the fact that we were the first car on our lineup for the hill, meaning we were right at the bottom of the hill, meaning our tent was on a noticeable tilt. As in it was a decent workout putting it up while staying upright, let along sleeping without sliding all the way down to the end of the tent. It was a great laugh if anything.

 

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After setting up our campsite and sorting our stuff out, we got to work getting ready for the rest of the day, which meant changing out of our T-shirts, into more festival appropriate outfits and using the mirrors in our cars to do our make-up.

Unfortunately we were only able to get three-day tickets, meaning we missed out on acts like Hockey Dad, Ocean Alley, Mallrat and Dizzee Rascal but the remaining acts on the three days we were there were all fantastic.

If you’re not into reading about all the details for each day, first of all, why? And second of all, I got you, with this minute long video I literally made the day we got back because of how much I loved the entire experience. Hopefully you like it, and hopefully it inspires you to keep reading because I would greatly appreciate it.

 

 

The first day was a shorter day considering a large bulk of the people at the concert came that day as well, but it was incredible. Okay, so I wasn’t completely down with 88 Rising and Rich Brian and the fact that they performed their last song, then came back and performed the same song as their encore, but Anderson .Paak more than made up for it. The mosh pits we found ourselves in throughout the entirety of the festival were some of the best I’ve ever been a part of and the energy throughout each day was fantastic.

 

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That night was, to put it lightly, a struggle. Sleeping on such a slant meant I was waking up every half an hour or so to shimmy my way back up the tent after sliding down to the bottom and on Sunday morning the rest of the girls shared my frustrations. However, we soldiered on, and after a lazy morning eating fruit, drinking Up-N-Go and chatting about the night before, we decided to get started with our day and get ready. It was a very relaxed morning/afternoon, having some drinks and chatting with the people around our tent, before making our way into the festival at 3:30 to see what was going on inside.

We got to see Ruel, who’s name you might recognise from a few of my playlist posts in the past, and right after him was Dermot Kennedy. Both were incredible acts and we managed to get quite close to the front, with only a few people in between us and the barrier.

 

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Honestly, I have to say that seeing Running Touch next was the highlight of the entire festival for me, with Anderson .Paak the day before being the only one who came close. Running Touch was one of my most listened to artists of 2018, and I was super ecstatic when I found out he was added to the lineup a few weeks before the festival started. To make a good set even better, as we walked into the tent about twenty minutes before he could start, my eyes zoned in on the practically empty barricade, with the perfect amount of space for the three of us who were still left together, and I basically sprinted from the back of the tent to snag the spot.

Runnin Touch’s set was incredible. It was so different, very intense and energetic, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him the whole time. As well as his stage presence, his bass player and drummer were superb, and matched his energy the entire time. I got some of my best photos and video footage from that set, but enough to still have my phone away for majority of the set and really enjoy the music, head-bang to some of his heavier stuff and have a boogie to all his dance tracks.

We decided to stick around for the next act in that particular tent, Cashmere Cat. I haven’t listened to a lot of his songs that aren’t on the radio, but his set was very energetic as well and he packed the tent completely.

From Cashmere Cat we left the tent to join the hoards of people filling the main Valley Stage grass area for Hilltop Hoods. Flight Facilities were next and we decided to move as close as we could to the front, but when that got a bit too much, I pulled us over to the side, near the speakers where we ended up finding a huge group of our friends as well as one of our friends from our group who had been split up from us earlier in the day. Flight Facilities were fantastic and a great set to have a dance to.

They were the perfect way to end the day, and we were very pleased as we made the short walk back to our tent. That night Jess and I made the decision to test out sleeping in the cars, so we split up and dragged our bedding into the cars for the night. Let me tell you. Much more comfortable. So good. 10/10 in comparison to the night before.

The next day was our last full day and we were keen to make the most of it. We got up a bit earlier to get our outfits and makeup on, have a few drinks and chat in front of our tent, and we were inside the festival by 1:30.

 

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Technicolor 2 HC'

 

We decided to have a fairly early lunch, and by 3:00 we were in front of the main stage, drinks in hand, ready to see Bishop Briggs. She was another one of the standout performances for me and I loved watching her set. After Bishop we split up and it was just Jess and I for a bit, so we decided to grab our final lunch for the festival, and sit down to enjoy Odette’s set, another singer you’ve probably heard me talking about it a bit on here.

After Odette, we caught up with a much larger group of friends for The Vaccines, before a short break back at the tents, after which we caught the end of Toto, making sure we were there for Africa and Rosanna of course. DMA’s were next up, and their set was fantastic, a set where we pushed ourselves a bit further into the moshpit.

 

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After DMA’s, we headed back to the tent to grab our jumpers as it was getting a bit colder, before returning to the festival grounds to get a good spot for Catfish and The Bottlemen, who were playing at midnight, right after CHVRCHES.

 

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Catfish and The Bottlemen were one of the most hyped up acts of the festival, and for good reason. They played an amazing set, counting down to the New Year with everyone in the middle of their set before welcoming 2019 with some new music that got everyone jumping and cheering. The mosh-pit was just like many of the others I’d been caught up in throughout the festival, welcoming, energetic and loud.

 

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After Catfish and The Bottlemen, Jess and I decided to hang around for Golden Features, a bit of a different style of artist compared to the others we had been hanging out to hear, but it was definitely an experience that we shared.

The entire festival was one of my favourite experiences of 2018, and an incredible way to end a very busy year.

Honestly, sign me up for next year already.

x

Priya

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RINI – After The Sun EP Launch

RINI – After The Sun EP Launch

Hello friends and welcome to another post!!

Today’s post is one of my favourite types of posts to do, ever, and it’s a concert wrap-up/review/reminisce.

If you caught my October Tunes a few weeks back, you may remember one of the artists who featured on there, RINI. He’s also featured on my Australian Music from Australian Artists post, my Songs You Don’t Know But Should post and one of my Quick Shares.

Meaning, I think it’s somewhat fair to say that this gig was a long time coming.

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I first saw RINI, in person, before I ever listened to his music anywhere else, and it was at the start of last year, in 2017, while walking to a university lecture. I ended up going late to the lecture because I stumbled upon RINI busking, singing a set on one of the busiest street side walks in Melbourne, Swanston Street. I forced my friend to stand back with me, and we watched and listened to the entire set.

Since then, I’ve been following RINI on Instagram and YouTube, and keeping up with the songs he releases on Spotify.

An EP release was long overdue.

RINI released his album After The Sun at the end of October, and my god did it blow all my expectations out of the water. The album pulls some of the best sounds and songwriting that makes up RINI as an artist and packages them up into a roughly twenty minute, five track taste of what has definitely been on of my favourite artists of this year.

 

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I bought my $14.20 ticket on a Saturday morning at work when one of my close friends/musician buddy/colleague and I realised we both listened to RINI’s music, and the countdown began.

The 20th of November eventually rolled around and we drove into Fitzroy, playing the entire EP through almost twice, as well as a bunch of singles too. It was a great way to hype ourselves up before the show. Once we got to The Workers Club, we got our wrists stamped, and made our way into the intimate, cozy, slightly too hot, space and prepared for the second of three opening acts that we made it for, TRQS.

TRQS had an insane voice. I’ve seen her around on Instagram and YouTube, and listening to her live was just as good. Everyone in the audience was the perfect level of hyped and respectful, which made it easy to see perfectly but still have a boogie. After her set was Olivia Escuyos, another artist who I included on my Australian Music from Australian Artists and oh my goodness, that girls voice. Definitely check out Olivia, she did an incredible cover of Rocket by Beyonce that had literally every single person in the audience cheering and losing their minds.

Since it was ridiculously hot that night, we took the opportunity to make use of the open top beer garden just outside the bandroom to get some air and cool down in between each set. There were quite a few people doing the same thing, but we decided after a little while to head back in, keen not to miss the beginning of RINI’s set.

Well.

As we were walking out of the beer garden, I looked up through the glass door, and RINI was just chilling in front of the band room entrance, talking to a bunch of people, so you can bet we hung around for a little bit, eventually getting to have a very decent chat with him and wishing him lucky before the set, before promptly freaking out as soon as he left.

Soon, the gig started.

It was a great vibe in the band room. Very much a family feeling throughout the room, especially on stage. The musicians were made up of friends of RINI’s and people who have helped him along the way, putting together the EP with him. The love on stage was palpable.

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Before performing the EP, RINI warmed us up with some fan favourites, like CampedFor The Last Time, Emerald and For How Long. Those songs definitely got everyone bopping and singing along, and it was great seeing the awe on RINI’s face when everyone sang each of those songs word for word right back at him. For How Long was one of the standouts for me, considering I’ve been obsessed not only with the song but the video clip too, since it was released. I have to say, I love the switch up with the live performance compared to the studio version, it was a lot more fun to dance to and sing along with, and it was a perfect song to get the crowd involved with, which you can watch below.

Then he moved onto the songs from the EP. Since it’s been released, I’ve been struggling to pick a favourite song, but after the EP launch, I can at least say that it’s a strong competition between Good IntentionsMeet Me In Amsterdam, or Aphrodite, which has been one of my most listened to songs over the last month.

What really struck me throughout the entire performance was how overwhelmingly grateful RINI was. Not only to everyone in the audience for coming to watch and support him, but his family members in the audience, his friends, the band, the photographers on stage, he made sure to thank them all. Every time he brought his hand to his chest and vocalized his thanks, the audience, including us, cheered more and more.

The band was ridiculously good. Everyone played their part, doing the most, but not too much that it took away from the show. It was like every fill the drummer played, all the licks and solos the guitarist and bass played had and the incredible talent of the keys player, were all done with purpose and intent, which makes for a great show to watch not only as an audience member, but as a musician as well. The backing singers were consistent and sounded like angels behind him, blending seamlessly.

Overall, for such a small, intimate show, the room was filled with ridiculous amounts of talent, and the audience was one of my favourites that I’ve ever been a part of. Everyone knew the words to every song, no-one was afraid to have a boogie, and holy moly, some of the people singing in the crowd were nearly on par with the musicians on stage, it was a mosh pit of angels.

It was an amazing gig and EP launch to attend, and I had heaps of fun. It was great to speak to RINI before the show started and thank him for an amazing performance and wish him luck before we left at the end. The entire space felt so welcoming and warm, and not just because it was sweltering and humid inside and out, and it was a super nice atmosphere throughout the entire night. I cannot recommend you list to RINI enough. I have a really huge gut feeling that he’s going to get frikin huge, like Daniel Caesar level shit, and I cannot wait for it.

For such a humble, talented, hard-working person, he deserves it all.

Make sure you check out his EP After The Sun on Spotify and let me know what you think!

x

Priya

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Gang Of Youths And The Spiritual Awakening

Gang Of Youths And The Spiritual Awakening

 

On the 13th of November, two of my best friends and I got to go full circle, and get in the mosh pit for Gang of Youths, a band we saw for the first time live back in February at Let Go Fest.

If you’re unfamiliar with Gang of Youths, they’re an indie-rock group from Sydney, Australia, and our concert was the last of a stretch of 8 shows they did in Melbourne. Considering they initially had two shows scheduled and set for tickets to be sold, the increase in shows during the couple of hours tickets were on sale is a clear indication of this bands reach.

It was an incredible show. The night started off very well, we managed to find a pub a block down from the Forum Theatre where the concert was being held, and grabbed some hot chips and a few drinks, before joining the crowds of people making their way inside the theatre.

It was packed inside, and crowds continued building by the minute, but by 9:50, we were all ready to kick off.

As soon as the band (David, Max, Jung, Joji and Donnie) walked out, it was like everyone was jolted with this huge electrical energy. One thing I noticed was, besides from having a girl break her beer cup and having the back of my feet and ankles splashed with beer, it was a really respectful, chilled out crowd. There was no-one shoving or pushing their way through, there wasn’t anyone screaming or talking loudly when it wasn’t necessary, everyone was just there to have a good time.

We didn’t even catch the two supporting acts, and we were still able to make our way quite easily to the front right of the stage, about six metres from the front.

The beginning of the concert was electrifying. I’ve always said this whenever describing their music, but for me, listening to Gang of Youths is like going to church and being baptised. Or what I think that feels like. You feel so refreshed and spiritually awake, it’s an incredible experience, and seeing them live only amplified that feeling.

 

 

 

Their entire set was incredible. It was just song after song of chest-pounding anthem-ic songs that hit you right in the gut in the best possible way.

For a large majority of the show I was completely spaced out, just watching them on stage. It was hypnotising to watch David move up and down the length of the stage, with or without his guitar and Donnie, the drummer, was a huge stand-out for me. By the end of the show his button up shirt had completely come undone and he was a huge mass of energy and limbs up on his throne at the back of the stage. Time and time again I just felt my eyes being drawn to him and how much passion he put into each song.

But like I mentioned before, David was absolutely hypnotising to watch. The way he danced and moved wasn’t like anything I have ever seen before, and there were plenty of songs where I didn’t move or sing a word because I spent the entirety of them just staring at the band on the stage. They entire band, especially David, had total control of the audience.

 

 

 

 

At one point David even got down into the crowd, as he had done at Let Go Fest, and ya girl just happened to have her camera ready when he did.

 

 

 

When they started performing Let Me Down Easy, the volume in the theatre just increased tenfold. I nearly lost my voice, considering I was already sick, but everyone’s energies just combined beautifully and it was genuinely like an out of body experience. On the train ride back, all of us mentioned that the entire concert was like one big dream, and listening to Let Me Down Easy live was a huge highlight for me.

Another song I really loved was one of their most popular tunes, The Heart Is A Muscle, another song that made the crowd go crazy. It was when they performed this song at Let Go Fest that Kate, Jess and I all realised we all loved the band and the others just didn’t know. It was a great experience realising we were all singing along and yelling the lyrics, equally as passionately.

It made for an even better show that the guys in front of us were just as enthusiastic about all the songs as we were, if not more.

The Heart Is A Muscle basically ensured I lost my voice completely, but I’m not complaining.

 

 

One of my favourite songs from Gang of Youths is Magnolia. I honestly think it highlights how eclectic and unique their instrumentation and song-writing is. There’s so many layers to the song, and the story behind it is so incredibly sad, yet the song is this huge anthem that the crowd just went wild too.

 

 

 

 

A huge problem I’ve come across, especially in the last two years, is that every concert I go to, ends up being so spectacular that I think it belongs in my top five concerts ever, when the fact is they’re all so different, you can’t possibly compare them. It was something that was brought up at the end of the concert as we joined the hordes of people leaving the Forum. The Gang Of Youths concert was incomparable, as are many concerts. It was honest to god like baptism through fire in the best way. If you ever get to see Gang of Youths live, ever, be prepared for the spiritual awakening.

 

x

Priya

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Live Files – A Moodboard

Live Files – A Moodboard

Here are a couple of my favourite moments, from my favourite concerts and gigs, seeing some of my favourite people live, in a mood board. Majority of these also have links to posts dedicated to each artist and concert I went to.

ED SHEERAN // March, 2015

ed march 2015

ELLIE GOULDING // October, 2016

ellie oct 2016

ADELE // March, 2017

adele march 2017

GRETTA RAY // April, 2017

gretta april 2017

DEAN LEWIS // August, 2017

dean august 2017

KEHLANI // August, 2017

kehlani august 2017

THE KOOKS // January, 2018

kooks jan 2018

RUDIMENTAL ft JAKUBI // January, 2018

rudimental:jakubi jan 2018

LET GO FEST // February, 2018

let go feb 2018

BILLIE EILISH // February, 2018

billie feb 2018

BRUNO MARS // March, 2018

bruno march 2018

ED SHEERAN // March, 2018

ed march 2018

BLUESFEST // March/April, 2018

blues fest march:april 2018

HARRY STYLES // April 2018

harry april 2018

NIALL HORAN // June, 2018

niall june 2018

I’ve been vicariously living through mood boards, either on Pinterest, Instagram or on paper, and so I thought I’d make some for some of my favourite moments ever, concerts and live gigs.

More to come …

x

Priya

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Finally Another Gig

Finally Another Gig

I know what you’re saying.

“Priya. You can’t possibly be growing any savings by going for so many gigs.”

And you’d be right. My bank account is constantly in a state of despair, shaking it’s fist at me as I continue to sign myself up for pre-sales and wait in criminally long online waiting lines for ticket sales, but alas, I can’t be stopped.

 

However.

This particular gig, was one of my own.

You may have remembered I mentioned that I had an upcoming performance in my Week In My Life, as within the week I had a rehearsal with my band.

Well, that was tonight (9/08), and yes. I am freshly showered, after spending the day anxiously waiting for my drummer and guitar player to pick me up, panicking that we were late, getting head shots, grabbing a traditional cheeky Nando’s for lunch, sound-checking and then performing to around 300-400 people, including family and friends who had come along to support. It was a hectic day. But I enjoyed it immensely.

The gig was at a large artist showcase, where artists, designers, hair and makeup artists, jewellery designers, dancers, photographers and musicians are selected to showcase their work. We were one of the three acts performing that night.

If you caught my ‘Week In My Life‘ post, you’d recall that for the last couple of Sunday’s I’ve been rehearsing with the boys in the band, trying out some songs, picking and scrapping songs and writing some of my own. About two weeks out from the show we even ended up swapping a song for a different one that had come up with while we were mucking around and jamming, but we finally settled on the set list of covers and original songs, which looked something like this;

  • Sunday Morning – Maroon 5
  • Stockholme – ORIGINAL
  • Who’s Loving You – Jackson 5
  • Toast – ORIGINAL
  • Finesse – Bruno Mars

Compared to the last time I had played the showcase, it was a lot more energetic and up tempo, definitely down to the addition of our drummer. Even the original songs, which the boys helped me finish were some of the grooviest I’ve ever written, and we got loads of compliments on my song Toast.

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//possible single cover??//

That said, it was a long day in the lead up to the 20 minute set.

The boys picked me up around 3:20, and we made the mad dash of a drive to get just outside the city before 4:00, considering out head shot time slot was between 3:40 and 4:00. We definitely broke some speeding laws.

Taking head shots was both awkward and stupidly hilarious, as none of us are professionals in front of the camera, which resulted in all sorts of stupid conversation and questions arising in an effort to get ‘candid’ shots, which also resulted in the photographer pausing in between takes to laugh at our stupidity.

After we had our photos taken, we decided to run the risk of potentially losing our incredible parking spot, and head out for an early dinner. As has become the tradition during rehearsals, we headed to the nearest Nando’s for a feed.

 

 

 

By the time we finished up our dinner, it was time to head back for the sound check.

Sound check went great. It was the perfect opportunity to run through a couple of our songs, and we got a few claps from some of the artists who were setting up their work around the huge function hall.

Once we were done with soundcheck, it was basically an half an hour long waiting game for the doors to open, which we spent going around and looking at some of the art, chatting to (up) some of the artists, talking to one of the other bands and overall preparing for our set since we were first up.

A little after 7:00, the doors open, and people started to make their way in. A few moments later, and all our friends, as well as my family had joined us, and it was a great couple of minutes catching up and chatting with everyone.

A bit closer to 8, I was tapped on the shoulder by my guitarist, and so we headed towards the stage to get ready while the MC opened the night and began our introduction.

Honestly, the set could not have gone better. All of us improvised a little bit, much to the excitement of the other two musicians on stage, and having the boys behind me made me all that more confident. My guitarist absolutely nailed all his solos, and our drummer was a huge standout, especially during Finesse where he got a huge solo in place of me singing the bridge.

It was heaps of fun to get up on stage again, especially with the boys backing me up this time. Definitely keen to get going again.

x

Priya

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Niall Horan – Live

Niall Horan – Live

Hello my good friends.

Once again, I’d like to apologise for the how absent I’ve been, although this time I don’t exactly have a huge reason as to why. University has finished for the semester, which means that while I am working a little more, I have a bit more free time as well. However, I’ve also been going into the studio to make music a lot more, as I discussed in my last post apology, and I’ve been taking a bit of a break. However, I have no shifts scheduled this week, and next week is pretty busy for me, so I’ve kicked myself in to gear and decided to write up a couple of posts for you today.

That said, this post is offensively late. I finally saw Niall Horan, my fave, live last week at Margaret Court Arena. Now you know, usually I’m the one to sit down mere hours after the concert is finished, either the night of or the day right after and make a post all about the gig, but I really procrastinated this one. Not that I had a whole lot to do exactly. Aside from going into the studio the next day, having a couple of family dinners and lunches, working and having a much needed night out for drinks and a sleepover with two of my cousins, I haven’t actually done a whole lot, and I’ve had a few moments here and there where I definitely could have written this post. That said, those moments were actually utilised by falling down the YouTube rabbit hole of short documentary’s, of which I’ve watched a total of 16 so far. Not a single regret.

However.

We’re here to talk about Niall Horan, and Niall Horan, live. So let’s get into it.

My best friend Kate spent the Wednesday night at my house, and we filled it with pizza and movies, and continuously exciting ourselves at the prospect of the following night.

Following an amazing brunch the next day, and a moment of pure spontaneity resulting in me cutting Kate’s fringe, we got ready and made our way into the city on the train.

It was a pretty cold evening, so thankfully the line at Margaret Court Arena wasn’t too long, and we were inside quite quickly. The first thing we did was buy our shirts. Now, I used to loathe the idea of forking out that much money for a shirt. I used to be the person who’d walk past the merchandise stand shaking my head at how expensive some of them are, promising myself I’d just buy it online later, which evidently never happened. But them I became nostalgic. I started collecting all my ticket stubs, starting really getting into concerts and gigs and now I’ve made the conscious decision, following seeing Harry Styles live and all his amazing merchandise, to set aside money for a shirt at most of the concerts I go to. Besides, I’ve waited nearly three years to see this guy again, so I was definitely buying a shirt.

Since we had a bit more time we decided grab something to eat, go to the toilets and find our seats, and it wasn’t long before the support act, Maren Morris came onstage. If you’ve never heard of her, you’ve definitely heard her voice. She’s a country singer from the USA, but she’s featured on the absolute smash, The Middle by Zedd, as well as appearing on one of my favourite songs on Niall’s album, Seeing Blind. I was pretty pumped to see her, considering how good her voice was, and she didn’t disappoint. I loved her selection of songs, especially some of the slower ones she did that really showed off her amazing her voice is. I definitely came home and added some of her songs to my playlists. Check out Rich, and Once. 100% recommend.

In the break between Maren and Niall, a bunch of small slips of paper were handed down every single row of seats, and looking around the arena, it clicked that it was one of the popular fan projects that have become so well known at One Direction concerts. I’ve never been at one where it happened, so Kate and I were pretty excited to see it in action. Our side of the arena were given little orange rectangles of paper, while the other side of the arena were given green. The instructions on the paper were to hold the coloured slips in front of our flashlights during Too Much To Ask, with the idea being our side would be orange, the middle would be white and the opposite side would be green, to create an Irish flag. There was definitely a huge buzz of anticipation as we watched the slips of paper go around, and people testing out the lights.

Finally, finally, the lights went down, and he was on stage with his band, opening the show with On The Loose. It’s one of my favourites from the album, and it got everyone up and out of their seats dancing. It was great to see him working a stage with such a great band supporting him, playing the guitar and interacting with the others on stage.

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His next song was another of my favourites, The Tide, which started my slow descent into having absolutely no voice at all. His album was definitely better live. There’s so much musical intricacy and arrangement going on that you don’t notice while listen to the studio version, but watching it live you actually see how hard the violin player works, the amount of guitar in the songs, how much the drummer really drives a lot of the songs, especially in this song.

This Town, his first single was next, which obviously hyped everyone up, followed by Paper Houses and You And Me. The last two songs definitely showed off how much he’s grown as a singer as well. The variety in his music isn’t hugely broad, but they take a good effort to sing, and having mentioned that he woke up that morning without a voice, it was an incredible vocal performance.

The next song nearly had Kate peeing herself, and that was a cover of Dancing In The Dark by Bruce Springsteen. If you read my last Courtesy Of, Kate shared her favourite songs, and Bruce definitely featured on there, which is why she had a fit when he started singing, and was one of the only people in the entire arena who knew the song word for word.

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After his Bruce Springsteen moment, he brought out Maren, and they sang Seeing Blind which again, was so much better live. If you haven’t heard the song, definitely give it a listen. You wouldn’t think it, but their voices blend perfectly, and they sang it beautifully.

The next song was the title track, Flicker. To be quite honest, I never listened to this song as much as I may have listened to others, but I’ve explained the pre-concert and post-concert favourites, and it may be one of my post-concert favourites. I don’t know if it was how quiet the arena was while he was singing, how nearly everyone put away their phones to just watch and create a moment, or how clicked on I was to listen to the lyrics and what he was actually saying, but this song rose to the top of my list of favourites as soon as he finished.

He followed that song with another tune that made everyone lose their heads, and it was one of the songs he wrote for One Direction, Fool’s Gold. Incredible. Again, it was like muscle memory and the lyrics flew out of everyone’s mouth on command.

Then Niall surprised us all and walked over and sat down behind the piano, openly admitting he too had no idea what he was doing, but then continued to play this beautiful riff as an intro to an unreleased song, So Long. There isn’t a studio version for the song, but you can listen to it HERE.

The next song he performed was another cover, this time of Camilla Cabello’s Crying In The Club. It took a little while for people to clue into what the song was, but as soon as we did, everyone was screaming the chorus back to him and dancing.

As soon as he began Too Much To Ask next, there was a collective shriek that went around the stadium as people hurried to switch on their phone flashes and within a couple of seconds, there was a huge Irish flag glowing throughout the arena. While he didn’t mention it afterwards, it was cute to see his face as he looked around the arena, singing the song.

Fire Away, Since We’re Alone and On My Own followed, and On My Own well and truly stole my voice. Have a listen to it, and you’ll understand why. It’s like an Irish pub song mixed with the ultimate single, zero-relationship anthem and I’m all about it. It was a great song to finish up with before the encore.

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The encore began unexpectedly and nearly everyone lost their heads when they realised it was Drag Me Down, another One Direction single, that had everyone shrieking the lyrics like the fifteen and sixteen year olds most of us were when it was released. The next song was Slow Hands, his second single, and he stepped away from the guitar and the mic stand to move around the stage, waving to his friends in the audience and interact with his band a bit more, before he returned to the guitar to thank us all, and finish with Mirrors. Again, a favourite.

It was a magical song to end on, and really captured the atmospheric nature of the album, the arena, especially the song and the allowance for an audience to just scream the lyrics of the chorus.

Niall Horan’s concert was well worth the wait, and I had an insane amount of fun. It didn’t matter that we weren’t right down in the first few rows or even on the ground seats. The intimate nature of the gig made it incredible for everyone around the stadium and I enjoyed every second.

x

Priya

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The Truth About Harry Styles

The Truth About Harry Styles

Harry Styles is a hologram.

There. I said it, wake up everyone,

I finally came to this conclusion, last night on the 24th of April, watching him live, when I realised that no-one who sounded like that, acted like that, performed like that or looked like that, could in fact possibly be real. The moment of realisation allowed everything I had ever known for the past seven-eight years, to click into place.

But for the sake of content fluidity, I guess I can start from the beginning.


The night started earlier that evening with some train delays that set us off a couple minutes later than we intended. However, considering we were meeting on the train two hours before the opening act got on stage, it wasn’t a huge issue, and Kate, Jess and I met up on the crowded train a little after 5:30.

It wasn’t a long ride into the city, but soon we were getting off at Richmond station for a drink and something to eat at Precinct. A cocktail and bowl of chips later, we decided to head off towards Hisense Arena, following the clumps of girls all making their way over there.

It was a short walk, and an even shorter line to get inside, followed by the usual bag search and metal detector thing, but soon we were in, enveloped by this hugely nostalgic feeling, seeing hundreds of girls, some young, but mostly our age and older, a couple of boys, either fans or best friends and boyfriends being dragged along and a couple of older groups, all walking through the arena. At this point Jess and I had to split up from Kate who had bought her ticket later and was on the other side of the stage.

Finally we found our seats. Hisense Arena isn’t a massive arena, compared to Rod Laver and Etihad Stadium where One Direction have performed previously, so to be quite honest, you could see perfectly from any seat. Still, my blind self made sure to bring my glasses with me. I hadn’t waited a year and half to not be able to see the man.

A couple of flash light signals later, we spotted Kate across the arena and began enjoying the opening act, The Preatures.

I can’t say I’m a massive fan of the band, but I definitely enjoy their music whenever it comes on Triple J during work, so I really enjoyed their set. Jess and I continued to marvel at the complete 70’s/80’s vibe they had, that surrounded their whole performance. It was a really fun set to watch, as well as listen to. I particularly enjoyed their song Your Fan, a song about being a fan of a huge band who splits up and wanting to continue being a fan….fitting as hell?? Definitely recommend listening to that song, I’ve linked it for you, especially if you’ve gone through the experience of being a massive fan of a group or a band only to have them split up or end their journeys. It was a tear jerker no doubt.

Finally. Finally.

Harry Styles, in a black and gold embroidered suit, walked out.

We love an on trend king.

It was insane. As I recalled in the car drive home, I definitely broke some skin on Jess’ hand from how tightly we were clutching each other as he and his band walked out. You have to understand, the whole experience was so special because we’d literally been on this ride for nearly eight years. It was insane seeing him again, especially considering the last time we had seen him live, it was the three of us again, watching One Direction at Etihad Stadium in 2015.

However this time, rather than having Niall, Liam, Louis and Zayn standing beside him, he had Mitchell on lead guitar, Sarah on drums and vocals, Clare on keyboard and vocals and Adam on bass guitar and vocals, with Harry’s voice front and centre.

My first major melt-down was when he opened with Only Angel. The angelic build-up for his entrance set the entire tone for this song, and when the song got to that 0:52 mark I was never more ready for the song to kick off into the groovy rock sound I have learnt to align Styles with.

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/madness/

There was only a few seconds between Only Angel and his second song, Woman, which set the crowd off again. The amount of screaming was incredibly reminiscent of an entire period of my life, and anyone who knows, knows. There is something so distinct about the scream from a fangirl that you know instantly. It was insane.

Ever Since New York had tears welling up in my eyes within the first few chords being strummed, and it was the first of many songs where I was thrown back to my first time ever seeing One Direction in 2013, where I was standing right at the back of Rod Laver Arena, completely frozen, my hand over my mouth, on the verge of tears but just in awe. The final few accapella moments of the song, with nothing but the band’s backing vocals and his voice filling the stadium was magical, and I’m so I was quick enough to whip out my phone and capture part of it.

Two Ghosts had me shooketh. Shooketh. That’s all for that one.

Carolina nearly started a riot. I can’t describe the feel of this song adequately without you just listening to it.

One thing I will say before I continue. His entire album was made for a live experience. All the songs were 10 times better in the arena than they are in the studio versions.

Harry then blessed us all with Stockholme Syndrome, a One Direction song released in 2014, that had everyone going mad. Every single word came flooding back like muscle memory, it was insane. Harry also wrote Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart, which is performed by Ariana Grande, and I definitely love his version of it a little bit more, but I’m obviously biased.

His next song can’t be linked like all the others, because there’s no studio version of it since it’s not been released, which frankly, offends me. Medicine is up with there with Kiwi as one of my favourite Harry Styles’ songs and I’m in desperate need of a recorded version. My Spotify is dry without it. If you’re keen to listen to it, here’s a link to a YouTube video with the song recorded at the concert, in surprisingly decent quality.

His next song was Meet Me In The Hallway. Another topic we discussed in the car back, was how bloody sad all his slow songs are. For a man of his age, he writes about incredibly deep topics and his lyrics always seem to just, punch you in the gut, take your breath away. There’s so much weight behind them all and this song is no different. It also definitely links back to this constant stigma that he and the rest of the boys faced in One Direction when they were writing songs, that led to most people shrugging them off as cringe-y and fake. Their current careers, especially Harry’s and Niall’s have honestly proven just how talented they all really are when it comes to song writing and it’s a shame people are missing out on it because they refuse to give it a chance.

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Meet Me In The Hallway is incredibly cinematic and atmospheric. It’s soon become one of my favourite songs on the album. It created the perfect segue to allow him to climb off stage and walk down the partition in the middle of the mosh-pit, stopping to clutch hand’s and give hugs on his way down to the back of the reserved seating, where he and his guitar played Mitchell climbed up onto a tiny stage right in front of the back seating to sing Sweet Creature. One of my favourite slower songs, Sweet Creature is this perfect acoustic song, that seemed to shrink the size of the arena down and put everyone in the palm of his hand.

A lot of the atmosphere he created, I believe came down to the person he is. It’s rare you find someone who’s so talented, yet has remained so kind and humble as Harry Styles has. He obviously isn’t ashamed of his beginnings, or the fact that his main demographic is a group of incredibly loyal and supportive females (…) and everyone felt incredibly safe in the space he created. There was this really obvious underlying understanding that majority of us started from the same place, around the same age, with the same group of people, and he just embraces it. Whether it’s pulling up a country’s flag or proudly wearing the array of LGBTQIA+ and varying sexual orientation’s flags thrown on stage around his shoulders as he sings, he manages to shrink whatever stadium stage he’s on, into this tiny space where everyone is having the time of their lives, and it’s something he’s managed to do since he started in One Direction.

Though, nothing compared to when Mitchell left him on the stage alone, and Harry started another One Direction song, one he had written, If I Could Fly, undoubtedly, my favourite song from their last album. Again, it was another song where I’m pretty sure had Jess and I frozen just watching him. He let the audience sing the final chorus and it was ridiculous how loud we all sang it back.

He moved back to the main stage, and continued with another song that isn’t yet released, Anna. This song again, is a tune. It’s a bop and I’m in dire need of a studio version. You can listen to it here.

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Intent of making everyone lose their minds once again, he did his own rendition of What Makes You Beautiful, the song that started it all, and I have to say. His version shits all over the original. It was amazing and his style of singing it, the style the band played it with, made it so much more edgier and rough and jaw-dropping to listen to, let alone watch live.

Harry’s banter with the crowd was nothing knew. He regularly paused to hold entire conversations with people in the crowd, tell us about how much he was enjoying the tour and Australia, singing Horses by Darryl Braithwaite and egging us on to finish the chorus. It was one of the best parts of the concert.

He made sure to thank everyone tremendously before he started Sign Of The Times, the song that kicked his solo career off, as his ‘last’ song.

Three minutes and the entire song of Horses later, he was back on stage for the encore.

From The Dining Table was the perfect warm-up for the encore and it was just another opportunity for everyone to really get an opportunity to hear how incredible his voice actually is.

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After the song, he took the opportunity to introduce his band, before kicking off into his iconic cover of The Chain by Fleetwood Mac. If you’re a regular around here, you know how much I lose my mind over that song and the intense love I have for it, which made it all the more special.

But, again, if you’re a regular, you know there’s one Harry Styles song that gets me going like no other, and the absolutely tease that he is, he left it as the final song of the show.

Any bit of my voice I had left was completely obliterated as soon as he sang the first line of Kiwi, and that whole song was unforgettable. His stage presence was off the charts, and he practically did laps, stalking up and down the front. Having honestly spent the last year going mental over this song, singing it in my room too many times to count, singing the guitar solo and screeching “I’m having your baby” from the top of my lungs, it all culminated into the most insane 2:56 minutes I have ever experienced at a gig.

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/a whole man/

Harry Styles was everything I wanted and ten times more than I ever could have imagined.

My dudes.

Only 42 days until Niall Horan. Twelve year old ‘Niall girl’ Priya is quaking.

x

Priya

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