Julia Michaels aka Sunshine Personified // Live

Julia Michaels aka Sunshine Personified // Live

Hello friends!!

Hope you’re all well and having a great week.

Today’s post is another concert review. The topic of today’s post, as you can quite obviously read from the title, is the one and only Julia Michaels.

I have to be honest. I don’t listen to a ton of Julia’s music, I have some favourites that I keep in my playlists, but when she announced she’d be doing a couple of shows in Australia, it wasn’t something I jumped on straight away.

Enter my best friend Kate who loves Julia Michaels.

Kate, being the absolute legend that she is, pulled through and bought tickets to come and see Jon Bellion with me in November, so when I found out how much she wanted to see Julia, I decided to return the favour and buy a ticket with her.

Julia played on the 4th of September, so I headed to the station straight after work, doing a quick outfit change in the car before heading off, and met Kate on the train into the city. We initially thought the show started at 7, so were a bit hesitant about trying and getting something to eat, but after a later update on the FaceBook event notifying us that she’d be on at 8:45, we stopped off at an old favourite, Nando’s, for dinner.

It worked out well, as the Nando’s we ate at was right next to The Forum, where the concert was taking place. It was only after stepping out of the restaurant, that we realised it was bucketing down. Torrential rain. Luckily we were undercover, however as we walked towards The Forum, we quickly noticed the line of people waiting to get in, that curved down Hosier Lane, getting absolutely soaked.

Now, we were keen for the concert, but not keen enough to stand out in the rain, I’ll tell you that.

So instead, we decided to wait under the shelter of the restaurant that was on the other side of Hosier Lane and as the doors opened and people started moving in, hopping onto the end of the line as it passed us, spending the least amount of time out in the wet as possible.

Getting in, Kate took the opportunity to buy a hoodie from the merchandise stall, and I grabbed a drink from the bar, before we started our well practiced maneuver of making our way down the side of the theatre, into the mosh pit, and moving up from the left hand side of the mosh. I promise you, it’s worked every time. We did the same for Gang Of Youths so we knew it worked in The Forum, and sure enough, we managed to get pretty close to the front without being absolutely packed like sardines, much like the people a mere few metres away from us.

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As I said, I don’t know many other songs from Julia other than the few favourites I’ve added to my playlists, so songs like Pink which she opened with, Make It Up To You, Hurt Again, Apple or Priest gave me the opportunity to really enjoy the show, take note of her amazing band and appreciate how much effort she put into the performance.

On the other hand, we had songs like I Miss You, her collab with Clean Bandit, Heaven, Happy, Anxiety, Uh Huh and my absolute favourite, Into You, where I really got into it and sang along with everyone else in the crowd.

Kate and I constantly had to comment on how happy and energetic she was. I swear to you, she didn’t walk once across the stage. She genuinely skipped every where she had to go. Even when she parted the mosh pit like the Red Sea and walked through to perform a cover of Fuck You by Cee Lo Green as well as one of her own, she skipped down through the fans and took her place in the middle of the theatre.

She of course finished on two very strong notes, starting off her encore with What A Time, originally dueted with a favourite around these parts, Niall Horan. That particular song got everyone in the theatre singing along, and we were all more than ready to absolutely belt Issues when it finally rolled around. It was a deafeningly loud version of the song, but there was so much energy within The Forum. Julia pulled a really dynamic and diverse crowd. There was a large majority of females, ranging from young, little girls to older girls in their late teens and twenties like Kate and I, but there were also quite a few boyfriends who came along, groups of guys, older families and couples, and everyone sang along super enthusiastically.

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It was a very, very wholesome experience.

Like I mentioned before, her band were very commendable. They vibed with her perfectly, joining in with the choreographed dancing enthusiastically enough that it didn’t seem cringey or inauthentic, and vibing with the crowd in between Julia’s two breaks. It was overall a really positive, insanely cute concert.

 

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Another thing that stood out to me was the amount of fans she knew by name. She called out a ‘hello’ to one as she passed them on her way back to the stage, she commented on how every time she’s back in Australia one specific fan keeps getting taller and taller and she dedicated one of the last songs to a specific fan she had spotted towards our side of the mosh pit. Like I said before, wholesome as hell.

x

Priya

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Kaiit Killed It // Live

Kaiit Killed It // Live

Hellooo friends, and welcome to another blog post.

Today’s post is gonna be a rundown of what was one of the most wholesome gigs I’ve ever attended. On the 12th of July, I got to see Kaiit, who I consider to be somewhat of a Melbourne legend.

She played at Max Watt’s theatre in the city, so it was another Friday night of meeting my friends, this time Dan and James who also play in a band with me, at the station and hopping on a train, then a replacement bus into the city. We got there considerably early, having our wrist stamped at around 8:15, so by the time we got into the venue it wasn’t too packed at all.

After a drink and a quick suss of the first opening act we decided to head back out into the city for something eat, with Subway making do, before returning to MW for Maya Hirasedo, the second opening act.

I’ve actually mentioned Maya on the blog before, so you can read that post HERE. She did a fantastic job of getting the vibes up and the place continued to fill up more and more as she performed.

Finally, it was time for Kaiit. While waiting for the boys to get another drink, I held the amazing spot we’d got on the steps above the pit that served as more of a moshing area compared to the rest of the space where the standing and dancing was a bit tamer. I also bumped into another friend who was making his way through, so him and his mate ended up joining us for the concert.

When it came time for Kaiit to come on stage, we were absolutely blessed to have her mum, come on stage and pay respects to traditional owners of the land, and throughout the performance there were elements of Indigenous and Polynesian culture which made my heart swell so much, it was such a beautiful and respectful display from such a beautiful artist.

Kaiit was phenomenal. Amazing. So, so, wholesome. She was constantly emphasising how grateful she was to have a sold out show in her hometown, and when she wasn’t saying it, it was coming through in her singing.

If you haven’t checked out her music, especially since you started reading this post – please do. Kaiit is so insanely talented, and if you’re someone who calls to artists like Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Nai Palm, Jill Scott, Amy Winehouse, Kehlani or any female artist who sits in that pocket for inspiration or killer tunes, then you will 10/10 enjoy all of Kaiit’s music.

 

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There were definitely crowd favourites. 2000 n Somethin went off, despite how mellow and ambient it is. Everyone in the crowd, sang every single lyric. My pals and I literally stood up on the steps with our arms around each other screaming all the lyrics. Like I said, a wholesome, wholesome gig.

When she sang her latest single, Miss Shiney, there was this huge cheer from the audience, and it was such a beautiful song to highlight her band and their musicality, especially her backup singers, who had two of the most angelic voices I’ve ever heard.

 

 

Natural Woman was sung later in the show, and it was such a great vibe. One of my friends new the rap just as tightly as I did, and we had the best time vibing off each other and singing lyrics to the others in our group. This song is one of the smoothest songs Kaiit has ever released in my opinion, and it translated perfectly live. Smooth like honey.

Her encore, was definitely one of my favourite encores so far this year. She came out to the sounds of one of her most loved songs, OG Luv Kush pt.2, the perfect way to end the show. She literally floated on stage, joint in mouth, with four spares to throw into the audience, and everyone went absolutely mad.

Kaiit absolutely killed it. Her Melbourne show was the perfect display of what makes her such a loved artist not only here in the city, but all over the country and around the world. Even as we were walking back to Flinder’s Street station and on the bus/train ride home, all the three of us could talk about was how she smashed it.

She’s gonna be huge. I’m telling you. Pinky promise.

x

Priya

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John Mayer // Live

John Mayer // Live

Hello friends and welcome to another post!

Today’s post is one I’m pretty excited to share and if you read my last Monthly Tunes which covered the month of March, you may have a small idea as to why that is!

March 27th marked the day I got to finally see John Mayer live.

I feel like John Mayer is one of those artists who’s just existed forever. He’s been making music and wow-ing audiences for that long, it seems like for me personally, there’s never been a time without him. Whether it’s old classics like Your Body Is A Wonderland and Waiting On The World To Change from when I was younger, to some of his blues-based stuff like Why Don’t You Come When I Call and Everyday I Have The Blues to his newest tunes like New Light and I Guess I Just Feel Like, he’s been making music that time and time again really just, gets me going.

So it’s fair to say I was pretty excited heading into the city on the Wednesday to meet up with my friend Daniel, who’s also the guitarist in our little duo we have going that I’ve mentioned here and there. We were both super keen for the concert and had been counting down the days ever since March arrived.

 

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Rod Laver Arena isn’t a massive arena in comparison to some of the other stadiums and performance grounds around Melbourne, but this definitely worked to our advantage. Even though we hadn’t forked out a ton of money to get onto the floor seats, we still had a pretty great view of the stage and subsequently, John. 

When the show started, it was a flurry of people screaming, grown men and hardcore John Mayer fan-boys finally surfacing and dropping their cool facades, and then there was Dan and I who when excited, tend to mix between laughing, screaming and hitting each other on the arm.

Watching John casually walk on stage made it all the more relaxed and insane and surreal, all at the same time.

As is evident from the setlist above, he played the bangers. He played the tastiest songs he possibly could, aside from some of his more bluesy songs I would have loved hearing, but I mean, we got to hear Gravity live, which not many other concerts got, so I can’t complain at all.

Hearing Love Is A Verb, Belief, and Born & Raised live, were also standouts for me, though I have to mention Isaiah Sharkey, who absolutely tore apart his guitar solo in Waiting On The World To Change. It was honestly one of the best moments of the concert and the entire arena simultaneously lost their mind, as did John who could only stare at him in awe the whole time.

 

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New Light brought the house down as expected, and John Mayer’s dad dancing complimented it perfectly. That said, the guy performs like he’s still 28. It was insane to watch. At one moment during the concert Dan leaned over and said to me, “At this point, it’s not even the question of if he’ll land the notes on the guitar, it’s just a given.” He went absolutely insane during Neon leaving us all just hanging on to every note he played, waiting for him to launch into the beloved intro, and when he finally did everyone went mad.

The people on either side of us probably got sick of the amount of times we just screamed at something crazy he did on the guitar, or when his backing singers solo’d and blew everyone away during the encore.

It was honestly insane. Such an amazing concert, John Mayer can put on a show.

x

Priya

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Tentendo Is THE Mood

Tentendo Is THE Mood

Hello friends, and welcome back to another slightly aggressive music recommendation from me to you.

Today’s post is all about a Melbourne musician who I really only discovered earlier this year through the rabbit hole that is Melbourne-based musicians and the ever growing beautiful collaborations that continue to come out of some of my favourites. The music scene here in Melbourne is one of my favourites, and I don’t think any city can beat it.

That said, Tentendo may be one of my favourites to come out of it.

Originally a bass and guitar player, he moved to production after an injury that put his playing on pause and that’s where the magic happened, although he still continues to play bass with Billy Davis but that man and his music is a whole other story.

I listened to his song Dance With Me a song which features an incredible Melbourne rapper, Jordan Dennis, after hearing about it through Jordan’s Instagram and I featured it on my post all about Australian artists.

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The song has everything I want in a song, a fat bass line, a really funky drum kit that requires you to groove to it and a catchy as hell hook. The production of the song and Jordan’s energy on the vocals made it one of my favourite songs of the year so far.

My favourite song from Tentendo’s collection is Ghost, featuring Melbourne RnB singer, Blasko. If there is anything you do with the information within this post, make sure it’s listening to Ghost. I listened to this song and promptly had to pick my jaw up from the floor.

I don’t know if it was how unexpected that build up to the hook is and how subtle the ‘drop’ is, but whatever it was, Tentendo spun some magic to make it happen that smoothly. It’s a sound you simultaneously want hug and get down to.

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His first official feature on his Spotify page, One Stop Shop, gives me mad late 90’s RnB vibes, and I’m 100% here for it, as I usually am. It’s sung by another Australian singer, JANEVA, who gives me chills.

His most recent track, Waves, is noticeably a bit more chilled out. It’s very ethereal and features Blasko, Jordan Dennis and Rahel.  Each vocalist contributes something beautiful to each verse they take and it combines to make a really pretty track with heaps of lovely layers that just compliment each other and the funky kit that’s still present.

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To be quite frank, for me personally, Tentendo is four for four with all the tracks on his Spotify. While Ghost and Dance With Me are clear favourites, One Stop Shop and Waves are just as catchy and tasty to listen to, so I recommend you give his Spotify a good run through.

Melbourne is so bloody rich in musicians and Tentendo, in all his production magic and perfectly executed collaborations, embodies that perfectly. Make sure you check out his Spotify, his Instagram and his SoundCloud, and keep an eye out for Tentendo. I know I will.

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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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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CHANGES Music Summit 2018: A Volunteer’s Experience

CHANGES Music Summit 2018: A Volunteer’s Experience

Hello friends, and welcome to another blog post.

I had a few second thoughts about sharing this post, because I wasn’t sure if my experience was deep enough to merit an entire blog post, but I’ve just finished up my second and final day, and thought…’what the heck, my blog, my posts‘, so here I am.

Over the 4-5th of July, the CHANGES Music Summit took place in Melbourne for the first time ever. What is it? Well, if you head to their website, this is the rough gist of it;

Over two days, CHANGES will outline the future of the music industry. Across the realms of music, tech, talks and ideas, CHANGES has assembled a roster of ground-breaking voices to ignite one question: what’s next?

Headquartered within the stunning ACU Melbourne campus, on July 4 and 5, CHANGES will begin to draw a roadmap for the future.

It sounds cool, right?

The summit covered changes throughout the entire industry, ‘music, tech, talks and ideas’. A plethora of subjects were covered over the two days such as;

  • The Changing Mindset Of Contemporary Artists
  • The Importance Of Covering Artists Outside of The Mainstream
  • It’s Not Digital Marketing: It’s Marketing
  • Elevating A Visual Experience With Technology
  • DIY Party And Event Projects
  • Gameboy Music Workshop
  • The Benefits Of Being Multi-Disciplinary
  • Women In Music – Hearing Voices You Can’t See

and a ton more.

Not only that, but from around 6PM onwards, the summit transformed into the music festival, and instead of stages that you would have at a regular festival, iconic live music venues, some that I’ve mentioned in my Music In Melbourne post, became stops to see up and coming as well as well-known Melbourne artists, allowing live pass and summit pass holders to travel around the city, and catch some amazing acts.

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However, I found out about the summit, through my university email inbox. I often take it for granted, because on the odd occasion that I choose to check those emails, and go through the pile of mostly junk, I’m always certain to come across some sort of opportunity, tickets available, free passes, internship offers and so on.

A couple months ago, I came across an email seeking volunteers for the CHANGES Summit, and without really giving it much thought, decided it would be cool to give it a go and fill out the application. I’m telling you, the second I closed the tab on my phone, the entire thing was forgotten.

Which made it all the more surprising for me when I received an email last month telling me I had been selected as part of the volunteer roster for the summit. The best part, I had a free pass for the day I wasn’t rostered on. Hence, my short volunteering stint began.

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Having been rostered on for a half day shift on the first day of the summit, I was quite pleased considering some of the the talks I was keen on seeing were the following day. The day before the festival kicked off, I headed to Fitzroy, catching a tram out of the city, to find out where I would be stationed, get my volunteer pass and my T-shirt. It was a short, quick, fun meeting, and I met a couple other people from my university course who were all going to be in and around the event.

For the first day, my role as an Event Runner had me stationed at the CHANGES Hub, which was the first port of call for anyone and everyone who was going to be attending the summit. Considering I started at 1 and finished at 5, it was a pretty breezy shift, taking into consideration most people arrived earlier in the day. My role quickly turned into one of security/attendee assistance/registration.

I spent quite a while keeping people out of the staff and volunteer areas, helping them with  problems that arose with finding schedules and maps and knowing where they were meant to be, and when the next wave of people came in, I ended up helping out at the registration desk, finding people their passes, putting on live past wrist bands, printing out new name stickers for passes and watching as industry professionals struggled with the sliding door that refused to open on command unless you were one centimetre away from it.

It was a fun shift, and a lot of the other volunteers were students like I was, either interested in music, event management or festival work. It was a great atmosphere.

The second day was a lot more chill, considering I didn’t have a shift, so once again, I caught the tram in and headed towards my first talk, Music Passport: Live America.

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The talk was really interesting, and covered a lot of grounds around the export of live Australian music in the USA, festivals like SXSW in Austin, making decisions surrounding taking bands over there for managers and labels, the costs involved, the processes and so on.

Following that session, a couple other volunteers and I headed back to the Hub, for the all ages lunch showcase, with RAT!hammock playing that afternoon. If you’re looking for a funky, bedroom-pop, Mac DeMarco type sound, definitely check them out because I loved their set! My favourite song was definitely Mud, though all the songs they played were really good, and easy to listen to.

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After RAT!hammock, I caught one more keynote talk, one that I was really keen to listen to, and that was The Benefits of Being A Multi-Disciplinary. The talk was incredibly interesting for me. While being a musician, working towards songwriting and maybe performance one day, are my main aspirations, they haven’t stopped me from becoming a ‘slashie’, as they say; someone with a couple of slashes in their title. For example, old blog favourite, Donald Glover. He’s got all the slashes. If you looked at his title it would probably be something like;

Rapper/Singer/Songwriter/DJ/Record Producer/Actor/Comedian/Writer/Director

Along the way, I’ve kind of picked up my own set of skills, and while I’m not incredibly mind-blowing amazing at all of them, I’m good enough that I can list them as a skill set, which in turn makes me more valuable to hire or work with. Things like photography, videography, music journalism, blogging, editing and producing (we are getting there) can be added to my singer/songwriter/musician title, and help me hopefully get more jobs that carry more weight. I know a lot of us bloggers are already ‘slashies’, due to the nature of the endeavour requiring not only a lot of extra out-of-pocket work, but also different avenues to make money and sustain ourselves at the same time.

Uppy, the speaker, a radio host at Triple J and currently a Music Director at Red Bull Australia, also gave seven key tips to help us ‘slashies’.

  • Ask questions from colleagues: there is always something to learn, and if you can dip your feet into all aspects of a project or work, then you can gain more insight and knowledge into how those roles are filled, the skills needed and how you can make it work for you.
  • Find someone you trust who can mentor you.
  • Read about the stuff you can read about: Keeping on top of everything that’s out there for you, puts you a step ahead.
  • YouTube is a rad resource of how to do things.
  • Attend music conferences and summits: they are one of the best places to network and navigate the industry, make connections and form relationships you can rely on further down the track in the future.
  • Consider doing an online course or qualification if the traditional educational route is more your jam: while DIY self-taught work ethic is well respected, so is someone with a degree or qualification that guarantees their value.
  • Take care of yourself because burnout is real: the point of being a ‘slashie’ is to be good at a lot of things, which doesn’t work if you yourself aren’t in your best form.

I made sure to note those tips because I could see how well they could lend themselves to all types of career movement and trajectory. Those tips, as well as the entire session were really worth the time it took to get to and from the summit.

Although it started out as a mindless process for me, one I forgot about almost instantaneously, the CHANGES summit was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed attending the festival, meeting all the amazing people I did over the two days, and opening myself up to the real inner workings of the music industry and the people within it. Who knows, I’ll probably be back at the summit next year, either as a volunteer or a regular pass holder!

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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