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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GIG GUIDE 2017…UPDATE

As bloody well predicted, my Gig Guide has developed quite a bit since my last post about my gigging adventures back in July. I’m so pumped for 2018 to just get here already because my friends and I have a bunched of concerts booked and planned and ready to go.

SO LET US BEGIN! I’m gonna do this by month because that’s how I did the last one, and I liked it that way:

JANUARY
Kicking off 2017, I’m going to see The Kooks with two of my best friends, tickets for which we literally booked half an hour ago. Honestly last month and this month were crazy for concert tickets, everyone seemed to be announcing shows in Australia, and these were definitely tickets I was very excited to hear about.

FEBRUARY
Oh my goodness this is probably in the top three concerts that I’m the most excited about next year, and that’s Billie Eilish. I’m going with three of my friends, all of whom love Billie just as much as I do. If you aren’t aware of how much I love this gal, check out my post that I did, all about the angel and how much she rocks. She’s performing at The Howler, which is one of my all-time favourite gig venues. Cannot wait to get into a pork burger and a cider.

MARCH
March is where it is at honestly. So to start off March, two of my best friends and I again, are going to see Jet perform at the Melbourne Zoo Twilight gigs that happen every year. Honestly, 8-year old me, singing Are You Gonna Be My Girl on SingStar Rock had a meltdown when I bought those tickets.
Then as I mentioned in my first Gig Guide, I’m going to see the smooth as heck, Bruno Mars at Etihad Stadium with my family, shoutout to my dad for scoring us all mosh pit tickets. I’m so pumped for it.
Then literally four days later, the same best friends that I’ve mentioned twice already and I, are getting in the mosh pit for Ed Sheeran. This will be the second time I’m seeing him and if it’s anything like the first time, we’re in for an amazing show.

APRIL
As mentioned in the previous post, I’m seeing Harry Styles in April and I’m waiting for the moment I get to hear Kiwi live. All these fan videos from his US concerts can only keep me going for so long, and with the music video come out too I’m so pumped for it.

JUNE
Then finally, (as of now), I’m going to see my boy Niall Horan (post linked). I cannot wait to see Niall live. The last time I saw him was when One Direction toured, all five of them, and they came to Australia, and I’ve never got to see him again, since they never bloody come here. But finally, after much patience, he announced his tour and I was thrilled to get tickets. Cannot wait. Will scream.

I will definitely be giving more updates, or at least updating this post if there are any changes in the near future, but for now, that’s all! Let me know if you’ve seen any of the acts I mentioned above live, or, any acts you would recommend seeing live!

 

 

*UPDATES*

So, in the time that I’ve uploaded this post, and the time of writing this now, 12:53am on December the 30th, I have added two more gigs to the lineup above. Let’s get it.

JANUARY
While previously I was only attending The Kooks in January, I’ll also be attending the Australian Open tennis tournament. ‘But Priya’, you say ‘that’s definitely not a concert’. You’re right. What does constitute as a concert is the official Australian Open Live Stage that you get access to when purchasing General Access tickets. On the day we booked our tickets, we’re also gonna be joining a lil mosh pit for one of my favourite Melbourne bands ever, Jakubi, who are opening for Rudimental. Insane.

FEBRUARY
An exact month after we go for The Kooks, my two best friends and I, who I’ve mentioned too many times above, are going to Let Go Fest. Let Go Fest is a relatively new festival that’s started up in Victoria, my state, however the lineup is incredible. It was only released a couple of days ago, but with Gang Of Youths, SAFIA, Bag Raiders, Remi, Middle Kids, a silent disco, a free ferris wheel and a ton more, we didn’t hesitate to get tickets. Cannot wait.

x

p.f

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Nice One Niall

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So maybe I’m a bit quick on the ball, but Niall Horan’s album Flicker dropped literally an hour ago, and after a quick listen through of the album, I’ve decided to share with you guys my favourite songs since I’ve only been waiting since One Direction split up for this album to happen. Let’s go.

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One The Loose: So this is the first song on the album, and I love it. But I feel like I’ve heard this song before??? Like I knew the words to the chorus the first time I listened to it??? It’s definitely a great song, a good intro to the album but I can’t get over my major confusion whenever listening to it.

Seeing Blind: So this is a duet with Maren Morris, and it tugs on my pop-country loving heartstrings just a lil bit. It’s such a cute song and I love Maren’s voice, their voices go together sickeningly well. Niall posted an acoustic teaser of this song on his Instragram and I loved it then, so I’m definitely loving it now.

Slow Hands: Obviously.

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Paper Houses: This song is probably one of my favourites lyric-wise. This album definitely shows off how great Niall is at writing songs, collaboratively and solo.

Flicker: I feel like I can’t not include the title track in this list. Personally, the acoustic one is my favourite, this is beautiful, but the acoustic version is incredible. You can make up your own mind. This is maybe one of my favourite songs on the album.

Fire Away: This song gives me major John Mayer vibes and I’m here for it 100%. The guitar in this is beautiful and again, Niall comes through with the lyrics. Songs like these kind of allow you to find the link between the songs in this album and the ones that Niall contributed as a writer from the One Direction albums.

Mirrors: I’m always a fan of a sing-able chorus. I wasn’t sure about this song, until the chorus hit and straight away it was on my every day playlist as well as my driving and summer playlist. The chorus of this is killer. I’m so keen for the concert to hear this song live. It’s made to be sung by a crowd. I’m hoping this is put out on the radio as a single soon, I feel like it would be killer.

The Tide: So I know I just said this about Mirrors, but this song needs to be released on the radio. It’s such a tune. This song is probably my favourite on the whole album, though Mirrors is a close second. This song is beautiful but at the same time, so intense when you reach the chorus.

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There you go! My personal favourites from old boy Niall’s newest album Flicker. It’s released everywhere, but you can listen to it on Spotify here. Honestly I’ve spent so long waiting for this album to come, ever since he dropped This Town on us out of nowhere. I would love to hear which one of his songs you’re enjoying from the album! Let me know in the comments below!

x

p.f

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