2018 Concert Recap

2018 was a great year for new records and live shows. Here’s a little recap of the concerts I attended in 2018!

George Ezra: 5/8/18, Roseland Theater

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetI saw UK artist George Ezra perform in a small, local venue in Portland long before the success of his breakout single, “Budapest” in 2014. His booming, distinctive voice stuck with me after the performance, and I instantly became a fan. I won tickets to this concert in May through a contest his label created. I participated in various “fan activities” like watching George’s music videos multiple times, tweeting about him, and sharing his social media pages. I earned “points” that translated into number of entries, and I was my city’s winner! The concert was amazing–George played a full set of songs from both his debut record, Wanted On a Voyage and sophomore album, Staying at Tamara’s. I was thrilled when George performed my most favorite song of his, “Song 6.” This is a bonus track that appears on the deluxe edition of Wanted On a Voyage. It was magic to watch George perform it. Purple and blue lights on stage swirled around him as he sang, his eyes closed the whole time. I MAY have gotten a little emotional… 😉

Lucy Dacus: 5/26/18, Bloodworks Live Studio

Lucy, an indie rock/alternative singer-songwriter from Virginia, captured her audience from the very first song, “Night Shift.” (From her latest album, Historian.) Instantly, it became my favorite track. It tells a story of raw heartbreak and the conflicting feelings partners feel amidst the aftermath of a breakup. Immediately, Lucy reminded me of a few other of my favorite artists, like Phoebe Bridgers (whom she has performed with) and Courtney Barnett. Like these artists, she also seems to follow the “talk-singing” style, which reminds me a lot of when people read poetry out loud. I had the opportunity to meet her after the show, and she was so kind! (I’m not going to include the meet and greet picture here though, I look awful lol.) If you ever get the chance to see Lucy live, definitely check her out!

Dermot Kennedy: 5/27/18, Bloodworks Live Studio

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Dermot Kennedy, an R&B/alternative singer-songwriter from Dublin, Ireland, was the most unique artist I saw live in 2018. According to his online bio, “the young Dubliner draws inspiration from all the moments of brightness and darkness this world has to offer, crafting music that’s at once soaring and intimate, stripped-back and explosive. Stuttery hip-hop and R&B-influenced percussion underpins his weathered vocals as he combines organic and electronic elements into an arresting, emotional blend that calls to mind the adventurous arrangements of Bon Iver, and James Blake.” Dermot is a huge fan of Glen Hansard, another favorite of mine, who he ran into by chance on the streets of Dublin. A few months later, Glen invited Dermot to open for him on stage at a huge Christmas show! Dermot had a crazy strong stage presence when I saw him, and his voice really bounced off of the walls in the small studio. He mostly performed tracks from his 2017 EP, Doves and Ravens, plus  his most memorable song, “Young & Free.”

Death Cab For Cutie: 9/24/18, Hult Center

I’ve been listening to Death Cab since I was little, so when my friend offered me his extra concert ticket, of course I said yes! DCFC put on a great show, and engaged the crowd in between every song. It was so fun to hear some old classics in addition to new, like “Soul Meets Body,” which I’ve listened to forever, but also “Gold Rush,” from their latest record Thank You for Today.

 

 

Hozier: 10/20/18, Roseland Theater

Hozier played this Portland venue two nights in a row, and I caught the second show. My friend and I are both huge fans of Hozier, so naturally we lined up early and ended up being in the front row. (While waiting in line, we pressed our ears against the doors and could hear him soundchecking inside) It was insane–standing that close to Andrew (Hozier’s real name) and his band was a dream come true. He started off the show with his hit single, “Nina Cried Power,” which I wrote about in an earlier post. Hozier also graced us with what was an unreleased track at the time, “Movement.” Andrew was accompanied by his incredible band which is composed of some insanely talented musicians from all over the globe, including Kristen Rodgers (backing vocals, percussion, keyboard) and Suzanne Santo (fiddle, guitar, vocals) from Ohio. Suzanne first sang with Hozier as part of the alt-country-blues duo, Honey Honey, when they joined him to perform Work Song at a benefit concert in May 2017.

 

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Concerts I’m attending in 2019 (so far):

The 1975, 4/27/19: This will be my third time seeing my favorite band, and I’m ecstatic! I’m crossing my fingers that they play a mixture of new and old material, especially a few of my favorite songs, like “Robbers,” “Paris,” “If I Believe You,” and “Inside Your Mind.” Each time I’ve seen The 1975, they sweep me off my feet. I completely forget where I am, and I get lost in the music. Matty and the boys put on an incredible show, and they always come through with a stellar stage setup.

Bad Suns, 3/1/19: This will be my first time seeing Bad Suns live, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been listening to them for a few years now– they were the first record I was gifted when I received my first record player for Christmas a few years back.

 

See you in 2019, fellow music lovers!

(All photos, videos and gifs are mine.)

 

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CONCERTS: Tori Kelly

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Last week, my friend Annie & I finally got to see one of our favorite artists live on her #WhereIBelongTour: Tori Kelly! Tori started out on YouTube, and after being eliminated from American Idol, she began working on her own music when her YouTube career took off. She has an incredible voice that seems to have no limits–she can cover every song flawlessly, always adding her own sense of flair to the piece. She is able to sing extremely high notes, and she reminds me a bit of artists like Ariana Grande & Mariah Carey. I’ve been a fan of Tori for about two years, and she’s recently been making music with a few of my other favorite artists, including Ed Sheeran!

Tori’s opener was Us The Duo, an extremely cute, singing couple. Us The Duo got started on Vine, similar to Tori’s career on YouTube. They went viral and eventually gained a loyal fan base of over 4 million people. Now they’re touring all over the world. I absolutely loved their set. They sang a cover or two, and performed a ton of songs from their chart-topping album No Matter Where You Are. Their chemistry on stage was so genuine. They sang into each others’ eyes, and kept sneaking looks at each other as they took turns with their parts. ADORABLE.

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When Tori finally came on, the crowd went wild. She had been teasing us for hours on Snapchat and Twitter, tweeting out things like this:

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Tori debuted songs off her upcoming album, Unbreakable Smile, which really got me hyped for it’s release on June 23rd. Additionally, she belted out a few throwback songs that everyone knew the words to, like her most popular single, “Dear No One.”
My other favorite song that she performed was “Confetti.”

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She had an insane amount of energy on stage. She got the crowd involved and excited during her loud, fast-paced songs, (like her most recent single “Aint’ Nobody Love“) and when she sang her heartfelt, personal songs the audience quieted and it seemed as if she was singing to each one of us individually.

CGoICFVVAAAItwQIf you get a chance to see Tori live, I’d highly recommend it! She aslo loves meeting people, and often has fun meet and greets set up before her shows. I didn’t get to meet her, but I heard about the experience. On this tour, Tori ran a contest for fans to hang out with her before the show & drink tea. She posts a Snap of #teawithtori after each city she visits! (Tori’s SnapChat: KoriTelly)

If you are trying to meet Tori but don’t want to pay, get in line pretty early when going to one of her shows. Rumor has it that she says a quick hello to super dedicated fans waiting outside!

                     Find Tori:

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

Website

CONCERTS: Bastille

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The Last Stand Tour. One incredible night. November 13, 2014…sold out. On a rainy & blustery Thursday night two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands, Bastille. (With awesome opener Ella Eyre!) In this post, I’ll talk about a few of my favorite moments from the show!

Ella Eyre, a British singer-songwriter from London, was Bastille’s flawless opening act.  As soon as she opened her mouth and sang the first note, I was in awe. Her voice filled the stadium as she effortlessly belted out a few of her killer songs. Her voice reminds me of Adele mixed with a little R & B. She was super engaging with the audience; she taught us songs, urged us to bring out lighters & phones during the slow songs, and took some cute Instagram pics of the crowd. Her fun, neo-pop look along with her wild, curly hair intrigued me just as much as her voice did! My favorite song she performed (and my favorite song she’s written) was “Comeback.” It’s a super sassy tune, and so fun to belt out when you’re home alone in your room. Check out Ella Eyre’s YouTube here!

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When Bastille finally came on stage, the crowd went wild. Hundreds of dedicated fans were jumping in excitement from the floor section, and my friend and I were standing, screaming from our seats. (We got tickets for the seated part of the theater ahead of time, and ended up being in the 100’s section towards the very front. We had a great view!)

B2Y1R8wCYAA0Qr5Dan, the main singer in Bastille, was so overwhelmed by the love and support coming from the fans that night. All he seemed able to holler into his microphone after each song was “thank you so much!”

This band is so connected with their fans; Dan hopped down into the pit during the band’s performance of  “Flaws,” hugging and taking pictures with ecstatic fans on the floor. My friend Rhaeley (who waited a dedicated 13 hours to get front row in the pit) threw Dan a Toy Story 4 shirt (which her & Thomas Jensen made) at one point in the show. Dan picked it up from the stage, and said “Woah! A Toy Story 4 shirt! Thank you very much. I didn’t even know that existed yet…it’s that rare.” Check out the photo of Dan admiring the shirt below!

B2Y1R9YCEAAzw-eMy favorite song to see Bastille perform was “The Draw.” The guitars and chorus sounded so great as they reverberated through the theater, and the best part was when all the fans made Bastille’s trademark with their hands: the triangle. Check out this awesome picture Camille captured of her friend representing the Bastille triangle!

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More of my favorite moments during the show:

Dan’s collaboration with Ella Eyre as they performed their cover of “No Scrubs.” Their voices sounded great together, and the energy they had together on stage was infectious! Here’s a little clip I got of the performance.

-The transitions between each song were amazing. Bastille had a large screen mounted on the stage. After/during each song, the screen played clips from their music videos, or projected super cool designs & Bastille trademarks.

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I loved seeing Bastille perform one of their most popular songs, “Oblivion.” Everyone in the audience pulled out their lighters & phone cameras, waving them silently as Dan belted out the lyrics. It was so calming, & looked great in the dark of the theater. Here’s a small clip I caught of the song.

The closing song was definitely one of the highlights of the show. Bastille ended their concert with their hit single, “Pompeii.” During the song, Ella Eyre and her band, along with Bastille’s band were on stage, signing and dancing along, banging drums while the audience sang along with them. My friend and I stood up, dancing, laughing, and singing the lyrics from our seats. It was such a memorable concert experience! Check out a clip of the song below. (Remember to watch it in the highest quality!)

Overall, I had such a great time at Bastille’s concert. I’d highly recommend going to see them if you ever get the chance. It’s so worth it! Check out the band’s social media below.

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube