2017 In Live Music

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Before you think you've read the title wrong, yes I am doing a 2017 round up post 3 months into 2018, but I had an idea that I didn't want to wait until the end of this year for so I just went with it. Allow me.

Some of you may remember I used to run a music reviews website for about 4 years. I love music and writing about it is where my initial passion for writing came from. Although I now like to write about a whole range of things and don't limit myself to just music, I do still like to chuck in my two cents about what I love in that field. 2017 saw me going to 25 different shows, so I wanted to do a little round up of them events and what was best.

I started the 2017 with a theatre show rather than a "concert" (anyone else cringe at that word, or just me?!) - I took my parents to Thriller Live at the Lyric theatre for their Christmas present. I'd seen the show before, but purely being a celebration of Michael Jackson's music, I was of course more than happy to see it again. A must see for theatre and Jackson lovers.

The 1975 @ The Dome, Tufnell Park © JYDMRA
February brought me a couple of War Child charity events, which were only my two all-time favourites. On the 16th I saw Craig David at Electric Brixton - which is a lovely little venue i'd never been to before, and the following week I saw The 1975 play to a tiny 500 capacity crowd at The Dome in Tufnell Park. I'm sure you've probably seen me talk about this gig a hundred times before but it really was one of the best ive been to. The crowd, the sound, the band - everything was just seamless and it was crazy to see the guys who 3 months prior played 2 sold nights at The O2 Arena, to play such an intimate venue for a charitable cause. We just won't talk about how much I donated to be able to go... Ouch.

In March I said goodbye to one of my old favourite bands We Are The Ocean, as they played a farewell show back at The Dome. Years later and i'm still bitter about Dan's departure, but the band still managed to sound great and play out some of their greatest hits. Shoutout to the girl that broke her leg in the crowd and cut the show short before Nothing Good Has Happened Yet... On the 8th I headed to Koko to see LANY. The last time I saw them was in the tiny Islington Academy 2 so it was quite the contrast to see them sell out Camden's iconic venue. I then ended the month and began the next, with two Craig David shows on his Following My Intuition tour. I got to surprise my mum with tickets to see him at The O2 on Mothers Day, and relived my childhood seeing him back at the first venue I ever saw him at, when he played Wembley Arena the following week. There's no point me chirping about how amazing he is live. Just go see him and thank me later.

April saw my second and last visit to The O2 in 2017, this time seeing Bruno Mars. I was absolutely obsessed with the 24K Magic album, and the Hawaiin popstar sure knew how to transfer that magic on to the stage. I'm still gutted he didn't do Gorilla as it's my absolute fave, but the show was definitely good enough for me to look past that.

My birthday month was all about PVRIS, seeing them at Shepherds Bush (the worst venue in the world yet I somehow ended up here not once, not twice, but three times in 2017...) and then a intimate acoustic set at Kingston's Banquet Records. I've seen PVRIS a few times now and am forever blown away by their talent. I've been obsessing over front-woman Lynn Gunn for years, and I finally got to meet her at Banquet so it was a pretty bloody good month.

Things picked up in June with 4 shows, starting with a trip to Ireland to see The 1975 at Malahide Castle. I absolutely loved Dublin and enjoyed my last ILWYS show from the Manchester quartet (can they hurry up and announce something soon cause i'm having serious withdrawals over here). A couple of days later I headed to the beautiful Royal Albert Hall to see Paramore for the first time in 8 years since they sold out Wembley Arena in 2009. Hayley Williams might be small but she sure is mighty, having the 5k capacity venue eating out of the palm of her hand for the whole set. A great show.

Paramore @ Royal Albert Hall, London © JYDMRA
The standout show of the year for me followed, being lucky enough to see Adele at Wembley Stadium before she cancelled the remainder of her tour. I have wanted to see Adele for years, but being prestigious for hiding from the limelight and not touring much, even bagging the tickets was hard enough. The worldwide phenomenon certainly lived up to her name, when the 80,000 people were all singing back every single word to every single song. The woman's voice is incomparable, and not to mention she is absolutely hilarious. An outstanding show that I am extremely thankful to have been a part of.

Ending June on a massive TBT, I went down to Cardiff to see Justin Bieber. Anyone that knows me will know I had serious Bieber Fever a few years back, and this night was nothing but throwback after throwback for me. Supporting him was Halsey, so my girlfriend was happy for the trek to Wales.

In July I finally got to see Enter Shikari after over 10 years of being a fan. I am lucky enough to work with these guys, so after helping out at their Borderline show, I joined the sweaty underground show and certainly wasn't disappointed. By August I was doing even more TBT's, with Kate Nash playing the iconic Made of Bricks in it's entirety at Shepherds Bush. Another belter.

September was a quiet one for me, but things picked up in October starting with going to my first ever comedy show. Although not a music event, Mo Gilligan's Coupla Cans Tour gets a worthy mention for being damn-right hilarious. Another non-music event in October was HelloWorld which was... okay. I guess. October redeemed itself with going to Eventim Apollo to see the absolute sweetheart that is Harry Styles. The former One Directioner nearly broke the venue floor when the crowd went mental over not 1, but 2 performances of fan-favourite Kiwi. I'd see this guy over and over again.

November was another busy one, starting with my number 1 guy Craig David. He was kind enough to invite me backstage before his show at Brixton Academy where we had a chat about life, blogging, and mental health. He always has so much time for me and i'm forever thankful for everything he's done for me over the past few years. Not to mention, the show was absolutely bangin' and Paige enjoyed her first TS5 experience! 

On the 13th I headed down to see my dear friend Zander play their last show as Seafoal, before rebranding to ZAND. It was then another Enter Shikari show at Alexandra Palace in support of their latest album, The Spark. You've probably all seen me bang on about how much I love this album, so i'll save you the repetition, but the show was incredible and way up there with my best of the year.

Ending November on another PVRIS show, this time at Brixton Academy. This is another band that released a 10/10 album this year and live was just as good. Seeing the difference in Lynn's stage presence from Camden's tiny Barfly in 2015 to Brixton Academy 2 years later, just shows how much she and the band have grown. I then concluded the year with another show from LANY, unfortunately at Shepherds Bush where we could just about hear Paul's vocals inbetween him staring at Dua Lipa on the balcony. RIP Pua.

2017 was a great year for me swimming with lots of good memories. I went to a lot of impressive shows, but the stand outs for the year have to be a tie between Adele, The 1975 and Enter Shikari. All such different artists but bringing so much to the table. 

With 10 shows already lined up for 2018, i'm ready for this year to be just as good, if not better. What was your favourite show last year? Or, ever?! Lets talk music in the comments! 

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