What’s Rockin’ April 2020

What's Rockin'

Happy Birthday to:

  • Samu Haber, Sunrise Avenue 2ndApril 1976
  • Toni Wirtanen, Apulanta 4th April 1975
  • Alexi Laiho, Children of Bodom 8th April 1979
  • Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance 9th April 1977
  • Emmi Silvennoinen, Ensiferum 9th April 1988
  • Jukka Nevalainen 21st April 1978
  • Lauri Ylönen, The Rasmus 23rd April 1979
  • Kellin Quinn, Sleeping With Sirens 24th April 1986
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How To Support Your Favourite Bands & Musicians Right Now

The music industry was always going to take a big hit with the onset of the coronavirus, and countless bands have had to cancel tours because of it. Amazon has also temporarily stopped shipping out vinyl records and CDS, in an attempt to prioritize sending out more essential supplies to customers during the outbreak. So that’s two primary sources of income down for musicians. It’s a blow to music fans, too, because it takes away any illusion of normalcy that buying these items would give them, and not being able to attend concerts makes the whole self isolation drama even more real. I’m definitely struggling with it myself as going to gigs and mingling with other metalheads is one of my favourite things to do and I miss it tremendously! 

The rock and metal community, however, has always stood together during difficult times, and the solidarity of music fans has always made me immensely proud to be part of it. It’s one of the reasons I always feel so safe at metal concerts, because you know there will be someone to pick you up, even if things get a bit rough. Now is the time for us to stand together. So, here are a few ways you can continue to support the bands and musicians you love.

  1. Downloads. Even if you’re just buying a £1 single on iTunes, Apple Music, or wherever you get your music, you’re still contributing to the bigger picture.
  2. Social Media. Sharing what bands have posted on social media is a great way to support your favourite bands. It can open up conversations with fellow music lovers, too, and it won’t cost you a thing.
  3. Tag ‘Em! Share your old gig pics or your favourite merch and tag ’em!
  4. Streaming. Keep on streaming your fave bands on Spotify. I really feel like music has never been as important as it is now. How many of us have got through tough times by listening to our favourite songs? Lean on your bands, and help them out in return.
  5. Promote ‘Em! Have you always wanted to model clothing for EMP? Why not dress up in your favourite band tee and snap some pics? Heck, it’s something to do and an excuse to get out of your jammies!
  6. Merchandise! One of the most effective ways to directly support your favourite bands right now is, of course, by buying merch. Now’s the time to nab that sweet beanie you’ve had your eye on for ages!

Let’s do our bit and continue to support the things we love.

Stay strong. 

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What’s Rockin’ March 2020

What's Rockin'

Gigs I’m going to this month:

  • Crossfaith at O2 Academy Islington 2nd March (this is a take 2 for me because I missed the gig I initially had tickets for last year because of a killer migraine. I was super bummed, so when they announced another London gig I naturally jumped at the chance to try again! I first discovered Crossfaith when they were guests at a Bury Tomorrow gig and they BLEW MY MIND. I became a fan there and then, and I’m psyched to see them again!)

See you at the gig!

Happy Birthday to:

  • Jon Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi 2nd March 1962
  • Joe Hahn, Linkin Park 15th March 1977
  • Chester Bennington, Linkin Park 20th March 1976
  • Stefan Olsdal, Placebo 31st March 1974
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TAG: Let’s Talk Music

Tags are fun to do, and you get to know a bit more about me, too. Take the questions, do it yourself, and make sure you leave a comment when you have so I can check it out!

1. Which bands/artist do you own the most albums by?

The Rasmus. As the first band I ever fell in love with, I’ve been collecting their music for years, and I’m pretty confident I own every DVD, single and album they’ve ever released!

2. What was the last song you listened to?

That would be the new single by Five Finger Death Punch, Inside Out. Very, very loudly! Arrrgh, I love that tune! Ivan’s vocals are just so powerful! It’s perfect in lyrics as well as melody. I can’t wait to hear the rest of their new album, F8, which comes out in TWO DAYS! Naturally, I preordered it, and I know I’m going to listen the hell out of it once it arrives. I’ve always loved FFDP, but ever since seeing them live last month, I’ve loved them even more, if that’s possible. Now I’m bonded to them for life. That’s it! There’s nothing anyone can do about it, ever. It’s a heavy kind of love, but it’s so freaking awesome, I wish everyone could feel it. But now I’m getting off topic…

3. What’s your favourite music venue?

The Underworld in Camden town. I feel instantly at home and accepted there, and it holds many great memories for me. I go there as often as I can, it’s a very special place to me! At a close second, though, is Heaven in London, I’ve only been there a couple of times but it’s so atmospheric and cool, I love it!

4. What was the last show you attended?

I went to see The Calling at the Underworld, in Camden, London. It was a really lovely, feelgood, intimate show.

5. What was the greatest show you’ve ever been to?

That’s a difficult question, I’ve been to so many! But one that stayed with me, and that still gives me a little rush of happiness when I think of it, is Poets Of The Fall at Tullikamarin Pakkahuone in Tampere, Finland. It was my first time seeing them and my mum and I were right in the front row! It was pure magic, there’s really no other way to put it.

6. What’s the worst show you’ve ever been to?

Deicide, at the Underworld. Absolute rubbish, I’m afraid to say. Let’s not even talk about it, what’s the point!

7. Have you met any musicians?

Yes, loads! I’m very lucky, I seem to bump into a lot of them in Camden Town.

8. What show are you looking forward to?

I can’t wait to see Sunrise Avenue play this summer at Helsinki Olympic Stadium in Finland! I just know it’s going to be amazing!

10. What is your favourite band shirt?

I have more black metal band tees in my wardrobe than any other item of clothing. I need to count them someday, but I’m fairly sure I have at least 40! My favourite is probably an Ensiferum t-shirt I got at their show one year.

11. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?

I’d love to hang out with Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg! He seems so interesting and wise. We could put up bird boxes, sit around a campfire toasting Odin and drinking beer, and he could bestow his wisdom upon me!

12. Who is one musician or group you wish would make a comeback?

I would say My Chemical Romance, but they are back now! Yaaay!

13. What bands/artists have you never seen live but always wanted to?

The Hives, Bon Jovi, Metallica, and The 69 Eyes. I had a ticket to see The 69 Eyes last year but I was too ill to go. And you know I would have to be really sick to miss a gig. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to see them.

14. How many music related videos/DVDs do you own?

45! I like watching live concerts. It’s the second best thing to actually being there!

15. How many concerts/shows have you been to, total?

Nearly 70. It’s crazy!

16. Who have you seen the most live?

Bury Tomorrow, five times so far!

17. What is your favourite movie soundtrack?

I love the School Of Rock soundtrack! It’s still one of my favourite movies ever.

18. What was your last musical “phase” before you wisened up?

I was a teenage goth, although I wouldn’t say I’ve “wisened up”, exactly, I still love wearing black, and black eyeliner is kinda my thing!

19. CDs or downloads?

CDs! I do download a lot of music, but I have a CD collection that I adore and which keeps on growing! I like to have my favourite albums in CD format, so I can see them and flip through the lyric booklets, and get them signed.

20. What’s your “guilty pleasure” that you hate to admit to liking?

I don’t have guilty pleasures! If you love certain music and it makes you happy, who cares what anyone thinks?

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Free 2020 Events Planner

So, I was having trouble keeping track of what gigs I was going to, and constantly worried I was going to double book a day and then have to go all Sophie’s Choice, when I came up with, duh, an events planner! I wanted something snazzy with a simple format, so I designed this one. Even if you just have a couple of events coming up, it’s nice to have this on the wall or refrigerator to remind you of what you have coming up to look forward to. You can use it, too! Just print it out and fill it in.

Enjoy!

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Five Finger Death Punch, Megadeth & Bad Wolves at Wembley Arena 31.02.2020

I was psyched to get tickets to see Five Finger Death Punch for the first time, a band I’d been a fan of for ages, but hadn’t yet had a chance to see live. They were the main attraction, of course, but it was generally an incredible lineup with Bad Wolves and metal veterans Megadeth in attendance, and I’d never seen either of them either!

I took my mum with me because she’s a big Bad Wolves fan, and we go to a lot of gigs together. Not having heard a lot of their material, the five piece super band native to Los Angeles really impressed me, I was surprised at how heavy their music was, and their Cranberries cover of Zombie was fantastic! Their singer made a reference to dealing with anxiety and depression, as well as expressing the pain of having lost loved ones beyond the veil.

Megadeth were up next, and their synchronised guitar strumming captivated the audience expertly. Dave Mustaine, who I was excited to see in the flesh, announced that he was now totally cancer-free, to loud cheers.

Finally, it was time for Five Finger Death Punch! It was hard to imagine how the Las Vegas metallers could possibly live up to start like that, but there was no need to worry! Ivan was dramatically silhouetted behind the enormous curtain shrouding the entire stage to the theme from Vikings. Then the curtain dropped and chaos ensued, and they kicked off energetically to Lift Me Up. You could almost see the adrenaline pumping, and it was a pace that wouldn’t let up for the next hour.

The audience went berserk for Wash It All Away, before the anthemic Jekyll & Hyde kicked in. The night got heavier as the band went on to play Burn MF. “Let’s try something new”, said Ivan, “Make a circle pit with your cell phones” and every person present swished their phones in the air as the arena twinkled like a thousand fireflies.

Ivan’s onstage presence was confident and endearingly cocky, and when he announced that we were going to have some fun that night, every fibre of my being believed him. He talked about his battle with alcoholism, and his two year’s of sobriety is clearly a source of strength for many on that same journey. They threw in an acoustic rendition of Wrong Side of Heaven, as well as a couple of super cover songs, Bad Company and Blue on Black. I was happiest when they played Got Your Six, my absolute favourite track of theirs!

Their catchy rock ‘n’ roll anthems were often accompanied by flames and explosive pops. It was exciting and breathtaking and I really didn’t want it to end! At one point, guitarist Jason Hook stood on a little platform that was lifted 20 feet into the air for everyone to see as he dramatically performed a face melting guitar solo. Ivan mentioned that the next time Five Finger Death Punch comes to the UK they would to be headlining Download Festival. You’d better believe it!

It was an epic concert I won’t forget, and to top off a perfect night, I nabbed a T-shirt before we left! Horns up!

 Setlist :

  1. Lift Me Up
  2. Trouble
  3. Wash It All Away
  4. Jekyll and Hyde
  5. Sham Pain
  6. Bad Company
  7. Burn It Down
  8. Got Your Six
  9. The Agony of Regret
  10. Wrong Side of Heaven
  11. Battle Born
  12. Blue on Black
  13. Coming Down
  14. Never Enough
  15. Burn MF
  16. Inside Out
  17. Under and Over It
  18. The Bleeding
  19. The House of the Rising Sun

 

 

 

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Is it okay to go to a gig alone?

In case you missed it, in my previous post I wrote about going to see Amon Amarth at Brixton academy, and I had a smashing time! The only thing that put the tiniest damper on my night, and this wasn’t anything to do with the band, rather the staff managing the event, is the fact that at two points, when I was getting in the O2 Priority line (on a side note, what a mega blessing! The queue to get in was wrapped right around the building and I skipped it because of O2 Priority!), I was asked whether it was “just me”, and “where are my friends”. Yes, mate, it’s just me! Can’t a 5’2″ rock chick go to a metal event by herself without getting puzzled looks from some security mammoth?? It bums me out.

I go to lots of events by myself because it’s part of my work as a music blogger, which means I will likely go to a higher volume of music events than the average person in the name of research. So I’ll just get a ticket and go without always worrying about inviting someone to tag along. Also, obviously I love the music, but that goes without saying, doesn’t it, really?

Let me tell you why YOU should be fearless and not miss out either!

  1. You meet interesting new people! Some people are nervous about being by themselves. I understand that. But just know that music fans, especially at metal and rock concerts, are a friendly, non-judgemental bunch, and you’ll most likely end up chatting to them and making new friends.
  2. You get some me time. Learning to spend time alone can be super rewarding, and it helps you grow, to trust yourself. You get a glowing sense of pride because you did something for yourself, because you’re awesome and you have excellent taste in music, and you owe it to yourself to make as many magic memories as you can for yourself.
  3. You can take your time! Are you a bit indecisive about which t-shirt to buy at the merch stand? If you’re by yourself you can take your time and not worry about your mates breathing down your neck impatiently!
  4. Picture the scene: Your absolute favourite song ever comes on. It’s live and sounds a million times better than usual, and the music is pulsing through your body like an epic heartbeat. What do you wanna do? You wanna dance! Without judgement, without distractions, without your friend who picks that moment to demand a selfie. So dance! There’s zero judgement here, and because you’re by yourself, you can get lost in that music bubble your way.
  5. You get to decide when to arrive and when to leave, because you’re on your own and you’re the captain of this adventure, dammit!
  6. You don’t have to miss another concert ever again! Just because nobody you know wants to go doesn’t mean you should miss out on an epic life experience! Personally, I don’t want to drag someone reluctant to go with me for the sake of having company. They end up not enjoying themselves, and you end up worrying all night about whether they’re having fun. Nobody wins! And besides, that extra ticket could go to a real fan, especially if the gig ends up being sold out.

Nobody should feel ashamed or anxious about going solo. If anything, you everyone should try it at least once. Be brave! You might just love it 😉

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