Parkway Drive at O2 Academy Brixton, 8th April 2017

The show was sold out and packed to the gills with Parkway Drive fans oozing with enthusiasm. There was already a long queue snaking around the legendary Brixton Academy when I arrived, just before doors opened at around 7pm.

Parkway Drive is a cocktail of of face melting metal riffs, ingeniously roaring lyrics, and catchy choruses. The production was admirably slick and topped off beautifully with blasts of fire and actual fireworks (there were fire engines and an ambulance on standby outside the venue, just in case)! You could tell a hell of a lot of heart, imagination, and careful planning had gone into this masterpiece of a show which, predictably, just flew by at warp speed.

Devilishly handsome, and with a voice so powerful it could slay a walrus, Winston McCall is the perfect lead singer. In between songs he expressed gratitude for his fans and thanked them for supporting the band. Simple words, but sincere, and delivered straight from the heart.

It was one of the heaviest and most exhilarating concerts I’ve ever been to, and they managed to cram so many fantastic tracks into the set. After listening to Vice Grip on repeat and watching the video dozens of times on YouTube, it was crazy amazing to witness it played live! Bottom Feeder was saved until very last to go with the encore, and I loved every furious second of it. You can totally understand why it’s so easy for Parkway Drive to whip an audience into such a frenzy.

All in all, an unforgettable and smashing night – as I predicted it would be!

Setlist:

  • Wild Eyes
  • Carrion
  • Dedicated
  • Vice Grip
  • Karma
  • Sleepwalker
  • Dark Days
  • Destroyer
  • Boneyards
  • Writings
  • Idols
  • Bulls On Parade
  • Swing

Encore:

  • Crushed
  • Bottom Feeder

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What’s Rockin’ April 2017

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

Gigs I’m going to this month:

  • Parkway Drive at O2 Academy Brixton 8th
  • You Me At Six at Alexandra Palace 15th
  • Bury Tomorrow at O2 Forum, London 22nd
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All Time Low Month

It’s been an AWESOME month to be an All Time Low fan and I’m enjoying every second of it! To me, times like this are better than being on a tropical island sipping Pina Coladas while a tanned and toned Adonis fans you and brings you refills. Okay, so that would be nice, but this is better!

I had such a blast at their Eventim Apollo show and I’m so glad I bought tickets for both the London dates so I get to see them at the end of the month as well! Wise decision, past Amanda! I know myself so well! I finally understand why, in high school, I was never able to get into the soggy boybands all the other girls were into. Why settle for Blue or Westlife when you can listen to a band that rocks?

All Time Low shows are the bomb. I met the band before the show, and it’s a moment I will treasure forever. From Jack’s dirty onstage jokes, to the magic of Alex’s solo Missing You and Therapy performances, jumping about hitting beach balls during Kids In The Dark, going completely insane for Backseat Serenade, and finally getting showered with confetti at the end, and going home with the biggest grin on my face, clutching my new tour t-shirt, it has been a month of celebration. Yeah, I’m pretty damn happy right now!

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What’s Rockin’ March 2017

What's Rockin'

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

Gigs I’m going to this month:

  • Apocalyptica at at Royal Festival Hall, London 1st
  • All Time Low at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London 10th
  • All Time Low at Brixton Academy, London 30th
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The Underrated iPod

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Recently my mum got an iPod Classic, and I had the task of furnishing its contents. I say “task” like it’s a chore but, in fact, there’s nothing I relish more than stocking up a nice iPod, especially the 160gb iPod Classic. It’s just so deliciously roomy, and for an organised music connoisseur like, dare I say, myself, it’s such a great playground for a great selection of both audiobooks and music. I wish there was an actual job I could do, as an iPod filler. I literally spent hours carefully labelling songs and audiobooks, and even adding picture covers to everything because, heck, the feature is there, and you may as well use it! I’m also a bit obsessive about doing things like that completely properly, it would literally keep me awake at night if I didn’t go the whole nine yards.

I don’t believe this iPod is the ultimate music lover’s dream (after all, I am old enough to have experienced both the Walkman and portable CD players, and I thought they were the dream), but it certainly comes close. I love how it gives you complete freedom to get to the real nitty gritty of organising your music. When used properly, it’s not just a place to store music, but also a place to house and label a collection you are proud of, a collection that defines you. And this isn’t to say that  don’t still love record players, cassette players, and CD players, I love them all, but the iPod is pretty damn marvellous, isn’t it?

The fact is, it’s very easy to take technology completely for granted, especially the generation that grew up with it, but I am constantly filled with wonder for it. I appreciate every inch of my iPod, and as a real audiophile, it’s extremely important that I can access my favourite songs in high quality at the touch of a button. My iPod is not only ready to play whatever music takes my fancy, it is also home to my treasured Sherlock Holmes audiobooks, which are my happy place! It’s more than just an iThing.

So if you’re lucky enough to own an iPod, just remember how hard that little device works, and how far we’ve come from cassette recorders and portable CD players!

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Trivium at The Roundhouse, London 17.01.2017

Trivium

I remember the very first time I listened to a Trivium song and how much it fascinated me and blew my mind. It was ridiculously fast and heavy, and it was on a Kerrang! CD, which I still have. The song was Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr, so it was back in 2005-ish when I first got into rock and metal.

This was my first visit to the Roundhouse as well as my first Trivium concert, and I stood in the large hall staring up at the domed ceiling in awe. I never take these experiences for granted, and I can guarantee that at some point in the evening I will probably be mentally thanking my lucky stars in amazement.

Supporting Trivium were Shvpes and Sikth. Shvpes were memorable, and the singer cut off his long hair for cancer right onstage, and also got in the mosh pit as he was singing! Someone heckled him as he was speaking onstage and he merrily told the heckler to fuck off, which was followed by cheers and laughter. I have to admit, fair play to him, as if it’s not tough enough for a band to have to warm up a cynical crowd that just want the main act to come onstage without someone hurling abuse at them on top of it all. I’d heard of Sikth on the That’s Not Metal podcast, and the cheers for them were super loud. Another band I’d missed out on seeing and glad I got to now see!

Before Trivium appeared they played Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills and everyone in the audience had a massive singalong! I was in the second/ third row and had a great view of the lit up skulls onstage. And then Trivium came onstage and things got super squashy. I’ve been to a lot of gigs but I have never been at one where the crowd was quite this rowdy! Everyone was surging and squeezing the life out of everyone else, and it was all I could do to stay upright! Two or three times I had beer or something poured on me. But strangely, I still felt safe. In fact, there’s nowhere I feel safer than at a metal concert. I know if I fall someone will pick me up, and despite the over enthusiasm, nobody would intentionally hurt me. Rockers look after their own.

Matt Heafy looked amazing and his vocals were clean and strong. It was strange and exhilarating to see him in the flesh and so close up, he’s so familiar to me! I love the fact that he looked so damn happy so much of the time, flashing the audience a big toothy rockstar grin at regular intervals, and smiling as we all sang along. He sounded like a radio host as he spoke to us in his clear cut American accent and expressed gratitude for his fans. Corey Beaulieu slayed on lead guitar, his solos are insanely awesome! There’s a little video of one here on my Instagram if you’d like to check it out, it’s just face-meltingly glorious. Paolo pummelled the hell out of his bass guitar like his life depended on it. There has been a lot of talk about Trivium’s new drummer, but Alex Bent certainly didn’t disappoint, and despite having only played a handful of shows with the band, he offered a sparkling display of his Trivium’s material, being particularly impressive on the likes of Forsake Not The Dream and Rain.

I enjoyed the 90 minute set enormously, and it spanned Trivium’s impressive discography beautifully. Until The World Goes Cold and Strife sound ridiculously heavy played live, even more so than on the album, the audience was going berserk and people were crowd surfing and moshing all over the place. And of course, they finished with Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr at which point the crowd nipped off stage for a bit, and came back for a very welcome encore. Really, it’s insane how quickly these events fly by.

If I had to sum up this special evening in London in one word, it would be magnificent. Trivium really do deserve all the recognition they get, and as Matt said in one interview, the band are still young, and they have plenty of time to rise to the very highest level. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the future has in store!

Setlist:

  1. The End Of Everything
  2. Rain
  3. Forsake Not The Dream
  4. Down From The Sky
  5. Rise Above The Tides
  6. Entrance Of The Conflagration
  7. The Deceived
  8. Strife
  9. Dying In Your Arms
  10. Dusk Dismantled
  11. Throes Of Perdition
  12. Silence In The Snow
  13. Pillar Of Serpents
  14. A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation
  15. Until The World Goes Cold
  16. Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr
    – Encore –
  17. Capsizing The Sea
  18. In Waves
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What’s Rockin’ February 2017

What's Rockin'

Happy Birthday to:

  • Axl Rose, Guns N’ Rose 6th February 1962
  • Vince Neil, Mötley Crüe 8th February 1961
  • Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, Linkin Park 8th February 1977
  • Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park/ Fort Minor 11th February 1977
  • Billie Joe Armstrong, Greenday 17th February 1972
  • Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath 19th February 1948
  • Randy Blythe, Lamb of God 21st February 1971
  • Floor Jansen, Nightwish 21st February 1981
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