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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 😉
The Calling at The Underworld, Camden, London 6th Feb
Ben Portsmouth and The Taking Care Of Elvis Band at The Alban Arena, St Albans 22nd Feb (Guys, this isn’t my typical kinda gig, and it’s super cheesy. But I never got to see the King in real life, and this is the next best thing… I hope! I’ll let you know!)
See you at the gig!
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
I’ve been looking forward to seeing Amon Amarth for months (as well as worrying about getting a migraine on the day as they are an ongoing problem for me but, luckily, Odin blessed me tonight), and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a performance packed with incredible props, flames, explosions, actual sword fights, and confetti, but even without all that it would have been a breath-taking show. You know that feeling when the music is so loud it’s thudding in your chest and feels like your heartbeat, and then you and the music are one? THAT!!!!!
A couple of days ago I received my tickets to the Poets Of The Fall gig in Heaven this December. It couldn’t come quickly enough! The last two of their concerts that I attended were two of the most thrilling live music experiences of my whole life. I left both feeling deliriously high and tingling all over. Now that’s value for money!
I do, however, have slightly mixed feelings about their new music video. My Dark Disquiet is, in my opinion, one of the best tracks they’ve ever written, and I don’t feel like the video does it justice. It’s creative, but not creative enough, and it’s somehow the wrong colour, if you get what I mean. Or perhaps it’s just not how I pictured it. Anyway, with or without the music video, I bloody love that song, and can’t wait to experience it played live again! Go check it out for yourself!