Simple Plan

This is the first gig that I have been to on my own and, whilst originally being nervous, a lot of things happened before and during the gig that put me at ease.

Now usually I hope to make friends with people while I’m queuing up and/or when I get into the venue but without someone being there with me I was convinced that I would end up being awkward and not speak to anyone. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was not as shy as I originally thought I would be and over the course of the day I chatted to about six people in the queue and had a cute goodbye from one of them at the end of the night.

Another thing that I was surprised by was that the band themselves were hanging out with fans during the day. Like they were just walking around talking to fans and at one point chose four of them to do a video with, and at times were just wondering back and forth between the venue and the tour bus with the fans queuing up not freaking out when they appeared. I just loved the respect that they had for the band members and vice versa. On top of that I got pictures with Chuck and Jeff. I’m just gonna leave these here…

Simple Plan had two opening acts; London based pop-punk band, The Bottom Line and rock band Ghost Town from Los Angeles. The Bottom Line had a 30 minute set filled with loud, pounding songs that got the crowd buzzing, which also sold me based on how lead singer, Callum, crowd surfed on an inflatable, a cover of Wheatus’ classic ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ and all three members doing shots onstage. More maturer Ghost Town played a mix of songs from their three studio albums including the single ‘Spark’ which I have seen being played on Kerrang, certainly a band who I would recommend checking out.

Soon Simple Plan were onstage and everyone was buzzing. Now, as you may know from my previous post, the last gig I went to, The 1975, I had a horrible experience with the crowd (pushing, inconsiderate people, etc) so I was nervous about having a repeat of events. But yet the audience were so chilled, there was no pushing whatsoever, I was so surprised! Simple Plan are officially the most relaxed gig that I have ever been to.

Now I need to say one thing; Pierre Bouvier is one of the most cutest human beings I have ever seen. Like you know when you watch someone and you can just see that they’re having the time of their life? Yeah, that’s what I saw with Bouvier.

The gig was filled with classics, such as ‘I’m Just A Kid’, ‘Welcome To My Life’, ‘Shut Up’, and ‘Your Love Is A Lie’, along with recent hits ‘Boom!’, ‘Can’t Keep My Hands Off You’ and ‘Opinion Overload’. There were moments of humour, such as with the band’s tour crew doing a dance routine during a mash-up of ‘Uptown Funk’ and ‘Can’t Feel My Face’, and banter between David and Pierre about each other’s family and longing to be raised British, along with moments of sweetness, such as with Pierre dedicating ‘The Rest Of Us’ to those who don’t feel like they fit in and telling everyone not to let anyone control your life when introducing ‘I Refuse’. While being quite cheesy at times, it was fun for everyone involved. Plus I held Bouvier’s hand during ‘Crazy’ (cue inner screaming).

They finished their set with ‘This Song Saved My Life’ a song written and dedicated to their fans and ‘Perfect’, a slow, sweet way to end the evening. And to make it better when I went to the merch stand I found that they were selling signed copies of recent album ‘Taking One For The Team’, AH!

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The 1975

I have previously been to see The 1975 on two other occasions with the last time I had seen them was in Sheffield. At that gig the crowd was slightly inconsiderate of people around them in terms of pushing and let’s just say that this time round it was much worse. Now, I love The 1975, their music is interesting, covers a range of topics and there is an obvious growth in maturity and sound when you compare their two albums ‘The 1975’ and ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’. And having been treated to a small preview of the album on their last tour with ‘A Change Of Heart’ and ‘She’s American’ I was so looking forward to this show.

The opening act came in the form of The Japanese House, a, what has been described as, “alien-pop” project created by Buckinghamshire-born Amber Bain, who have previously been named the last of Zane Lowe’s hottest records before he had left Radio 1. I can only really describe them as being quite dreamy and trippy, like they were nice to listen to and were quite unique, but at the same time I wouldn’t say I was the sort of person that they would be aiming at. Yet I do recommend them if you enjoy mellowed out, dreamlike pop music.

Soon the wait began, at about 8:45 smoke started to slowly fill up the stage, a low humming was heard and the lights started to dim. Over the course of 15 minutes the humming began to get louder and louder until on the dot of 9 o’clock where it stopped altogether, the lights went off and the stage projections came on. Sure enough the screaming started and the opening notes of ‘I Like It When You Sleep…”s lead single ‘Love Me’ started to play.

But unfortunately this where things went downhill for me. The band themselves were amazing, the set was filled with a huge mix tracks from both albums, ranging from ‘Heart Out’, ‘Girls’ and ‘Robbers’ from their debut album, to newer tracks like ‘Ugh’, ‘Paris’ and ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Brain’, along with pretty visuals and Matty Healy’s stage presence.

However the same cannot be said for the crowd. Fans of The 1975 have a bit of a reputation for being quite inconsiderate at shows, and based from what I experience a few months ago at their Sheffield show I thought that would be the worst of it as it only lasted for about ten minutes or so and in fairness was more fun for the rest of the show. But for this gig it was a hell of a lot worse.

Of course there was pushing, which happens at most gigs to be fair so I can handle that. What I can’t handle is people pushing their arms against my face and head, being elbowed past and being pulled down. There was one point where I was stuck between two girls in front of me and two behind me who didn’t seem to care that I was there. Honestly it was like no one in that crowd knew how to behave at a gig, in fact I’m pretty sure that this was like the first concert for 90% of people around me.

This ruined the first half of the set for me but luckily I was pushed to the left hand side of the stage where it was a lot more relaxed and people were just as annoyed as me about how petty the crowd was. I had a better experience for the last half of the set in that area, so a quick tip for you, if you go and see The 1975 and you have standing, go to the left or right hand side of the stage as everyone in the centre will push and it is horrible.

For the encore The 1975 played ‘If I Believe You’, and three of their biggest tracks ‘Chocolate’, ‘The Sound’ and, to finish, ‘Sex’, which still remains one of my favourite songs to experience live.

I love The 1975 and will continue to see them live when I can but honestly to anyone here who is a fan of them and is going to/planning to see them live then please don’t be an idiot and be aware that there are others around you who want to have a good time. Don’t push and try and get to the front as it won’t work and you will come across as rude to everyone else. Just enjoy the fact that you’re there and don’t get hung up on not being front row.

Obama’s EU Opinions

During an interview last year in the UK, Barack Obama gave his opinion that the UK would be better off staying in the European Referendum.

The reasons being that he believed that the UK’s membership with the EU “gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union”, and it is believed that during his upcoming visit to the UK, which most likely be his last visit as President of the United States, he will pass further comment on the Referendum.

However, the Major of London, Boris Johnson, has criticised  the President’s opinion in his daily column and has claimed it to be “outrageous hypocrisy” for him to intervene the EU referendum debate.

He wrote; “We will be informed by our most important ally that it is in our interests to stay in the EU, no matter how flawed we may feel that organisation to be. Never mind the loss of sovereignty; never mind the expense and the bureaucracy and the uncontrolled immigration…(the Americans are) urging us down a course they would never dream of going themselves”.

10 Downing Street think the opposite of Johnson’s viewed and believe it to be worth listening the opinions of international leaders and allies.

A spokesperson said “”These are people who wish Britain well and they are worth listening to.” Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also commented that it was important the public knew how global powers such as the US and China felt.

I asked Olivia Sharp, from Leeds Trinity University Student Union, her opinions on Obama getting involved with the Referendum:

Sleeping With Sirens

So this will mark the first occasion that I have bought VIP for a gig, mainly due to other concerts I have attended were selling it for extortionate prices, it had sold out, or there there was no VIP to begin with. But with the upgrade being only an extra £30, along with my sister telling me that she bought hers in “panic”, I decided to for for it and buy it for me and my friend.

Arriving at the venue two and half hours early was a wise decision considering how packed it got in the half hour before people who had VIP were to go in, and the fact I got to be reunited and catch up with my internet friend was a bonus. The only downside of having to wait two and half hours before we went in was the fact that we had to wait outside in the heavy snow, soon turned rain, which was hell with the freezing cold temperatures and with how upon arrival me and my friend were covered in snow. Luckily though we were under a sheltered bit outside the building so it wasn’t too bad, and to be honest the experience we had upon entry made the whole situation worth it.

4 o’clock soon came and gradually everyone made their way inside and queued up by the photo-shoot set up in a atmosphere filled buzzing excitement. Whilst waiting about half an hour for Sleeping With Sirens to arrive my group and I made friends with a guy who had followed the whole of the band’s European tour by attending each show and buying VIP for every single one of them, which has resulted in them becoming friends and having the occasional jagerbomb together.

5 o’clock came and they arrived. There were only about ten people ahead of us in the queue and we watched in a mixture of excitement and nervousness fans meeting them as we mentally prepared ourselves for what we were going to say and do when it was our turn to meet them.

Now I know I may sound biased when I say this, but honestly Sleeping With Sirens are some of the most sweetest people I have ever met. I think it was slightly obvious that I was nervous to meet them but they made me feel very welcome and were nice and chatty when I talked to them, along the picture coming out as being really sweet. The VIP upgrade was completely worth it.

Now the gig itself. Typically I’m used to there being only one or two opening acts for artists I’ve been to see live, but this will be a rare occasion where I’ve experienced three support acts. So a summary of each of them. Beach Weather; a decent sounding band who had only just formed in the past couple of months. Whilst sounding good, they’re not the sort of band I’d have expected to have opened for Sleeping With Sirens, I’d have expected them to have opened for bands like The 1975 or Catfish and the Bottlemen. This Wild Life; a duo who consisted of a lead singer playing acoustic guitar and a guy who swapped between playing the bass and drums. Again, not the type of band I would have expected to have opened for Sleeping With Sirens, but yet I enjoyed them. They were really nice to listen to and I loved their slowed down cover of Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘Sleepwalking’. Go and check them out! As It Is; I was the only one in my group who hadn’t listened to them before, but by the end of their set I was just pleased to have witnessed them. Their 40 minute(!) set was filled with fast pop-punk tracks from their debut album and every member of the audience seemed to have the time of their lives. Only after the gig I found out that lead singer, Patty Walters, had done covers on YouTube and had done a few covers of Sleeping With Sirens’ songs, so I imagine that this tour must have been a dream come true for him. If any of you need to a new band to listen to, I seriously recommend As It Is.

Half an hour later and Sleeping With Sirens came onstage. Opening with ‘Don’t Say Anything’ their set was filled with classics like ‘Congratulations’ and ‘If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn’ along with newer songs from their recent album Madness including the fast paced lead single ‘Kick Me’, ‘Better Off Dead’ and ‘The Strays’ which Kellin Quinn dedicated to those who didn’t feel like they fitted in and added that there nothing sexier and cooler than guys and girls who have confidence in themselves. I need to say this now; Kellin Quinn is one of the most adorable people who I have seen live. Honestly, him running and bouncing around the stage made him come across as a small man-child who needs to be protected at all costs. By the way Kellin, I’m also sorry, but at the same not sorry, for laughing when you tripped over a wire. The only thing I would say though is that the sound system was rubbish that night, like I couldn’t hear Kellin at some points, which annoyed me so much. The night ended with a three song encore of ‘Do It Now, Remember It Later’, ‘Satellites’, and ‘If You Can’t Hang’. I don’t think there wasn’t anyone in the room who were screaming along to the lyrics. A great end to the day.

I’ve only become a fan of Sleeping With Sirens in the past few months and I’m so happy that I have had the opportunity to meet them and see them live. I’ll hopefully see you at Leeds Festival!

Do you want to see Adele live? That’ll be £24,000 please

Gigs

How much are you willing to pay to see your favourite artist live? Some would refuse to buy tickets if they were higher than face value but other people seem to be willing to spend more in desperation to see the artists that they adore.

Molly Russ, 19, a psychology and child development student at Leeds Trinity University admitted to once spending a small fortune on concert tickets but remains shocked at the price; “I got ripped off…I spent over £400 for One Direction when it should have been £100.”

The second-hand ticket industry has been going for many years with touts being infamously known for buying large quantities of tickets as soon as they go on sale with some sites having partnerships with official ticket websites, such as with Getmein and Ticketmaster, making it a nightmare for fans to buy tickets.

Emma Perry, 18, a psychology student from Leeds Trinity University said; “It’s wrong for ticket touts to sell things at inflated prices.” Tattooist Lewis Brown, 25, from Horsforth also agreed and said that he would avoid using second-hand websites as he fears of being ripped off.

This comes with the news of a ticket to see Adele live on Getmein had reached the price of £24,000. But even if you do decide to buy this ticket you risk the chance of being denied entry into the event. Her official website released this statement; “Resale of tickets through any channel other than Twickets will not be accepted; you risk having them cancelled and being denied entry to the show. This applies to all UK shows.”

But it’s not only fans of major artists having to spend a fortune on tickets. On the 22nd February indie rock band, Catfish and the Bottlemen, announced their UK tour with a pre-sale for their dedicated fanbase. However during the pre-sale and general sale fans of the band discover the shows to be instantly sold out but yet a large quantity of tickets were then immediately found to be on sale on second-hand websites like Viagogo with prices being as high as £328.90 when the original price had only been £27.

CATB

Catfish and the Bottlemen

The band’s management commented in an article by The Guardian, “We watched the presale and the general sale for the Catfish and the Bottlemen April tour dates very closely. The demand for tickets was truly exceptional, however we were really disturbed to see a very large proportion of the total tickets available in the pre-sale appearing for sale within minutes on secondary ticket sites priced at up to five times their face value…Artists’ pre-sales are intended to reward a band’s most loyal fans with an early opportunity to buy tickets, not for professional touts to profit.”

At the same time there seems to be some hope for music fans as several ticket sites are now beginning to tackle the problem of ticket touts and automatic bots from buying large quantities of tickets by putting in place “fill in the blank” and “tick this box” questions, along with some artists creating systems that will make it difficult for touts to resell tickets. For example, Kate Bush created a name system where the person who bought the tickets had to put down their name, or the person who would be ‘leading’ the group, on the ticket and had to present ID on the day of the show in order to enter the venue.

But it still remains unknown as to whether over inflated ticket prices will soon come to an end, or if we still have some work to do.