Better Days Christmas Show

 It’s been a whirlwind of a year for the Newcastle pop-punk band.

In the last twelve months they’ve released two singles and a split EP with Wayside Story, they’ve opened for bands like Seaway, Milestones and Trash Boat, as well as having a line-up change and spending a week at Steel City in Sheffield to record their upcoming EP set to be released next year.

So how do you end a year like that? Duh, have a headline Christmas show in your hometown. Or rather your second annual Christmas show. Seems fitting.

The show took place at Riverside, a 650-capacity venue, which can be seen as a bit of a risk for an upcoming pop-punk band but after seeing the amount of people there and the reaction they received during their performance there was nothing to worry about.

A bigger venue meant a higher production value, in comparison to shows seen at Eiger Music Studios and Jumpin’ Jacks Better Days decided to go all out with lights, smoke machines and, of course, the most over-the-top Christmas decorations possible, including a blow-up Santa in the background.

With any huge show there are going to be a few hiccups. Better Days were trying out backing tracks that would allow songs to blend in with each other but unfortunately the tracks stopped working during the first song. However, this was probably for the best. (Let me explain). You see there are two different types of artists out there; ones who really struggle when something goes wrong at a live show and they let it ruin the performance, and ones who are professional and carry on regardless. Better Days did the latter.

They stood around for a minute or two laughing and talking amongst themselves as they tried to see if they can get the tracks working, joked with the audience about it and then once coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to work carried on with the show. It just shows their level of professionalism, star quality and stage presence.

Now onto the show itself. Wow. Well done lads, you really put together an incredible show. This is hands down the best live show I’ve seen from you guys…so far.

Their headline show had a setlist of 11 songs which included a sneak peek of songs likely to be featured on the upcoming album. (Side note, a personal favourite probably has to be Tired Bones Weak Minds).

They opened the show with a reworked version of Thick Skin and then going straight into Woebegone, another new song from them which I also look forward to being officially released. We also got to hear the newer versions of This House, Worthless and A Lesson In Struggling to Cope, a way to show off the chemistry within the new line-up.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Christmas show without a Christmas song, we got to hear their version of Last Christmas which had only been heard acoustically at this point. And, if you listen carefully, you can hear Michael dying in the background as Graeme says “Merry Christmas.”

This is also where Headway was played live for the first time which will go down as the tear-jerker of the night.

They finished the show with fan favourite, 12.07.15, a great way to end the show.

Congratulations on the show guys. You’ve had an incredible year and you finished it off in the best way possible. I wish you all of the best in 2018, it’s going to be your year. I just know it.

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What I’ve been up to in 2017 (so far)

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Now that university is finally out of the way with the last of my assessments handed in I finally have time to sit down and write a blog post. Now typically I would write separate blog pieces on each gig I have been to but, as just mentioned, I have been unable to do so due to the never-ending pile of university work, so to make up for that I’m going to do a round up of what I’ve been to this year (so far) both in terms of gigs and signings.

The first event of the year was the acoustic performance and signing by WSTR at Crash Records. If you haven’t heard of or listened to WSTR then I highly recommend you do so. Like stop what you’re doing, stop reading this and listen to them right now. I keep hearing comments about how the UK has nothing to offer the pop-punk scene (bullshit) or that it’s offerings are limited (haha, more bullshit) but it’s bands like WSTR who will prove those people wrong. I saw WSTR open for Neck Deep last year and soon after they became one of my favourite new bands.
Packed into the small record store with about fifty or so people we were treated to the acoustic version of a variety of songs both from their EP, SKRWD, and debut album, Red, Green and Inbetween, where they also gave a few funny backstories behind them, such as South Drive, which talks about coming to terms with leaving home, and how they had fans who would go to the street to take photos and even vandalise the street sign so that it now referenced the band.
Following that they signed merch and copies of their debut album for fans. I feel like I’m going to say this about a lot of the people I’ve been lucky enough to meet in this blog but I do genuinely mean it every time, WSTR are so nice and funny to meet. I told them about how good I thought Red, Green and Inbetween was, which they were so happy and humbled to hear, I mentioned how I saw them with Neck Deep last year and they asked if this was the first time I’d seen them since then, and then asked if I was going to their show that night (at that point they were touring with Seaway). I couldn’t go as I couldn’t afford it at that point and I had university work to do (can university stop getting in the way of gigs) and they were upset that I couldn’t make it as they would have loved to have seen a familiar face there. But I promised that I would go next timee, which I am. See you at Slam Dunk lads!

A few days later I went to the first gig of the year, A Day To Remember at Leeds Arena. Now for any pop-punk fan the line-up for the evening was perfect and was already the best tour of the year despite it only being January. Not only were ADTR playing, but they also had Moose Blood, Neck Deep and New Found Glory opening for them, some of the best pop-punk/emo bands in recent years (or not so recent with NFG).
I arrived at around 10am expecting to see a large queue of people at the arena based on the fact that it was a Saturday and that standing was sold out. But when I arrived there were only 10 people there…yes 10. All of which was equally as bewildered as me of the lack of people there. But hey I’m not complaining as I got front row for the show later on (AYYYYYE). Not only that, but arriving early meant that I got to meet some of my favourite band members. I firstly met Glenn from Moose Blood…a bit awkward now. I met Sam, Fil, Matt and Ben (briefly) from Neck Deep who were all a bit (putting it lightly) hungover but all in good spirits. And I also met Chad and Jordan from New Found Glory. I’ll just leave these here.

I can also say that this year I’ve become more confident, so I’ve been able to talk to more people in the queue and as a result I’ve made new friends. During the day I hung out with two girls who I have seen at other gigs before, and vice versa, so we were finally able to talk this time around.
Now, a round up of the night; at this point I had just gotten into Moose Blood, so their opening slot at A Day To Remember gave me the chance to check them out properly. They were lovely (I know that sounds soppy) to listen to and I think I will listen to them more in the future…I’m sorry but I feel still feel really awkward about the Glenn situation so I feel weird about talking about them. Moving on. Neck Deep. Man. I fucking love Neck Deep. They’re one of those bands who you will never get bored of and are always worth seeing live as you’ll simply have the time of your life. I only wish that they had a longer set, I didn’t want it to end. Also shout out to whoever decided to have the Stranger Things theme tune playing when they came onstage. You made my life.
Final opening act, New Found Glory, were just as brilliant providing the nostalgia as they reminded everyone of their contributions to pop-punk and on how without them the earlier bands we had just seen, and the headline act for that matter, may not have ever existed.
Now to sum up A Day To Remember…just simply, wow. I had already been told by others who’ve seen them that they are incredible live band and I know that they have won awards for it, but I did not expect them to be that amazing. I was so worried that I would end up finding them overhyped and I would leave feeling disappointed, a bit like how I felt when I saw Beyonce (oooooo controversial!). But in all seriousness they were incredible. There was not one dull moment, from throwing inflatable animals into the crowd during We Got This and then toilet roll in All Signs Point to Lauderdale, to the bouncier songs of It’s Complicated and Naivety, to the more heavier 2nd Sucks, to the slowed down If It Means A Lot To You and ending with Downfall of Us All. Plus I managed to get Josh and Neil’s guitar pics (ayyyee). I look forward to seeing you guys at Download!

A week later I got to see Green Day. Yes. Green Day. I can’t believe that this happened. I was convinced that in order to see this band I would have to sell my soul or something to that extent. I thought I would never get the chance to see them. Green Day are my favourite band of all time, they pretty much raised me and thanks to them I got into rock music. I have a lot to thank them for. And I got to see them live, in my home town. Two months on and I’m still in shock.
I started queuing at 6am, which is nothing in comparison to the twenty-five or so people who had been queuing up since 5am the previous day, and as result got barrier later on that evening. YES I GOT BARRIER FOR FUCKING GREEN DAY.
The opening band for the night was ska punk band, The Interrupters. Now, I’ll admit I think that they were a bit of an odd choice to have as a support band for Green Day, but having said that I did find them interesting and entertaining to watch. I wouldn’t say that they were for me but for anyone who enjoys reggae/ska style music then this band may be right up your street.
And now for the main event. You know that the show was about to start when they played Bohemiam Rhapsody, followed by Blitzkrieg Bop whereupon a pink rabbit will come onstage to warm up the crowd and then The Good, the Bad and Ugly theme tune. I remember telling the girl next to me about this and literally a minute later Bohemiam Rhapsody started playing and the looks we gave each other just summed up the evergrowing feeling of excitement we were feeling at that moment in time.
I guess you can say that it reached climax when Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool, my childhood heroes, appeared onstage. A surreal moment. It was a mixture of emotions. Their show was one of the best nights of my life.
A little side note, I was actually tempted to write this review in one sentence; Green Day are fucking legends and I will fight anyone who says otherwise, bye. But that would be unprofessional.
They opened up the show with Know Your Enemy, followed by two songs from their newest album, Revolution Radio, Bang Bang and the title-track itself. After that they played Holiday and I think at that point it just hit me that the band who pretty much raised me were right in front me playing the songs that I grew up with. I was an emotional wreck after that point. Playing a two and half hour long set filled with classics like She, Basket Case and Longview, heartfelt speeches from Billie Joe about issues in the world that were followed by chants like, “No sexism, no racism, no homophobia”, and the now iconic, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA”, as well joking around by dressing up during King for a Day, and Tre dancing around the stage not giving a shit what anyone thought of him. Teach me your ways. I can also officially say that Billie Joe Armstrong has sweated over me. My main life goal is complete.
There were two parts to the encore. In the first half they played American Idiot, which was followed by a, “Fuck you, Donald Trump!” from Billie Joe and then Jesus of Suburbia (a live masterpiece). In the second half they slowed it down with Ordinary World and Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) where I think I was blubbery mess.
At this point I would do some sort of round up how I found the whole evening and whether I thought the artist themselves were good or not. Instead I just want to say thank you. Thank you for getting me into the music that I love so much now, if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have discovered my passion in listening to music and going to live gigs which has helped me to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life. Thank you.

Now I know what you’re thinking; “I bet the next gig you went to had a lot to live up to”, and, in some ways, I agree with you. But the next band I saw fulfilled six-year-old me’s dream; I was seeing Sum 41.
The support act for tonight was Canadian rock band, Hollerado, who, unfortunately, bored me rather quickly. I know that sounds awful but they just weren’t the type of band who I would have expected to open for a band like Sum 41, I’m not saying that they’re complete shit but I personally found them boring. It can be a risk to have an opening act who sound nothing like the headline act, in some cases in can pay off well, such as when Creeper opened for Waterparks’ tour in the USA, but at the same time in can completely backfire.
Sum 41’s set didn’t have the best start either. To open the show they played two new songs from their newest album, 13 VoicesMurder of Crows and Fake My Own Death, followed by The Hell Song and Over My Head (Better Off Dead), and the crowd was just unresponsive. I mean fair enough if the fans didn’t know their newest songs well but people were quiet during The Hell Song. The. Fucking. Hell. Song. What the hell?! How can you not listen to that song, especially if you’re witnessing it live, and you don’t lose your shit?! What is wrong with you?! I felt as if I couldn’t jump around without people judgementally staring at me. At that moment I wondered that instead of feeling nostalgic I would regret turning up to their show.
Luckily the show picked up after Underclass Hero and all was well again. Highlights of the show included frontman, Deryck Whibley’s, speech before War on getting through tough times in reference to his previous struggle with alcohol addiction, the crowd losing their minds to fan favourites Motivation and Still Waiting, a moving performance of With Me, God Save Us All (Death to Pop) which was easily the best song of the night, and my sister and I getting barrier, thanks to a lovely guy in front of us, for In Too Deep, Pieces and Fat Lip.
They ended their performance with an impromptu dress up in reference to the Fat Lip music video for Pain For Pleasure showing that they were still the same guys who started this band as an escape from the bullies and societal pressures at their high school. They are, and will always will be, such an influential band and it cannot be denied how important they were during the rise of pop-punk in the early noughties.

Two days later I went to see With Confidence at the Key Club. As I had university that day until 5pm, I couldn’t join my sister in queue at 3pm where she was lucky enough to meet frontman, Jayden Seeley, and guitarist, Luke Rockets. I couldn’t do anything apart from not cry during my workshop as my sister sent me her pictures with them.
Soon after arriving, getting into the venue and getting barrier (YAS) it was time to enjoy an line-up of up-coming bands. First up was UK rock band, Milestones, who I had been wanting to check out for a while after reading about them in Kerrang! as well as seen seeing their music video for Call Me Disaster appear on Kerrang!‘s music channel a few times. I have to say that they were defintely worth the hype and I loved their energetic performance, keep an eye out for these guys, they’re going to go far.
Second up was Virginia pop-punk band, Broadside, who I had also been wanting to check out after their song Coffee Talk and The Simple Type came on shuffle on the UK Pop Punk playlist on Spotify (not sponsored) and I’ve pretty much been obsessed with since, Much like Milestones they put on a highly energetic and enjoyable performance, and I would just like to apologise to anyone near me who had to put up with my loud singing during Coffee Talk, it’s a fucking bop ok?!
Last of the opening acts was Canadian indie-rock band Safe To Say. Over the course of the night I had seen With Confidence watching the opening acts from the side and with this band they seemed the most excited to watch perform, especially with Inigo from With Confidence wearing a Safe To Say hoodie. But they didn’t stand out as much as the previous support acts, they weren’t terrible but if you’re going to come on after two energetic sets from Milestones and Broadside you have a lot to live up to and unfortunately for them they couldn’t do that. They were just too slow for me.
Soon Safe To Say finished and With Confidence came onstage to set up for their show, cue all the excited cheering from the crowd. Tonight they played their debut album, Better Weather, in full, along with songs from their previous EP’s, Youth and Distance. Going straight into their set with Better Weather‘s opening track, Voldemort, the enthusiastic singing and chanting from the audience proved as to why they were one of the breakout pop-punk bands of 2016. (Seriously y’all need to stop sleeping on them.) The crowd was never once still and quiet with the constant mosh pits, crowd surfers and stage jumpers, along with everyone being loud during tracks like Archers, Tonight and Godzilla. Jayden Seeley proved himself as the worthy frontman with his charisma and humour in introducing Long Night, which they had just released a music video for showing Seeley alone playing piano, and on how someone had told him that any frontman who has a music video featuring only them are so up themselves (“oh”). As well as creating a song out of the classic, “Leeds, u wot u wot”, I look forward to the official single release, lads.
I would like to take this moment to have a little rant however. As mentioned previously there were crowd-surfers and stage divers during the show, which I don’t mind whatsoever, as long as your considerate of others I don’t care. However if you’re deliberately hurting people and it gets to the point where the band is actually telling you to stop and are starting to look pissed off each time you jump onstage then you need to re-evaluate your existence.
Ok, anyway. The encore for the night was London Lights and Keeper, a perfect end to a stand-out show. I can’t stress enough what an incredible band With Confidence are, you seriously need them in your life right now.
To make the evening even better, I got to meet Matt and Mark from Milestones at the merch table, and I got to bond with Mark over how short we were.

I also got to meet With Confidence too who were all such lovely guys and were genuinely happy and grateful for everyone who came to the show tonight. What babes…why must I be so pitifully short?

 

 

Now the next tour I went to I attended four times…yes, four. Yes, I have no life, and no, I regret nothing. Obviously I can’t repeat the same review four times so I’ll just do a quick summary of how I found each gig as a whole in this section, but to keep it in chronological order I will talk about individual events that stood out at each show.
I went to see All Time Low in Leeds, and it was where we would also be reunited with one of my favourite new bands, Waterparks. They were one of the main reasons why my sister and I were going to so many dates. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore All Time Low and I will happily see them as many times as I possibly can, but we wouldn’t have gone to as many dates if Waterparks weren’t opening for them.
We got there at 5am (don’t judge my lifestyle) with another friend of ours and we waited for All Time Low’s and Waterparks’ tour buses to turn up in an attempt to try and meet them. I was already going to meet All Time Low at their signing later on but I wanted to see if we could possibly meet them beforehand. I did see Alex and Jack walk into the venue and very awkwardly shout, “Hi!”, at them and got a quick, “Hi”, back, but that’s as far as it got.
My sister and I were more keen on meeting Waterparks however as she had made a scrapbook and had some gifts for them. Here’s some context; my sister has been a fan of this band since mid-2015, months before their breakout EP, Cluster, was released, while I started listening to them in December 2015 and we have watched them grow from being a small band in Houston to now being an opening act for All Time Low, so you can imagine how proud we are of them. We’re both in a groupchat on Twitter with six other Waterparks’ fans who have also watched them grow, and my sister decided to make a scrapbook to give them with each of us all chipping in and sending stuff in for it, things like letters, opinions on their music, as well as talking about ourselves individually. My sister also bought gifts for them; gold light-up shoes for Awsten, a Legend of Zelda beanie for Geoff and a Walking Dead top for Otto.
We didn’t get to meet Waterparks that day so my sister tweeted their tour manager, Ollie, to come and get the stuff, but not long after we had a friend of ours tell us that she had seen Awsten walking around nearby, cue two girls running out of the queue with a pile of presents in their arms running around Leeds like a chicken without its head. No luck. Fortunately, their tour manager saw my sister’s tweets so he came around the front to take the gifts off us. Thank you, Ollie, you lad!
Going back to All Time Low. As mentioned above I went to their signing, which while I was happy to go to I did find that we were kind of rushed but I do understand that they had around 200 people to get through. All Time Low were genuinely lovely to meet, I got a little fist bump off of each of them and a signed poster so it was a good day. I just wished that I was a little less awkward when talking to them.
Now the show itself. The first opening act on was Waterparks, right before they came on my sister and I were wondering about whether Awsten would be wearing the shoes she got him or not. He wore them and my sister, friends and I lost our shit. What an iconic moment. Awsten also took the time to thank my sister for the shoes, as well as throwing a bottle of water to her when she asked despite his warnings that she might get ill. She didn’t listen and she got ill a few days later. Oops.
Back to being professional. I know that I’m going to sound unbelievably biased but Waterparks are honestly such a great live band and one that you need in your life right now. In their twenty minute long set they played a small selection from their Cluster EP and their debut album, Double Dare, whilst sadly neglecting their first two EPs, Airplane Conversations and Black Light. If they’ve killed off I’m a Natural Blue and Silver I’m going to start a riot. Highlights of their set included Mad All The Time, Crave, and Stupid For You, as well as their stunning recent single, Royal, which they used ended their set with. Listen to them now, you won’t regret it.
Then the night took a slightly disappointing turn with SWMRS. Now before anyone attacks me I need you to hear me out when I say that I was looking forward to them before tonight. I had been wanting to check them out for ages, they were at Leeds Festival last year and I was begging people to come and see them with me but no one would so I missed them. Probably a good thing to be honest. They started their performance strongly with Palm Trees which is a song that I still listen to now as it’s a genuine bop, but that’s as good as it gets. The best way to sum it up is that not a lot of people were in the mood for them, particularly during Miley when frontman, Cole Becker, asked the audience to create a wall of death but no one was up to it, much to their annoyance. I’m sorry to say that Becker came across as a bit of a prick. I had such high expectations, what a shame.
We were then waiting for All Time Low to come on, excitement skyrocketed when the signature crossbones symbol stylized from lights was unveiled. Right before the start of each show they played False Alarm by The Weeknd, so everyone is jumping around getting pumped, the exact second the song finishes the lights goes off and the craziness starts. Opening with Kicking and Screaming, and then going straight into Weightless, All Time Low reminded us that this was only a warm-up tour for the release of their upcoming album, Last Young Renegade, so this tour would be their way of officially ending the Future Hearts era by playing some of their newest tracks such as Something’s Gotta Give and Kids in the Dark, re-visiting old material like Six Feet Under the Stars and Guts, as well playing songs that hadn’t even played live yet like Canals.
At this point the only song released from Last Young Renegade was Dirty Laundry, so we were treated to a live performance of that and I need to say to anyone who is currently shitting on All Time Low for changing their sound and calling them sell-outs, firstly you need to chill the fuck out, you need to hear it live. It’s a lot more rockier than you would expect and honestly just stunning. Because off this performance I am genuinely excited for the new record and if it’s anything like Dirty Laundry and the title-track that’s now been released then it’s going to be brilliant.
I also want to appreciate how All Time Low can go from joking around to talking about serious issues. When introducing Missing You, Alex Gaskarth talked about addiction and on how people who are struggling with need to seek help and surround themselves with a strong support group. He didn’t sugar-coat or glamourise it, he was realistic about it. Thank you. And TherapyTherapy live. So much beauty and emotion. I want its lyrics tattooed on me.
To end their set they played fan-favourites A Love Like War and Backseat Serenade, and in the encore they played Lost In Stereo and Dear Maria, Count Me In where Jack and Alex came into the crowd. I got to hold Jack’s hand. Hells yeah. All Time Low are one of my favourite bands to see live as they never disappoint me and their live shows are so much fun.

The next day I went to see State Champs. I also had VIP for them so I got to meet them and get a photo with them. Prior to that I met up with some of my friends who were at All Time Low the day before at the venue where we all went into town to get food when we realised that State Champs were walking right in front of us. To avoid any awkwardness we decided to dart down a different street so it didn’t look like we were following them and to avoid any awkwardness later on.
When the time came for us to actually meet them I can easily say that they are most chilled people to meet. They took their time with people who were getting photos with them and were open to having posed photos. My friends had a “wannabe model” picture, my sister had a “Awsten Knight pose” photo, I went for a simple group hug.

Following the photos we were told in the instructions that we would have a Q&A session with them so I had pictured them sitting onstage talking to us while we were behind the barrier. Nope. In our group of twenty or so people we were sat in a semi-circle of sofas for a “hang-out” session as they called it. “I know it says Q&A on the instructions but it’s actually a hang-out session for us to get to know you and for you to ask us anything,” said frontman Derek DiScanio.
The conversation went off in different directions, one minute it was about touring life and music production the next it was about their favourite memes and Shrek movies. I asked them about how they found Leeds and Reading Festival and got into a mini debate about which one was better (Leeds) and about how our tents got flooded. I also asked about how they found Leeds in general and they talked about how they enjoyed Trinity Shopping Centre and the night life where I had to ask if they had been to Key Club, they all had been on the Slam Dunk night. At this point they were asked why they weren’t playing Slam Dunk Festival this year, they couldn’t as they were playing Download this year but they said that they would try to come next year. So if they happen to get added to the line-up next year you know who to thank.
Opening for State Champs tonight were UK pop-punk bands Northbound and As It Is. Now As It Is I’m already a huge fan of. Their second album Okay, released back in January, is honestly a gem of a record and easily one of the best album releases this year. I hadn’t really heard of Northbound before but I’m always up for checking out new bands. I quite enjoyed Northbound, I think that they have potential to breakout in the next few years which we should all look forward to.
As It Is were just outstanding as per usual. Each time I’ve seen them they’ve been opening for someone else (I need to go to a headline show of theirs at some point) and they’ve always stood out for the right reasons; their incredible stage presence, Patty Walters’ charisma and high energy and their range of musical discography that can range from reminiscing about their home and past to getting through difficult times. What more can you ask for? Please announce a tour soon.
This is the first time that I have been able to see State Champs live, I’ve heard many great things about their performances and they certainly lived up to the hype. Going straight into Losing Myself when they came onstage, following that with Hard to Please, Shape Up and Eyes Closed, everyone knew that they were in for a wild show filled with never-ending crowd-surfers and mosh pits. There was not one person in the room not screaming along when the opening lines of All You Are is History started playing, an iconic anthem. They also weren’t afraid to slow it down with Stick Around and If I’m Lucky from their acoustic EP, The Acoustic Things.
They ended the evening triumphantly with Breaking Ground, Elevated and Secrets (the only downside of the evening was that no one went onstage like other people had during previous shows on this tour). Wow. What a show. I don’t know why it took me so long to see them but now I have and I’m happy. See you next time lads!

The next day, I don’t know how I wasn’t dead at this point, I got on a coach to Liverpool to see All Time Low. My sister and I were staying there for the weekend so that we would be able to queue up early the next day, as well as stay late so that we could try and meet Waterparks afterwards.
Getting up 5am the next day in the cold rain we queued up with a friend of ours who we had only met a few months ago ago at the Panic! at the Disco show. Things like this make me so happy that I have attending live music events as a passion as I get to meet incredible people at each show.
At about 7am we went off into town to have breakfast at McDonalds as we were all dying and then went into Primark to buy a few little presents for Waterparks and a bra to throw onstage for Jack. Coming back we stood outside near the tour buses to see if anyone would come out. A few hours went by and we didn’t see anyone but three other fans joined us who were also waiting to meet them. Around mid-dayish their tour manager and photographer came out who both recognized my sister because of the gold shoes that she had given Awsten, because of that she got given a guitar pic from Awsten and we were able to give them our gifts through them. It turns out that Waterparks’ crew know who my sister is, so good day.
As I’ve already talked about how the opening acts and All Time Low were in Leeds I won’t repeat myself again as pretty much the same things happened in the show with the same amount of quality. I’ll instead talk about things that happened during the show. We had to leave the crowd after Waterparks performed as my sister wasn’t feeling well (Awsten’s water bottle got her ill) and we sat near the merch bit as we had heard through the grapevine that they will be meeting fans after the show but we wanted to wait around just in case. The idea was that we would sit around the merch bit during SWMRS set and then go back in for All Time Low with one of us running back to the merch bit every so often to see if they had appeared yet.
All Time Low were just as incredible as usual but guess what?! They played Jasey Rae…They. Fucking. Played. Jasey. Fucking. Rae. I can now die and go to heaven happy. Whoever convinced them to play it, thank you, you are my hero.
At the end of the show, we had left the stage bit during the encore, we stood near merch and Geoff appeared. He immediately recognised my sister and thanked her for everything she had done for them and for the things she had given them whilst also telling her how much he had missed her. When he found out that we were going to the Manchester and Sheffield dates he was so excited. By the way Geoff, if you’re reading this, I am so genuinely sorry if I scared/confused you when I told you I was failing university, I have no fucking idea why I said that, I was meant to say dying. But I’m happy to hear you liked the book and the reviews I did for your EPs and album. And thank you for making my sister’s night.

 

Five days later we were back it again with All Time Low in Manchester for the gig and signing, and this time I was determined not to be as awkward as when I met them in Leeds. I couldn’t queue up as early this time as I had to go into university for an hour, sad times, so I didn’t arrive until 11ish. We were joined again by our friend who was with us in Liverpool and we also made friends with people during the day, resulting in one of the highlights of the day when we all took a picture together and Jack later liked it on Twitter (thanks boo). I was also reunited with one of my internet friends, who is also in the Waterparks groupchat, and somehow we ended up in a pet shop where we got to pet and hold puppies. Fuck seeing All Time Low and Waterparks, it was all about the puppies.
When the time came around for the signing I was a little bit more confident when talking to All Time Low and I upgraded from getting a fist bump to a high five (so hardcore haha), and I also want to give a shoutout to Rian as my friend was being bullied by someone for liking All Time Low as she was apparently “too old” to like them (she’s only 21 for fucks sake), and he told her that was bullshit.
We were also reunited with Geoff, and my friend got to meet him at long last, so he’s now officially met everyone in our groupchat, although that doesn’t make up for the fact that he got the name wrong despite the fact that we made them a book about us and them. Still love you though.

 

We also managed to meet Awsten very briefly. We saw him walk out the backstage door to head back into their tour bus, he was on the phone so we knew that he wouldn’t stop but when he walked past us he recognised my sister and stopped to hug her and said thank you for everything that she had given them. It was short but sweet, I’d rather have that memory rather than take a rushed, shitty photo with him.
Going back to earlier when we met Geoff, he told my sister to make sure that she was at the barrier, which we got, (YAS) and during Mad All The Time he jumped into the barricade and played guitar right next to her. She was shook.
Again I can’t say anything new about the All Time Low show as they were just as good as the last two times. Moving on.

On our last date of All Time Low in Sheffield I was dead. We had gotten back at 2am that night from Manchester and I was running on four hours worth of sleep as I had to go into a 9am workshop that lasted four hours and afterwards I headed straight to Sheffield. I don’t know how I did it.
We were a lot more chilled in terms of queuing up, we just got straight into the o2 priority queue and my sister and friend did shots without me realising, which was a lot of fun later on.
By the time we got in my sister was drunk and for some reason I didn’t click that she was gone. What ensued for their set was wild from start to finish. My sister shouted abuse at Awsten, calling him a lemon (a private joke), Awsten telling her that she was his “mum away from mum” but then rejected her love when she said that he couldn’t kill Geoff, her impression of the Stupid for You breakdown, her ‘beautiful’ singing during Crave, telling Awsten to “fuck off” when he told her to shut up and got Geoff to agree to fight our friend. A typical Friday night.
I know that I’ve barely talked about All Time Low but I would just keep repeating myself about how good they were. Here’s some highlights from the Sheffield show; my bra got thrown onstage and got put on Jack’s mic stand and then at the end of the show he threw a pack of magic stars into the audience and one of them hit me in forehead hard, so I don’t know whether to feel blessed or offended.
We got to meet Geoff again at the end of the show where he spent over forty minutes with us meeting fans and taking photos whilst also talking about how loud my sister was during the show, their surprise upcoming announcment (their Rocksound cover), promising to fight our friend and to do a UK tour, their upcoming Slam Dunk appearance and he also showed us a meme. He also graced us with this squad photo.

After he left my sister and I went to McDonalds to have a coffee and then headed straight to the All Time Low afterparty at Propaganda. Bare in mind that I only had four hours sleep, we wouldn’t be able to leave Sheffield until 6am and we had just come out of a gig, I don’t know how I did it but I had a great time, I don’t remember a lot but it was a iconic night. A great way to end it.

Now begins the six week wait until Slam Dunk. See all of you beautiful people there

Pierce The Veil

Four years. That’s how long we’ve had to wait for Pierce The Veil’s new album, Misadventures. An album that drove lead vocalist and guitarist, Vic Fuentes, to tears as the pressure for new material to be recorded and released built up. But this year we held on till May (see what I did there? Huh, huh? … Ok I’m sorry.) for its release but now the fans had something new to look forward to. Their Misadventures tour.

After being pumped up by opening acts Creeper and letlive. who are indeed much heavier than the actual headline act themselves, which resulted in a divided audience between those who could handle the madness and those who couldn’t, we were ready. In the time building up to show-time a projection curtain was dropped down for the intro video – a cartoon inspired by the album’s artwork of red illustrations that showed a rocket flying through space and avoiding knives, guns and lit matches until it crash landed in the UK.

The curtain dropped, revealing the ship’s crash-site in which members of Pierce The Veil emerged and went straight into Misadventures opening track Dive In. Following it up with Caraphernelia, Texas Is Forever and The Divine Zero showed how they wanted everyone to enjoy the new tracks while at the same time mixing in fan-favourite tracks and their biggest hits.

With the setlist following that theme, the evening, as a whole, was genuinely enjoyable. The band themselves; Vic, Jaime Preciado (bass), Tony Perry (guitar) and Mike Fuentes (drums), seemed to be loving every moment of it. From Vic enthusiastically getting the crowd to join in with the songs to Jaime, with a little audience encouragement, dabbing there was not one dull moment.

Other highlights of the evening was a lucky fan getting to go up onstage during Bulletproof Love in which Vic sang to her (*swoons*) the intro of Hell Above in which a large circle pit opened (one of many throughout the evening) and the heartfelt Hold On Till May being played before the encore. Honestly I enjoyed every minute of it all.

Their set was finished brilliantly with Circles and King For A Day which helped to confirm their position as being a unforgettable live band. Their live show matched with and helped to big up the already fantastic Misadventures and was certainly worth the long wait.

Pierce The Veil play at Download Festival next year, buy tickets here: http://downloadfestival.co.uk/

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.