As much as I'd love this whole thing to be all about Christmas, the holidays is also a common time to look back on the things you've done in the past year. I did a lot of awesome things this year, but one thing that completely topped my list of things done was go to concerts. Although I undoubtedly go to shows every year, this year was a prime year for shows, especially in the summer. I got to see some artist I've been dying to see for the first time, and some of my favourites I've seen multiple times. So here's five out of the many favourite shows I went to this year.
5. Guns N Roses
When Guns N Roses announced they'd be doing a comeback tour with (almost!) all of the original line up, and that they were doing a show in Toronto, I never saw someone get so excited to live her best life than my mom. A big GnR fan in the late 80s/early 90s, she had the chance to see them once in Hamilton, but after a beer bottle throwing incident, Axl Rose, in true fashion, stormed off stage and my mom never truly saw a full Guns show. That was until this past July. I quickly scored us tickets and the countdown was on after that. A few months later it was announced that Billy Talent would be opening them. Excitement level went THROUGH. THE. ROOF. We were getting to see two of our favs in the same building. It was destined for a good night. Although I was there a bit more for Billy Talent, I'm so glad I got to see GnR. It was a true good rock show full of endless guitar solos and lots of pyro. Definitely one to cross off the bucket list.
4. Mumford and Sons
Before this show, I had tried tirelessly to get tickets to see Mumford and Sons. Every time I tried to get tickets, they'd sell out so incredibly fast that I just sort of accepted my fate that I'd never see them. That is, until the day of the show (which was also my graduation), I got a text from my friend Francis who was giving away one of her tickets. UM, PARDON, YES PLEASE. So quite literally after I finished graduating, I was catching the train to the Molson Amphitheatre. After having heard so many of their songs on CD, vinyl and my iPod, it was so euphoric hearing some of my favourite songs live, especially my favourite Mumford and Sons song, Ghosts That We Knew (which isn't a single, so hearing them play it was very !!!! for me). They were one of those bands that sounded just as good live as they do on the CD.
3. Panic! at the Disco and Weezer
Possibly the coolest yet weirdest lineup I've experienced in a while (that's a lie-nothing will beat Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa. But this was an interesting mix too!) When Panic announced they'd be going on a co-headlining tour with Weezer I was both stoked and intrigued. Panic fans are more commonly associated with bands like Fall Out Boy and Twenty One Pilots, whereas Weezer is targeted to a bit more of an older crowd only because the've been around longer. But getting the chance to see two of my favs (one for the first time-Weezer), I wasn't here to complain. Both bands brought something unique to the table. Whether it was Panic's crazy video set ups and live horn section, or Weezer's very realistic beach set, it was an engaging set from start to finish. Plus let's be real, hearing Buddy Holly live was an EXPERIENCE.
2. Against Me!
The first time I saw Against Me! was when they were opening for Billy Talent in 2010. I had no idea who they were, but I knew right away that I loved them. Ever since, my love for them increased. After missing them play Toronto back to back two years in a row, when they announced an impromptu North American tour including a stop in Toronto, I jumped to the chance. I went with my friend Kelsey, and it was everything I hoped for and more. An incredible core group of fans who were there to share their love for the band. I know those sort of things happen at every concert, and allow me to get old school, but it was one of the few times I saw more people watching the band rather than taking photos on their phone. The setlist was an awesome mix of everything from their catalog as well as a few unreleased songs which would eventually go on their latest album, Shape Shift With Me. I can't wait for them to tour for the current album cycle to see them again. A genuinely great punk band who put on a great show.
1. Blink 182
Although many shows were attended this year, very little could top what was my final concert of the summer; Blink 182. Having been a Blink fan since the self-titled album came out (so, 13 years. Yikes!) they were always on the top of my list of bands to see. Every opportunity I had to see them in Toronto the show either sold out or I had no one to go with. Until finally, they released their latest album California and my friend Maddi and I were on the ball to get tickets. When they announced that A Day to Remember and All Time Low were opening, the excitement became even more real. The whole show was unbelievable. Its very rarely where I'm in love with a whole setlist. There's usually one-four songs I can do without, but this wasn't the case. I was totally down for every song they played. I heard all my favourites in the first 7 songs, so the rest was gravy. Blink went all out with lights, pyro, confetti, and crazy drum solos courtesy of Travis Barker. After the show I had, for the first time in a long time, a case of post-concert depression. And it stuck for easily two months. The painful end was real. Status: currently (and anxiously) awaiting their return.