BLOGMAS DAY 14: FAVOURITE CONCERTS OF 2017
On the 14th day of Blogmas I'm all about my favourite concerts of 2017. I go to a lot of shows every year, but there are always a few that stand out more than the rest. This year I went to 18 concerts (with one more to go at the end of the month!) and it was so awesome seeing some of my favourite artists and bands as well as finally getting to see some artists I've grown up with, or ones that have grown on me. Without further adieu, here are 6 of my favourite shows of 2017 (in no particular order. I can't choose favourites!)
It would be foolish of me to not include Green Day on any top list of the year, and their concerts are no exception. I had the pleasure of seeing my favourite band twice this year, but the second show was a highlight. Eerily enough, Green Day were playing at the same venue on the same date I had seen them 7 years prior, but I took it as an omen that it was going to be a great show, and it naturally was. If you've never seen a Green Day concert, I can not stress enough that you have to see them. Even if you only know a few songs, or if you prefer their older material, I can guarantee you'll still have an amazing time and be truly wowed by their stage presence and audience interaction. I was right at the barricade for this show, dead centre. Being so close to my idols was a thrill unlike any other. They played songs from their latest album, a whole bunch from American Idiot, and several deep cuts from past eras. What's so great about this band is that they never get tired of playing. They throw everything into their performance. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong runs around the stage like a maniac, making sure every single person is on their feet. I always have a feeling of joy and satisfaction after I see them, and it makes me feel so excited and content. They're one of those bands where I can really disconnect for a couple of hours and come back a brand new person, and they did just that with this show.
You could say I got to see Alexisonfire twice this year. The first was when they played a surprise performance during Billy Talent's set (I'll get to that in a minute), and the second was when they announced a string of shows at The Danforth Music Hall. I was so thrilled when I heard about these shows. I had only ever seen AOF when they were opening for Billy Talent (which was still awesome, btw), but never as a headlining show. After multiple tries, my boyfriend came through and snagged us tickets to the second out of four shows. We were so excited to go, and then right before the first night, they announced the cancellation of the shows due to illness, and they went from being in June, to postponed to December. As agonizing as the wait was, the end result was incredible. The band put in an incredible amount of energy, and played a huge variety of song selection from their catalogue. Another sold out show, fans were screaming the lyrics and moshing like no tomorrow. A memorable show to say the least.
This year marked the ninth time I've seen Billy Talent. Not even my all time favourite band, but still the band I've seen the most! Having seen them so many times over the years, I've had the chance to see them progress not only as musicians, but as well as in their live performance. The band played an explosive set of over 20 songs, with an excellent selection of songs, picking fan favourites and a few deep cuts. Halfway through the set they even threw in a cover of Nautical Disaster by the Tragically Hip. A little further in the set, the band brought out drummer Aaron Solowoniuk, who had been taking a break from the band as he was recovering from a MS relapse, to perform 2 songs, making for a very sentimental moment. As the band departed the stage before the encore, there was a bit of milling about in the audience. Finally, a guy with his sweater hood up, came on stage and played a few chords. It wasn't Billy Talent guitarist Ian D'Sa, and one of the guys standing behind me was quick to shout that everyone should stop getting excited because it was just the guitar tech. I noticed behind the hooded man, Billy Talent's stand-in drummer Jordan Hastings was behind the kit, and we all assumed Billy Talent would play their encore. That is until the hooded man revealed himself to be Dallas Green, and other Alexisonfire members, Wade, George, and Chris came thrashing out on the stage in a surprise performance. There was a lot of yelling and screaming done on my part from the sheer surprise! They played 4 songs and then to top it off, Billy Talent came back out on stage to finish their set!
I've loved Paramore for a long time, and getting to see them again this year was so awesome. Their latest album After Laughter is one of my favourites released this year. It was one of those few albums that I could listen to from start to finish and not feel inclined to skip a song. The lyrics are sad but the music is upbeat. Should I be laughing or crying? Not sure. Either way, it was a great album, and there were songs on that album I wanted to hear live, so when they came rolling through Toronto, I wasn't saying no. They played one of the city's most intimate venues, Massey Hall, but it was so beautiful seeing a pop-punk band in more of a theatre setting. The sound was incredible, even for my seats which were in the first balcony! They had a really cool light display/set up flashing in the back as they performed. I think what made this such a winner was the intimacy of the show. Even if your seats were far away, it still felt intimate enough. I'm already hoping they'll announce a summer tour next year. Fingers crossed!
I've loved Bleachers ever since they started in 2014, but the love for them grew a little more in 2015 when their debut Strange Desire was all I played on a loop. So when their sophomore Gone Now came out earlier this year, I knew they were going to play, and I knew I needed to get tickets. They played to a sold out crowd at The Phoenix Concert Theatre, and even though we were all crammed in, the whole place erupted in dancing and singing. Birthdays of band members (and band members' moms!) were celebrated, cake was passed around in the crowd, and front runner Jack Antonoff even did a cover of my favourite Fun. song 'Carry On'. I'd be lying if I said tears weren't shed. Easily one of my favourite shows this year, and maybe ever!
Like Green Day, I had the pleasure of seeing Simple Plan twice this year, but the second show was by far my favourite. After SP finished touring in support of their latest album, they announced they were touring for the 15th anniversary of their debut album 'No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls'. They would be playing the album in its entirety in order, playing at small venues. A DREAM. NPNHJB was the album that got me into Simple Plan, but I didn't start actively becoming a fan until their second album. They played one of my favourite venues, The Danforth Music Hall, and it was sold out. It was so cool to hear songs from that album that I had never had the chance to hear live. The intimacy of the venue made it feel as if we were seeing the band touring in support of this album as opposed to celebrating its anniversary of over a decade. It really made me appreciate the love I still have for this band many years later.
What was your favourite concert of 2017? Leave a comment below!