I love going to gigs to see my favorite bands play, meet new people and enjoy the atmosphere. I attend about one a month (on average) and with my recent travels, I’ve gotten to see some bands abroad (check out my United States vs. United Kingdom gigs post). Needless to say, I have a few gigs that have really stood out in my mind over the years.
Enter Shikari (March 2016): While I was abroad, a British band called Enter Shikari did a United Kingdom tour as well as a mainland Europe tour. I was lucky enough to experience two of their gigs on this tour; one in their hometown of London at a venue of about 10,000 people, and a much smaller show outside of Venice, Italy about a month later. They were both incredible shows, the London show had amazing visuals and great energy, but when I listen to their music today, it’s the Italy show that resonates with me. The venue was a lot smaller, so I got to meet them at the merchandise booth and caught them in the crowd watching the opening act nonchalantly. Although this show didn’t have the same visuals as the London show, the performance was much more intimate, with band members coming out into the crowd (guitarist Rory is the featured image and was actually taken at this gig) and really being able to feel a connection to the music. I dare say this is my favorite gig of all time. You can read more about it in my Italy post and more about the London show in my Great Britain exploring post.
Lady Gaga (July 2014): I was hired at a Broadway theater on my university’s campus as an usher in my second year and since I wasn’t up to much that summer, I decided to go up for a week to work a tour. On my day off, I got to see Lady Gaga in Phoenix. My friend Brett and I bought nosebleed tickets, but while waiting to go up to our seats, we were offered free floor tickets (I have no idea why they offered them to this day)! I quickly ran outside and sold our other tickets and made our way to the general admission floor. That show was unlike anything I had ever seen: dancers, confetti, outfit changes, crazed fans who dress up and throw gifts on stage, it was all so incredible! She is such a talented woman (which she proved in some impromptu a cappella bits during the show) with a good heart.
Brand New (August 2015): When I visited New York, my friend Nick and I (and two other acquaintances) drove four hours from Yonkers to just outside of Cooperstown to see Brand New. It was a small outdoor festival of sorts with food and drink, placed in what can only be described as the middle of nowhere. The openers were great, Brand New played a great set and to top it all off, the weather was perfect and the night ended with fireworks. You can read about the Brand New gig in full in my New York post.
Rise Against (April 2015): Of course, I couldn’t make this post without including a Rise Against gig. I’ve seen them four times, but the third time I saw them was the best. It was in Mesa at a small festival for a local radio station. Despite what some people might think, a lot of big name bands come for all sorts of Arizona festivals. During the day, I got to meet Rise Against at a signing, where I gave them a watercolor painting I made in high school of their first album and in return, they signed all my albums. I was on cloud nine, I’ve only been that happy in my life a handful of times! To top it off, their set was incredible. Although I crowd surfed and moshed a fair amount, I could always find my friends again.
Senses Fail (September 2014): I’ve seen Senses Fail more than any other band, probably about eight or nine times, now. This was the last show I saw them headline at, which was their 10th anniversary tour for their album, Let It Enfold You. I bought a VIP pass, so I got to meet the band and get all my albums signed. I also got front and center for their long and sweaty set. They played the album in full as well as about ten other songs. It was such a small room, when it steamed up, you had trouble seeing your hand in front of your face. I remember literally wringing out my shirt after their set. Despite sweating out my body weight, it was still an incredible show.
Foo Fighters (July 2015): I like Foo Fighters, but they’re not my favorite band in the world, but they were my (now ex-) boyfriend’s. For Christmas, I got Colin and I tickets to see Foo Fighters in Toronto when I spent the summer in Ontario. The lead singer, Dave Grohl, broke his leg a few weeks prior, but had a throne constructed so he can keep his leg level and still be able to play the rest of the tour. The Foos are really dedicated to their fans, so much so that they played for literally hours to make sure everyone got their money’s worth! They’re talented, great people and you can read more about the gig here.
I’m thankful for all the amazing bands I’ve seen and met all over the world and I’m looking forward to finally seeing one of my long time favorite bands later this month: Blink-182!