Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gig No 4 - Biffy Clyro

Biffy, Biffy, Biffy! Hearing an entire room as big as Manchester Central screaming like this was no little thing! And neither was the concert.

I'll start with the one bad, bad thing: this guy who was already drunk and not being able to stand right 15 min after the first opening band started to play. That's 15 min after the doors opened... Why would you come to a concert in that state? He was clearly bothering everyone he was constantly falling on and I doubt that today he remembers anything. Alcohol was NOT created for this...

Then the extraordinary things. First, the stage set. I don't think I've ever seen a stage set that effective and working so well with the songs. I really liked it when Simon sang Folding stars and Machines surrounded by lightbulbs and when they displayed the two flags from the last album's cover on stage during the last song, Mountains. Then there was the setlist, which was incredibly long (25 songs with the encores!) and they played everything I could have wanted. There wasn't much interaction with the public, but James kept asking us how we are, and that cheered everyone up.

I got pretty close to the stage, so I was able to have fun with the camera, but I would have liked more focused shots. Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the result, about 10 good shots out of nearly 100. For me, that's worth having sacrificed some songs.

Then the concert itself was a real treat! After it I am irrevocably in love with Folding stars and I am sure I won't stop listening to it on repeat for the next few days. The crowd was just right (apart from the aforementioned asshole), the songs sounded perfect and I cheered and screamed like I haven't in a long time. A pure rock concert is something I don't think I have experienced that often and now I see I should have. Because Biffy rock your pants of and yes, even after 25 songs you still want more! I'm oh so curious if Kings of Leon or Arcade Fire can top this. Bring it on on the 13th, Caleb :P

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You highness, I bow to thee and to thee this I confess

I shall send this song, everyday, to all of you out there to which I am connected and that have never been blessed with waking up with these notes and words in their head. I will make sure that by the end of every day another person will have felt as I feel right now. Needless to say I don’t want to hear anything else. You shall all see and you shall all understand.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gig No 3 - Vampire Weekend

So it's the coldest week since I'm in Manchester and I decide to take a trip to the seaside, of all places, and spend the night in a train station. Part of that plan I didn't follow through (the night in the station, that is), but I was sure not gonna give up a concert just because of the cold! Especially when the band playing is Vampire Weekend!

Of Blackpool I heard only bad things, that it's full of drunks (it's Manchester as well?!) and that it's definitely not safe. Turns out I can't really agree or disagree with any of that, since I only spend about 5 hours in there, 4 of which in a concert hall.

Now, there was an actual concert I'd rather talk about. And again, I was amazed. First of all, by how cheerful people were. Nice surprise was the average age of the audience, that I think was somewhere closer to mine than at other gigs I was at in the UK. The reason for that is that almost all teenagers under 18 (and they were many!) were accompanied by their parents. I wish my mom enjoyed Vampire Weekend for me as well :(...

And then the band. I have to admit I was only obsessed with "Giving up the gun" and had pretty much no idea of other songs about a month before the concert. But as soon as I got the ticket, I got their 2 albums as well. And boy, was it a smart thing! Literally every song there is brilliant! Hadn't loved an entire album that much since "Only by the night". And that feels like looong ago. I waited, then I jumped, I shouted, I sang, I clapped, I waved my hands and I had a great time. And I left that hall with "Walcott" in mind, which is in my opinion a severely underrated song. I mean, it was the perfect ending, how come there are still people out there who have never heard it? Clear chorus, simple, catchy rhythm and the chance to scream "Heed my words and take flight" like I really mean it. "Bryn" and "Diplomat's son" were my only must hear songs that night, and I got what I wanted. Of course, most people around me went crazy on "A-punk", probably because shouting "ey, ey, ey" feels so liberating.

I regret not having my camera with me, but as I saw last time, taking pics at gigs kinda stops you from really enjoying the songs. And plus, flickr is full of brilliant shots, like the one above ( Perfect picture, like the one I hope to take at the Biffy Clyro gig next Friday :D

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quiet weekend

Just testing my photography skills. Always better than thinking about school. And yes, a weekend in the countryside is bliss. As are autumn's colours for anyone carrying a camera.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Manchester rising

"Seen from the approaches to Piccadilly Station -- the gateway for trains from London -- the city's architecture seems a monument to its hardscrabble history: from the hulks of red-brick mills and factories of the Industrial Revolution that made Manchester the grimy textile center of imperial Britain to the 1960's concrete high-rises that would not have looked out of place in Dresden or Bucharest during the Communist era."

By Alan Cowell
Published: June 24, 2001 in NY Times Travel

Wonder why I feel like home here....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Now what?

When I finished high-school, I said there are 2 things I'll never do: buy a suit and set foot in Russia. I've already done the first.... Now I'm scared that I have a passport.

Gig No 2 - General Fiasco

Oh, how I wish I was living in Manchester when I was 16! That was the average age (again) at the concert the other night. But leaving the crowd aside, the gig was good. I mean, yeah, I've-seen-RHCP-and-Manu-Chao-and-Gogol-Bordello-and-still-enjoyed-this-one good.

A nice surprise was one of the opening acts. Only one, the other band was terrible. So, Pegasus Bridge, worth a check, even if one of their songs is called Ribena. If you don't know what that means, google it like I did and you'll immediately loose interest in the lyrics whatsoever...

But back to General Fiasco, what was nice was that they played all songs on the album, including the wonderful Buildings. When I saw the setlist, this song was replaced by a new one, but on stage it wasn't the case. One more reason of joy for me :D Plus, there were other new songs, good ones, but all we really wanted was the chance to scream from the top of our lungs "Does the rebel get by". And we did. Yeap, we all did.

It took me a while to appreciate the power of connecting to an audience. Sure, they're all there for your songs and/or performance, but talking to them, telling stories, making them laugh, this is one of the many great bonuses I got the chance to experience in my time as concert-goer. Wasn't the case with General Fiasco. But then again, it wasn't that necessary. Not everybody can master the stage in that way, and in that case, a clean, nice set is all we need. And it was what we got from General Fiasco.

Next on the bill is one busy week in December, when both Biffy Clyro AND Kings of Leon are in town, and Arcade Fire at a 2 hour bus ride away. And yes, I am the happy owner of tickets for all three gigs. I can't say no to an early Christmas present and a little bit of pampering, even if I have to pay for them myself.