This weekend Halsey brought her Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour to London's Eventim Apollo. I attended the show on Saturday night and as this was my first Halsey tour, I was very excited.
Before the concert started I had an idea in my head about what the concert would be like. I've seen pictures of Halsey's performances before and seen the incredible visuals that she puts on the big screens, so this was something I was expecting to see. What I wasn't expecting though, was a show. I was under the impression that Halsey would stand on stage, sing the songs, have great visuals and that would be that. I couldn't have been more wrong.
The show started with a curtain covering the stage and a spotlight with Halsey's silhouette. Halsey then started the concert with Eyes Closed (a song from her latest album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom) and with the beat drop at the chorus, the curtain dropped to reveal Halsey. By this point the show had only been on for a few minutes, but I was already shocked. I didn't expect an opening like this and I soon realised the concert would be a lot better than I thought.
The next song on the setlist was Gasoline from Halsey's first album, Badlands. Something that was really great about this show was how both new and old songs were played. Most of Hopeless Fountain Kingdom was performed, as well as seven fan favourites from Badlands and Is There Somewhere from Halsey's first EP, Room 93. I love it when artists don't just perform their new material, because most of the time the old songs are what made people become a fan and it's so lovely to pay tribute to that.
As previously mentioned, I was expecting incredible visuals on the screens and I wasn't disappointed. Having the big screen behind Halsey really added to the songs, as it was as though the images were telling the story along with the track. This makes you feel as though you are watching a proper show with lots of love and thought going into it, rather than a plain stage with nothing much going on.
Halsey's vocals are also worth mentioning! Again, I was really surprised that Halsey sounded pretty much exactly the same to recordings (if not, better!).
I really like Halsey and her music, but after the show on Saturday I couldn't help but feel a bit annoyed. Not only is Halsey a great singer/songwriter, she also knows how to put on a show and how to interact with her fans, yet she definitely doesn't get enough credit. When I told people I was going to see Halsey at her sold out show, most people replied with "who?". Therefore, I really hope that over the next few months more and more people will pay attention to Halsey, giving her much more recognition that she deserves.
The second to last song was Is There Somewhere from the Room 93 EP. During the performance, Halsey had around ten fans come up on stage and sit on the steps to be with her while she performs. I love seeing things like this happen because you can see how happy it makes the fans, and also how happy it makes the performer. During the whole set I felt such a strong connection between Halsey and her fans in the crowd, which felt truly beautiful to be part of.
The concert concluded with my personal favourite, Bad At Love. At which point confetti was released into the crowd (completely covering us, but I LOVE it). The energy was just as strong at the end as it was at the start, and at no point during the performance did Halsey lose her energy or make the crowd lose interest.
The Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour was brilliant from start to finish, and I know that I will definitely be attending all of Halsey's future concerts too!
Last night I went to Taylor Swift's reputation Stadium Tour at London's Wembley Stadium. I've always really liked Taylor Swift, but it was after the release of her latest album, reputation, that I fell in love with her music all over again.
I've seen Taylor live a few times, but never had I ever been to one of her own shows, so I was really excited to see what it would be like. I watched a few clips online and looked at pictures that people had taken from previous shows in the tour, but I was careful not to spoil too much for myself.
The show opened with Ready For It...?, which I think was the perfect opener. Not only was Taylor literally asking the crowd if they're 'ready for it', the incredible production of the song set the tone for what the rest of the show would be like.
The next song was one of my favourites on the album, I Did Something Bad. I sometimes get a bit worried to see my favourite songs live in case the artist doesn't do them justice, however after last night I love I Did Something Bad even more. To say the production was great is the biggest understatement, it was phenomenal. Taylor used every part of the stadium to make the song truly come to life, with fire coming from the top of the stage and fireworks going off at the top of the stadium in time to the beat of the chorus. I've been to many concerts, but this was one of the first times I've been so impressed that I'm speechless.
The show continued and Taylor did some old hits, such as my all time favourite, Love Story. The first interlude came, after which Taylor came out and performed the lead single from reputation, Look What You Made Me Do. Unsurprisingly, the production of this song was again fantastic. During the song the big screen on the left showed Taylor performing, while the big screen on the right showed a snake almost coming at Taylor. The snake on the screen then disappeared and the stage opened to reveal a giant snake behind Taylor that actually moved!
The show continued and Taylor didn't disappoint during any of the songs. What I found really surprising about Taylor was how she sounds almost exactly the same live (if not better) as the audio versions of her songs.
It was then time to perform another fan favourite, Shake It Off, and what I loved in particular about this performance was how Taylor brought up both of her support acts (Charli XCX and Camila Cabello) to perform the song with her. I thought this was a really nice touch because the support acts' performances actually feel like part of the show and get acknowledgment, rather than the main artist seemingly forgetting about them.
Shake It Off was performed on one of the smaller B stages, and Taylor actually flew over the audience to get there. Having Taylor fly over the crowd made the stadium feel much more intimate, and once again showed how well Taylor used the space she was given to not only put on an incredible show, but to feel close and connected with her fans at the same time.
The two B stages were really cool, as during Shake It Off a giant moving snake came out of both stages. Having giant snakes appearing, fire, fireworks and Taylor flying over the audience really made you feel like you were watching a high end production, and not just a random concert.
Taylor then performed So It Goes, a song from the album that she'd never performed live before. When I first saw the setlist for the tour, I was really annoyed that So It Goes wasn't included, so when Taylor did a surprise performance of it last night I was thrilled!
The next songs were to be performed on the second B stage and to get there Taylor walked through the crowd! As she did this she had the biggest smile on her face and touched everyone's hands, and you could see how genuinely happy and grateful she was for her fans, and it was lovely to see.
As the show continued and Taylor was back on the main stage, she performed a few songs on the piano. During a gap in the song New Years Day, the crowd began cheering and clapping really loudly. Taylor proceeded to take out her earpieces to hear the audience properly, to which the screams and cheers got louder. As Taylor became more and more in shock at what was happening, the cheers got even louder, and this happened for about four minutes. It was really beautiful to be part of that moment of love and gratitude, both from fans to Taylor and Taylor to her fans.
Towards the end of the show Taylor announced that there was a special guest, something that she randomly does on some of her shows. One Direction's Niall Horan then came on stage, and they performed his hit single Slow Hands together.
The final songs were then performed, starting with the classic We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and finished with This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things from reputation.
The finale was again unsurprisingly amazing as it was finished off with a firework display, something that you don't typically see at the end of a concert.
Its become 'cool' now to hate on Taylor, but I honestly don't see how you can. She's insanely talented and comes across as a genuinely nice person who appreciates how lucky she is to be performing at stadiums. So I honestly can't see what there is to dislike about her.
Overall, the reputation Stadium Tour was one of the best concerts I've ever been to.
Taylor Swift is made to be performing in stadiums, and anything less would be robbing her of her talents. I'm so impressed by the show that I want to go back and watch it all over again.
If Taylor is taking the reputation Stadium Tour to a city near you, I definitely recommend buying tickets!
On Thursday I went to Birmingham to see Ariana live on her Dangerous Woman Tour. I sadly missed out on going to her last tour, so this was my first time seeing her live at her own show! I am a big fan of Ariana and I had seen lots of pictures and videos online of the tour, however I tried to avoid as many spoilers as possible! Now that I've been to the tour, I now realise that all of the pictures and videos on social media did the show no justice, it was even better than I thought it would be!
The show started with a ten minute countdown. When I first heard that the countdown would be ten minutes I thought that it wouldn't work and would drag out, however I was wrong. Instead of just watching the countdown in silence, a playlist of songs still plays in the arena with a video of Ariana in the background - ultimately building up the excitement more and more. Every now and then on the video Ariana would touch her ear, prompting the crowd to scream as loud as they could. I thought that small action was actually a really good touch because it engages the audience for the whole ten minutes, rather than letting them get bored. The countdown went a lot faster than I thought it would, and as soon as it ended Ariana was on stage performing Be Alright. The opening was quite simplistic with her dancers coming on stage first, then followed by Ariana, which was brilliant. Sometimes the more simplistic something is, the more powerful it is. Ariana then went on to perform two of my favourites from the album, Everyday and Bad Decisions. Only three songs into the show and I already knew that this would be one of my favourite concerts - and I've been to quite a lot!
The visuals shown on the screen behind her were stunning (as seen in the pictures below). The use of such artistic imagery made me feel like I was actually at a proper show, rather than just watching a singer perform on stage. Not only this, but both Ariana's vocals and dancing were incredible, and the choreography was very impressive. Throughout the entire show you could see both Ariana and her dancers giving it 100%, and at no point did it look like anyone was slacking.
Rather than doing lots of talking, Ariana performed every song from the Dangerous Woman album (as well as some older songs) pretty much non-stop. I almost felt tired watching her, but at no point did she ever look like she was slowing down - a true performer. Ideally I would have liked to have seen Ariana talk to the audience a bit more, but at the same time I love the fact that we got to watch every song performed live, and I know that that wouldn't have been possible if Ariana talked more.
Towards the end of the show Ariana performs Thinking Bout You, and after this she sometimes performs a song that isn't on the setlist. Even though she skipped this part at my show, I still think that this is an excellent section of the show to have because it keeps everyone on their toes wondering if they're about to get a surprise. I am fortunate enough to be going to the tour again in London on Thursday, and I'm really hoping that she performs a different song on that date instead!
To keep things fresh even more, Ariana remixed her older songs Problem and Break Free. The remixes for the tour weren't completely different from the original, however they were made to sound a bit more mature, which I think made them fit into the darker and maturer genre of the Dangerous Woman Tour. Watching this show made me realise just how much thought and effort went into making this tour as good as it can be, and it really paid off.
Overall, from what I had seen online, I knew that the show would be good, but I didn't expect it to be as brilliant as it was. Ariana's vocals, dancing, stage presence and setlist didn't disappoint, making the show definitely worth the wait! If Ariana is coming to your city and you haven't got tickets yet, I would highly recommend getting tickets!
See below some of my pictures taken on the night:
On Friday I went to see Rihanna at Wembley for her ANTI World Tour, and it's safe to say I wasn't disappointed. At first I didn't know if I would enjoy the show that much just because I prefer her old music to her new music, but seeing her perform the songs from ANTI live made me look at the album in an entirely different way. Rihanna's stage presence kept you focused and I couldn't take my eyes off her! Her entrance was unlike anything else, as she walked in through the crowd and made her way to a smaller stage in the middle of the stadium. She opened with her hit Stay, getting everyone's attention from the second she opened her mouth.
It was quite weird to see that the stadium wasn't full as it had been advertised as a sold out show. Many newspapers and other media outlets have taken this as an opportunity to manipulate this to show that Rihanna might not be as successful as she was years ago, and I personally think that's not true. With the rise of re-selling sites selling tickets at extortionate prices, fans aren't able to get the tickets that they so desperately want at an affordable price, hence the empty seats. However, the people that did attend clearly enjoyed themselves as the cheers for Rihanna were incredible, and the stadium was full of people loudly singling along.
What I really liked about the show was that she did both old and new songs. There was a good mixture of songs from ANTI, mixed with her old hits, such as Umbrella.
The fact that this show made me go from not really liking ANTI that much compared to her old sound, to listening to it non-stop, shows how much of a good performer she is and how she will never lose her touch - a true performer.
If the ANTI World Tour comes to your city, I would highly suggest getting tickets!
On Saturday I went to see Tinie's one off gig at Brixton. With the announcement of this show made around the same time as his mixtape Junk Food was released, I was expecting a night full Junk Food songs. However, this wasn't the case.
Tinie opened with his song with Chase & Status, Hitz, a song that I've loved ever since it was released and was pleasantly surprised to hear it live again. His second song on his set was quite a surprise to myself and the rest of the crowd, as it was Pass Out, a song that he typically closes with. After this energetic throwback Tinie addressed the fact that he wouldn't be closing with Pass Out, and warned us that we would be in for a mad night - and he definitely wasn't wrong!
Instead of the show being based around Junk Food, it was more of a throwback night! Only two songs out of the whole set were actually from Junk Food (Been the Man and Autogas), and the rest of the set was full of old hits, such as Frisky, Wonderman and Written in the Stars.
Rather than your typical concert, this night seemed to be Tinie's chance to tell his story about his life and how he became as successful as he is today. The opening video before he came on stage showed him as a young boy, all the way up to receiving his Brit awards. Tinie also spoke a lot while on stage about his background and how hard he had to work to get to where he is today. I found one of his speeches really inspiring, as he told everyone to be themselves and follow what they believe in. I usually find these statements quite cliché, but seeing Tinie stood out in front of a sold out show and saying never give up, really touched me. It showed how if Tinie had given up he wouldn't be as successful as he is today, and I don't know about others, but it definitely inspired me to never give up.
I also thought it was great that Tinie performed his first ever song from 10 years ago - Wifey. I liked the fact that Tinie clearly hasn't forgotten when he has come from, as I feel many other artists today become successful and forget about what actually made them famous.
The whole night was so much fun, and it made me feel really proud of Tinie and all of the success he's had.
Last week I went to see Years & Years live at Wembley Arena. This was my first time going to a Years & Years tour, and after reading so many great reviews I was really excited. I'd only seen Years & Years live once before at Capital FM's Jingle Bell Ball, but that was quite a short set, so I was looking forward to seeing their full tour set.
The first two supports acts were quite boring, and the half an hour that they were each on stage, felt like it went on for years and years (ha!). However, I really enjoyed the third support act, MO. I didn't know any of the songs she sang, however the set did make me a bit more interested in listening to her music. But the song that many people know, she closed with - Lean On by Major Lazer. This performance got the crowd much more lively and excited for Years & Years to come on stage!
I've been to my fair share in concerts, but the opening to this show was one of the best I've seen. While Emre and Mikey were already on the main stage, the end 0f the runway lit up for Olly. They opened with Foundation, but for the first half of the song you could hear Olly and see him on the screen, but he wasn't on stage yet. This made the atmosphere incredible, and when he did pop up from the end of the runway, that wasn't just it. As the song continued to stage started to lift up, placing Olly above everyone else. Lasers were also all around the lifted stage, making it look like a cage around him. Just by the first song I could tell that the rest of the show would be unforgettable, and I wasn't wrong! They sang most of the songs from their album, and even did a mashup of covers (including Drake's Hotline Bling). When I first heard the start of Hotline Bling I wasn't that impressed because so many artists at the minute seem to be covering it, but with Olly's unique voice, the whole song was completely transformed into something else!
Watching Olly Alexander just made me smile. The way he sings, smiles, dances and even walks! Everything about him is endearing, which meant that I couldn't take my eyes off him. You could also see how grateful the boys were when they looked out into the crowd. Olly made a point of mentioning how thankful they were to be playing Wembley, as he told the crowd about how they had performed only two years before to a tiny crowd in Hackney! However, he quickly seemed a bit choked up and overwhelmed, so he got on with the next song. Just that brief acknowledgement about how hard they've worked and where they've come from made me feel really proud and inspired.
The whole night managed to make me love Years & Years even more, however I do have slight regret about going to this tour because now I won't let myself miss any of their shows in London! It was one of the best nights that I've had in ages, and I believe that the Years & Years should get all the success that they deserve!
After going to The Vamps's previous two tours, I was eager to go to the Wake Up World Tour. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Saturday night show, and had tickets for the Wow Pit.
The Wow Pit was much less cramped than I thought it would be, meaning it had a much more relaxed atmosphere than if you were bunched up at the barrier.
As the boys came on the excitement in the arena was a really lovely feeling, and what I noticed the most about watching them perform, was how you can clearly see how much they appreciate what they've got. During songs and when they spoke to the crowd, the smiles on their face as they looked out to everyone was really sweet. You could see that they don't take what they have for granted, and how much love they have for their fans.
They performed both new and old songs, and they really got the crowd involved. What I like about going to their shows is that they shine a light on each member of the band, rather than just focusing on the lead singer. The part that stood out the most to me was Tristan's drum solo. It was just Tristan, his drums and the stage that began to rise up above everyone, with all eyes on him and his talent.
Overall it was a really fun night, and I highly advise getting tickets to one of their shows.
I was fortunate enough to win priority tickets to MTV's Live Lockdown to see Tinie Tempah. I was really excited for this as I recently bought tickets to Tinie's one off show at Brixton in April, and so Live Lockdown would give me a taster of what the show would be like.
After what felt like hours of queuing, we finally got in and stood in our places.
The show opened with I Could Do This Every Night, which included guest performances from Yungen and Bonkaz. This is one of my favourite songs from the Junk Food mixtape and it's even better live! You could see in Tinie's face how much he was enjoying himself, and the relationship between Tinie, Yungen and Bonkaz on stage was amazing, because they performed together to make one great performance, rather than three separate artists only doing their part of the song.
Further into the set, Tinie performed his new single for the first time. I can almost guarantee that just from that performance, it it very likely to get to number one. The song features Zara Larsson, and even though she wasn't there to perform live with Tinie, you can tell she fits really well into the song.
Overall, this set was brilliant and has got me buzzing for the Brixton gig in April!
Lady Gaga is known for her unique sense of style and her jaw-dropping performances, and people would most certainly not pair her up with Jazz legend Tony Bennett. However, Tony and Gaga released their Grammy award winning album Cheek to Cheek in September 2014, and the success of it has been incredible!
I was lucky enough to attend one of the many Cheek to Cheek Tour dates at London's iconic Royal Albert Hall in June, and I was not disappointed. Supported by a huge live band, it was just Tony and Gaga and their impeccable vocals as they covered songs such as Anything Goes and I Can't Give You Anything But Love.
But this is still Lady Gaga, which means she wasn't without some of her eye opening outfits, including one dress with a giant bow designed by her younger sister Natali, and a beautiful red piece that didn't leave much to the imagination...
Gaga's vocals were flawless, and I think she opened the eyes of those who once crticised her. She is not only a worldwide superstar, but someone with the best vocal abilities of this generation.
Of course not to mention the legend that is Tony Bennett! By being a fan of Lady Gaga, I was introduced to Bennett's world of music. I don't usually listen to jazz, but after seeing Tony Bennett live, I discovered my secret love for it!
Overall, the concert was absolutely brilliant. And if Tony and Gaga are ever in your city, I would highly recommend booking tickets.
Many people know Nathan Sykes for being in the hugely successful boyband, The Wanted. However, when The Wanted decided to take a break after their Word Of Mouth tour in 2014, it left many people questioning what would be next for the boys.
I was devastated by the break, but little did I know that I would soon be seeing Nathan on his first ever UK tour in April 2015, and I was lucky enough to catch Nathan on the final date of the tour in London at the beautiful Bush Hall.
At first I was slightly apprehensive about seeing Nathan live without Max, Tom, Jay and Siva by his side, as I was worried that it would feel wrong to see one without the others. However as soon as Nathan came on stage all the worry went. His sound, his stage presence, even his clothes were completely different to the Nathan Sykes in The Wanted, not in a bad way though...just different.
This was the first time hearing the songs from Nathan's debut album, but lets be honest there isn't a better way to listen to new music than live. Nathan's new sound is quite different to the sound of The Wanted, as it has more of a jazzy/Justin Timberlake vibe to it. There was a variety of upbeat songs such as Twist, Money and his debut single Kiss Me Quick, as well as ballads such as Over and Over Again. Each song managed to show off Nathan's incredible vocals, and just by looking around you could see how proud everyone was of him.
After an impressive night I now look forward to the release of the album, and I'm also extremely excited for whats next for Max, Tom, Siva and Jay with a possible comeback of The Wanted!