2018: More gigs than you can shake a drumstick at

Oi oi we’re back. Second year of uni is done, the stress of assignments is over (for now) and I have some spare time and a crap tonne of writing ideas and opinions to put down. To start it all off, this post will be a look at all of the gigs I have been lucky enough to attend during this year.

I’ve talked about how the music scene in Manchester has its ups and downs, but one thing that brings me so much joy as both a music lover and journalist, is how many bands bring their shows to this culturally rich city.
Put it this way: fuck all bands come and tour Norwich. In a tour manager’s eyes, it’s a small city, there is not an arena to accommodate their performers. They literally will tour anywhere except Norwich…maybe they just don’t like Norfolk people.

ANYWAY. In the past two years that I have spent living and studying in Manchester, I have seen bands that, years ago, I came to peace with that I might never see and experience hearing their songs live. This means a lot to me. As someone who has used these performers music to get myself through some of the worst periods of my life, and to be the soundtrack to some of the best, all these gigs merge together like one big, surreal moment.
In this post I will be detailing the 5 most significant gigs that I have been lucky enough to attend these past few months (and December last year). These experiences will stay with me forever.

  1. Good Charlotte (2nd December 2017)
    I only got into Good Charlotte a couple of years ago, but their music instantly clicked in my head and I was so attached to their songs. When the opportunity to see them came up, I had to. They played all the songs I love, they appreciated the crowd so much and I did cry a bit when they played ‘Hold On’. The lyrics are so poignant that they provoked feelings I mostly suppress. But, this is an indicator that the band is doing their job correctly, it is their intention to make you feel those things.
  2. Marilyn Manson (4th December 2017)
    Okay so…this is the most disappointing gig on the list. When I got tickets to see MM, I thought, ‘Holy Shit this will be INSANE. It’s going to be the weirdest gig I have ever been to!’.
    It was actually the most boring. OH MY GOD was I bored! I feel so bad saying this but…it’s true. My expectations to see some weird, crazy, twisted show were thrown into the ground and stomped on by a goths 6-inch platform boots. It took him an hour (from when the support DJ finished) to come on stage, by that time my attention span had taken up residence at the bar, and then the whole show looked like he was trying to force something out in a desperate attempt to reclaim his youth.
    Like I said, I feel bad writing this but it’s what I genuinely feel. Marilyn Manson did what he could considering his recent injury, but it just felt limp, empty. Still, I can tick it off my list that I’ve seen the one and only ‘Anti-Christ Superstar’.
  3. Thirty Seconds To Mars (24th March 2018)
    This is actually the second time I’ve seen 30STM but I can say, watching 30STM perform is not like rocking up to a standard gig. They put on a SHOW. I managed to get tickets so close to the stage I could almost flick Jared Leto on the nose. But I wouldn’t do that, I’m not weird.
    It was the UK leg of their Monolith Tour and it was just Jared and Shannon Leto, on a moving stage in the middle of the MEN arena, and that’s all you honestly needed. Both clad in Gucci, they dominated the stage, owned the entire crowd. I felt almost honoured to be there, watching them perform anthems such as The Kill, Kings and Queens, and Walk on Water.
  4. Fall Out Boy (29th March 2018)
    MY LITTLE EMO HEART OH MY GOD. I never, ever though I would be in a place to get the opportunity to see these absolute icons. I have loved FOB since I was 11. As a music journalist, to listen to the change in their musical style over the years- especially after their hiatus- has been beautiful. It goes to show that you should not feel pressured, as a musician, to stay in one particular genre your entire career. FOB’s music has changed drastically since early songs such as ‘Champagne For My Real Friends’ and ‘Sugar We’re Goin’ Down’ were released. Listen to them, then listen to ‘Young and Menace’ from recent album, ‘Mania’. Incredibly different, but equally as great.
    Highlights from their show were; being LITERALLY a few feet away from them all, Pete Wentz performing in a TESCO cap, Patrick Stump performing ‘Save Rock and Roll’ (the song that kickstarted my career in music) and making me shed more tears, then dancing my little heart out to ‘Hold Me Tight Or Don’t’. It was the most perfect gig. I still can’t believe I finally got to hear all those special songs. I’m still not okay after it.
  5. The Wildhearts (4th May 2018)
    A proper, good old rock gig. It was messy. I got very sweaty. My hair got in some woman’s cider. I knew all the words to all their classics and was also probably one of the youngest audience members there. Fucking hell it was brilliant. People who I’ve spoken to about this gig have never heard of the Wildhearts until I told them, but I am making it so clear now that YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO THEM. They deserve so much more appreciation than they currently get.
    The Wildhearts are a band who sound like they were made to be a live band. Their songs sound even better being performed live, they have so much more energy and sound so fuller. I used to beg my Dad to let him take me to see them when they would tour Norwich, but I was way to young at the time. So when the opening notes of ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ reverberated around the room, and Ginger Wildheart became illuminated by the overhead lights, I felt so overwhelmed with happiness and excitement. I stood there, frozen for a split second before going absolutely fucking mental, probably kicking a few people with my army boots, and I did not stop once. It was pure happiness that night, and it engulfed everyone. I’ll never forget that feeling.
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May they ALL be remembered

So, this post is going to be pretty deep. More discussion, emotions and unfortunately not a funny one. However, it’s an important one. I’ve given it some time to write this, due to recent events within the music industry.

A week ago, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington took his own life following a long battle with depression. Two months earlier, Chris Cornell, of Soundgarden, also took his own life.

These deaths shook the music industry and fans of the bands to the core. They are both highly influential people and have given fans of their music so much hope and strength. They have made incredible albums, songs and have been loved by so many people. They left an impact on people’s lives.

So, why does the media forget about them within a few months?

*Disclaimer- I am not talking about all media, as music journalists will not forget about these, ever. I am talking about main media, major news programmes etc.*

I find it very frustrating when channels or news outlets such as the BBC, Channel 4 etc, give certain artists more recognition and remembrance when the pass away, and give other artists barely any airtime at all. Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead, Hawkwind) passed away on the 28th December 2015. David Bowie passed away on the 10th January 2016. Both incredible, influential musicians- the difference between them though? Lemmy received a 30-second segment announcing his death for a couple of days, yet David Bowie received tribute upon tribute, programme after programme, for months.

Don’t read this as though I dislike David Bowie. I was just as upset when he died as I was with Lemmy. My anger is at the media.

The same happened with Prince, Pete Burns and George Michael. All passing away in 2016, all receiving different amounts of remembrance from the main media. For example, there are still news stories from papers being written about George Michael and his death. However, with Pete Burns, the articles stopped within a few days.

Is this because artists such as Pete Burns and Lemmy were *shock, horror* a little controversial? Not particularly media/radio friendly?

To lay it out:
– Lemmy was notorious for drinking, swearing, saying controversial things, and making heavy metal music, the least played genre of music on mainstream radio.
– David Bowie constantly changed his image along with how the music industry changed, put out radio-friendly music and did charity work. The most controversial thing Bowie said was that he was bi/gay in an interview with Melody Maker back in the 70’s.

The music Lemmy and Pete Burns put out was not of a genre that would frequently get airtime on mainstream radio stations, because it didn’t appeal to as many people as the music of George Michael and David Bowie did. Michael and Bowie’s music appeals to all ages, reaching a wider demographic than heavy metal or new-wave. Which is why, news programmes focused on, put out tribute shows on and kept news stories going for months on David Bowie and George Michael, because they would bring in the ratings. Which is so disappointing.

Every musician that dies should be remembered equally.

Every musician that dies rips a hole in the music industry and affects so many people’s lives, that the media should not pick and choose who to give more airtime to.

Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, George Michael, Prince and Pete Burns are all equal in the eyes of the music industry and their fans.
The music industry will not be the same as it was without these musicians putting out their incredible music. Their songs had so much meaning and meant so much to a hell of a lot of people. So much that fans say, ‘Chester/Lemmy/David etc saved my life’. Surely that statement alone warrants endless recognition.

I could go on a rant for ages about this subject, going on different tangents, but those are for other blog posts. I am going to leave it here for now.

I will always remember musicians such as Chester, Lemmy and Chris, as equally as Bowie, George and Prince, and you should to. They all saved lives.