Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Top 5 Live Performers I've Seen

This is a post I've wanted to write for a long time now. Even though I'm absolutely untalented when it comes to anything related to music - not that this stops me from singing along really loudly and awfully to my favourite songs - I'm a huge appreciator of those who make and perform music. If going to concerts was free, it would definitely be one of my favourite activities to participate in, that's for sure!

I've been to a fair amount of concerts and festivals in the past ten years now (doing the math for this right now really shocked me and reminded me of how old I am, haha), and I always liked to keep the tickets and stick it into the journal you can see on the picture above. I'm guilty of really slacking at keeping it up-to-date though unfortunatley, so it's kind of unfinished right now.

What I wanted to do for this post is list my favourite live performers that I've had the pleasure to see until now; I'm going to do this alphabetically, because I'm having a really hard time ranking one artist over another - they all make different kinds of music and have different styles of performing, so I really don't see a point!

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band 
I went to see Springsteen live on July 12th, 2012 together with my dad, who also introduced me to his music in the first place. It was the first ever concert I saw in the Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna's biggest open air stadium (about 60,000 seats!). It was definitely also the longest live show from a solo artist I've ever been to - it lasted for almost 4 hours! I was absolutely amazed by Bruce's energy and positivity - this man makes everyone feel included, no matter how huge the stadium he's playing in is! Listening to Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out live comes very close to what I consider a religious experience - it really is that good. (setlist)

Flogging Molly
If I counted correctly, Flogging Molly is the band I've seen play live the most often (together with Green Day) - five times. They play at the two big Austrian music festivals (Nova Rock and FreQuency) quite a lot (at least a few years ago when I still regularly went!), but I've also seen play at other venues in Vienna, and they just never disappoint! The crowd can go quite wild when certain songs are played (Devil's Dancefloor!), so please take care if you're a tiny/short person! I love the way Flogging Molly's singer and major songwriter Dave King balances chatting with his audience with playing some really good music - I feel like some artists either don't communicate enough with their crowd, or not at all, but with Flogging Molly, they get it just right!

Green Day
My 14-year-old self would be so proud if she only knew that come 2015, I'd be able to say "Oh yes, I've seen my favourite band play live five times now! And in three different countries, too!" - Yup, my obsession with Green Day even led me away from Austria to Berlin/Germany and Copenhagen/Denmark just so I can see them play again. What's so special about Green Day for me? Well, first of all there's so much nostalgia attached when I even start to think of them, so they'll always occupy a very special place in my music-loving heart. Their live shows are usually known for being very long (around 3 hours) and very inclusive - they try to get a lot of people on stage, let them play their instruments and sing, and give away guitars! I always have such a blast going to Green Day shows, and as soon as they go on tour again, I'll definitely be there! 

Mumford & Sons
Both Mumford albums, Sigh No More and Babel are absolute gems in my opinion. Albums that you like to lisen to in one go, where you don't have to skip a single song because it irks you are very hard to come by, but these two are just perfect to me. I saw the band play live first at the Harvest of Art festival in 2012, and then later on in 2013 in Vienna at a solo concert. I remember hearing their song Lover's Eyes live for the first time when they played it at the festival and being absolutely fascinated by the beauty of that song; by then Babel had not been released yet so it was kind of like a sneak peak into the new record. Generally, I think Mumford & Sons live shows are incredibly powerful and do their records absolute justice - and when songs like The Cave or Little Lion Man are played, you can be sure that everyone sings along at the top of their lungs. 

The Rolling Stones
Man, where do I even start? I still can't quite believe that I've seen these absolute legends play live. I have such a huge respect when it comes to the Stones' legacy in the music business - there's a reason why I've included them into my MA thesis! I'm so thankful that my dad made it possible for me to see the band play when the show was announced last year - I was kind of broke and he paid for my ticket as an advance birthday present because he knew how important it was to me. The show itself (June 2014) was absolutely incredible - they played in the same stadium as Springsteen, and it was just amazing to hear all these songs that everyone knows live. Hearing Keith Richards sing You Got the Silver live was one of my absolute highlights, since I have a soft spot for the song ever since I've watched Shine a Light. I have no idea how these guys manage to still be this alive and kicking, but I'm glad they are! 

Are you a regular concert-goer? Who are your favourite performers? :)

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