Arkells + July Talk @ Budweiser Stage

Arkells + July Talk with Said the Whale and Mondo Cozmo
When: June 24, 2017
Where: Budweiser Stage – Toronto, ON
Seats: General Admission – Lawn

THE COMPANY

I could not have asked for a better group of people to see this concert with. I had an unanticipated extra ticket and asked my sister to come along – promising her the most fun concert she’s ever attended – and she said yes. (An answer which she doesn’t regret, because she is now obsessed with both Arkells and July Talk). And then my friends Christine, Jeremy, Marco, and Mike were all coming as well, so we met up and got super psyched together for what would be an amazing show.

It was actually the best thing ever to dance and sing along to my favourite tunes with some of my favourite people.

THE PERFORMANCE

The opening acts of this show were both pretty stellar. I’ve got a few Said the Whale songs on my iPod so it was cool to hear them live. I’ve never heard of Mondo Cozmo, but I really liked their music. But honestly, the entire time, I was counting down the seconds to the two headlining bands of this concert. And once they hit the stage, I think I literally lost my mind.

Having only heard July Talk songs on the radio before, I was really hesitant that lead male vocalist, Peter Dreimanis, would actually sound as deep and raspy as he does in the recordings. So let me just say: he sounds even better live. The entire band does. Peter and Leah’s voices are incredible together, and their chemistry on stage brought the crowd to its feet. They also (very smartly) advertised their next set of shows to the 16,000 people packing the Bud Stage that night. Needless to say those shows sold out almost immediately. (And needless to say, my sister and I will be going).

Arkells. My band. I’ve seen them before and I knew I’d love seeing them again. They’ve quickly become my #1 favourite band. So when the lights went out for them to begin, the cheers rumbled and I went into full fangirl-concert mode. Every song they played was a hit. Front man, Max Kerman, did not let the energy die down even for a second. I don’t think anyone in the crowd stopped dancing at any point during their set.

But easily the best part of the entire night was the encore. The venue gave everyone at the show a beer cup that would light up red at certain points in the encore. Arkells came out to sing “My Heart’s Always Yours” and the cups lit up the venue – pulsing and dancing along to the tune of the song. Then all four acts came out once more and did a rendition of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” that had everyone going wild (including the red lights).

It was quite honestly the best concert I think I’ve ever been to in my life.

COMPLETE SETLIST:

July Talk:

  1. Picturing Love ♥
  2. Summer Dress
  3. Gentleman
  4. Johnny + Mary ♥
  5. Lola + Joseph ♥
  6. Strange Habit
  7. Guns + Ammunition ♥
  8. Paper Girl ♥
  9. Jesus Said So
  10. My Neck
  11. Ace of Spades (Motorhead cover) ♥
  12. I’ve Rationed Well
  13. Touch
  14. Beck + Call ♥
  15. Push + Pull ♥
  16. The Garden

Arkells:

  1. Private School ♥
  2. Michigan Left ♥
  3. Never Thought That This Would Happen ♥♥
  4. Come to Light ♥
  5. 11:11 ♥♥
  6. Oh, the Boss is Coming! ♥
  7. Pullin’ Punches ♥♥
  8. Drake’s Dad ♥
  9. Savannah
  10. And Then Some ♥♥
  11. Book Club ♥
  12. Leather Jacket ♥♥
  13. Dirty Blonde ♥♥
  14. Whistleblower ♥
  15. A Little Rain (A Song for Pete) ♥♥♥
  16. Cynical Bastards ♥♥
  17. Knocking at the Door ♥♥

Encore:
18. My Heart’s Always Yours ♥♥
19. Dancing in the Dark (Springsteen cover with July Talk, Mondo Cozmo, and Said the Whale) ♥♥♥

blogsignature

Image result for black twitter logo vector  Image result for black facebook logo Image result for black tumblr logo Image result for black instagram logo vector  Image result for bloglovin icon black

Advertisements

How the Arkells Changed My Life

I can count the bands I love on one hand. They’re not just bands I like, but bands that have had a serious impact on my life. Green Day has always been my group – the one whose music has meant the most to me and inspired me since I was ten years old. It’s been so long, I guess I forgot what it felt like to “love” a group like that. Then I got a chance to see Arkells at their homecoming concert in Hamilton.

“Take me to the bus stop Matty, drive me back to Hamilton…”
-Book Club

It was the first concert I’ve ever been to where I only knew a couple of songs, but still had a blast singing along. I fell in love that night – but not with a person. Arkells rekindled my love and appreciation for music. Their songs are so upbeat and happy, or emotionally charged. I can’t stand still. “Dirty Blonde” comes on, and I just need to dance.

“Give me your number, pick any colour, I can tell your fortune tonight.”
-Dirty Blonde

I guess that’s when I realized I wasn’t happy. In that moment, I fell in love with a sound harder than I’d fallen in love with the person I was dating. When I listen to their music, it makes me feel stronger – happier, sadder, giddier – than I felt when I was with the guy who was supposed to be “the one”.

In that moment, I decided I was tired of feeling numb. I realized I don’t need a person to make me feel – I can feel things on my own – with a book, with a game, with a band, with a song. And whether it was with another person, or by myself, I realized this is how I wanted to feel for the rest of my life.

The Arkells were the light in my life when I was numb and repressed by my selfish ex.

“I just want to love you, but it’s so hard.”
-Private School

They were there when he left me.

“When the rain starts comin’ down, a little rain ain’t bringin’ me down.”
-A Little Rain (A Song for Pete)

And they were there when I fell for someone who respected me, and who empowered me to be the person I wanted to be, for me. Not for him or for anyone else.

“It used to be just weekends, now I want you everyday.”
-My Heart’s Always Yours

The Arkells were my lifeline in a time when I needed something to shake me from my comfort zone, and tell me that there was something better out there for me. I just had to get out of my funk and find it.

And I can already feel the difference between going through the motions, and being just plain happy. I’m as happy as I was that night in Hamilton, and I feel happy every time I put High Noon on my record player.

I cannot wait to see the Arkells when they come to Toronto this month, because this time around it’ll mean so much more.

blogsignature

Image result for black twitter logo vector  Image result for black facebook logo Image result for black tumblr logo Image result for black instagram logo vector  Image result for bloglovin icon black

The Zolas @ The Opera House

The Zolas
When: March 16, 2017
Where: The Opera House – Toronto, ON
Seats: General Admission – Floor

THE COMPANY

This show was such a last minute thing. My friend Marco messaged and asked if I wanted to go with him to a concert. And I’m always up for a concert. Even if I don’t know the band – as was with this case – I know Marco and I have pretty similar taste in music, so I trust him. I listened to some Zolas before heading out, and already had a few favourite songs in mind as we headed to The Opera House.

THE PERFORMANCE

The show was fantastic! The audience was so hyped when The Zolas took the stage, and the band was able to keep the excitement rolling their entire set. There was a good mix of upbeat songs that I could bop along to, and some slower, more mellow tunes, which I always enjoy. And even during the slower songs, I was really enjoying watching the band rock out. There was never a dull moment.

I thought it was especially cool that during their last song, the lead singer came into the crowd and performed from the centre of the floor. Everyone circled around and shone their cell phone lights on him, lighting the venue. It was a really cool experience!

Side note: It’s been a month and I still frequently get “Ancient Mars” stuck in my head.

THE AUDIENCE

Shows are just significantly more enjoyable when they’re general admission shows, honestly. I don’t care if I don’t know the band – if I’m standing in a general admission area, I feel like I’m part of the crowd. Part of the show. Part of an experience. Not just watching – but a part. And that’s how I felt this entire show.

The Zolas really seemed to appreciate the fact that they filled The Opera House with so many enthusiastic fans, and you know what – they gained another one that night. I’d happily buy a ticket to see them in Toronto again.

COMPLETE SETLIST:

  1. In Heaven
  2. Molotov Girls ♥
  3. Get Dark ♥
  4. Fell In Love with New York ♥
  5. Ancient Mars ♥
  6. Cultured Man
  7. You’re Too Cool
  8. Freida on the Mountain ♥
  9. This Changes Everything
  10. Marlaina Kamikaze
  11. Cab Driver
  12. Strange Girl ♥
  13. CV Dazzle
  14. Swooner ♥

Encore:
15. Invisible ♥
16. Observatory
17. Escape Artist ♥

Simple Plan: Take One For the Team Tour

Simple Plan w/ Set It Off & Plain White Ts
When: March 14, 2017
Where: Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON
Seats: Lower level, Row 4

THE COMPANY

This show was originally supposed to take place on Nov. 18th of 2016, but had to be pushed back. So I originally got the tickets because Nov. 18th is my bestie’s birthday, and Simple Plan is our thing.

But attending the concert a few months later was still super special. There’s no one I’d rather scream and dance with to songs like “I’d Do Anything” and “I’m Just a Kid”.

THE PERFORMANCE

First I have to talk about the openers. I’ve never heard of the band Set It Off before, but they were pretty entertaining. But when I saw that Plain White T’s would be there, the 14-year-old inside me wept. Their performance was so down to earth and honest. And of course, they ended with “Hey There, Delilah”, which was nothing short of nostalgic.

Then Simple Plan took the stage, and I got very excited. We had great seats, and Simple Plan never disappoints! Personally, I’m a bigger fan of their first couple of albums, so when they launched into upbeat angsty teen songs like “Jump” or “Shut Up”, I couldn’t NOT sing along. But even the songs I wasn’t as familiar with, I could still rock out to. They played quite a few slower tunes, but some of the best SP songs are better listened to acoustically (lookin’ at you, “Welcome to My Life” and “Perfect”), so I had no problem swaying with bestie and feeling the feels. It was a great night.

THE AUDIENCE

The thing I love about Simple Plan is that their audience is so diverse, especially with regards to age. There were young girls there rocking Take One for the Team t-shirts. There were men and women in their 20s who clearly grew up with this band and wanted to show their support. And there were husbands and wives in their later years who came out to enjoy the show. I just love how a band can appeal to such a wide fanbase.

Also, I don’t know if this was because the show got postponed, or because there were hazardous road conditions due to a snow storm, but the show just didn’t sell out. The people who were there were having a great time, but it was hard not to notice that half the floor looked empty, and lots of the seats, too. Honestly, I feel like it would have been better to have the show in a slightly more intimate venue, because to me, that’s what their music is anyway – something personal. Their lyrics aren’t just lyrics I sing and dance to – they’re lyrics I relate to, and feel.

COMPLETE SETLIST:

  1. Opinion Overload
  2. Jet Lag
  3. Jump (with excerpts of “I’ve Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas)
  4. I’d Do Anything ♥
  5. Boom
  6. Welcome to My Life ♥
  7. Addicted ♥
  8. Your Love is a Lie
  9. Perfectly Perfect
  10. I Don’t Wanna Go to Bed
  11. Uptown Funk/Can’t Feel My Face (Mark Ronson/The Weeknd covers)
  12. Can’t Keep My Hands Off You ♥
  13. Summer Paradise ♥
  14. Farewell
  15. Crazy
  16. I’m Just a Kid ♥

Encore:
17. Shut Up ♥
18. Perfect World
19. This Song Saved My Life
20. Perfect ♥

blogsignature

Image result for black twitter logo vector  Image result for black facebook logo Image result for black tumblr logo Image result for black instagram logo vector  Image result for bloglovin icon black