- Roger Waters: Us + Them Tour – Oct 28th, 2017
Seeing Roger Waters live on my 22nd birthday easily goes down as the best concert I’ve ever experienced. By no means did I have the best seats in the stadium, but this did not change the show at all for me. I was with my dad, the man who got me into music growing up, and bought me a guitar and paid for lessons.
Pink Floyd was an integral band for me growing up. My entire friend group exists dude to the love we shared for the band. We spent many days smoking weed in Joshes shed listening to classic albums like Meddle, Animals, DSotM, The Wall, and Wish You Were Here. I even got a Pink Floyd tattoo on my left shoulder; inspired by my close friend Piercen.
I missed when Roger Waters came to Vancouver with The Wall tour, but I was happy to see the Us + Them tour due to the wide variety of Pink Floyd music he played. Roger and his band played tons of my favourite Pink Floyd classics. It wasn’t until the end when Brain Damage started playing that I realized that this was a pinnacle moment in my life. Brain Damage/Eclipse has always hit me like a ton of bricks. Struggling with anxiety my whole life these two songs in succession bring me a sense of peace like no other. Roger obviously knows how powerful Eclipse is because at the normal end of the song the crowd was greeted by a huge laser prism like the one on the cover of the album. The entire lyrics of the song were repeats at emotional levels I couldn’t handle. I burst into tears, as a rainbow light emerging from the center of the pyramid flooded the entire stadium. I couldn’t believe I got to experience this. After the song ended the band went silent for a few minutes as Roger proudly cheered to the sobbing fans. After a short break, Roger and his band played their encore of Mother and Comfortably Numb. This was truly the best concert I have ever been to.
- Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool Tour – Apr 8th, 2017
Radiohead has found a spot as my favourite band of all time. Last.fm says that I listen to them 15% of the time, 10% more than my second favourite band Arcade Fire. Anyways, I had already seen Radiohead at Osheaga Music Festival 8 months prior to seeing them in Seattle. However, I was not prepared for how intense a stadium show from the front of GA Floor would be… It was exciting too because I was with my close friend Jorge and it was his first time seeing them. I almost felt like a trip-sitter.
The setlist Radiohead played was full of variety, having a song from each album! Some highlights for me were Ful Stop, 15 Step, These Are My Twisted Words, Reckoner, Idioteque, Morning Bell, and You and Whose Army. The only ones from that list that I saw prior at Osheaga were Ful Stop, Reckoner, and Idioteque; this time with performances I couldn’t believe.
With Ful Stop the band chugged forwards like a train in 6/4, rhythm in perfect time. Thom was locked into that song and he grinned to let the crowd know it. He and the band did not disappoint.
Reckoner is just a classic to me. The bridge in that song evokes something amazing in me, always providing me with full body shivers. Seeing the song live is no exception.
Idioteque was actually a bit different than the first time I saw them, more powerful. Ed changed up his ending guitar loop a bit and you could really tell that Thom vibed with it. Loosely saying “And the children…” over and over until the song ended. It was awesome!
These Are My Twisted Word was really crazy to see live, mainly because it’s only been played like 3 times now. Thom and Jonny both played guitar as the stood beside each other, the rhythm section playing in perfect time. Truly a magical experience.
Morning Bell has become my standing favourite Radiohead song since the concert. There is something so maniacal and sad sounding about this song. The keys and bass bouncing forwards and Thom sings about a broken marriage. The reason this song goes down as my favourite is definitely because of Ed’s alien sounding guitar effects and Jonny’s ability to amp the song up with his guitar licks. The breakdown is my favourite Radiohead moment though, falling into madness and Thom rambles repetitively.
Overall, Jorge and I agree that this was one of the greatest experiences of our lives. We would both gladly wait 9 hours outside in April to get the chance to be as close and we were and experience Radiohead once again.
- Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool Tour – July 31st, 2016
This may not be my top concert experience, but it is definitely the most important to me as a whole. Going to Montreal for Osheaga ended up being a huge headache due to a missed flight in Chicago which led to me missing the first day of the festival. I was just happy I got to see Radiohead for the first time though. I am actually moving to Montreal from Vancouver because I had such an amazing time in the city and felt completely at home. I got a crying minotaur tattoo a few months before the concert because I had realized how important Radiohead’s music was to me.
I waited in the crowds at the main stage for 7 hours in the hot sun enjoying all of the great bands like Leon Bridges, and The Arcs so I could have a spot close to the band as they performed. It was so worth it, although I wasn’t as close as I would be later in Seattle.
The entire show was an amazing experience. The crowd was insane, 10s of thousands of people all cheering in absolute awe of the band. The air was perfect, not too hot, not too chilly. I wouldn’t change the setlist for the world, the flow of the entire show and energy was amazing.
Ful Stop will never fail to amaze me and always hits me like a train. Carrying that energy in 2+2=5 and then Body Snatchers definitely woke the crowd up. Thom stood on stage during the build-up in 2+2=5 absolutely amazed by the energy the crowd was feeding him as they clapped along. After this barrage of high energy songs, Radiohead switches it up with some of their more beautiful slow songs; Nude, Reckoner, and Pyramid Song. During Pyramid Song, the lady beside me burst into tears as me and her friend consoled her. I did not expect to see Feral live, but I was pleasantly surprised to realize how genius this song actually is, especially live! Let Down was especially emotional for me for the first encore, as they had only brought the song back live a few shows prior.
My favourite moment of the show was at the end of Karma Police when Thom had the entire crowd singing in unison “For a minute there I lost myself.” I think this moment was when I realized how at home I felt in Montreal. Ending the set with a second encore of Lotus Flower and ending the entire show with Creep just felt so fitting for the entire thing. This was the first time Radiohead had played Creep in Canada since 1997. Although it is an overplayed song that doesn’t represent Radiohead today, I was still glad to catch the band play it live. Overall, amazing concert. Can’t wait to move to Montreal!
- Arcade Fire: Infinite Content Tour – Oct 14th, 2017
If you haven’t seen Arcade Fire live I definitely recommend giving them a try. The energy and sounds they bring when they play a concert are like no other band I’ve seen. With an average of 7-10 musicians playing at the same time their music sounds so fun and rich, something you can only experience live. At the Emmys this past year in Vancouver the band said their show at Pacific Coliseum was their best show of the tour and I could definitely see why. The crowd was so into the music that Win seemed amazed, him and the band turning our energy into beautiful music.
The chemistry between Win and Regine is so pure and beautiful, and they have an immense amount of fun playing their songs live. Being from Montreal they hold a special place in my heart. Everyone in the band doesn’t hold back when they play their instruments and it just feels great when you see them live. The work the put into making the songs flow nicely into each other and keeping the energy up seems effortless for the experienced band.
The entire concert was, of course, an amazing time, but I’ll go over some of my favourite moments to sum it up nicely!
Here Come the Night Time is easily my favourite up-tempo Arcade Fire song. The build-up of drums after the ending of Rebellion (Lies) before they break into this song gets the crowd so hype. Everyone in the stadium cheered in anticipation before exploding into dance over the Haitian styled beat.
Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnel) was easily my favourite part of the show. The beautiful chugging guitars and piano pushing the song forward as Win sings about the snow and tunnels. I love how Win starts this song with the word ‘and..’ like he’s starting you halfway through this story.
Reflektor, Creature Comfort, and Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out) were both highlights for me for the same reason, ENERGY! Like wow, I was blown away by how full the entire stadium was with Arcade Fires burning passion for music and societal change.
I love Arcade Fire and can’t wait for what they put out next so I can see them at a show in their hometown Montreal! This was a great show!
- Anderson .Paak: Malibu Tour – Sept 4th, 2016
Anderson Paak sort of took me by surprise in 2016 after first being exposed to him through Goldlink on the track Unique in 2015. Then Kaytranada’s track GLOWED UP. I loved Paak’s flow throughout the first half of the song, and the second half was just a cherry on the pie. I decided to check out Paak’s newest album Malibu as was taken back by the creativity and soulful vibes Paak brought to the music.
I guess a lot of other Vancouverites also caught wind of him because when tickets for his show at the Vogue went on sale they sold out immediately and I did not get a ticket. I decided I’d sit this concert out since resale tickets were so expensive. I kept listening to Malibu though and fell absolutely in love with it, which ultimately ended up with me buying a ticket the day of the concert for way too much. It was worth every penny though because this was one of the best concerts I’ve been to. The crowd was amazing, you could tell everyone was so pumped before the show.
Paak and his band The Free Nationals came on stage and Paak yells “Vancouver…! Y’all niggas got me hot!” and everyone exploded in excitement. The entire concert was full of energy and Paak and his band fed off this energy and kept it throughout the whole show. I couldn’t believe Paak’s ability to jump on the drums then rap and sing at the same time as playing with ease. You could really tell Paak and his band truly felt and loved the music they were playing. Between the amazing music and the crowd that was amped up more than any other concert I’ve been to, this was definitely one to remember.