Quote: “If you told me I could only do one thing, I would choose live concerts.” — Mandy Patinkin
Song: Greatest Love Story by LANCO
Location: Red Deer, Alberta
2017, what a year!! I think it was absolutely fantastic. But, this isn’t for me to reflect on the year. Well, I guess it is, but, a different type of reflection. For me, 2017 was the YEAR of CONCERTS. There are few things (if any) I love more in this world than live music. Concerts are one of my favorite ways to spend money. No problem. I love hearing musicians I love, LIVE. So, here is a nice little reflection on all of the artists I was able to enjoy LIVE this 2017 year!
First up, one of my favorites artists (may have to do with the fact he mentions my name in not one, but TWO of his songs) BON JOVI.
Bon Jovi at The Forum. What an incredible show and start to the Year of Concerts. This House is Not For Sale was not only a wonderful tour, but Bon Jovi told a story that I will never forget. Almost 2-3 decades ago (many many years), he performed at The Forum to a half empty crowd. He figured his career was almost done and he went “home” to whatever hotel they were staying at that night and cried himself to sleep, thinking it was all over. He said, “If only I could have told myself then where I’d be in 25 years, performing to a SOLD OUT crowd, here, at The Forum.” The Forum had many memories for him, all which he shared, but that was the one that stuck with me the most. It was cool to see one of my favorite artists in such a monumental place for him! He also was a CLASSY performer. Totally family friendly, no inappropriate language, kids were rocking out to him just as hard as the adults. What a GREAT GUY!! Anddd….Tommy and Gina. ❤
The Lumineers – OMG. I have waited SO LONG to see The Lumineers. I miss them every time. They were opening for U2 and I cannot wait to see them on their own tour, but this was at least amazing. Also, The Lumineers and U2 in ONE SHOW? How much more perfect can life get? This was an absolutely fantastic set for them. They were soooo good. Cannot wait to see them again. Will definitely buy tickets!! (They’re in my Top 5 favorite musicians list so really….they could have sucked and I’d still buy future tickets, but it was awesome to see them thriveee!!)
U2 at the Rose Bowl. U2 tickets are way too hard to get. They’re also way too expensive. I bought the cheapest tickets I could get my hands on in pre-sale, and they were awful seats. I’m glad I saw them, it was a huge check off the bucket list, but I would never see them again unless I was way closer. This was the Joshua Tree Tour, in honor of 30 years since that album was released, and their stage show was a replica of it. 30 years ago they didn’t have big screens so…..they didn’t here either. So I get it but also, how do I know it was Bono and not some impersonator? I don’t. Because they were the size of ants. They sounded great though. But in the stack of concerts this year, they didn’t even come close to being at the top. I told a great friend of mine after that, “I wouldn’t see them again unless you and I were dating and you’d never seen them.” To which he responded, “I’ve already seen them.” Thanks for that dude. Clearly you are NEVER going to ask me out, literally handed him a neon sign saying go for it. Hahaha Forget him, I mailed him a shirt, and…I’ll go again. But only if my tickets are super close. Or not at the Rose Bowl. It’ll be interesting to see them at a tour that’s not a replica of the past.
Brett Young – Fantastic. He was the first opener for Lady Antebellum and joined the stage with them again at one point during their set. Can’t wait to see him on his own tours!
Kelsea Ballerini – Peter Pan. OMG. I love that song. So much. I’m also a weirdo fan of anything Peter Pan so, that helps. She was the second opener for Lady Antebellum and what a great performance. It was like her own mini-concert. Super glad I was able to see her and hear Peter Pan ring through the valleys surrounding the Hollywood Bowl!
Lady Antebellum at the Hollywood Bowl. FANTASTIC. There’s just something about live country music. One, they’re always exactly the same as the radio because they don’t auto tune themselves. Two, they’re just fun. Although I haven’t really listened to most of Antebellum’s new stuff, I’m a fan of their oldies and they played just as much of that as their new record. You Look Good World Tour, another great one for the books!
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at the Staples Center. Woohoo. We’ve hit a country double whammy. The Soul 2 Soul Tour was absolutely AH-MAZING! How can it not be when you’re seeing BOTH Tim McGraw AND Faith Hill in one setting? To make it even better, I bought second hand tickets…which ended up being VIP. VIP in the Staples Center is the life you always want to live. Trust me. Also, Tim McGraw is a favorite of mine and he played all of my favorites, including Shotgun Rider: A song which I don’t leave out on any mixed CD I’ve ever made. True, classy, country performers. Humble and Kind. They live what they preach…or they live what they sing. One of the top concerts of the year for sure.
Coldplay at the Rose Bowl. Now, this one is a tough opinion to beat. Coldplay is and are, my favorite musicians. So even if they had a crappy show, they’d be #1 in my heart. I actually had already gone to the A Head Full of Dreams tour in 2016 (at the Rose Bowl), but knew they were returning in 2017. Just days before the 2017 LA show, my friend’s sister posted some videos from their Edmonton show and I realized I was going to have to buy tickets to see them again. Just because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I do think Mylo Xyloto was a better tour. (I saw that in Edmonton.) But, it is cool to see their tours in outdoor arenas. Then you can get the full confetti and fireworks show!! (And I LOVE FIREWORKS as much as I LOVE CONCERTS.) Side note: This concert was just a few days after the terrible acts in Las Vegas. Thank you to Coldplay and the Rose Bowl who had extra security, and also had emergency exits explained for EVERY SINGLE SECTION before the show was allowed to begin.
Tom Walker. Let me guess, you don’t know who he is? LOOK HIM UP RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THIS GUY IS GONNA BE SOMEBODY and you can remember when GINA SAID LOOK HIM UP. Absolutely FANTASTIC. AND he’s one heck of a SUPER NICE GUY TOO!
The Script at The Wiltern. YES. This may have been the concert of the year solely because of my INSANELY AMAZING tickets. ON THE FLOOR, as close as possible, inside the pit. Amazing. The Script, like The Lumineers, I have missed every single tour. EVERY SINGLE ONE. But, FINALLY, I was able to catch them on the Freedom Child Tour. A very fitting name too. They were absolutely AMAZING. Sounded great, were personable, and just put on an absolutely amazing show. This was also my first time at The Wiltern, and since then, it has become my favorite place in LA to watch concerts. Great venue!! Can’t wait to see The Script again!!
Particle Kid. At first I thought he was a weird opener for Sheryl Crow, but let me tell ya, this guy has some talent. He also told a story about him listening to Sheryl Crow as a kid and how he can’t believe she’s now like his crazy Aunt. Had me sold at that story. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m all about the personal stories these musicians like to tell. I soak them up like butter in a croissant.
Sheryl Crow at the Fonda Theatre. I literally left work at 8:30pm and bought a ticket for this show at 8:55pm. The show started at 9. What a great buy for a Monday night. Sheryl Crow was one of my childhood favorites and I still love her. You really don’t realize how many hits she has until you listen to her Greatest Hits albums and it’s every single song she’s ever sang. She did not fail in person. Sounded identical to every recording ever and was a true country artist on stage. Love her mellow indie vibes. Also, Fonda Theatre was another rad venue.
Liam Gallagher at The Wiltern. First, I LOVE OASIS. Oasis is one of my Top 5 musicians/bands. The chances of me ever seeing them perform are 0. Okay….maybe 0.1. Seeing them separately is all I can do, and of course, it’s Liam’s voice we want to hear. Liam has a bit of a reputation when it comes to concerts….he’s been known to storm off stage and not return, forget lyrics, start fights with the audience. He did none of that during the As You Were Tour. He put on a freaking great show AND his voice was incredible. He didn’t sing Wonderwall which broke my heart, but you have to be thankful for just getting a show when it comes to the Gallagher brothers. I would definitely buy tickets for Liam again, and just hope that this show wasn’t my one lucky time. Also, shout out to everyone attending. I believe this was the nicest crowd of people at a concert this entire year. The crowd actually stayed 30 minutes after the show had ended to sing Wonderwall, and other Oasis hits that didn’t get touched. It was beautiful. I met some cool people there too. Definitely a great memory!!!
OH MY GOSH. THIS BRINGS US TO THE LAST CONCERT OF THE YEAR. LANCO. LANCO was by far, the friendliest band this year. They even invited me in (thanks to a very persistent friend) for a meet-n-greet before the show because the tickets were a birthday gift for me. They were so genuine and polite, it made me even happier to be a fan of them. Even better, I have been a fan of them BEFORE they were on the radio. The friend from the U2 story, he always finds me these super indie bands before they make it big. LANCO was the first band that I was able to send HIM before they became popular. Although Troublemaker was their first big hit, Greatest Love Story is my favorite. (And again, I knew it before the radio play.) I LOVEEEE that song. It’s ah-mazing. Go listen to it if you haven’t heard it yet. The cool thing about LANCO, they performed at the Troubadour which is a venue that has stories to tell. It was very popular in past decades for musicians to perform in, but it is also a very small venue. This allowed a close intimate performance with the audience. Their frontman, Brandon Lancaster, at one point, divided the crowd and then ran through the middle of us banging drums, etc. Something I’m glad he’s taking advantage of now, because that’ll be much harder to do at the Staples Center. (I trust they’ll get that big.)
LANCO also holds a special place in my heart because it was my LAST CONCERT of 2017, to finish off 2017 The Year of Concerts. I should mention, by the way, I didn’t wake up January 1st and say, “This is gonna be the year of concerts.” It actually just became a joke mid-way through the year because I was just continuously going or continuously buying tickets. (I am also missing some of the openers but…I put in the openers that mattered in my heart, and my ears.) Either way, what a year of live music it has been!!! It has been AWESOME. (And for those not familiar with the venue names, these were all in Los Angeles. I’m just writing this blog from my Canadian Winter getaway.) Thank you to all of the bands, venues, friends I went with, performers, audience members beside me, merchandise attendees, THANKS Y’ALL for supporting and being a part of making live music happen.
Can’t wait to find out who I’ll be seeing in 2018. I’m hoping to make a trip out to Nashville. Hmmm, 2018, The Year of Travelling, sounds pretty good too, no?
Happy New Year Y’all! ❤