I’m a massive Ariana Grande latecomer. For a while I was quite a pop culture snob, slating most of the top 40, reality TV, and the crappier talent shows. For context, I just started watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians two weeks ago (from the very beginning, and yes I love it), and when watching Gemma Collins: Diva Forever I have to ask my housemates for context about every 30 seconds.
In my opinion, Tori Kelly is one of the most underrated artists in the music industry today. With an unmistakable voice that hits you right through the heart, she is one of the most talented artists I have ever seen. In an exclusive London show at the end of July, 890 fans filled the beautiful Islington Assembly Hall on a rainy Tuesday night. A small stage made up of mainly guitars, and an old school sofa placed at the rear, made the perfect setting for "The Acoustic Sessions." Entering the stage first, Mateus Asato, Kelly’s long-time guitarist, who picked up his Suhr and got the crowd going instantly. And then, with no introduction needed, Tori Kelly steps out with her long, blonde curls, iconic as ever, and a pale pink jumpsuit that suits her personality perfectly. Picking up her guitar, she starts the show with “Language,” a song from her new album, Inspired by True Events before slipping straight into “Nobody Love” from her debut album Unbreakable Smile—which instantly makes you realise how packed the hall is, when a sea of voices sing their hearts out alongside her.
Many people ask me where my love of Country music comes from. Born and bred in England, with no Country influences in my life, how did I get into it? The answer is Lauren Alaina. Back in 2011, I watched the tenth season of American Idol, purely because Jennifer Lopez joined as a judge. The final of that series included Lauren duetting with Carrie Underwood, and the series winner Scotty McCreery performing with Tim McGraw. Those two duets were the first Country songs I ever downloaded, and the rest, as they say is history.
It’s been a rapid-yet-deserved ascent to the top for the South-Korean Indie band HYUKOH. Since their debut in 2014 as part of a Hongdae music scene famous for underground, grassroots indie rock, the four-piece—Oh Hyuk (Vocal, Guitar), Im Dong-geon (Bass), Lee Inwoo (Drums), Lim Hyunjae (Guitar)—have honed and developed themselves as a band that has the potential to define a generation, and one that provides the youth of today with a voice, as well as with an outlet for their feelings to be understood. The relatability and candidness of the music is something that connects with many; a point proved firmly by the audience at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, this past Thursday (July 18).
There are few groups who are almost as good as The Beatles (none are as good as them). Jeff Lynne's ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) is one of those few. Their string of hits through the 1970s into 1981—"Can't Get It Out of My Head", "Evil Woman", "Strange Magic", "Livin' Thing", "Telephone Line", "Turn to Stone", "Sweet Talkin' Woman", "Don't Bring Me Down," and "Hold On Tight" are my favorites—are every bit as a good as part of the Beatles output (e.g., "Golden Slumbers", "You Never Give Your Money," etc), and this puts ELO in the rarefied company of the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones.
It's not everyday you get to see a worldwide superstar play an intimate show at one of London's oldest and most treasured theatres. Used to playing stadiums with audiences of 90,000 plus, tonight Ed Sheeran played to 850 people at Theatre Royal Haymarket. 20,000 people entered in to a lottery to win tickets for the exclusive event, all to raise money for the theatres charity 'Masterclass.' Luckily, I got one of these sought after tickets, and got to enjoy a short, but super sweet evening with Mr. Sheeran, and many excitable fans.
There is something extremely special about seeing an artist live in concert for the first time—especially when you've been wanting to see them for a while. This was the case for me on Monday, July 8th, 2019. I saw Shawn Mendes in concert that night, and it was incredible. He was incredible.
On Sunday July 7, it had been exactly three years since NCT 127 promised to “wake up this world.” And, after a concert packed full of energy, raw talent and uncompromising craftsmanship at London’s SSE Arena, Wembley, any suggestions of delusions of grandeur have truly been cast aside. It was a night to remember and an evening that proved that the nine active members didn’t just wake the world up, but put it on notice.
As an English person who loves America, there is no better way to spend Independence Day than attending a Country concert. The modern day Queen of Country Music, Carrie Underwood, finished off her UK tour this week with a show at Wembley arena, an honour for many artists. The tour took has taken her all across the country, including a set on the main stage, at one of the world's most famous festivals, Glastonbury. UK Country act The Shires opened for Carrie; many were disappointed that she didn't bring over her US opening acts, girl bands Maddie & Tae, and Runaway June, but The Shires have a large following in the UK and had a good turnout despite this.
There are many people on my concert bucket list, and P!NK has always been right at the top. Never have I heard better things about an artists live performances, and to witness it firsthand was better than I could have ever imagined.
What a night! I thought I was going to die, but both these musicians brought me back to life after a long work day.
While recorded music has made the overall experience even more memorable and wholesome, we believe that nothing competes with a good session of some rocking live music. It is through these live concerts that we have had some of the most memorable and melodious memories from music.