water under the bridge

I’m gonna take an ever so brief break from these Japan/holiday posts. I’ve already got a Tokyo-themed Thursday Doors post scheduled for this week (i.e. tomorrow), so I really do mean brief.

I really would have liked to have written and published this post on Monday night, but I suppose the universe had other plans. I ended up staying back at work until 9pm. And that was from a 7am start after no more than five hours of sleep the night before. Subtracting my lunch break, that’s a 13-hour day.

Longest. Day. Ever.

But I got through it thanks to the miracle that is coffee, and also chocolate. Oh, and the efforts of my team.

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right here

I just realised that it’s been just over a year since I went to my first concert to see The Script. Last year, I went to two other concerts as well: Maroon 5 and Hozier. I enjoyed each of them for different reasons, and I’m not willing to choose a favourite (but, deep down, I feel like The Script would win).

Earlier this year I was lamenting the lack of good concerts for the year ahead. To be perfectly honest, I did think at one point that maybe it was a good thing, so that I wouldn’t go to concerts, and then I could save up money for other things. I’d basically resigned myself to that dreary but probably more sensible fate when, one day, listening to the radio, I heard an ad announcing that Rudimental were coming to Australia, and that Jess Glynne would be their support act.

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someone new

This has been a bit of a weird day in which I didn’t really feel like doing anything at all. What I ended up doing, mostly, apart from eating, was reading journal articles and getting CPD points, which isn’t something I usually do on days when I’m lacking general motivation (it’s not even something I tend to do on days when I do have motivation).

I did some leisurely reading too, though. Just started One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (by Ken Kesey). It’s one that I’ve wanted to read for so long, so I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it.

I’m going to blame this general lack of motivation on the beginning of summer. Yes, it’s that time of the year again… That time when the temperature is regularly above 30 (talking Celsius here – I wish it was Fahrenheit), the humidity becomes stifling, and every second thought has something to do with rain or cool breezes or air con.

I could also just be tired because I went out last night to see Hozier at River Stage. It’s quite a nice venue (my first time seeing a concert there). The forecast kept saying there’d be storms or at least some rain, but luckily it held off the whole night – pretty much until I got home. All the lightning seemed to be happening out west, which meant there was this lovely light display in the sky just above and around the stage. It was pretty cool.

The concert itself was pretty good too. Admittedly, I’m not as familiar with Hozier’s music as I am with The Script or Maroon 5, so I wasn’t as psyched up this time, but I was quite pleased overall. The support/opening act, Rhodes, was also pretty impressive. He’s possibly the best support act I’ve seen out of all the concerts I’ve been to.

If you haven’t already guessed, “Someone New” is my favourite Hozier song. Also really like “Work Song” (which, despite the name, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with actual work). There are others I quite like but I really cannot remember their names right now.

Hmm… Maybe I’d benefit from an early bedtime tonight. Then again, maybe I could just put on some music and not worry about bedtime. It is the week-end, after all…

one in a million

I’m just going to say straight up that this entire post is going to be about Maroon 5. If you do not listen to their music, or do not like their music, I highly recommend skipping this post (also, why don’t you listen to / like their music??). Feel free to go and read something more worthwhile. I can give you suggestions if you’re short on ideas.

Anyway, my music taste is pretty mainstream, so obviously I’m a big fan of Maroon 5 (they’re pretty mainstream, right? I mean, they get played on the radio so much… Not that I’m complaining…)

Last night, I went to see their concert and, since I did a post for The Script’s concert (actually, I’m pretty sure I did at least two posts for them), I am definitely writing one for Maroon 5. (Side note: I’d say The Script is also pretty mainstream, but less so than Maroon 5.) Part of me wants to draw comparisons between the two concerts, but I think I’ll just write about this one on its own merits.

First off, honorary mentions to the support/opening acts: Conrad Sewell and Dirty Loops. Pretty good performances from them both; got the energy going, etc.

When Maroon 5 got on the stage, though… wow… They smashed out a lot of high-energy songs at the start, one after the other. There were some nice chill moments when Adam Levine was just kind of chatting to us, but I’m kind of impressed with how many songs they fit into that concert. And they played some of their old songs, among which were my favourites, “Sunday morning” and “She will be loved”. According to Adam, they wrote “She will be loved” in about 20 minutes.

I particularly liked the acoustic intro they did for “Pay phone”, where they were all standing together in the middle of the stage, kind of in a huddle. And whenever they got the audience to join in and sing parts of the songs – there was something about that that just put a big smile on my face (as I sang along).

And the drum solos, the guitar solos, the frickin’ light displays and everything were all amazing. (Can you tell I’m kind of still on a bit of a high from last night? Might also be all those exercise-induced endorphins from my run earlier, but whatever..)

During the night, I also found myself looking around at the audience a bit, too. Just glancing around to marvel at the fact that all these people came out for a concert on a Monday night because they love this same music that I love. There were actually a lot of people in their 30s and 40s (and maybe even older) at the concert, and they seemed to be the ones who were most into the whole thing. I mean, they were all up off their seats, dancing and singing along, while some younger fans actually seemed content to just sit down for most of it.

There was one thing I was kind of disappointed with, though. It wasn’t about anything that Maroon 5 did (although I was slightly, slightly disappointed that they didn’t perform “The man who never lied”, but I never really expected them to do that song anyway, so I suppose that’s ok). What I was (kind of) disappointed with was the audience’s enthusiasm and persistence during the “fake end of the concert”. Basically, they played “Daylight” and then acted like it was the end of the show, said goodnight and left the stage; and this was when everyone was supposed to cheer and clap and whatever to get them to come back (seems to be a thing that artists do at concerts, like a test or something).

Now, I only really have The Script’s concert to compare it to, but when The Script pulled the same stunt, the energy from the crowd was tremendous – it just built and built until the band came back on stage. Last night’s crowd, however… Well, it could be because a lot of them might have been at work all day (and we all know how Mondays are) but the energy kind of just came in waves. There was still pretty incredible force behind it, but based on my previous experience, I was expecting more.

Overall, though, it was such an amazing concert. I would list all the songs they did, but there were so many. I was pleasantly surprised that they did “Lucky strike”, which I’ve actually just heard and taken a liking to this year. (Props to you if you made the connection between the title of this post and “Lucky strike” before getting to this paragraph.)

Of course, they saved “Sugar” for last, since it’s their big hit at the moment. But they also played “Locked away” and (omg!) Rock City made a guest appearance just for that song. Frickin’ unreal! Too bad they couldn’t get Christina Aguilera to come in for “Moves like Jagger” but I suppose Adam did a good job of it anyway 😛

I think I’ve said this before, but there actually isn’t a single Maroon 5 song that I do not like – and I know a lot of their songs. I knew all the ones they played at the concert, and for a lot of them I knew the lyrics too, so this was kind of the perfect concert for me.

one script

This last week feels like it’s gone by really quickly. There are about five different things I want to write a post about, but I just haven’t had the time this week – or, rather, I haven’t made time to write. I have a random week off work next week (just, you know, thought I’d use up some of my accumulated annual leave), and I’m actually really happy that I did apply for a week off because I might actually get some stuff done. Since it’s the week-end now, and I’m not working this week-end, I suppose this is the start of my “stay-cation” (is that still a thing?) and, of course, first on the agenda is to update my blog!

I feel like I need to do a follow-up post about The Script and their concert (mostly because I’ve still got their songs playing on repeat in my head). When I was writing the post last week, and as I hit the “publish” button, I kept feeling like there was so much that I had left out. After talking to other colleagues at work, I realise that not everyone who has a keen interest in music necessarily has a keen interest in concerts or live music. I reckon you’d be hard pressed to find someone who does not like music, but a lot of people just don’t go to concerts – and that’s people from different backgrounds, ages, etc. So, basically, if you don’t want to hear me talk about concerts, you might want to skip this post. You can go back and read any post prior to May 2nd, before I had any concert experience.

Even though there are a lot of people who aren’t big on music concerts, what really impressed me that night, last Saturday at The Script, was the variety of people – of fans – at their concert. Yeah, sure, the majority of people were probably females under 25, but there were a lot of guys (not with girlfriends) and older people (not with kids) and younger kids (who I’m not sure would fully understand the meaning and feeling behind some of the songs but I suppose you don’t have to be able to comprehend the meaning in order to be moved by a song).

I think people generally classify The Script as a soft-rock or pop-rock band. I don’t actually listen to the radio very much these days, but I’d always thought their music was kind of mainstream in the sense that it was widely played and listened to. Consequently, I was a bit surprised to find out that they’ve only had a few songs that have made it into the Top Ten in Australia. So I suppose their music isn’t for everyone, but I reckon that made it even more incredible to see all of these different demographics coming to see the one band. I’m not sure if it was a sell-out crowd, but it was pretty packed that night.

Once or twice during the concert, lead singer Danny also said a few words about the power of music in reaching out to so many different people. I don’t remember his words exactly, but it was something about how, regardless of age, race, gender, etc, we can all be touched by the same songs. Actually, the analogy he used was that music was like an all-inclusive umbrella under which everyone can stand; it’s something that unites people. And, sure, it’s kind of cliched, but I have to admit that it is a pretty amazing thing, and being there, at the Entertainment Centre, with all of these other fans with the same love for the same music – that was pretty special.

for the first time

Alright, I have to confess that, even though I’m in my mid-twenties (and it still feels weird to say that I’m in my mid-twenties), I have never been to a live concert before. Well, not until yesterday, anyway. Until I saw ‘Wicked’ in March this year, I hadn’t seen a live musical in a theatre before either. It looks like I’m doing a lot of things for the first time this year. (And, no, it looks like I’m not going to end up writing a post for ‘Wicked’ but I think I’ll always think fondly of it as the first musical I ever saw – hopefully the first of many! I’ve got a mental list of all the ones I want to see.)

I listened to a lot of music growing up, and I listend to music a lot. I spent a lot of time listening to the radio and watching those music video shows on TV. With all this considered, I’m actually not entirely sure why I never really wanted to go to a concert. I wouldn’t say that it didn’t appeal to me, but I suppose it was just something that I never wanted enough to actually do something about it. Maybe I thought concerts were too expensive. (I still think concerts can be pretty expensive, but sometimes it’s worth it. I mean, I assume they’d be worth it – I’ve only been to one…)

I suppose something else that also comes into it a bit is that from a very young age, I actually detested the idea of becoming utterly obsessed with someone/something. Please don’t ask me how this developed. I think it was something to do with someone I know getting obsessed over a celebrity (or multiple celebrities?) and I thought it was unjustified or whatever.

Well, anyway, after having pondered over this interesting circumstance in my life, I decided that maybe it was time to do something about it. On a whim, four days before The Script were coming to town on the ‘No sound without silence’ tour, I bought tickets to their concert. Well, ok, it wasn’t completely on a whim (I wouldn’t want people thinking I’m that spontaneously impulsive or something). I had thought about it for a while; I just randomly decided on Tuesday that I should stop thinking and just go for it. It did help that a colleague of mine (and frequent concert-goer) kept encouraging me to buy a ticket. I reckon everyone needs people like that in their lives to push them to do the things that they want to do but are afraid for one reason or another.

Enough of this babbling! Let’s talk about The Script.

I first heard of The Script about seven years ago, when they released ‘Breakeven’ in Australia. Such an incredible song, so full of emotion and pain. Since then, I’ve liked every song I’ve heard from them, and I think that’s a pretty impressive feat considering all the songs they’ve released over these seven-odd years. For anyone who cares, my absolute favourites are ‘The man who can’t be moved’ and ‘Before the worst’. I would list the runner-up songs, but there are too many to name. Oh heck, let’s give it a go anyway – ‘For the first time’, ‘Six degrees of separation’, ‘If you could see me now’, ‘Superheroes’ – Yeah, ok it’s probably easier if you just go look at their discography or something. I do want to say, though, that as of now, I’ve only heard ‘Man on a wire’ twice – once on their website, and once at the concert – and it’s already working its way up the list of favourites.

There are still a lot of songs by The Script that I do not know but perhaps that’s a good thing. I mean, I only just discovered Savage Garden’s ‘California’ earlier this year, and it felt like it was a new release, even after all these years since their dissolution.

I think the only other bands that I’ve consistently liked over many years are Maroon 5 (concert coming up later this year!) and, of course, Savage Garden (safe to say I’ll probably never see them in concert, but love their music all the same).

One final thing: The Script are one of those bands that worked hard for years, slowly climbing up from the bottom, before they made it big. Their support act for the night was a guy called Colton Avery, and he told us a story about how he almost gave up on his music career, and he’d decided that he’d just play one more gig before he “got a real job”, as he put it. You could really hear the sincere gratitude in his voice when he then revealed that this “last” gig was for The Script, for one of their shows in America, and they really liked what they heard, so they decided to help make music his “real job”. It’s just nice to see big-name artists helping out the little guys. I usually don’t care about an artist’s personal life as long as their music is good, but it certainly is a bonus if the artist is a good role model.