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Top 10 Concerts of 2018 - #9 - Foo Fighters

Top 10 Concerts of 2018 #9

Foo Fighters – Bridgestone Arena – May 4th 2018 – Nashville, TN

 

“HEY WHAT’SSSSS UP?!?!” Dave Grohl screamed as the Foo Fighters took the stage at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and then didn’t proceed to talk again for roughly an hour. If face-melting rock and roll is what you want, then Foo Fighters are your band. I had seen the Foo’s one before at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Indy back in 2015 (where they also played this summer) and they blew me away with their musicianship, long set, and Dave Grohl’s ability to work a crowd despite having broke his leg a few weeks earlier and basically not being able to move.

 

Grohl on the Throne

(Grohl on his throne)

On this Friday night in May, Grohl, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett, and Rami Jaffee displayed that after 24 years together as a band, they haven’t faltered at all throughout the decades. Starting out with “Run”, Foo Fighters cruised through 20 songs in the roughly 2-and-a-half-hour show. Highlights of the night included their hits “The Pretender”, “These Days”, “Monkey Wrench”, and “Everlong.”

 

 

One of the highlights of the night though was by a young fan who was in the crowd. Grohl brought up a kid he deemed “Lil Fonzie” on stage and this dude stole the show. Check out the video below to see what I mean. (Heads up, there is cussing. It’s a rock band, this is expected.)

 

 

Overall, Foo Fighters put on a great show and if you haven’t seen them before, I would highly recommend checking them out at least once. Their energy live is pretty much unmatched and they rock super hard.

 

Come back tomorrow for the #8 Top Concert of 2018!

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Top 10 Concerts of 2018 - #10 - Shawn Mendes

Top 10 Concerts of 2018 #10

Shawn Mendes – Summerfest –  American Family Insurance Amphitheater - July 5th 2018 – Milwaukee, WI

 

Earlier this summer I had the chance to attend Summerfest, a massive 2 week music festival that takes place every year in Milwaukee. They select headliners across numerous genres, and one on the list for this year was Shawn Mendes. Shawn came out with his self-titled album earlier this year, which I thought was very good, and I was excited about the chance to see him live.

 

 

Opening with “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, Mendes cruised through 14 songs over the course of about 80 minutes, much to the delight of teenage (and much older) girls in the crowd. I’ve always thought Shawn was a solid musician in addition to his singing abilities and he showcased his guitar playing skills at this show also, welding one for just about every song.

 

 

Choosing to extend some songs to allow for an additional guitar solo or musical break not on the album versions showed me that Mendes has put a decent amount of thought into the live arrangements, even if this was a festival show and not part of a full-blown tour. One of the highlights of the evening, and an example of a new arrangement, was his performance of “Bad Reputation” off his album “Illuminate”. Here’s a video of him performing the song from that night:  

 

 

Choosing to keep chit-chat and banter short and sweet while on stage, I appreciated that Mendes focused more on the music instead of talking about each song individually (ahem ahem Niall Horan some advice for your live shows sir.) Also the dude loves to perform. He’s not an artist a label just manufactured to role out to teenagers, he has real skill. My only complaint with the set is I wished it had been a little longer, but I also understand it was a festival show, so this is to be expected.

 

Come back on Monday for the #9 show in the Top 10 Concerts of 2018!

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Top 10 Concerts of 2018 - Preview & Best Openers

Top 10 Concerts of 2018 – Best Openers

 

So this year I attended a lot of concerts and if you know me, it’s kind of my favorite thing to do. I think the idea that you can listen to an artist on the radio and then go see them perform those songs in person is so cool. Like I love Tom Hanks, but I can’t go watch Tom Hanks act out Apollo 13 on stage (although that would be dope). I can watch Taylor Swift 150 feet away from me perform songs from her massive album Reputation though, and that’s one reason I’ve always been drawn to concerts.

So over the next two weeks on this blog, I will be counting down my top 10 concerts of 2018 and highlighting a different show every day, with the culmination coming on December 31st, New Year’s Eve.

Before we get to number 10 though, I wanted to highlight some artists that I thought did the best job at opening up shows this year. The job of the opener is so tough I think because you’re literally the first (or second) person anyone sees on stage, and most of the time, no one came to the show specifically because of you. However, you’ve been tasked with the job in a timeframe of 25-45 minutes to get the crowd pumped up for the main attraction. When I go to a show, I always get there at the listed start time, because I want to see the opening act(s) and maybe discover some artists I should keep my eye on. With that, here’s who I think did a fantastic job of opening this year:

 

(The Struts – credit Danny Clinch)

 

The Struts opening for Foo Fighters –May 4th 2018  - Bridgestone Arena – Nashville TN

So I love the Foo Fighters and traveled down to Nashville to see them on their Concrete and Gold tour earlier this year and tasked with the duty of opening was a band called The Struts. I wasn’t super familiar with The Struts, but had heard a few of their songs and knew they were really going for that classic rock band sound. They got out on stage and just absolutely crushed it. Lead vocalist Luke Spiller is going for a hardcore Freddie Mercury vibe, but pulls it off excellently. By the end of their set, everyone was dancing and swaying along even if they didn’t know the tunes, which is a true showcase of an artist working the crowd to perfection. If you get to chance to see them, do it.

Songs to check out: Body Talks, Kiss This.

 

 

(Jade Bird - credit Francesa Allen)


Jade Bird opening for Anderson East – May 12th 2018 – The Vogue – Indianapolis IN

 

The next artist on our list is 21 year old British singer Jade Bird, who opened for Country/Folk Artist Anderson East when he hit The Vogue back in May. I hadn’t heard any of Jade’s music before arriving at the show, but I was a fan by the time her set was done. Armed with just a guitar, her fun bubbly personality, and her fantastic raspy voice, the crowd went from talking and buying drinks to paying attention to what was happening up on stage. There’s something about her that’s so authentic and you can tell she just loves to perform and play music. Also her songs are so mature and there’s a ton of depth to them. Next year she’s opening for Hozier, keep an eye on this girl.

Songs to check out: Uh Huh, Lottery.

 

 

(Charli XCX - credit Andrew Thomas Huang)

 

Charli XCX opening for Taylor Swift – September 15th 2018 – Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN

Finally on this list is Charli XCX, who had the task of opening the biggest tour in America this year, Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour. Charli had insane energy and her songs are so bubblegum pop they work perfectly for a big setting with thousands of people. Starting with Boom Clap from the Fault in our Stars Soundtrack, possibly because John Green, Indianapolis resident and author of the novel was there, the energy didn’t stop from that point on and was a perfect setup for Swift. Closing her set out with Fancy, her collaboration with Iggy Azalea, the crowd was dancing, singing, and pumped for Camila Cabello and finally Swift.

Songs to check out: 5 in the Morning, Break The Rules

 

Come back tomorrow to see what show #10 is in the Top 10 Concerts of 2018!

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Taylor Swift Executes The Reputation Stadium Tour to Perfection

Taylor Swift – Reputation Stadium Tour

 

“Are you ready for it?” That’s a line from the first song Taylor Swift performed Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium and was an apt way to start the massive production that is her Reputation Stadium Tour. I don’t know if anyone was ready for what Swift had planned (and executed exceptionally) throughout the night. Six outfit changes, 3 stages, fireworks, a working fountain, and oh yeah, 50-foot tall snakes were all in the game-plan for the 2-hour show.

 

 

 

Swift opened with “Ready For It” followed by “I Did Something Bad” both from her latest album, “Reputation” The 1-2 punch set the tone for the show using massive screens and an X shaped stage. Massive balls of fire shot up from the top of the stage during the line “they’re burning all the witches even if you aren’t one” which was a nice touch.

The show was split into 6 different acts each roughly 3-4 songs each. “Look What You Made Me Do” opened Act 2 with giant inflatable snakes emerging from the stage.

 

 

Some other highlights of the night included Shake It Off, a dance party on one of the two side stages in the arena with openers Charli XCX and Camilla Cabello that included the use of light-up bracelets that were distributed to each person in attendance. The bracelets were incorporated multiple times throughout the night, but “Shake It Off” used them to their full potential.

 

 

Swift also showed off her musicality during Act 3 with an acoustic performance of “Dancing with Our Hands Tied” and “Forever & Always” which was the randomly selected song of the night and the first time she had performed it live since 2013. Afterwards, she proceeded to the third stage on the other side of the stadium floor to perform “Blank Space” and “Dress” before hitching a ride back to the main stage via a snake-themed transportation device that soared her over the audience while performing “Bad Blood”.

 

Swift did a fantastic job of connecting with the audience throughout the night mentioned that it was her 13th time playing in Indiana (her lucky number) and that years ago she played a concert for the annual FFA convention in Lucas Oil and dreamed about one day playing the stadium on her own headlining tour. She also thanked her fans for sticking with her for so long. She mentioned how a lot of times in life you go through musical “phases” where you like certain artists and then move on when you grow older. However, she mentioned earlier in the night how she met a fan that was in her 20’s and the fan said “I’ve been listening to you since I was 10” and how that happens to her just about every night during meet & greets. It was a very sincere moment during the technical astounding show and was a genuine interaction with the audience.

 

Two other highlights were “Don’t Blame Me” featuring a guitar solo and some advanced instrumentation by her stellar band, and the final mashup of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”. The final few minutes featured a working fountain that Swift stood and danced on, fireworks, and her entire crew of backup dancers in full force.

 

Swift said she dreamed of headlining stadiums, but it’s clear from Saturday night’s performance she thrives in them.

 

Setlist:

Ready For It

I Did Something Bad

Gorgeous

Style / Love Story / You Belong With Me

Look What You Made Me Do

End Game

King of My Heart

Delicate

Shake It Off

Dancing With Our Hands Tied (Acoustic)

Forever & Always (Acoustic)

Blank Space

Dress

Bad Blood/Should’ve Said No

Don’t Blame Me

Long Live/New Year’s Day

Getaway Car

Call It What You Want

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together/This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

 

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Portugal. The Man Concert Review - Indianapolis

Saturday night at the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn, the self-proclaimed “Lords of Portland” aka Portugal. The Man, took the stage in support of their latest album, Woodstock. The six-piece group started with covers of Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” and then never looked back during the fast and loud rock show. Led by lead singer John Gourley, the band cruised through 18 songs Saturday night during their roughly 100-minute set.

Some highlights included “Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue”, “Live in the Moment”, “Modern Jesus”, “Noise Pollution” and of course, their Grammy-winning, triple platinum smash hit “Feel It Still” (video below)

 

 

 

Overall, the band was light on chit-chat, only saying a few words here and there and mainly communicating through impressive visuals and pre-written text on the large screen behind them. The screen acted like a narrator of sorts that guided the audience through the show asking at various points “are you still us?” and “that song we know you all want to hear, we are playing next”.

 

 

What they forgoed on the talking front, they made up for with their musical ability, using many points during the night for extended jam sessions. Gourley, and guitarists Zachary Carothers, Kyle O’Quin, and Eric Howk used the time to showcase their vast musical talent Saturday night. Portugal. The Man have been a group since 2004, with Gourley and Carothers being there all 14 years, and have been using this current iteration of their lineup since 2015, and it shows. Everyone was on point, knew their roles exactly and delivered an extremely tight set. If the “Lords of Portland” come to your area, make it a point to check them out.

 

4/5 Stars

 

Setlist:

For Whom the Bell Tolls(Metallica cover)

Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 / Purple Yellow Red and Blue

Number One

Live in the Moment

Creep in a T-Shirt / Children Of The Revolution (T. Rex cover)

Atomic Man / Gimme Shelter

Feel It Still

Modern Jesus

All Your Light (Times Like These) / A Kilo / The Home / I Want You (She's So Heavy)

Sea of Air

So Young

Noise Pollution

Evil Friends / Day Man

So American

People Say

Sleep Forever / Smile / Hey Jude

 

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What is Boomer's Music Hub?

Hey everyone, Boomer here! Just wanted to give you a preview of my new blog, “Boomer’s Music Hub”! I’m a huge music fan so on this blog we will discuss new albums and new songs from some of your favorite artists. Also, there will be concert reviews from time to time and other fun music related stuff that might pop up! While I’ve got you, just wanted to let you know if you’re a huge live music fan, we’ve got lots of concert tickets this week on WAZY! You can win tickets to Portugal. The Man, Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa and Walk The Moon all this week on Z96.5! Stayed tuned for more updates here, including a post regarding the Portugal. The Man concert Saturday in Indianapolis!

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