Tag Archives: concerts

Monday Update: Marilyn Manson Concert Edition

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Monday Update: Marilyn Manson Concert Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! This past Friday my sister, Kristen, and I trekked to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (About a two hour drive.) to see Marilyn Manson in concert for his Heaven Upside Down tour at Stage AE. After literal months of anticipation for this show, it was finally the night and the performance definitely didn’t disappoint. ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT WE WERE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE STAGE!! Take a look at some low quality iPod pictures and let’s discuss:

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^^^ Lol, I love that last picture. “Ayyy”.

First of all, Stage AE was an absolutely excellent venue. It seemed like no matter where you stood in the crowd, your visibility of the stage was average at a minimum and amazing at the max. Kristen and I began our concert experience with an okay viewing for the opener (Alice Glass, who I’m not even going to talk about because she sucked.), and ended our night in front of the stage.

How, you might ask?

Well, it’s not like the crowd was intensely rowdy throughout the show. Some fights definitely did break out but nothing “major”, and some people just weren’t comfortable with it (understandably) and opted to get away from the vicinity of the mosh pit. So as soon as people left the area for safety purposes, drinks, or what have you, Kristen and I would make our way forward until we had a view of Marilyn Manson at all times during the concert.

And speaking of the concert…

It. was. AMAZING. Manson is nearing fifty years of age, and I told Kristen on our way home that this is probably the best we’re going to see of him since he isn’t getting any younger. There was no on stage self harm, no crazy gimmicks with girls, minimal audience banter, and not even an inkling of violence. This show was everything that his performances weren’t when the band was just starting out, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a lot of fun.

The Heaven Upside Down tour didn’t seem so much of a celebration of his new album of the same name, rather, an ode to some old school Marilyn Manson hits that even people who don’t even like Manson love. We’re talking The Dope Show, Lunchbox, mOBSCENE, This Is The New Shit, No Reflection, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), and The Beautiful People.

Marilyn Manson played four songs off of Heaven Upside Down and opened the show with the album opener of Revelation #12. He then peppered KILL4ME, WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE, and SAY10 into the set list. The rest of the show was filled with Deep Six (I’m disappointed that more songs from The Pale Emperor weren’t played.) and Tourniquet, which is another old love. (Manson then encored with Coma White but, alas, Kristen and I had to make the two hour drive home so that she could work early in the morning.)

^^^ Obviously the set list rocked…

And the performance that came along with it was just as good. The lighting, the different costumes Manson donned, his gorgeous speaking/singing/screaming voice – it all worked so well. I mean, a front row view doesn’t hurt, but it was a damn good show. Fans that were able to see Marilyn Manson in the beginning might think that he is slowing down (Unfortunately, I was a toddler so until time travel is invented, I will never know what his early shows were like first hand.), but, to me, he is just getting started.

Marilyn Manson dragged his last album, The Pale Emperor, through some gritty, rough blues influence and it came as a triumphant, different comeback. Yes, some tracks off of Heaven Upside Down does sound like classic Manson (KILL4ME and WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE, anyone?) but that doesn’t mean that the whole album will, and I’m looking forward to exploring it in its entirety when it comes out on October 6th.

Marilyn Manson is at a stage of experimentation that is working in his favor – from his art, acting, and playing with new and unique sounds – everything seems to be a success. I expect Heaven Upside Down to reflect these gutsy changes and the fact that he is soon going to be a half a century in age. Friday’s concert brought us some old school fun mixed with new favorites, but it seems like the party is raging on just fine for Manson in a way that’s not only, dare I say, age appropriate, but totally fucking cool.

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Marilyn Manson Concert Edition! What was the last concert that you attended? How do you feel about Marilyn Manson? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Moving Past Open Mics With Your Indie Band

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Moving Past Open Mics With Your Indie Band

Sure, there are people out there who are going to tell you that now is the time to be a musician for the simple fact that there are more avenues than ever to explore. But just because there are a lot more ways to get heard does not mean that it is easier. In fact, being an indie band now is probably harder than ever before for the simple fact that there are so many options. Playing yet another gig at yet another tavern hidden way off the beaten track, the kind of place that makes you pay for your own water is not exactly a great way of making it. Don’t believe us, just look at your band’s communal wallet.

However, just because you’re broke and living at your bass player’s mom’s house does not mean that you should give up the dream. That is because you can still make it and live out your dream of touring some far-off country where fans chant your name in their adorable local accents. It is just about following the rules and knowing how to maximize your chances.

Of course, telling you that and then skipping town would hardly be rock n’ roll of us. So, to help you start living the dream and escape your bass player’s mom’s house (No offense, Barbara.), we have pulled together a list of insider tips and tricks. Check it out:

  1. Get To Know Your Fans Like The Back of Your Hand:

Pennies are short and, for some reason, no record labels seem to hang around open mic night’s held in Big Dave’s Garage (lol.). Basically, there is no sign of an advance floating your way just yet, which means your fans are your biggest financial life jacket. That is why you need to make sure that you are giving your fans something for their loyalty and love. Get to know the names of those guys and girls that are always in the front row. Give your fans a way of listening to exclusive music or interviews by creating a band website and then sharing this sort of content there. Share video recordings of acoustic sessions and behind the scenes banter on your social media pages and make sure that you are replying to any comments or messages that float your way. We used the life jacket analogy for a reason because, in the same way, you need to inflate your life jacket by blowing air into it, you need to give your fans something in return for being so awesome.

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 Party over hereeee!

  1. Play Your Strengths As Well As Your Guitar:

Every band has their own strengths, so make sure that you are aware of what yours are and then play to them in every way possible. Just being great songwriters with above average talent and the technical know-how when it comes to uploading your music onto Soundcloud, Youtube, Spotify or whatever else isn’t enough. You need to find other ways to shove your musical abilities into the realms of greatness, and that requires a little bit of magic (aka creativity). If you’re a band that offers more stage presence than the lovechild of Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, then try and play as many live gigs as possible, and maybe even consider getting a residency somewhere. Not only will you get paid, but you will see your star start to rise as more and more people see you. It could be that your sense of humor is your secret weapon, in which case document this and share it, get interviews with niche magazines and little radio stations, and then let this personality of yours show in your music videos. OK Go became famous for their viral worthy music videos, which means that it is totally possible to emulate this approach to success.

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 A cool band name is a must!

  1. Grab People By The Eyes And Ears:

Having a sound that people recognize is one of the most important factors when it comes to carving out some Top Of The Pops like success. But so is having the right visual branding, too. That is why it is worth spending a little bit of time and money (Presumably borrowed from your parents. Barbara, we’re looking at you.) on a graphic designer. This branding of yours is going to be stamped across all of your promotional material – Facebook page profile pictures, website homepage, Instagram, flyers, album covers, t-shirts, USB drives, and pub mic-night posters – and will help establish your place in the industry. Think about some of the greatest and most famous bands to ever walk the boards of the biggest venues. The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Run DMC, Daft Punk. All of these legends created a visual identity so powerful that just their shadows would halt you in your tracks. Basically, get your branding right and you’ll have people want to sport your promotional products, whether t-shirts or posters, and that will spread the good word faster than the flu.

  1. Forget All About A Record Deal. Period.

No one from a record deal is going to turn up at one of your small gigs – or your bass player’s mom’s house (No offense, Barbara.) and hand you the golden ticket that is a record deal. That just isn’t going to happen, nor should you want that to happen. The hard work is there to be enjoyed, used in your music, and make you successful. Most importantly, though, you need to understand that no record label has a secret recipe that guarantees success. They just don’t. Instead, they pick up talent based on their independent success; so they will pick you up based on your independent success. That is what you want. You want to use this as a bargaining chip should the day ever come where labels start to notice you instead of getting snapped up early and dropped or, worse, hung out to dry. Concentrate on what you are doing, focus on your trade and doing your own thing; that is what will lead to success – not trying to chase the money and the labels.

Being in a band is cool. Finding success in something you love is cooler. Prepare for a lot of hard work and with just a little bit of luck, you won’t be crashing on Barbara’s couch for much longer.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Green Day Concert

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Green Day Concert

Hellooo everyone and happy Hump Day! This past Monday, I went to see Green Day at the Blossom Music Center in good ol’ Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Unfortunately, I was (and still am) feeling pretty under the weather, so I can’t say that I enjoyed myself as much as I would have liked to. I would by no means say that Green Day is one of my favorite bands or anything, but I don’t dislike them at all. I actually like them quite a bit, but their concert really just missed the mark for me. Let’s discuss:

I will say that the set list for the Revolution Radio tour was excellent. They focused on some old and new favorites that really took you through the thirty years of Green Day’s existence. Opening with newer heavy hitters like “Know Your Enemy”, “Bang Bang”, and “Revolution Radio” then transitioned seamlessly into older jams like “Holiday”, “Hitchin’ a Ride”, and “Minority”. Like I said, the set list really was good. BUT…

The major BUT(T) is the pure bullshit that happened throughout the show. Literally after EVERY SONG there was at least five minutes of dicking around that ranged from Billie Joe making strange noises into the microphone, encouraging everyone to get “fucking crazy”, or making the audience repeat “hey-oooooo” back at him for the thousandth time.

At the beginning, this was funny and entertaining. But, rest assured, that it got very old, very very quickly. I kept wondering if I would have had a better time if I wasn’t feeling so poorly, but I genuinely don’t think that I would have. The constant silliness of what was happening between the songs was just too much.

All of the bullshitting took away from how wonderful the band sounded live, and that’s sad that I’m just now bringing up how amazing they sounded. Everything about their playing was just perfect, even better than on the albums, really. BUT(T), their live performance turned into well over two hours of tom foolery peppered with good music. It was a shame.

It actually pains me to write such a poor review because I was looking forward to this concert so much. Don’t get me wrong, I have mad respect for Green Day. Thirty years of making music is something that should be celebrated. And maybe what they were doing during their show on Monday would have worked twenty years ago…but, sadly, it fell incredibly short of the high expectations that I had.

Am I glad that I went? I guess. Would I recommend seeing them live? If you’re a hardcore fan, then sure. But I can’t say that I would want to see them play again in the future. Whomp whomp.

So there you have it, my review of the Green Day Concert! Who of my readers are Green Day fans? Have you ever been to a concert that disappointed you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: Sorry for the lack of pictures! We were quite far away from the stage, so getting a good quality shot was impossible.

Featured Image By: NME

U2 Concert Excitement!!

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U2 Concert Excitement!!

Hey everyone and happy weekend!! I am starting the month of July off with a bang because I get to see one of my favorite bands live for the SECOND time – U2!! It’s a very exciting time to be a Lil Red because not even two weeks ago, I got to see my other favorite band in concert, AFI. I have loved U2 ever since I was a kid (so a real Lil Lil Red!). Having two parents that simply live for them instilled a deep love for U2 in me from a young age.

Lyrics from “Beautiful Day” was the first thing that I got tattooed on me the day that I turned eighteen and it will always remain one of my favorite songs until the day I die. I was lucky enough to see U2 in Pittsburgh a couple of years back for their 360 tour and I had the time of my life. Best believe I ugly cried the whole time. Anyways, when my family heard that a 30th anniversary tour for The Joshua Tree was happening, it wasn’t so much as a need than a must to see them again – especially since they’ll be in Cleveland!

OneRepublic will be the opener, and although I’m not their biggest fan, they are sure to put on a fun show. But to see songs from U2’s iconic album live and in the flesh will definitely make tonight one to remember! I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!! Definitely check back for my concert review and think of me if you happen to listen to U2 today. What concerts are you attending this summer? Who else is a major U2 fan? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Live Nation

AFI Concert!!

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AFI Concert!!

Hiii everyone and happy Thursday!! So Tuesday night was my 23rd birthday outing with my sister and it was a blast. Kristen treated me to tickets to see my favorite band, AFI, in concert at my favorite venue, the House Of Blues, in Cleveland. For the past three months since I knew that AFI was coming to my neck of the woods, I have had many an emo girl fantasy about this concert. Seriously – you guys have no idea how much I love them, so Kristen hit the nail on the head with this birthday gift!

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Sissy! ❤

Despite a horrific drive to Cleveland, the night was a great big blasty blast. And by horrific drive I mean that literally every single traffic light in downtown Cleveland wasn’t working so it was an all out free for all on the road. It was straight up anarchy and it was absolutely terrifying. SO after locating a parking garage, a lot of deep breathing, and not thinking about the movie montage of your life that flashes before your eyes when you’re scared, we made our way to some actual fun.

The most wonderful thing about the House Of Blues is the opportunity that comes with seeing shows there. The venue is so open (yet intimate), that it’s really easy to plant yourself in prime position right in front of the stage. Kristen and I found ourselves with the best view at the end of the front row and it was magical, to say the least. Every show that I’ve been to at the HOB has provided me with a spectacular view of the stage and Tuesday night was no exception (Thank gawd!).

Now, I’m going to keep it real with you guys: I genuinely have no clue who opened the show. Lol, I was having myself a drink and a really good time so I wasn’t even paying attention. For once, the people standing by us were insanely cool so Kristen and I were chatting it up with them and it was so unexpectedly fun. Do I regret not listening to or even noticing the opening bands? Not really, lol. And from what I did hear I wasn’t impressed anyways so I can’t say that I was missing out on too much! 😉

Fast forward to when AFI came on stage and I got to see the man that I’ve been crushing on since I was nine years old in the flesh right in front of me. Guys. When I laid eyes on Davey Havok, I lost my shit – to put it mildly. 1) He’s drop dead gorgeous. 2) He’s drop dead talented. What a voice. What a performer. WHAT A MAN.

^^^ Unfortunately, the pics that I managed to snap aren’t the best and I can’t upload videos on to my posts so you’ll just have to take my word for how amazing AFI is live.

So there was a positive and negative to seeing my favorite band perform. The positive? AFI put on a hell of a show. They performed with so much energy that you could literally feel it radiating off of them and they sounded sublime. They sounded like angels that were singing sweet nothings into my ear and, in this instance, that was an actual thing. I got to hear Davey Havok sing, scream, and belt it out in that fluctuating low to high voice that is so uniquely his own. Talk about dying and going to heaven.

The show was fast paced, super emo, and so incredibly cool. So the negative? Idk, it felt a bit impersonal? Like, the songs kept coming one after the other and as much as I love me some Davey, I feel like he didn’t really care to build a rapport with the crowd. We were all showing the band the love and the whole show just seemed rushed. Not only that, but it felt like they weren’t on stage for all that long. Granted, this might just be me being greedy and wanting them to play all night, BUT STILL. I hate to say this, but after the encore was over and the show was officially done, the first words that Kristen and I shared with each other was “is that it?”. Whomp whomp.

BUT THE POSITIVE, THOUGH?! I got to hear my favorite band perform my favorite song at my favorite venue with my favorite person. I got to hear AFI play Silver And Cold. I got to hear the song that my nine year old self specifically bought the album Sing The Sorrow for. The first album I ever bought with my own money, as a matter of fact. That song has always been one of my all time favorites, not just by AFI, but in general. And I got to hear it live. What even. (Insert the part where I talk about how my inner emo kid felt an abundance of pure and complete joy. That happened.)

Forget about any negativity in this post because even with all things considered, Tuesday June 20th was one of the best nights of my life. There’s something so special about being able to see your favorite band perform right in front of your eyes and I got to experience that. Thank you so much to my amazing big sister for making that possible. I LOVE YOU, KRISTEN!! ❤

So there you have it, the AFI Concert! What shows are you going to this summer? What is your favorite concert that you’ve been to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super, Crazy, Exciting Week!!

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Super, Crazy, Exciting Week!!

Hi everyone and happy Sunday! Omg. I am literally SO excited for tomorrow and Tuesday that I really just can’t even. Tomorrow, my darling boyfriend is moving back to Ohio from North Carolina to be with yours truly. We are so in love and so unbelievably thrilled for the next steps in our relationship. This week we’ll be looking for apartments for him and I have a few in mind so it’s going to be really fun to explore all of them together! I’m picking him up from the airport tomorrow morning and I’m so insanely happy that I don’t even care about waking up at the (butt)crack of dawn to do it. Eeeeeee!!!!

So, my boyfriend moving back home is super exciting BUT that’s not all!! My sister, Kristen, is literally my favorite person on the planet. Perhaps even more so now considering that she’s taking me to see my favorite band on the planet, AFI, on Tuesday for my birthday. My emo fantasy band is performing at my favorite venue on the planet, the House Of Blues, in Cleveland on Tuesday and I get really verklempt just thinking about it.

I have been BEGGING Kristen for months to get me tickets for my birthday ever since I saw that my boys were coming to our neck of the woods and, like an amazing sister/best friend, she pulled through. I am more than prepared to headbang and cry the entire time and it’s going to be a beautiful, wonderful, fantastic night! And, in our sister tradition, we are totes getting Taco Bell after the show, which is what we always do after going to the House Of Blues. I LOVE US! ❤

I am so beyond ready for my Super, Crazy, Exciting Week and I can’t wait to tell you all more about it as the days go by! Who else has exciting plans for the week? What summer concerts are you planning on attending? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Got The X Factor? Tips On How To Break Into The Music Industry

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Got The X Factor? Tips On How To Break Into The Music Industry

Got The X Factor? Tips On How To Break Into The Music Industry:

Love it or loathe it, The X Factor is back on our TV screens, which means just one thing; it’s the first signs of winter! Well, actually it means a few other things too. Namely, some great talent mixed with some dodgy talent. And the raging debate of whether The X Factor is a credible show to be on if you’re serious about singing. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, if you read entertainment news, it’s going to be hard to escape The X Factor for the next couple of months. So, if you are interested in a professional music career, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you on your way to getting a break. And better still, none of them include having to sing in front of Simon Cowell.

Know The Business: In the old days, you could just be a talented singer or musician and if you got on a record label, the company would do the rest for you. Since LP’s went out the window and new technology took over, this just isn’t the case anymore. These days you have to prove yourself as an artist before a record label will consider signing you. This means getting to know the business inside and out. Set up your own gigs at local venues, write your own songs, promote yourself, and prove that you can produce an income from your music.

Create An Online Presence: One affordable way of marketing yourself and your music is to create an online presence. You can do this through YouTube or by setting up your own website. It is a crowded market, so you’ll also have to use social media, paid advertising, and SEO to make an impact. The best way to do this is to set up a professional website. There are many software packages out there that will enable you to do this in a relatively cheap way that still maintains a sleek and skilled look. 

Record and Create Your Own CD’s: If you’re performing in local pubs and venues, you will want to sell some of your merch. This is a great marketing opportunity. Invest in some time in a recording studio and you’re already setting yourself apart from the competition. Companies such as Nationwide Disc allow you to create stylish sleeves, wallets, and digipacks which will give you the competitive edge. These are ideal for handing out as promotions and selling at gigs. Investing in a professional photographer for a couple of hours will guarantee you get some stylish shots that you can use as artwork for your covers.

Get Your Music On Spotify: You don’t have to be a signed musician to get your music on Spotify. In fact, they really like independent artists. Spotify has over 60 million active monthly users so it’s one of the best marketing tools that you can implement. You can employ the services of a music distribution company to help get your music on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes. If you are serious about becoming an artist, you’ll need to put in a lot of hard work. You’ll also need to be motivated and dedicated, not just to your talent but to the extra promotions that goes into making your music heard across the globe.

Where are all of my songbirds at? Feel free to provide the links to your work and Youtube channels in the comment section below! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image Provided By: Unsplash.com