Tag Archives: music

Monday Update: Excited AF Edition

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Monday Update: Excited AF Edition

Hello everyone and happy Monday! When it comes to Marilyn Manson, people either love him or they hate him. I’ve honestly never met anyone who was like “yeah, he’s just okay”. Myself? I absolutely one hundred and fifty percent freaking LOVE him. His music, his art, his style, his speaking voice, his devil may care attitude peppered with a childlike love for metal lunchboxes. He really is just mesmerizing to me.

My above profession of love shouldn’t come as a shock. You all know by now that I’m an emo kid at heart so, of course, I have a major soft spot for Marilyn Manson. And now, after literal years of being a fan of his, I finally get to see him in concert for his Heaven Upside Down tour at the end of the month. My sister and I will be venturing to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Stage AE to see Ohio’s own on stage doing what he does best: Performing that strange, beautiful heart out. I. Can’t. Wait.

We have all heard the rumors and stories about what goes on at a Marilyn Manson concert. We’ve seen the fake affidavits penned by various family councils. We’ve heard Manson’s name come up as the scapegoat for a litany of adolescent problems time and time again. Needless to say, he is a bit much. He is not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s okay, because he is a man that is so uniquely himself that the last thing he needs to worry about is pleasing everyone. So, despite the stories and slander, he has me hooked.

I have no idea what I’m going to be walking into on September 29th for this show. Is it going to be as wild and disturbing as the concerts described in his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell? Or will we see a more toned down version of Marilyn Manson as he nears fifty years of age and has cut back on drinking absinthe – his favorite. I’m about to find out, and if the anticipation doesn’t kill me first, then I’ll be back to report on the show here on lifewithlilred!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Excited AF Edition! What concerts do you plan on seeing soon? What was the last concert that you went to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: The Awesome Daily

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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

Basic Space: Creating Your Songwriting Haven

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Basic Space: Creating Your Songwriting Haven

Do you remember the early days when you were locked away in your room learning the guitar or piano and finding out there is no such thing as B-sharp? It was your continual curiosity that piqued your interest in becoming a musician in the first place. And if you are moving on to that next stage where you are trying to create your own music and writing songs, it’s important to get back to that metaphorical head space where you were curious. But it’s also important to get a good physical space in which to create, so here are a few things to think about:

Learn From The Best: The greatest thing about being a songwriter is that you have thousands upon thousands of people to get inspiration from and you can spend countless hours learning from others. You could spend your time reading books and listening to other artists to help you keep fresh when you are in a creative lull. If you are ever feeling dry, it’s very likely because you’re not assimilating enough inspiration.

Create a Space Conducive to Songwriting: If you haven’t got somewhere that you can tune out the world, you’ll be lucky to get any semblance of songwriting completed. But it’s also vital for your practice that you have somewhere where you can be free to experiment in a place that’s your own, but also be surrounded by a constant source of inspiration.

A good place to start in your space is with the classic vinyl records that are clearly pointed out to be a superior listening experience (which we all know deep down). It’s important to be surrounded with the right materials. New Order’s recording studio had a poster on the wall with a lot of old film titles which ended up being the basis for a lot of their songs in the 80’s including Cries And Whispers. So if you have the right environment in which to create, with adequate inspiration from books to posters and, yes, records, it will start you off on the right foot.

Throw The Rule Book Away: Thom Yorke (by way of Tom Waits) said that it was the ignorance of certain instruments that made them more infinitely fascinating. Noel Gallagher has been using the same 4 chords for 20 odd years but is still able to make them sound like new. So sometimes it’s important to unlearn what you have learned to free you up. If you are bound by structure, it can be inhibiting in certain ways, which is why it’s important to be able to make mistakes and play a bum note because you are in the experimental stage.

People place a lot of pressure on getting things right the first time especially if you’re in a band, but even a band like Genesis (love them or hate them!) made the vast majority of their later songs out of studio. The musicians were freer with each other by this point to experiment. Your own worst critic will always be yourself and when it comes to songwriting and creating the right atmosphere in which to do it, it’s important to create this space inside of your mind as well as in a physical location.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Hump Day Jams

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Hump Day Jams

Helloooo everyone and happy Hump Day! We’re halfway through the week and so close to the glorious weekend so it only seems appropriate to provide some jams to get us stoked for dumb old Thursday and Friday! As you guys know, I’ve been trying to update my iTunes after quite a few years of neglect and I am having such a blast rocking out to some new and old favorites. Here’s what I’ve been listening to as of late and bear in mind that I have no rights to these songs or videos!

Lol, obvs it’s a pretty random compilation that I’ve been playing but when isn’t it?! I’ve been in love with finding songs that I can literally play on repeat and enjoy myself as much the tenth time listening to it as I do the first. All of these songs do that for me, particularly Left Alone by Flume & Chet Faker, which I have no problem playing on repeat while I’m getting ready for the day in the morning EVERY MORNING. If you listen to one of these suggested songs by yours truly, make sure it’s that one!

So there you have it, my Hump Day Jams! What are your current music favorites? What are some of your play on repeat for the rest of eternity jams? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

U2 Concert!!!

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U2 Concert!!!

Hi everyone and happy Tuesday! Saturday, July 1st was a fantastic and wonderful day, because I got to see one of my favorite bands, U2, perform live for the second time. My Irish lads graced Cleveland, Ohio with their presence for their last concert in America for the 30th anniversary tour of The Joshua Tree and I was lucky enough to be there for it.

Honestly, saying that I felt euphoric that night is an understatement. There is nothing quite like seeing one of your all time favorite bands live. Like, you’re hearing them in person, actually seeing them with your own two eyes, and breathing in the air that they are. In CLEVELAND, OHIO?! Lol, it’s insane. I still can’t wrap my head around it, but it happened. U2 was so nice that I saw them twice and this tour was even more magical than the first.

Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss. BUT, bear in mind that my iPod camera sucks so some of them are pretty low quality. However, there are some awesome shots that my dad took with his camera thrown in for your viewing pleasure!

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^^^ Pics taken by yours truly!

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^^^ Pics taken by yours truly’s father!

Unfortunately, we don’t have any halfway decent photos of OneRepublic during their opening set. The sun was just beating down and naturally, it seemed to focus right in on our seating section, so snapping any type of pic that actually looked good was damn near impossible. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed myself while they were performing. It’s not like I hate OneRepublic but it’s also not like I’m their number one fan, either. But, my god, do they sound good live. The lead singer was an excellent showman and they did a wonderful job of hyping up the crowd.

OneRepublic sounded the same, if not better than they do on their albums and it was nice having an opener who actually did a good job. Interpol opened for U2 during the 360 tour, which I attended, and they were abysmal at best. OneRepublic essentially performed a best of their radio hits compilation including “Apologize”, “Counting Stars”, and “Good Life”, which I thought was an incredibly smart move on their part. No one wants to see an opener play obscure songs that they can’t sing along to. Despite never listening to the radio, I still was able to sing along to all of their songs, which was a great way to lift my spirits even higher for when U2 took stage.

Am I OneRepublic’s biggest fan now? No. Not even close. But they really did put on a sublime opening act. They were charismatic and had great quips with the crowd, which is always fun. But, most importantly, they showed genuine talent and musical ability and that made listening to a band that is far from my favorite an utter delight.

Now, let’s get to U2 because I almost had a heart attack when a lone Larry Mullen appeared on stage, sat himself down at his drum set, and began pounding away the iconic beginning to “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. And when I say that I almost had a heart attack, I literally did. Hello. They just opened the show with my favorite song instead of with The Joshua Tree’s opener of “Where The Streets Have No Name”. I genuinely believed that I had died and gone to heaven.

“Sunday Bloody Sunday” was followed by “New Year’s Day”, which was another obvious crowd (and Sarah) pleaser. My god, it was just magnificent. After two back to back strong openers, the pace slowed down a little with “Bad” followed by “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”. Despite an almost abrupt feeling change of pace, it was pure U2 and they were so in their element that you couldn’t even be mad at them.

Now, up until the band began playing The Joshua Tree in its entirety, they were performing solely on the tree silhouette, which can be seen in the pictures above. But, the show didn’t even seem to begin until they made their way back onto the main stage and “Where The Streets Have No Name” started to play.

With the shift into U2 playing their 30th anniversary album, the infinitely long screen backing the stage turned into the background for videos specially designed for each song. With every hit you were transported into videos that told stories of the land, war, poverty, agony, love, and pride. From ordinary citizens placing an army helmet on their heads to strong and stoic Native Americans gently guarding their homeland, you got the sense of what the songs on The Joshua Tree were originally written for and what they mean to the band now in a time of such political and emotional turmoil.

Throughout the show, you could tell how much the band genuinely enjoyed bringing this album back to life. A light-spirited Bono playfully called his whole band sexy as well as the entire city of Cleveland (ayyy!) and halfway through The Joshua Tree set he graciously took a moment to welcome us to the second half of the album. What a guy, what a guy, what a heck of a guy.

It was funny hearing The Joshua Tree live, because you often forget about that almost country twang that the second half of the album brings. This was even more emphasized with videos of a skinny jeaned and denim button down clad woman painting an American flag on an abandoned home. She then showed off her lassoing skills in a red, white, and blue bikini top. Mama Mia!

After The Joshua Tree set ended with “Mothers Of The Disappeared” that came with a powerful backdrop of children holding candles that eventually blew out, we were invited by Bono to “stick around” for their encore. You would have been a fool not to. The encore was a fun, upbeat party to some of their most well known hits, which included “Elevation”, “Vertigo”, “Mysterious Ways”, and my all time favorite – “Beautiful Day”. You guys already know how much that song means to me, so yes, the water works were definitely flowing at their hardest then!! (I have no shame in admitting that I cried like a baby for a majority of the concert – I really just can’t help myself!)

U2’s encore ended with a gorgeous performance of “One” to draw a perfect night to a close. Guys – it really was perfect. I can’t explain to you how special it was to see the band that is so loved by my entire family while standing side by side with them in the stands. I consider myself so lucky that I have gotten to see U2 not once but twice now at 23 and both shows would literally have to be pried from my memory banks to be forgotten.

So there you have it, my experience at the U2 Concert!!! What shows have you seen recently? Who is attending any music festivals this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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