Year in Concerts 2015

I had fun doing a little recap of all my concerts last year, that I wanted to do another one for this year’s many concerts.

1. PENTATONIX – On My Way Home Tour

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When I went to see these guys, I went with an old friend of mine and he said something along the lines of “Isn’t it funny that we’re seeing a group who will sound exactly like the CD?” Legit question because of course, these guys are acapella. What else were we supposed to expect from them at a live concert? And you know what? They delivered a concert, as if they were any other musical act, and just doing their thing. Unfortunately, short people problems so I had a tough time actually SEEING them but still a fun time. I hope next time to come to Toronto, they do the show at Massey Hall, which would be SO PERFECT for them with the acoustics and everything.

2. MAROON 5 – V Tour

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Can you believe this was my 8th time seeing these guys in concert? As always though, the concert never felt long enough, especially considering they are five albums in. I love them dearly, but I’d be happy if they went back to basics on their next album/tour. They put on a great show regardless and makes me a happy fan every time I see them (even if they don’t play my favourite ‘non-M5 but still sung by Adam Levine’ song, “Lost Stars”)

3. JESSIE J – Sweet Talker Tour

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A sign of my skills lacking this year in the concert department, I totally didn’t hear about Jessie J touring. When I finally found out, tickets to the Toronto show was sold out. As luck would have it though, the venue released more tickets a week before the show. DONE! First time seeing Jessie in concert and she did not disappoint at all. I mean, the girl was battling a cold and still KILLED IT with the vocals.

4. THE SCRIPT – No Sound Without Silence Tour

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It has been four years since I last saw The Script in concert. Partially my fault because I didn’t particularly like their #3 album. But in my opinion, No Sound Without Silence was a return to form and I couldn’t miss them coming through Toronto. Great guys, putting on a great show.

5. KELLY CLARKSON – Piece by Piece Tour

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I made it a point to avoid all Toronto traffic this summer because of the PanAm games and knowing that traffic was going to be crazy. My exception was to see Kelly. Not to mention, Pentatonix was opening for her. I thought I was safe heading into the city on the last day of the games but no such luck there. I missed PTX and made it JUST in time to see Kelly. Also, because the show was at the Molson Amphitheater, concerts have to end at a certain time, meaning judging by the setlists of other cities, we got gypped of three songs. Besides all the crummy stuff, it’s effin’ KELLY CLARKSON; she kills it every time. AND she did “Heartbeat Song” with PTX, so I didn’t miss them entirely.

6. KATE VOEGELE & TYLER HILTON

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What’s a year without seeing Tyler Hilton these days? This time, he was joined by another One Tree Hill alum, Kate Voegele! Both very chill music artists and as much as I love the big shows with full band and all that, sometimes all I need is an acoustic show like this one.

7. JANET JACKSON – Unbreakable Tour

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Janet is a complete legend, so who am I to miss out on seeing her perform her greatest hits and new material?

8. MATT NATHANSON

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At this point, I’m pretty sure it’s obvious how much I love seeing Matt Nathanson in concert. Even moreso when he does an acoustic show like this one. For added fun, Matt brought along a Wheel of Songs (see picture)! Songs from all his albums, as voted by fans, were put onto the wheel and fate (sometimes with a little help from Matt lol) decided some of the songs Matt would play. Like I said, fun times!

9. JAMES BAY 

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I got to end off my year going to see one of my favourite new artists this year, James Bay! I once again suffered through going to the Sound Academy (a terrible Toronto concert venue) to see James, only because I had missed him coming through town twice before this year. Again, short people problems, and I couldn’t fully enjoy the concert as a result.

It was once again a great year for concerts; majority of them being relatively inexpensive ones at that! With such a busy concert year, I’m surprised I still got in some travel, two Cons (SDCC and Heroes/Villains Fan Fest), TIFF, and two other shows (Shaping Sound, Cinderella the Musical). Now it’s still too early to call, but I’m guessing that next year won’t be so concert-busy. Trust me though, that’s a good thing, as I’m still planning to do SDCC (even though I didn’t get pre-reg badges) and I’ve got a New York trip on deck as well. So lots of fun times are still to be had in 2016!

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Concert Round-up: Adele, Matt Nathanson, The Script

I do my best to go see as many concerts/shows as I can in a year, and it usually all depends on who actually comes to Toronto and whether or not I have someone to go with. I love going to concerts because to me, there is nothing like the experience of going to hear live music (Just to show how serious I am about concerts, I actually wrote a research paper in university on the topic.) Now I usually don’t review concerts because 1) I’ve never been completely let down by any show I’ve been to; and 2) that means my reviews usually come down to the words ‘Awesome,’ ‘Amazing,’ and ‘Soooo Good!’ But in the past 2 weeks, I was lucky enough to go see 3 different concerts, and to change things up around here, I thought I’d share my experiences/thoughts on those shows.

1.) Adele – May 18th @ Air Canada Centre

Let me start off by saying that Air Canada Centre is actually my venue of choice in Toronto. I know it’s not as intimate as seeing an artist at a club show, but I’d like to be able to see the artist or band. Being short at a club show is just such a huge disadvantage, between having tall people and other people hoisting their camera up to get a good shot in front of you. Now that being said, Adele was initially supposed to play the Kool Haus, a much smaller venue in comparison, but due to overwhelming demand for tickets, they moved the show to ACC. There was a lot of ridiculousness going on in concerns of transferring the General Admission tickets to actual seats, and obviously that got resolved in advance of the actual show date.

I gotta say, if you ever get a chance to go see Adele, GO! I was just in complete awe of how incredible a vocalist she is. I mean you already should know from hearing her songs, but to hear her live was just mind-blowing. The music industry these days is just so full of music that is overproduced (and yes, I’ll admit Britney Spears is among that group, even though I love her). But to hear Adele sing “Someone Like You” with just piano accompaniment, and KILL IT, you can’t help but have so much respect for her.

2.) Matt Nathanson – May 24th @ The Garrison

I’ll admit, Matt Nathanson is one of those artists who’s music I have but don’t really listen to all that often. When my friend asked if I wanted to go, I figured why not (plus tickets were cheap). But like so many other artists I’ve seen over the years, after seeing him perform live, I have a brand new appreciation for him and his music. Matt Nathanson’s been on tour opening for Sugarland, and then he’s been doing some solo gigs in between leading up to the release of his next album “Modern Love” (out June 21st).

This was the epitome of a club show. The Garrison is most definitely a small club, which I had never been to before. There was no opening act, and Matt came with only his guitarist Aaron Tap, not a full band. It was such a small show, I honestly can’t wait to see him come around again with the full band. I was really impressed. Not to mention, one of the things I love most at concerts is when the musicians banter/talk to the audience in between songs, like telling stories about how some songs got created and then just pure random stuff. I’ve got Matt on one of my Twitter lists, so I already had an idea of his humour, but seeing him live and just telling stories/saying total random stuff, it was hilarious! For me, I gotta say that Matt’s up there on the list of best banter-ers with Adam Levine and Michael Buble.

3.) The Script – May 31st @ Kool Haus

I have to start this off by saying how awesome it was that I got to see The Script with Safetysuit being their opening act. It was just so perfect because I sort of discovered/heard about them around the same time on VH1, with their Top 20 Countdown and their “You Oughta Know” artist series a few years back. I’ve listened to The Script A LOT more than I have Safetysuit since then, but there’s no doubt that I absolutely fell in love with Safetysuit’s song “Stay.” I mean it’s just such a good song. Now having seen them in concert, I really have to go back and listen to Safetysuit some more – such talented guys.

What I said before about being short at a club show totally applies here. Not to mention that the show was completely sold out, so everyone was packed in like sardines AND it was ridiculously hot. Besides all that, the one thing that I didn’t like about the show was the hour wait between Safetysuit and The Script. I mean other music was played over the speakers to keep us entertained, but still. The wait certainly created some interesting moments (to me and my sociology ways.) Audience sing-along to “Just the Way You Are,” “Love the Way You Lie,” and “Price Tag.” Keane’s “Everybody’s Changing” playing and these 2 girls in front of me asked each other if it was Maroon 5…I was more annoyed really by that. Obviously I love Maroon 5 and I love this song by Keane, but it doesn’t even sound Maroon 5-ish. How do you get M5 from Keane, really?! (Sorry, tangent.) Also, the wait was made better and made worse by them playing “SexyBack.” I got excited because it’s Justin (obviously) but it only reminded me of the fact that JT only made us wait 15 minutes max between the opening act and him during the FutureSex/LoveShow tour.

Anyways, my tirelessness from that long wait aside, once The Script finally hit the stage, the show was so much fun. There was just so much energy, but then heat exhaustion kicked in and everyone was losing energy towards the end. With all the production that they put in, from the lighting (which was fantastic for a club show) and the backdrop, I honestly think they could’ve and should’ve played an arena. Next time they come back to Toronto, I fully expect them to play ACC or if it’s the summer, the Molson Amphitheatre.

2 weeks, 3 concerts, 3 different experiences, but all incredibly awesome in their own ways. I’ve got a 1.5 week break before I see the Glee Live! tour (when that crazy cast is going to be doing 4 shows in 2 days), with LXD opening! A night of some great music (covers) and AMAZING dancing…Can’t Wait!