Best. Valentine’s. Ever

You may or may not be aware, but last Saturday was Valentine’s day.

Don’t panic, I’m not going to go off on a romantic tangent about the as yet undiscovered love of my life or highlight why Valentine’s is the ultimate social construction designed to make the proletariat spend money. Instead I’m going to describe to you what I’d consider to be the best Valentine’s I’ve ever had. I spent it with one of my dear friends Katherine and 9 men. Oooh err, Lizzie, get in there! ;)

Relax, on Saturday night, I travelled an hour or so from Canterbury to the O2 Arena in London for one of the most eagerly anticipated tours of the year so far; the You Me At Six and All Time Low co-headline tour! When I told my house mate about this tour and how amazing it was to get two of my favourite bands in the world on one bill, he called it the rock version of the 2011-12 Kanye West and Jay-Z tour…he doesn’t understand my music but the sentiment is there.

The tour was a short 5 date affair hitting some of the biggest arenas in the country including the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff and the Birmingham LG arena and finishing in the O2 on the 14th of February.

From the pictures and comments I’ve seen on various social media sites, the other shows were as fantastic as the one I witnessed on Saturday.

Opening the show was Walk The Moon, a small four-piece from Ohio, who were completely pumped and unbelievably grateful to have been given the opportunity to play a venue with such prestige as the O2. They buzzed around the stage during their short 6 song set and interacted well with the audience who were gracious enough to give them the time of day considering that no one really cared much because what was to follow promised to be full of excitement. Realistically, it could’ve been the band that plays in the pub down the road from your house jumping around up there and people still would’ve been happy. But Walk The Moon entertained us well with an infectious mélange of pop and rock with a dash of gyrating hips courtesy of the front man Nick Petricca…seriously though, the guy has MOVES and his hips have their own twitter account!

I was already familiar with these guys and they did not disappoint! I first heard of them through a friend who sent me an acoustic version of their own song ‘Anna Sun’, which they played to end their set and which firmly set us on the road to good times.

After a short break, we were antsy for All Time Low and they took to the stage in a frenzy that has become synonymous with an ATL show. They jumped around, interacted well with the audience and made a lot of dick jokes. All Time Low have a really unique ability to be able to take one of the best songs from any of their albums and turn it into something even more powerful and fantastic. The example that immediately springs to mind is the song ‘Weightless’. This song is the ultimate pop-punk anthem and is the reason that I and I’m sure many other ATL fans got turned onto them in the first place. Now, on the record ‘Nothing Personal’, it’s a stand-out track and a real crowd pleaser. But on this particular night in the O2, Alex Gaskarth introduced the song saying that they wanted to try something new and what followed was magical. The song was given a new lease of life through a beautiful acoustic-sounding first verse until the chorus when it took off and became the song we all know and love. ‘Therapy’ was also an emotional highlight for me. This song was just Alex alone on the stage with his guitar, his voice and a spotlight. This song is stunning anyway, but between Alex and the audience (all of whom were singing along) the arena became one of those rare places where you really feel as though you’re in the centre of the world, where thousands of people are united and the room is pregnant with emotion. The phone lights were out looking like stars and Alex even said at one point ‘wow you guys are going to make me cry!’

All Time Low
All Time Low

However, this wasn’t the only such moment from the night. You Me At Six brought the whole of the feels parade and marched it around the arena so that there was not a soul in the whole place left unaffected by the emotion of the songs ‘Crash’ and ‘Fireworks’. These were just two of the highlights of YMAS’s extraordinary set. They’re blistering, powerful and take no prisoners as they command the stage and make the whole of the arena swirl like a living creature during songs like ‘Loverboy’ and the ferocious ‘Bite My Tongue’ . The jumping people down in the pit look fucking cool from above.

Every time I’ve seen YMAS live I’ve been staggered by how good they’ve been, and particularly on this occasion. You can really tell that they’re on the cusp of something huge and especially with the success of their latest album ‘Cavalier Youth’, you really get the sense that YMAS will continue to climb.

You Me At Six
You Me At Six

There are many points in the night in which we are reminded of the significance of such shows for both of these bands. Alex particularly highlights the hard work and dedication required of bands of the sizes of YMAS and ATL to make it into venues such as these in a world such as this where rock tends to be shoved to one side. He is right when he says that there is a core of huge bands who can get songs of the radio and play arena tours with complete ease (think Foo Fighters status) but for these comparatively young bands, the way is not paved in gold and they have to work incredibly hard for such opportunities. This evening was a display of the hard work and dedication of these bands and the shining future that lies ahead of them and hopefully the others alongside them charging down the bolted gates of the segregated compound to which they have been previously been designated. The musical revolution is coming.

Now playing: Mallory Knox – Heart & Desire

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‘Reckless’

I saw this on another blog, and decided to try this musical challenge :) Play along if y’fancy, I enjoyed it. Just copy and paste the questions into your own note and fill in your own answers.

RULES (NO CHEATING!) –

1. Put your iPod, mp3 player, or music library on your PC on shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

3. You MUST write that song title, no matter how weird it sounds!

4. Post your thoughts after the title of the song

.lets-do-this-rt1b0w

What is your personality? ‘Creeper’ by Mallory Knox……. Oh cripes, off to a good start, eh! I like to think I’m not a creeper…except in my tendencies to enjoy a good Facebook stalking but I think everyone’s guilty of that!

What’s important to you in a mate? ‘All Of This Has To End’ by We Are The Ocean. Oh blimey! I’d like to clarify to my friends that I definitely do not feel this way about any of you! If I did not have my friends then I would have struggled enormously in these last couple of years. I’m lucky in that I’ve met some amazingly loyal people and we’re all as mad as each other really! I love my friends.

How do you feel today? ‘Learn To Fly’ by Foo Fighters. That’s quite apt really: as I write this I’m doing something new and learning to sunbathe. I burn very easily so we’ll see how this goes!

What is the meaning of life? ‘Early Retirement’ by Handguns. Ok, this song is SO much fun! And again quite apt – from the perspective of someone who hasn’t started ‘real life’ yet, it seems like the meaning of life is to be constantly working in order to better yourself and the people you love, a career game if you like. Promotions and pay rises. I imagine that early retirement sounds good to lots of people.

What philosophy do you live by? ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ by 30 Seconds to Mars. I always think that this song is weirdly atmospheric, particularly at the start. I suppose being a stranger in a strange land is how we all feel at some stage of life – I know I did when I moved away from everything I knew in September last year and began my uni adventure. Not a philosophy as such, but definitely something I can relate to.

How do your friends feel about you? ‘Morte et Dabo’ by Asking Alexandria. Oh jeez! The translation of that means something along the lines of ‘by death I shall give’ or ‘the gift of death’ (Latin ed. does anyone know Latin and is qualified enough to verify? Cheers!) and I really, REALLY hope that my friends don’t want to kill me! Especially after the nice things I wrote about them above!

How do you feel about family? ‘Picture a Knife Fight’ by Biffy Clyro! Hahahaha! Oh dear! You can’t make this stuff up :D Granted sometimes it is like this in my house – literally, picture a knife fight and you’ll get it! Nah, I’m joshing, we’re pretty tight knit, so much so that whenever I left home this year to go back to uni after various holidays it brought a tear to my eye. Every time.

What do you think about very often? ‘Back & Forth’ by Foo Fighters. I’m a very indecisive person, I change my mind about everything and overthink like crazy, sometimes to the point where I do go mad. This works – I go back and forth between every decision I make, the options and consequences and it often feels like I get things wrong at the time. Eventually things work out though, that’s always something for me to remember: things do work out, calm down.

What song would you put on repeat for a road trip? ‘Scream’ by Avenged Sevenfold. Fair play! I think if I had it on repeat for that long, I could sing along to every single nuance of the guitar work as well as all the words…who am I kidding, I’m basically there already!

Describe your life. ‘My Last Breath’ by Evanescence. Hmm, an odd one, iPod. The song has always seemed to me to be a ‘I will love you until my last breath’ style jobby and we are NOT getting into this now… Either that or we could think of it as having a living life to the fullest message and living every moment like it will be your last. I wish I was more like that.

What do you dream of doing some day? ‘Five Colours in Her Hair’ by McFly. Oh dear, we were doing so well on the music front! But it’s no secret that I love McFly so I don’t mind and hopefully you don’t! So, what do I dream of doing some day? I’ve always thought that the idea of having a song written for/about me would be rather jazzy. That, and I’ve wanted to dye my hair for ages but every time I’ve been close to doing it, I’ve chickened out. One day, maybe.

What will people say when you die? ‘Not All Heroes Wear Capes’ by Ocasan. Now that WOULD be thinking too highly of myself! But I do enjoy helping people, just not on the scale of jumping around buildings and stopping cars from falling on buggies. I tend to lean towards the shoulder to cry on method.

What do you enjoy doing most (hobby)? ‘Where Did The Party Go’ by Fall Out Boy. Genuis. I’m not a heavy partier, but there’s something really sociable in what others might perceive as a negative trait of our partying/drinking society – going out and having a really good time with friends is what I do it for and there have been many a good memory created on a night out. I’ll only go out if I’m going with people, no one likes the person stood in the corner of the room on their own because they came out alone! And they don’t have fun either…unless they manage to pull with a bored expression and sad ‘no one came out with me’ face. BTW, if anyone is sceptical about getting this album, DO IT! I was too, and now it may be one of my favourites.

What’s your biggest fear? ‘Walking Dead Man’ by Black Tide. Ooh, fair enough. I wouldn’t say a zombie apocalypse is one of my greatest fears but I don’t like the idea of it! That, or the idea of being all alone in life – the song goes “you are nothing, you have no one, you have no heart, no mind of your own” I guess I’m afraid of being like that.

What’s your biggest secret? ‘Days Are Numbered’ by Black Veil Brides. I’m generally quite an open person, partly because things get to me so much that I have to share them. Although, I have a tendency to forget lots of things so there’s probably some secret buried deep within my mind that could number my days if it got out…can’t think what though. Eeesh. Great song though, featuring Bert McCracken from The Used.

What do you think of your friends? ‘Here’s The Thing’ by Don Broco. Yeah, here’s the thing, guys, I don’t actually like you. Awks. Teehee, but seriously, my friends are my absolute world, not like the girl about which this song is written.

What will be the title of this post? ‘Reckless’ by You Me At Six. Good shout, I always feel a bit reckless whenever I blog, I don’t feel like I should be trying to write or talk to internet people :D

What’s your ‘after posting’ celebratory song? ‘With You’ by Linkin Park. Really not a celebrating song, but quite appropriate because I’m completely alone right now and there are people I miss and would love to be with right now to celebrate/hang out :)