Let’s Talk About: MØ In Concert (Round 2)

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A while ago I had returned home from a concert and my Dad asked me ‘if I had gotten my money’s worth.’ Having seen MØ twice now, once in May and then again a few days ago, I simply cannot think of a more appropriate saying. I first saw MØ in a venue with a capacity of 340 people. The venue I saw her in most recently could hold up to 1,000 people. Prior to this leg of her North American tour, MØ had played various festivals in Europe for thousands of people. Despite the minuscule venue in May and the underwhelming turnout in Philadelphia a few nights ago, MØ performed as if she were playing Reading and Leeds or Coachella. This is the driving force that will thrust MØ forward in the music industry.

The musical accompaniment on her tracks tend to be very powerful, yet MØ’s voice compliments it. Her soulful voice is captivating, even when she is in the audience, or crowd surfing (both which happened on multiple occasions). She is 100% authentic, without feeling a need to provide glitz or glam. Her outfit choices, typically leggings, sneakers, and a T-shirt speak to that, yet her artistic vision elevates her shows to something extraordinary. At each show there is a screen on the back wall with a film loop of MØ in black and white projected on it. Like MØ this idea is simple yet entrancing. The energy she has is unlike any other, it seems as though she has been performing forever, when in reality she has not been performing in these environments for very long. Whether you are MØs biggest fan or do not know a single word to any of her songs, it is impossible to leave her concert feeling as though the experience was lackluster. I have attended my fair share of concerts, and what I said before I will say again, she puts on one of the most enthralling, entertaining, and exciting shows I have ever witnessed.

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Setlist: 

Maiden

Fire Rides

XXX 88

The Sea

Slow Love

Dust Is Gone

Pilgrim

No Mythologies To Follow

Freedom (#1)

Waste Of Time

Never Wanna Know

Walk This Way

Glass

(Encore)

Say You’ll Be There (Spice Girls)

Don’t Wanna Dance

Let’s Talk About: Lorde In Concert (Round 2)

photoOn March 8, 2014 I attended the Lorde concert at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. Tonight on September 5, 2014 I attended the Lorde concert at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. It’s quite ironic how the two dates turned out. In a span of time ranging exactly six months, things have changed so much.

In January of 2014, I decided to start Ker’s Corner as a way to express and discuss my love for music. At the time, it was a love that had always been present and was slowly beginning to grow stronger each day. A few months prior I had started my freshman year in college and was beginning to view the world differently. View my life differently. I was at a complete loss about what I wanted from my life, what I wanted to do with it and what would make me happy. Music was the outlet that allowed me to forget everything for just a moment. Tonight in her concert, Lorde discussed that moment when you first submerge underwater in a bath, how it is a moment of immense clarity. When I would listen to music, I would feel that brief moment of clarity, the moment was fleeting yet overwhelmingly comforting. Prior to the Lorde concert in March, I had been to quite a few concerts, but never did I think concerts would play such an important role in my life.

In May, June, July, and August, I saw eight concerts, more concerts than some people see in their entire lives. In September and October I am seeing five more. I realize how truly fortunate I am in being able to attend so many concerts and have such amazing experiences.  It seems a bit crazy to some people, but to me, it all finally seems to make sense. The end of my freshman year of college, around March, seemed to be a turning point in my life. I began to experience a lot of changes in my life and form vastly different opinions and perspectives and thoughts on what I wanted. This past summer I took time to really reflect on my life and discover myself, as they say. A process that really only seems to be resolving itself right about now, which is why it is funny that the second Lorde concert happened to be at this point in time.

I know I’m rambling a lot about my life and not the actual Lorde concert, but to properly convey and express my experience requires this (probably uninteresting to you) backstory so please bear with me.

As I was standing in the audience tonight as Lorde began to play “Ribs” (if you read my first Lorde review you will know that that is my favorite Lorde song, if you did not read it I just told you, so now you know) I felt this sort of peace come over me. In that moment standing there, listening to the music, eyes closed like a loser, I was extraordinarily, exceedingly, exceptionally happy. I don’t know if anything will ever result from my having this website, but in that moment it was almost as if I had an epiphany. I want to experience that moment over and over again for the rest of my life. More importantly, I want to come home and share it with those who weren’t there to experience it themselves. In A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, there is a section titled “Sky Dance” in which Leopold describes in such beautiful detail the dance of a bird. He compares the bird’s ‘dance’ to a performance set on a stage with proper lighting and the most perfect set design. His main reason in doing this is to describe this vision as best as he can to those who have not seen it. I want to do that. It sounds bizarre, but I associate passages like Leopold’s to music. I see such a strong connection between music and nature, two things that are most magnificent in their purest and simplest forms.

Putting Lorde aside, Ella aside, the qualities and attributes associated with the pop singer aside, and simply thinking of the music alone is still such a marvelous thing . Music, in a sense, is just a grouping of sonic waves; but the beauty is that individual waves coalesce to produce art that surrounds us in the most intricately simple way. It doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t have to. However, bringing Lorde back into this (thank goodness considering this is supposed to be about her concert) I am completely dumbfounded by the fact that she was criticized so greatly in the early stages of her career, and still to this day. I understand people have different interests, taste, likes and dislikes etc. but to listen to Lorde, who is producing lyrics more profound and fascinating than most people in the music industry today, at the mere age of seventeen is absolutely captivating. She is captivating.

It is nice that I was able to attend two of her concerts in the past year as I am able to look at them side by side and ‘evaluate’ tonight’s concert by comparing it to the prior concert. Tonight’s show in Philly kicked off this leg of her North American tour; a tour that will certainly be outstanding if tonight was any indication. The venue was much bigger this time around. The production much more grandiose.  She spoke for a majority of the concert, unlike last show where she barely said ten words. She is embracing herself and her talent more than ever.

As I drove home from the show (a whole two hours, meh) I listened to Pure Heroine (bet you didn’t see that coming) and (was very focused on the road but) spent a great deal of my drive admiring the sights out the window. It might appear as though I was on a concert high, but for some reason everything appeared more beautiful. The silhouette of the trees lining the road were darker and more pronounced. The hazy cloud, just transparent enough the see the outline of the moon behind it seemed more picturesque. Life seemed- seems- much more lovely.

Thank you Lorde.

(and thank you readers for indulging my most personal, irrelevant, potentially cheesy, and probably boring for you post yet).

Also, it’s currently 2:00 AM and I usually go to sleep at like 10:00, so sorry if this is terribly written. I was just too excited to write about it to wait until the morning.

SETLIST:

Glory and Gore

White Teeth Teens

Tennis Court

Buzzcut Season

No Better

400 Lux

Flashing Lights

Bravado

Biting Down

Heavenly Father

Still Sane

Ribs

Royals

Team

A World Alone

*Single Tear Rolls Down Cheek*

1. Sorry for the excessive amount of asterisks in my posts’ titles lately.

2. I’m back at school for the year and this weekend my school is hosting a school wide BBQ that is making me rethink the Lorde concert. I’m really distraught (insert awkward laughter here that represents me actually being distraught but not wanting to sound too dramatic). As you know Lorde is one of my favorite singers and I have been looking forward to this concert the entire summer BUT I have already seen her once in concert and I don’t want to miss out on my life here. The torment. The pain. The torture. *Kristin Wiig on airplane is Bridesmaids voice* “Help me.”

Let’s Talk About: Alanis Morissette In Concert

IMG_0527The seaside town of Newport, RI, in and of itself is charming, mystical, and a little magical if you pick the right cobblestone alleys to walk down. Laced with history, lined with flourishing foliage, and surrounded by the rocking ocean of the east coast, Newport provides the perfect backdrop for all things amazing. I was fortunate enough to attend the Newport Folk Festival, a festival that exceeded all of my expectations, especially in regards to the venue. However, nothing could prepare me for the Alanis Morissette concert, which is quite funny to me, considering Jagged Little Pill was released eleven days before I was born. Good times.

The setting, a large white, open tent sitting on the edge of the water, paired with the beautiful, breezy New England night set the bar high, yet Alanis managed to laugh in the face of my expectations. The concert was an ‘acoustic and intimate’ concert. I would say a lot more acoustic than intimate. There was a significant amount of people inside the tent, as well as a number of standing room only attendees spanning far beyond the outer perimeter. Alanis sounded absolutely amazing. To hear such a distinctive voice in person is really an experience. She joked that she found out the setlist for that night’s show via twitter (social media these days, am I right?). Her hits came one after the other, “You Learn,” “Everything,” “Head Over Feet,” “Right Through You” etc. etc. Her stage presence surpassed what I anticipated. To spend two hours sitting in a chair during an acoustic set and be able to captivate the audience, make them laugh, and have them sing along is quite impressive. One of the reasons I believe she was so successful in engaging the audience is because she was very personal in her story telling, telling stories about Canada, her songwriting experiences, her husband and son, yadda yadda.

At the end of the concert she said something along the lines of, this is where we would leave and everyone would cheer and we would come back on, but I don’t want to trip, so thank you for saving me public shame and seven calories.’ The band then rolled into “Ironic” and ended the night with “Thank You.” At the end of the night, I was left wondering if I had dreamt the whole thing and actually just fallen asleep listening to Alanis Morissette: The Collection. Luckily, I woke up this morning and my memories from last night were still very vivd, and very real.

Let’s Talk About: Billy Joel In Concert

IMG_0348My experience at the Billy Joel concert can only be described as something out of a dream. Last night, I headed up to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, home of the Philadelphia Phillies (woot!) for one of the final stops on Billy Joel’s tour. The fact that it was in a baseball stadium in and of itself was enough for me. I am certainly one who values intimate concert venues, but there is something so overwhelming about a stadium that big that fills me with such exhilaration. Our seats were on the field, looking around me all I could see was a sea of faces and seats endlessly spanning in every direction. Looking back and forth from the stage and Billy to the thousands of faces behind created this feeling of awe, being so small in such a large environment. Also the fact that musicians play for audiences this large, make this many people cheerful is an incredible concept. It was a feeling of liberation juxtaposed with a certain anxiety and sense of claustrophobia that absolutely boggled my mind.

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Lolol at my sweaty selfie ft. Billy Joel himself.

Billy came out around nine o’clock and played until eleven. What I love the most about him, and always have, is that he is such an entertainer. Aside from his amazing musical talent (he sounds just as he does on his albums form twenty years ago) Billy puts on a very light and whimsical show, allowing his jovial mood to shine through. There were several things I found very impressive throughout the show. One, Billy is able to cruise through a two hour set barely taking any breaks between songs. Two, he sounds exactly like he does on his albums. Three, he engages the audience in it’s entirety, all 50,000 people.IMG_0370

Four, speaking from a personal standpoint on this one, I am nineteen years old, the last album Billy released (other than his album of classical compositions) was released two years before I was born. Let that sink in. Yet with each song I was completely captivated. I wanted to sing along and dance and not allow any outside thoughts to prevent that from happening. During “We Didn’t Start the Fire” the environment in the front few rows was equivalent to that of any of the concerts I have been to recently, the only varying factor being that there were fifty year olds and twenty year olds dancing together in harmony. To me, to someone who wasn’t exposed to Billy in his ‘prime time’, this is Billy. Someone who is able to unite a vast amount of people through music, through entertainment, through happiness. 

P.S. He kinda reminds me of a pumpkin for some reason, but hey pumpkins are my favorite fruit so.. also I was escorted to the front row mid concert so that was casual.

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