Your time is now 

Sometimes it is worth looking at trends to determine if a great opportunity lies ahead, wherever that may be at that time. I have such an opportunity at noon on the 10th of August which I do not want to miss.

I have been reading fan comments whilst Muse have been on tour through throughout Europe and the States. I was able to see them in 2016 on their Drones Tour in Manchester, UK, Drones being their most recent album. It was incredible as I knew it would be from the three previous Muse gigs I have attended since 2006, the first being in my home city of Newcastle.

Newcastle, Nov 16, 2006

img_4129

My first gig. Ever. Matt the singer/guitarist played part of the song Assassin whilst laid on his back. I also thought that Dom on drums was wearing the Spiderman costume he tends to wear every now and then, looking back at the incredibly pixelated videos taken in 2006 it doesn’t seem so, although it is hard to tell when the video consists of about 50 pixels. Memories can be deceiving.

Leeds Festival, Origin of Symmetry 10th anniversary, 2011

230084_10200181081279401_1682796978_n

A truly unique experience as it was the tenth anniversary of Origin of Symmetry, and the first time ever that the whole album was played in its entirety. The stage was set up as if the band were playing inside the album cover, with images from the albums artwork animated onto the giant screen behind. Flamethrowers were used and had to be scrapped later in the gig as the flames were so tall it melted/set fire to parts of the stage. Classic Muse. I took this screenshot from their 360 app, which allows you to control the cameras 360 degrees of the whole set with multiple angles to choose from. This, was a very cool idea.

Manchester (Etihad Stadium), Unsustainable Tour, 2013

Despite the unique stage set in Leeds, this was by far the most impressive stage I have seen from these guys, or anyone for that matter.

946774_10201572196096402_1644454660_n

It was the biggest stage I have ever seen. I found this picture over at MuseWiki that helps to give a little perspective of this particular stadium tour.

246px-UnsustainableTour_StageDesign

Charles the Robot can be seen in the last image, a 16 foot tall robot that sang the lyrics to Unsustainable whilst smoke fired from his ears. Matt wanted the robot to be taller, but was (again) blocked by health and safety. When asked by a fan on Twitter if he was finally able to get a robot to perform on stage, he tweeted:

Better smaller than never, I say!

Manchester (arena), Drones Tour, 2016

I loved this gig because the Drones album (largely relating to the controversial use of drones in war) had a darker vibe, and with this a heavier setlist bringing back some of the rock songs of earlier albums. They also had drones flying about the arena, as well as a huge drone of what appeared to be a black spacecraft or army plane flying around the stage that was in the centre of the arena. After a few beers, I just remember looking up and thinking ‘what the heck is that?!’ as it flew right by. A great memory.

12998157_10210015739259704_239976146339561481_o

Gigs that were never to be.

Madison Square Garden, Resistance Tour, 2010.

I was in NYC, and my hotel was honestly right across the road from MSG. I could see the main doors to the venue from my window. Not just that, Muse were performing that night. I went over to see if I could get a ticket, very optimistically and remember one of their songs was playing in the lobby. There were no tickets. On the bright side, I did get to do a stadium tour that day, which granted me access to the venue to watch their stage being set up. This was another unique experience that I am chuffed I managed to have. Apologies for the grainy image, this is all I have. I don’t know why I had such a terrible camera back then.

24361_1384083811785_6152883_n

As we were lead into the Knicks changing rooms, I couldn’t help to notice Muse kit boxes along the corridors. I remember feeling a sense of excitement as I could walk around one corner and bump into them at any moment. Sadly, I didn’t.

24361_1384084011790_6599915_n

There was one room. A room with two people standing outside of it, as if something was taking place inside. To this day I am convinced the band were being interviewed inside, however I may never know…

24361_1384083971789_2134229_n
What are they doing in there? I have a right to know…
It was a weird feeling knowing that they could have been right there and all I could do is walk on by. 

Watching the gig back on YouTube, the light show was incredible.

Sydney, 2017?

At noon AEST, I have the opportunity to buy tickets for one of two Australian gigs they have recently announced. Sydney and Melbourne are the first Aussie dates since 2013, I knew it was inevitable from the amount of Australian fans desperately wanting a chance to see them, begging for some tour dates all over their social media. Sadly, I missed it on the pre sale so I will just have to wait for the general sale, but what great timing it will be with me moving to Sydney in September.

Roll on noon on the 10/08/17… I’ve bookedmarked the local timezone for maximum preparation.


I hope my Aussie friends don’t mind as I try to steal a ticket from their beautifully tanned, Muse deprived hands… I’ll make up for it somehow, I promise.

Advertisements

I met a famous person yesterday

She was really nice. I am always hearing stories of certain names being a little snobby or rude, I have not experienced it personally. I have met a few purely because I live and work in a city, I learned a couple of things from my encounter.

53

I will warn you, if you are under the age of 25 you may not know who this is. I realised this yesterday with so many people asking who she was. I knew her thanks to my parents as they were/are fans.

Chaka Kahn, anyone?

She asked if I was going to her gig which is today, I said I couldn’t unfortunately but I was able to get my mum a ticket. She told me to say hello and that she hopes to perform well for her. I haven’t been able to get hold of my mum to tell her as of yet. From my experience, most famous people I have met have been very welcoming and are happy to engage in a little conversation. Even if they didn’t give much time to do so, I am sure I would understand. I guess the reason they are famous is that they are very busy catering for a huge amount of people. If anything that makes me appreciate them more when they make time for small talk. Something I struggle to do at times without the millions of fans expecting me to deliver.

Things I learned yesterday:

  • You can still be busy without sacrificing kindness.
  • Americans love Nandos in the UK, if the group I met yesterday were an accurate reflection of 320 million people.
  • The city that I am proud of is just another place for some people. All the lives here, all the history… just another dot on the map for someone on tour. Not that I am offended, every place is like that for someone.
  • I need to slow down when I speak to people from overseas, although my accent is much easier to understand compared to some natives. Good luck getting in a conversation with a taxi driver here, I am slowly becoming bilingual in that respect.

I love city living for this reason, I never got this in the small town I grew up in. No big groups coming to town, little tourism from overseas, every day being very similar. I need difference on the daily or I go insane.

 

You always end up next to the arsehole at a gig

Yesterday seen some much needed mother-son time at a venue to see the band Daughter. My mum has been wanting to see them for months and I managed to get a couple of last minute tickets for free through work. We had to pay £5 each to go to a charity on arrival but I was never going to argue with that. She more than well deserved to get out after what’s been a difficult few years including some very close losses.

I usually attend rock gigs. I grew up a fan and my dad always told me that the first artist I showed interest to as a toddler was Hendrix. I still thank him for my musical taste. This concert was much more mellow but despite this, still very enjoyable. The one thing I noticed compared to past gig experiences was how much I could hear people chatting throughout the set. I’ll give you a couple of examples.

  
One girl was talking about her plans to go vegetarian. Acceptable topic of conversation, in a kitchen. I overheard another group chatting about their plans for the rest of the evening. Then, the most stupid thing you could say at a gig was said right there, a few fans away.

No word of a lie, one drunken student yelled ‘I hope there’s a terrorist attack!’. What the fuck? If he wasn’t an idiotic and highly intoxicated white student, more people would have probably picked up on it. 

Are there always this many people using live music as a place to start conversations? I looked around to see how many people were paying attention. Thankfully most. This was evident at the loud cheers when the first notes of the better known songs were played. I’m assuming this is the case at most gigs and due to our location (right in the corner fairly close to the bar, although the venue isn’t large so this is still only about 10 rows from the front) we were next to those that wanted drinks more than memories.

Some had their backs to the gig, turning around to take the occasional photo of which will no doubt end up on Facebook. Proof of their ‘amazing night and best. Gig. Everrrrrr.’.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve been that drunken fan. Annoying the fans around me with out of sync clapping and out of tune singing. But at least this was in reaction to the music. Not a conversation that would be much easier in 90 minutes time on the way home.

They have installed smoking shelters outside venues, how about incorporating a conversation area to help those with a talking addiction get it out of their system? I’m all for rowdiness at gigs and for people to lose themselves, as long as it’s in the music and not conversation.

JB vs JC: Does Bieber deserve more followers than Jesus?

He is a global icon with more followers than most guys have sperm count. If that wasn’t already clear it was made evident to me today as the song stuck in my head was playing in the store I walked into. It didn’t surprise me but it did look like I was singing along.

I posted recently on the falling religious numbers in Britain, less than 800,000 attend church services and two thirds of British teens do not believe in God. Considering how many of the 800,000 are teenagers and how much of Biebers sell out arena tours are made up of teens, I would say Bieber has a much bigger fan base here in the UK. 

So why are so many kids happy to pay big bucks to see him perform (some reportedly paying up to £200 for a twenty second meet and greet) when Church is free? 

The answer is simple. JB shows up for his followers. Most of the time.

 

justinbieberfanzone.com
 
This is what it comes down to. In the fast paced world we live in, we want results and if we do not get results we move on. This isn’t greed or selfishness. A little entertainment is desired in a world full of bad news and hard work, teenagers are in no way exempt from this.

For thousands of years church goers have spent their free time worshipping a Lord that hasn’t made an appearance. Not once in millenia. Unless that is, you believe stories of him appearing on slices of burnt toast or to a crowd so briefly there is no photo evidence, but what use is that to us? 

Fans want to see Bieber. He says he will make an appearance, they pay and he plays. It’s a greatly effective system and is the reason he has more followers than most nations have people. 

http://humoroutcasts.com/2014/jesus-interview-justin-bieber/
  
The ultimate irony is that Justin Bieber may take offence to what I am saying in this post. He has tattoos of Jesus and has been vocal about his religious beliefs. 

Unless he comments below- and he is most welcome to- I don’t think I will get a direct answer to this. 

A society showing more interest in celebrity culture than having a religion isn’t a society going downhill. It’s a society that likes to hear from the idols they respect and less tolerant of individuals they are told to respect, especially if those individuals don’t have the nerve to show appreciation or make an appearance. 

It’s a shame followers have to pay to see their hero but that’s the nature of the industry… And what other option is there when Jesus won’t do it for free?

Normality keeps the world in order. Individuality keeps the world evolving

David Bowie was certainly a fan of innovation and individuality. His unique persona is the reason that millions of people will wake up in mourning today. 

Most of us will be too fearful to adopt an alterego as outrageous as Ziggy Stardust, in fear of ridicule or social isolation. It is much more acceptable to remain unambitious or somewhat tame if that means we can be accepted. It is better to blend into society than to risk trying to change it. 

Most of us will not know what it is like to be adored by millions of people like those weird, eccentric artists. The ones  that thought fuck it, and realised that normality doesn’t keep you from the casket any longer, it just means less people know that you are in it when it comes to the time.

This links in with my blog very nicely. Atheism receives plenty of ridicule from the religious community largely due to it’s daring nature. Not going to church on Sunday?! Not saying grace before a meal?! Not sporting the dull, individuality killing religious garments that we are meant to keep us in check?! Hardly as outrageous as sporting face paint and singing about outer space, but not many people can do that as well as Ziggy.

Religion turns even the most modest of changes into hysteria. A woman revealing slightly more leg than usual in a very conservative nation or two men holding hands walking down the street. When we are born to live such boring and unambitious lives no wonder the ones that dare to break the shackles gain such attention. Those that criticise are jealous of such confidence and the ones that disagree have had their identity taken away by ‘normal’ society. 

How many church attending, prayer giving, 9-to-5 working, scripture reading, ‘normal’ individuals will stand the test of time and be respected by millions even after death? None, there are way to many. How many eccentric and different characters will help the shape a world unwilling to change and receive worldwide respect? Not many… And we lost another one of these rare but vital characters today.

Christian Rapper has me Convinced 

I have to admit, amazing lyricism. Today I listened to this song after a popular face on social media shared the below video. Rap isn’t my favourite genre but if it’s good, I’ll appreciate.

Futuristic shared the post with the message ‘INSANE! Christian Rapper drops the CRAZIEST bars I’ve ever heard!!!’ 

Attention grabbing indeed. As my curiosity got the better of me, I decided to give it a listen. I’m not a bitter person and I try to be as open minded as I can. If I go into something with a pre-conceived perception, I’m going to be heavily influenced by that pre-conceived perception.

  

I am not sure whether you decided to listen but I can tell you (spoiler!) there are some Christian references. One verse talks of how the Devil was banished from heaven for his rebellious ways, you won’t find a rap artist get closer to Christianity than that.

Despite being told in a rather impressive and unique fashion about the Bible, I am once again left unimpressed that a human being is the one telling me about his favourite of the Gods. Time and time and time again, people of Christian faith show talents but where is Gods talent if he still refrains from telling me personally?

You can rap until the cows come home. You can sing, act, invent, protest, pray, scream, cry, fight… As talented as you may be, all you are doing is demonstrating that you have a talent. There are people of other faiths and non religious backgrounds that can stand toe to toe with your accolades. 

Super dope feelin’ to see God move like this!

Like what? Another artist has shared your video, that’s it. There is no more to it, so be happy at your fellow peers.

  
So tonight I was convinced by this rap. Convinced that I will always hear from those who love God but not God himself. A Christian can demonstrate a talent well. A talent far, far from proving Christianity relevant. Am I meant to perceive it as evidence?