Guns N’ Roses are back. The headline I’ve been waiting for, for what seems like my entire life, is now here, kind of. Slash and Axl are friends again and will be performing together at Coachella 2016, as well as allegedly embarking on an arena tour, so there’s only really one thing to say…
I like going to gigs. I don’t attend gigs as much as I’d like to, though – mainly because funds, other commitments, funds, my parents don’t like it, and FUNDS! But there’s something so amazingly special about going to a gig! I get asked by a lot of people why I spend such a ridiculous amount on gigs, and the most basic answer I can give is that I like it. The answer literally flows so much deeper than that, though.
The excitement of a gig will literally start as soon as a tour is announced. You plan your time and start budgeting from that moment, so you know you’ll have enough in your bank account when the tickets are released. For me, I start looking around and researching on how I can access priority release, and get my tickets a day or two earlier; O2 & LiveNation pre-sale have made many a day of mine! Then, a couple of days after you’ve booked the tickets, the excitement dies down a bit… Till your tickets arrive!
The gig day is always a fabulous day! Even if the day itself is like living through hell, there’ll be a voice in the back of your head screaming out “TODAY IS THE DAY! MEMORIES WILL BE MADE! YOU WILL HAVE A FABULOUS TIME!” The time you leave for a gig depends on how hardcore you are. In the past, I’ve queued all day for a gig. The longest I ever queued was nine hours. Nine hours of my day was spent queueing for Avenged Sevenfold, and then another nine hours was spent queueing for Slash. I’ve literally spent 18 hours of my life, sitting in the cold rain, outside Hammersmith Apollo. And that’s just the longest queue times… I don’t even want to calculate how long I’ve actually spent in a gig queue!
For me, going to a gig is a personal thing. Almost every gig I go to, I’ll go because the headline act has changed me in some way. Avenged Sevenfold are just one of my favourite bands, Slash is a hero of mine, Bring Me The Horizon almost saved my life on more than one occasion, Guns N’ Roses are my all time favourite band, Halestorm have given me fond memories, Steel Panther cheer me up when I’m feeling a bit crap, A Day To Remember helped me through a couple of tough times… It’s all personal!
For a lot of people, I think that bands define who they are. The music and the lyrics allow people to have the words they couldn’t find to explain how they’re feeling. It also proves that they’re not the only person feeling the way they feel, and almost offers a support network for them. I know it’s the way I feel. There’s something so amazing in screaming your favourite lyrics back at the band that wrote them, with thousands of other people that feel the way you do. When that happens to you, you know you’re part of something so much more than just music. It’s fuckin’ awesome!!
I’m so stoked for tomorrow. I’ll be going to see Bring Me The Horizon at Brixton Academy, which will be AMAZING! Like I mentioned before, the band have almost saved my life on many occasions, and their last album gave me so many FEEEEEELLSSS!!! Tomorrow will be the third time seeing them, this year, and I’m still as excited as the first time!! Pierce the Veil are one of the support acts. I’ve only recently really gotten into them, but OH MY GOD how do they write those lyrics so perfectly?! I just- I can’t- I mean I’m just so done.
I doubt I’ll be able to sleep much tonight, or get much work done tomorrow, because the excitement is almost killing me.
(sidenote – as much as I want to, I can’t queue hours for this gig… I have to work.)
It’s quite easy to make friends. Apparently. Of course, this pretty much applies to you when you’re in school/university/work, and that’s only because you’re forced to be around those people for prolonged periods of time. Generally, you don’t go walking up to strangers in the street, people sitting next to you on the train, or the group of friends sitting at the table next to you in a restaurant and suddenly become best friends. Generally.
I met my best friend, a year ago, in a very unlikely place – sitting on a street in Brixton.
Okay it sounds way weirder like that. Let me rephrase: I met my best friend Rebekah while we were both sitting on a shitty little street, in Brixton, in the cold, and shared wine and Jack Daniels. We were queuing outside O2 Academy because Slash was playing there that night (all hail Slash, for being bad ass, and for bringing the two of us together) and just suddenly decided to strike up conversation. Normally, that’s what I do at gigs anyway, just become 5-minute best friends with whoever I’m queuing around, and then go our separate ways once we’re inside the venue (& I won’t lie, that was what I thought was going to happen) but this time was totally different. We ended up telling each other about our whole lives, she expressed her shock at finding out the boy I was sitting with was actually my younger brother, and I even shared my alcohol. That hardly ever happens. Seriously.
The gig itself was fucking brilliant! Slash, in all his glory, proved to me again how he is one of the best performers around. He doesn’t even need to say a thing, his presence alone is enough to make the entire crowd his. He knows people go there for classic rock n’ roll, so he delivers it. The guitar solo’s are different, and longer than studio versions (in some cases way waaaaaaay longer…) and that’s incredibly refreshing! It’s nice to know he can just go on stage and bash out something different each time, and it’s good to know he cares about the show enough to change songs around for the fans. Myles Kennedy is beastly on vocals, as ever. Some fans won’t agree with him being a vocalist, and I’ve read numerous times how he should “not be allowed to sing Guns N’ Roses songs because he’s not Axl” which is total bullshit. I know it’s not the same, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good! The Conspirator’s were amazing, as ever, with Todd Kerns running around the stage, flicking his long, luscious locks… I even managed to get a pick from him!! Which, by pure Fangirl logic, means I got a pick from Slash (Todd tours with Slash, Slash needs picks, they may occasionally borrow/share picks, therefore, I have a pick Slash probably played with… It’s not the most perfect of theories but screw you, it’s Fangirl logic OKAY!?)
After the gig, the three of us (I was with my brother, remember?) crawled out of the venue in one sobbing, sweaty heap, and went looking for food. Naturally. I was slightly surprised Rebekah agreed to find food with us, I assumed she’d run screaming after seeing me at a gig. Anyway, we bonded further over KFC, and continued messaging each other over the next week, before deciding to meet up again. It’s never been awkward talking to her, and she genuinely knows more about me then people I’ve known for most of my life.
It just goes to show friends can come to you in the most unlikely situations. This whole post is for her, because she wanted some acknowledgments as being a fabulous friend (and for agreeing to proof read my future posts) to an aspiring journalist, just because – in her own words – “I’m gonna need credit in your life when you get all famous!”
Ha. Haha. You’ll be there all famous with me, babes!!