This Week I’m Mostly Obsessed With…Radioactive

This song is epic. Yes I know it’s been out for ages – but that’s the way I work. Often I’ll hear a song first time and not really be that interested. Then bam, all of a sudden, it slams back into my consciousness and I can’t stop pressing repeat. That’s what happened with Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. It makes me think of explosions, power and surviving anything – it’s become one of my ‘go to’ songs when I need a little boost. It’s perfect for shaking off the dust and pushing forward with something new.

You can watch the video and hear the song here.

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Metallica, 2017

Metallica – one of the ‘big gigs’ on my list, rock royalty and long time performers and we were looking forward to the gig.

They delivered big time – musically they were on point, sounding amazing and every note was perfect. Adding extra solos and elements to the songs, they managed to make even the older stuff sound fresh. The use of lighting and video was inspired and helped to transform the stage into something different for each song. In particular, the use of the light boxes to suggest people trapped in the boxes was brilliant – it really emphasised the emotion of the songs and created a great atmosphere.

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But….and there is a big ‘but’ hovering and I’m going to put it out there – it was all a little clinical for me. The older stuff sounded great but the newer songs felt a little formulaic – a song in a box, straight off the shelf. There didn’t seem to be the same emotional connection for me with the lyrics or music. I was left feeling like something was missing, that little spark that music brings to connect with your soul and make it fly.

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The bits that, to me, were the most heartfelt were the drum beats on the light boxes in the middle of the stage. It felt fresh and had a rhythm and emotion which carried through to the audience. The tribute to those lost in the Manchester bomb was well received and it brought the crowd together in song, all for the same cause.

For me, the best parts of the gig were the well worn songs that are already part of our life’s fabric.

Korn, 2017

Loud and enthusiastic. The set from Korn, although fierce, also carried a level of humour which was hard to deny. There was a fun feeling to the set and even a casual fan like myself was bouncing along.

Bagpipes echoing across the field, the cover of Queen’s ‘We will rock you’ was an interesting twist, but it was hearing ‘Freak on a Leash’ that really had me hooked.

I wasn’t sure that late afternoon on a Sunday was the perfect slot for their music, however a group at the front had a mosh pit going, so maybe I was wrong!

Guns ‘n’ Roses, 2017

Such a hugely anticipated gig – everyone you spoke to thought that it would either be amazing (Slash and Axl back on the same stage – what’s not to love?) or terrible (Axl throwing a diva tantrum and not turning up until 11pm). Well, at about 7.25pm (as I was  stood in the line for drinks) the familiar sound of Slash’s guitar echoed through the stadium – they were on time! Hurriedly grabbing the drinks, I ran out to the arena floor and dived straight into one of the best rock gigs I have ever been to.

It wasn’t just that I was hearing some of the most iconic rock songs being played live and it wasn’t just that Axl and Slash were both on the same stage, riding the same beat – it was the atmosphere they cast across the crowd. There was a feeling of awe in the stadium and the effort they were putting in was palpable. The audience could feel the intensity coming off the stage and it was infectious – everyone was rocking out and I was carried along with the vibe. Adrenaline was pumping and it felt like rock would let us take on the world and win.

November rain, You Could Be Mine and the tribute to Chris Cornell (Black Hole Sun) were stand out moments of the night, as was the heat of the sun, burning down on 66,000 rockers, revelling in the reunion of one of the greatest rock groups on the planet.

All of the band put in 100% and there was something about the feral nature of the guys on the stage that gave the gig an edge, a feeling that we were halfway between a riot and a carnival. It felt like we were all part of rock history just by being in the same venue and I can’t wait for the next time around.

Ashanti, 2017

It was everything you could have wanted – shout-outs to some of the hip-hop greats (2Pac, Ja Rule), a dive bar venue (the Ritz) and two of the best RnB / hip-hop DJs I have heard in a long time. The crowd was bouncing before Ashanti even set foot on the stage and I could see knowing grins from the people around me as songs from the golden era of rap & RnB took us back.

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Its easy to forget just how much of an RnB princess Ashanti is. What a reminder this gig was! Her performance was flawless and songs from her back catalogue had the whole crowd on their feet, fully feeling the throwback party vibe.  The stand out memory of the night was hearing the beginning strains of ‘Only You’ echoing through the venue. Grinning like a Cheshire Cat at my friend, I heard the whole room let out a collective exhale – the type which only accompanies the recognition of an amazing tune.

Suddenly a room full of 30 something year olds was transformed into a group of teenagers, drunk on memories and dancing like we were in an MTV base music video. Thoughts of drunken nights out, clubs with mirrored ceilings, house parties and hooped earrings flooded back, making me yearn for my RnB roots again.

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