It’s been said that I go to a lot of concerts. Now, in the Q4 part of 2015…I didn’t go to as many. Sometimes when you don’t have money, you find you cannot exchange anything for concert tickets. They won’t accept secrets or promises of ownership of my firstborn as currency…so I got a little stuck.
HOWEVER, I did go to a ton of shows over the first 9 months of the year (and still 1 or 2 in Q4), and I tend to have ridiculous stories from any time I leave the house. Let us begin the year end roundup of concerts before 2016 brings me a whole new batch of times I cried in public and it wasn’t weird.
Also, be sure to check out Carley’s Concert Year In Review as well!!
frnkiero andthe cellabration
Literally one of the coolest experiences of my life. First of all, I was in a sweaty little hole-in-the-wall bar with Frank Iero and 100 people for a night. Second of all, I waited in line to meet him and when I got to the front of the line…he said “oh, are you Paige???” and I literally almost threw up. Turns out someone from the label I worked for had told him to look out for me and my pink hair. It was way too cool and I felt like my position as a Record Label Employee had been validated.
We got to meet Ariana and present her with a multi-award for all of her singles/album that had received a gold or platinum status since its release. The second she walked into the room, she said “hey everyo-OH MY GOD I LOVE YOUR HAIR”. Clearly everyone was having a great time with my pink hair, which I quickly dyed over for some reason?? In any case, it was hilarious and she loved the award that I helped design (and she was so excited that it matched my hair and said she’d be hanging it up in her bedroom), it totally made me an Ari fangirl. Also, her performance included a big projection of Donald Glover on the screen behind her…so all around a very positive experience.
Camm Hunter x2
Oi. My friends and I decided to relive our glory days and see Down With Webster perform in a small bar. However, they no longer do that. But Camm does. So we went twice. And both times he picked us out of the crowd within 0.5 seconds and stared deep into our souls in a “I know you’re here, you’ve been spotted and can’t pretend you’re not still stanning me” way. I will revert back to my 2010 self every time I step into a room and hear the Go Kart Rap. Stay away from me, I’m reverting right now.
I told everyone to love James Bay. I told everyone he was a little ball of sunshine & incredible skill, and everyone slept on him. Until we all got to go to his show. And half my coworkers met him and fell in love with him. And I didn’t meet him and just loved him from afar and prayed he would just pick my pink hair out of the crowd and bring me to live with him forever. But alas…I am alone. He promised if I ever wanted to be in love, he’d come around. James, WHERE ARE YOU.
I went to this show with a seat in the back of the 100 section during LIGHTS and ended up in the very front row by the time OneRepublic hit the stage. My friend Anne is the queen of “knowing security” (my dad is the king) and hustled us right to the front row without even trying. We had to share a pair of earplugs in order to survive the sound levels, but good god was that ever a good show. You forget how many hits they have until you hear them all back to back.
Mumford & Sons
If frnkiero was one of my coolest experiences as a professional, Mumford & Sons’ underplay at Lee’s Palace was one of my coolest experiences as a fan. 500 people getting their cell phones confiscated and hearing all of Wilder Mind long before its release. Live. *fast banjo playing*
With no banjos. *sad fast banjo playing*
I love Mumford & Sons. I’m so far up Marcus Mumford’s ass, I can see out of his mouth. I love them. Getting to attend this was absolutely incredible, and it’s all because I worked with two guys at the label who were (and continue to be) like family to me. There is no way in hell I should have been at that show when my job title could have literally been “office bitch who does all the bitch work”, but they brought me because I worked on the project and they knew I was a fan. Maybe one day I’ll be able to repay them for that. Likely not, though.
Guys. I love The Maine. I have loved The Maine forever. I will love The Maine forever. I got to help earlier in the day with an in-store event at HMV and started a sentence with “Listen, you’re in Toronto now, this is Drake’s town” and that whole speech ended with us all 6God’ing in the most glorious of ways.
After giving this speech, I then ran into Kennedy and Garrett outside the venue and they gave me a look that properly communicated “hey that’s the 6God Girl” and I am absolutely proud of my legacy.
I cannot believe they let me do this at a work event.
I don’t have any stories from this. I love Gerard like anyone who grew up in the MCR era does…but I don’t connect with his solo music and he just kind of seemed lost and confused on stage. It just didn’t feel right.
LISTEN 6GOD. If you’re playing a hometown show…I don’t care that it’s not OVO Fest, I want to hear you playing for hours. The setlist was 33 songs, but it wasn’t 33 FULL songs. It was pieces. It was songs where he only did a verse so he only played a verse. I love Drake, but I was so shocked when the lights came on and it was time to leave after just over an hour. The jungle stage design almost made up for it though.
If you haven’t seen Joywave live, you need to. Even if it’s only to hear them start their set by playing Destruction twice…you gotta do it. I saw them 3 times this year, and each time got better and better (more on that below). This performance included a nauseating Canada flag cutoff tank top, and me informing the band that their video for “Somebody New” included the set of Paddy’s Pub from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia in the background. Daniel called me a liar but I proved him wrong, and Sean was very excited (which I appreciated because I’d been freaking out about this for months).
— Paige Williams (@paigebackstage) June 16, 2015
No stories from this, except I saw her a few years ago and now feel very smug about how well she’s doing because I’m one of thoooose terrible people.
Went to see Rush with my dad for Father’s Day/his birthday. Now I’m disappointed by any other band that doesn’t play for 3 hours straight with no opening band and no gimmicks. We were going to try and sneak backstage but no dice. We did not roll the bones.
This was such a necessary bonding moment for my dad and I. We love Snoop. We went to a charity event specifically to find Snoop. We watched him play every single hit he had – plus some I didn’t even realize included him – and I could have heard him play them 3 times over without getting bored. Think about how crazy it is to see a bunch of upper class Toronto folk dancing to Snoop Dogg.
Imagine Dragons (with Halsey)
Obviously I was here for Halsey, but Imagine Dragons put on a GREAT show. They’re such stadium artists. But this was Halsey’s first time in Canada and I had been anxiously awaiting her arrival (this was back when I was running point on her project) for months. By this point in July, I’d already had the album for a few weeks and was very ready to sing along to every unreleased song. We had an in-store event the next day. Everyone on the team was introducing themselves to her and when I went to shake her hand she yelled “OH MY GOD I KNOW YOU, YOU ALWAYS SAY NICE THINGS TO ME ON TWITTER” and hugged me, and my boss was like “what now” and I had to pretend like I wasn’t gonna fangirl because I was just having a nice moment with my wife. Halsey and I followed each other back in the old days when she had 20k followers and I thought that was a big deal, and now she’s a superstar and I’m constantly looking for an emoji with stars in its eyes to convey how I feel about her.
Dave Grohl will pay any charges associated with playing past the concert curfew because he’s rich. His words, not mine. King of the world.
LOL I SHOWED UP WHEN THE BANDS WERE PACKING UP, IT WAS GREAT. I MADE EYE CONTACT WITH RIFF RAFF AND IT WAS TERRIFYING.
This was a legendary weekend. I saw a lot of hip hop artists (Kendrick, Nas, ScHoolboy) and was horrified by Charli XCX’s live show for the first time. I cried over Ryn Weaver in person for the first time. Most importantly, I made someone watch Brand New with me and they didn’t even perform “Seventy Times 7”. That was probably for the best, but I was really excited to scream “HAVE ANOTHER DRINK AND DRIVE YOURSELF HOME, I HOPE THERE’S ICE ON ALL THE ROADS AND THAT YOU THINK OF ME WHEN YOU FORGET YOUR SEATBELT AND AGAIN WHEN YOUR HEAD GOES THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD” at him. In the nicest way possible. I ran into my friend Kim for like the billionth time (this will probably come up again, which is why I mention it…because I keep seeing her in weird places).
I met Ryn early this year at a CMW showcase where we bonded over our love for boys who are emaciated and malnourished, the type that look like they could snap in half if you hug* them too hard. After this experience, she encouraged me to break into Osheaga (which I didn’t have to do because I bought a wristband). I then came to her show in Toronto and lost my mind because she sounds like a literal angel. We took heinous selfies with her after the show (she looked gorgeous, of course) (I won’t include the selfie).
(* I’m censoring)
Reading & Leeds
I can’t sum this up in less than an essay. Seeing Mumford perform everything (including banjo songs) was life changing, as was SCREAMING along to Kendrick Lamar’s “m.a.a.d city” and creating our own pit at the back of the lawn. We made so many friends during this phase. Bring Me The Horizon put on a set that honestly made me rethink live concert experiences. I ate bacon fries and a slushie inside a circle pit. I saw Joywave again, listened to the video game musical stylings of Porter Robinson, and witnessed the return of Alexisonfire while a minion balloon escaped into the sky. DropDead posted a pic of me on their Instagram and all anyone cared about was the hot dude in the back of the photo, and it was fine because me too. My hand spontaneously bled more than once. I saw Ghost. Ben Barlow had early 90s Nick Carter hair. It was all so hardcore.
Years & Years
I was horribly jet lagged, having returned from London the DAY BEFORE, and had to leave before the encore. I was literally going to roll down the floor towards the stage and just die. They were great and Olly is a fantastic dancer.
twenty one pilots
I cried so much at this show. They played Goner, Truce, and Car Radio back to back and I cried through all of them. I just cried a lot in general, but that’s standard for me at a tøp show. The best part is that no one is ever weird about it. It’s totally accepted. I love the skeletøn clique. We tried to meet them afterwards but after multiple mixups on the location to get our playing card, we were not included. Tyler was sick and didn’t come out, but Josh came out to meet everyone. Ashley & I are sitting forlornly in the back of every photo. Their tour manager came out afterwards to give us each setlists because he knew we didn’t make it into the meet & greet. Shoutout to that dude, he’s the real MVP.
Y’all know I was a certified Jonas Brother Fangirl, right? I was part of the Jonas Secrets community (please contact me if you were also). I lived and breathed these dudes. When I started at the label and they made their comeback, I was SO READY. And then they broke up. At least we got Nick’s solo career, or I would have passed away.
Bring Me The Horizon
I bought this ticket while I was jet lagged and forgot to buy 2. And then it sold out. So I went alone and stood near the back and got pushed by literally anyone who walked near me and was so stressed out but the show was fine and I ran to my car and got the hell out of there.
They didn’t open with Destruction. And I was so confused. And the whole set went on and they didn’t play Destruction. And every time they didn’t play Destruction, I turned to my friend Sam and said “this song isn’t Destruction”. And then they played the encore song and it was “Tongues”. And do you know when the beat drops and comes back in? The beat never came back in. Destruction started. And I lost. My goddamn. Mind. Like I was screaming and jumping all over the place. It was WILD. I have never been so excited about ANYTHING in my stupid garbage life.
I wore a 1D collage tshirt to this show and I know everyone thought it was ironic but it wasn’t. I fell in love with a guy who could dance very well but I never spoke to him and never saw him again.
At this point, I was no longer working at the label. I went to this show and saw how the fans had become more rabid and the crowd had grown and the attention had increased..and I just literally cried through the entire set nonstop. I had to separate myself from everyone I knew so they wouldn’t be like “whoa, this is a lot to take in, this bitch needs to chill at least a little bit like maybe for one song at least”. How this literal angel has accomplished so much in such a short time, I will both never know and completely understand all at once. She is a force to be reckoned with and is going to literally take over the world. Me even being just a small part of this phenomenon just blows my mind. We took cute selfies later.
Ryn Weaver (again)
No specific stories from this show, I just really love Ryn and keep going to see her because I need to.
Wow, did you make it through that wall of text? I’m so sorry, I guess I had more memories than I thought I would.
What’s your best concert memory of 2015?