Slayer @The Academy
The Frames @ Whelans
Music is one of my boyfriends greatest passions, his musical taste is varied and his brain is packed with knowledge. Listening to music, discussing it with him or watching him play is a constant learning experience. I'm forever hearing new songs, bands and back stories, he's like my own musical encyclopedia. My favorite part of all is going to concerts and gigs with him, apart from robbing all his concerts tshirts of course. All the photos in this post are taken by his talented eye. There is something unforgettable about a great gig; the energy is unbeatable, the adrenaline that pumps through the crowd just before it begins is insane. In 2014 I had the chance to go to some amazing gigs; Slayer at the Academy, Soulfy at Whelans and The Frames at Whelans. Both venues give an intimate feel but can still cram in enough people to leave your deafened from the crowd.
Seeing Slayer in July was a standout for me, I've been to many concerts that are out of my comfort zone but I was pushed far beyond at this. I naively agreed to stand right at the barrier without really thinking what that might be like. When the lights went down and the crowd grew impatient for Slayer to take the stage, I realized what I had signed up for. Thousands of fans surged forward chanting and I could literally feel the music vibrating in my chest. We couldn't have gotten closer to the stage, it was virtually an arms stretch and clearly a coveted spot as people jostled to get to the front. Towards the end we gave in and headed upstairs to watch the carnage below. The atmosphere was just surreal, I loved every minute of it, although not as much the ringing in my ears and throbbing in my arms the next day.
Next up that same month was Soulfly at Whelans. My boyfriend rang me up in work to say he had won tickets off MCD productions on twitter to see Soulfy. So after a quick raid of his Tshirt selection, myself and a friend tagged along to see a band we had never heard before looking them up on Youtube that day. After a little photo op beside the tour bus parked right outside, it was time for a drink in Whelans where the sound check pounded through the wall. This time I watched from the safety of the balcony, in awe of the pits, crowd surfing, moshing and abundance of topless men (My boyfriend suggested I write 'throngs of sweaty men', but that seemed a little 50 shades of metal). I left with major hair envy from Max Cavalera's dreads. A very different gig to Slayer, more intimate which may have been due to the smaller venue, but also attributed a little to how much they engage with the crowd.
On the 30th of June we went to a one off gig by the Frames for Whelan's year long 25th Anniversary celebration. A very generous friend of my boyfriend invited us that morning, which was incredible as these highly coveted tickets sold out in a matter of minutes, there was just 450 tickets in total. Unbelievably after gushing about Whelan's support and their importance to the band, Glen Hansard announced that everyone's drinks for the rest of the night are on him. The poor bar staff... The Frames played for over 3 hours, it was obviously a striking contrast musically to the previous two I wrote about but I love getting to have such varied experiences. This was the most personal gig I have ever been to; it was a perfect one off night, beautiful music and free drink for all.
Don't let this post deceive you though, you'll still find Taylor Swift blaring in my car virtually every day of the week.