This year I have attended numerous gigs, festivals and events, but these top 5 stood out by a mile and are events, which I would more than recommend my readers to attend in 2019!

5.The Wombats returned this year with their long-awaited album ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’. They toured academy’s across the UK including Manchester Academy, which I attended in March. The scouse band churned out hit after hit, including classics such as ‘Moving To New York’, ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ and ‘Greek Tragedy’. The band’s performance was of high standard, but they seemed used to the audience reaction, therefore didn’t come across as enjoying it themselves much. Other aspects of the show made up for this, including giant inflatable balls and a dancing Wombat making a feature on stage.

4.G-Eazy was once my guilty pleasure, I have loved his music since ‘Me, Myself and I’ ft Bebe Rexha made the charts in 2015. However, after seeing him at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse, I am no longer hiding my appreciation for his music. G Eazy (Gerald) seemed to enjoy every song he performed, which the crowd reflected straight back at him. Gerald ended the show with the fan favourite ‘No Limit’ to which every single person sang along to his, A$ap Rocky and Cardi B’s lyrics. G Eazy thanked the crowd and vowed to return, which I suggest fans to attend when he does.

3.Paramore was the first gig I attended this year. Their latest album ‘After Laughter’ was my favourite release of 2017 and Hayley, Josh and Zac performed every song from the album perfectly. The new era caused split reaction with the fans, but I’ve never seen the band enjoy themselves so much on stage. Old hits such as Still into YouCaught Myself and Misery Business still made an appearance. This was before the band announced that they would no longer perform Misery Business, due to the recent controversy over the lyrics that Hayley wrote at just 16. I loved every second of the performance and would love to see them again perhaps in a more intimate show, smaller than large arena, which they performed at on this tour. 

2.Bring Me The Horizon was the last gig I attended of the year and the one I was most looking forward too. The Sheffield band did not let me down, as lead singer Oli’s vocals sounded better than ever before. The set ranged from their two new singles ‘Mantra’ and ‘Wonderful Life’, a medley of songs from their heavier albums ‘Count Your Blessings’ and ‘Suicide Season’ and even an acoustic version of hit single ‘Drown’. The energy that the 5-piece put into their Alexandria Palace show was incredible and I am thoroughly looking forward to their latest album ‘Amo’, which is set to be released on the 25th January. 

1.Benicassim is a festival just a few hours away from Barcelona. I went in July of this year and it was an amazing festival in every aspect, which I would highly recommend. The site wasn’t over packed, the music acts such as Travis Scott, Catfish and The Bottlemen and Liam Gallagher performed amazing sets, with only a few acts letting the overall line up down. The Kooks and Wolf Alice didn’t perform to expectations, the open stage in the sunshine just wasn’t the right place for them. But, Benicassim was still the music highlight of the year, spending the day on the beach and returning to the site each night to dance on the notorious South Beach or watch world famous acts perform until 3am. Next year’s line up already looks amazing with first headliner Lana Del Rey, The 1975 and Blossoms 

Highly Suspect Live review!

Highly Suspect are the three time Grammy-nominated alternative rock band from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The three piece consists of Johnny Stevens on vocals and lead guitar, Ryan Meyer on Drums and Rich Meyer on bass, all of whom returned to the UK this week for a headlining tour of their second album ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf’.

The alt rock genre band performed at Manchester Academy 2 on the 6th of February, with a DJ on stage getting the crowd excited for the show, like a ringmaster introducing a circus. The three piece began with popular track ‘Bath Salts’ from their previous album ‘Mister Asylum’ in which the crowd sang along with every word. The band’s performance throughout was electrifying, which reflected on the crowd as they created three story piggy-backs and jumped around without a care in the world ,as lead singer Johnny requested.

However, the atmosphere sparked further during the Grammy-nominated track ‘Lydia’ which formed a mosh pit covering the majority of the crowd. As the crowd got ready to mosh to the heavier part of the song, the band teased them by pausing and thanking the staff at academy, including the security guards. This was a polite act which is usually dismissed by musicians, especially rock bands. The band then resumed the song allowing the crowd to electrify once again.

The set list included a personal song from bassist Rich Meyer and Drum solo from Ryan Meyer, which showed that the band’s talents are showcased equally. The crew which talents are usually kept behind the scenes, were also showcased on stage as they swapped instruments with the main band members a number of times, allowing Johnny, Ryan and Rich to interact with the audience.

The band’s encore consisted of the US chart topping hit ‘Little One’, emotionally raw ‘Serotonia’, ‘My Name is Human’ in which the bass shook the venue like an earthquake. They ended the set with the slower grunge jam ‘Wolf’, including a thrilling guitar solo from Johnny, whilst his fellow band member’s crowd surfed before saying their goodbyes and leaving the stage.

It’s hard to place Highly Suspect in a specific genre as each of their songs contains a new form of energy and sound, but one thing they all have in common is that they are completely raw and reveal the band’s feelings towards themes, such as politics and relationships. This show specifically began with low key moody blue lighting and Johnny with his face hidden by a bandanna, however like they have done on their albums, they revealed themselves more and more throughout the set, transitioning to pink high key lighting, Johnny showing his face and the rest of the band ending the show within the audience.  The band provided a post-modern performance, with guitar riffs similar to hard rock band’s ‘Queens Of The Stone Age’, immaculate drum sequences that can be compared to likes of Royal Blood’s and 90’s grunge vocals near to Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder’s. Overall, the band’s performance was outstanding, with the audience’s atmosphere matching creating a steal of a show at only £15.

Songs to listen to at full volume:

My Name Is Human
Little One

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