No we are not plotting anything. Why do you think we are plotting something?
No we are not plotting anything. Why do you think we are plotting something?
1. I won an international writing contest when I was 17, and although I now hate the thing I wrote for it with a passion and hope it’s vanished from the face of the earth forevah, the whole experience was pretty important to me. Also, the fact that I even submitted something shows that I was way more confident then than I am now, especially when it comes to my English. Today I’d probably just assume I didn’t stand a chance and not try at all.
Just in case you weren’t aware: someone posted a Christmas bootleg from last year on dime. Pretty good quality too. :D
How can I miss this tour so much when I didn’t even go?
I almost brought this home from the library today. The “almost” makes me question my life choices.
I’ve been feeling like my heart is all raw lately, which sounds dramatic but is also pretty apt. Getting through the days has been difficult and I need all the comfort I can find. So instead of breaking down for the nth time this week, I thought I’d cheer myself up by listing good things:
Totally not obsessed, no sir.
(I got tickets for June. CORRECT LIFE DECISION.)
Cat, because cat.
I do this several times a day
UK & US cover art for The Islands of Chaldea written by Diana Wynne Jones and completed posthumously :( by her sister Ursula Jones.
WANT but also *sob*
Latest two entries in my concerts folder, currently in its 4th volume because I’ve been a music fan for longer than almost anything else and also because I’m a dork.
The National @ Alexandra Palace, 13/11/13 and 14/11/13
You know, I have to confess that only a week ago I was way more excited about The Arcade Fire gig than I was about seeing The National. Part of it was the fact that the AF show was announced so unexpectedly and that it was a chance to see them in a small(ish) venue that I never, ever thought I’d have again. There was also the fact that Refkletor has just come out and that I’m completely hooked on it, and there was the excitement of planning my fancy dress and all that. So The National were a bit overshadowed and I almost forgot I was about to see them twice. But then I got there, and I remembered why they’re my favourite band. Seeing The Arcade Fire was really fun and exciting, but seeing The National for the 7th and 8th time felt like home.
Going both nights was definitely the correct life decisions, as there were moments in each gig that I really treasure and wouldn’t have given up for the world. The first night had About Today, which kind of made up for Available (I’m sorry! I just don’t like that song, yet somehow I’ve now seen it live six times. Why do they keep doing this to me?), plus I got Matt’s setlist with the first line of each song handwritten on it as a prompt in case he forgot the lyrics (which he still did for Lean, and he kept shooting Aaron desperate glances until he started singing for him); the second night had All The Wine (!) and Abel and Exile Vilify, plus him coming down to where I was during Graceless.
(Of course they had to go and play Baby, We’ll Be Fine the night after that, because they hate me.)
(And Fireproof the day after ASDHFHFHHG. WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO YOU, BAND. WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME. SERIOUSLY.)
I was a bit daunted when I said goodbye to M after lunch on Thursday - not that I didn’t grow up going to gigs on my own, but I guess I hadn’t done it in a really long time. But once I got to Alexandra Palace it was fine, really. When I got off the tube I went into Oxfam and bought a book to read on the queue, since I’d finished Boxers & Saints earlier, but then it turned out to be too cold for me to be able to hold a book for long without gloves :S But also, I started chatting with the other people who were queueing up early and everyone turned out to be really nice. We were a very international bunch (representation from Israel, Iraq/Sweden, the US, Mexico, Singapore and Hungary, plus me), and it was a lot of fun to just be excited about this band I love so much with a bunch of other fans. I grew up in music message boards, and when I was really young I used to daydream about Pumpkin Island (about 3 of you will get this reference, which is kind of awesome) and think I had this magical instant connection with all the people who loved the same things I loved. I don’t really think that anymore - life has taught me that people who love the same things can be completely different, and love them for entirely different reasons, and not really get on beyond that one shared interest - but I still really treasure the basic human connection of being excited about something with other people, and sharing dazed and joyful looks with strangers because look, they’re about to play that one song you said you really wanted to hear earlier, and grinning like fools together because Matt has just come down to hang out with us or Bryce is smiling in our general direction. I’m grateful to have had people to share all of that with.
Also, these shows completely made up for the heartbreaking experience that was The Roundhouse in June. I’m still glad I went, as the joy of getting tickets and knowing I was about to see them somewhere small and having all of that happening just as I was listening to Trouble Will Find Me non-stop were worth it in their own right, but thank goodness for a gig where the sound isn’t complete and utter crap. I know people complain about Alexandra Palace a lot, but other than it being a bit of a pain to get to I have no issues with it. It feels intimate enough when you’re up front, and the sound was absolutely perfect both nights. I was a little bit terrified until Matt started singing for the first time, but they couldn’t have sounded better. So yeah, I’m really glad I finally got to hear Trouble Will Find Me material live properly.
I kind of miss them already. I guess I’ll see them in another 3 years or so (sob).
The Arcade Fire @ The Roundhouse, London, 12/11/13
The fancy dress thing worked out really well and created a wonderful, slightly goofy and very celebratory atmosphere. I know some people were worried about it, like would they turn people who had paid good money for their ticket away if they hadn’t dressed up? And yeah, that would have been beyond awful, but it wasn’t like that at all. Most people did play along, and even the ones who hadn’t initially dressed up ended up joining in when the face painters or the people giving away gorgeous hand-decorated masks came out. I kind of regret not getting one, but the moment they opened the doors I shot up the stairs as is customary for me. I did get my face painted while queueing up, though, but I’m afraid I’m not brave enough to share the pictures. I also missed this because I was already inside, but! when there were only about two dozens people there they all came out wearing the giant papier mâché heads and just danced around with us for a bit, which was pretty awesome :D Also, a choreographer came out and taught us the dance for “We Exist” and then we all rehearsed it together as the DJ played the song. Who knew that doing a silly dance with a bunch of strangers could be such ridiculous amounts of fun?
So yeah, between the dancing and the fancy dress and the tinsel and the confetti and the red carpet it was just a really, really joyful and fun show. I had a perfect spot, the sound was great (I’ve kind of been wary of the Roundhouse since the debacle with The National in May even though I love the place) and I was so glad to be there. The mainly played Reflektor songs plus three older ones (Power Our, Sprawl II and Haiti), but considering how hooked I’ve been on the album, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. And you know, I think Funeral is pretty much perfect and I’m always glad when they play something from it, but the other day I watched a video of Power Out from 2005 and you can really tell that the way they play it is not the same anymore because they’re not in the same emotional place as they were when they wrote those songs. This is completely natural and human, and I imagine that one of the greatest challenges of playing music live is exactly to have to go back to certain places when you’re not necessarily the same person who wrote this or that song anymore. I’m incredibly grateful to have seen them when Funeral first came out*, but I’m just as grateful to have seen them now. Orpheus was one of my favourite moments, and Afterlife just blew me away. It seems impossible to me that three weeks ago I had never even heard that song, and now I got to shout every word and jump along with a crowd as they played it. And that’s how I usually can tell that I really love something - when it feels like it’s always been part of my life.
*On a side note, I seem to have become One of Those People. I clearly remember being young and deeply envious of my older friends who’d casually say “Oh yeah, I saw the pumpkins on the MCIS tour a few years back”, and now somehow that’s become me, telling stories about gigs I went to 8 years ago to people who were 11 at the time while we queue up.
Had a really nice few days in London. Gig pictures (and maybe words) soon.