Gig Review: A Great Big World

It could be argued that my music tastes are not exactly…sophisticated. In the past year I’ve seen 5 Seconds of Summer play four times, and One Direction twice. I spent a lot of money to see Miley Cyrus a few years ago, and cried when she played 7 Things. I also cried when I saw Big Time Rush at SlimeFest. Chances are, if it’s aimed at twelve to fifteen year olds, I will be there in a heartbeat. Target audiences? Who needs them!

Last night I went to my first concert that was not aimed at tweens, and I was a little apprehensive. I mean, what do you listen to when you take the hysterical twelve year olds out of the equation?!

The band in question was A Great Big World, of Say Something fame. I had come across one of their songs on tumblr accidentally, and instantly bought their debut album because it was so perfect. Aside from Say Something, their style is probably best described as super enthusiastic pop. The kind of music you just have to smile while listening to.

Despite having their album on repeat for months, I knew little of the actual band. Until I asked my friend Michelle at the concert, I wasn’t even sure which country they were from (which is a big deal for me, the girl who spent the entirety of year nine looking at The Jonas Brothers’ house on google earth). It turns out they’re two twenty-something guys from New York City, Chad Vaccarino and Ian Axel, but they also brought along a pretty kick-ass backing band.

From the moment they started playing The Circle of Life to introduce themselves onto stage, the only word I could think of to describe both the band and their performance was fun. They were bouncing around and genuinely so excited to be there. Chad, especially, has the best smile I have ever seen. He smiles with his entire face, and it was near impossible to not feel immensely happy while looking at him.

A lot of concerts these days are so utterly commercialised, and it’s like the artists are merely reading a script (“Hey *insert city*! You guys are the best crowd we’ve ever had, we’re so excited to be here!), but last night Chad and Ian were positively radiating enthusiasm. Even when playing their two sadder songs, Say Something and I Don’t Want To Love Somebody Else, the absolute joy of their performance was evident.

I’ve been trying to find a youtube video to capture the perfection of seeing them live, but everything I’m finding is coming up short. They were just so happy to be playing for us, and we were so happy to have them there. When you add Chad’s pink trumpet and enthusiastic triangle playing and Ian’s bouncing keyboard skills to the equation, you’re left with something that can’t quite be replicated unless you were actually there, in that moment.

Living in the moment was actually one of the big themes of the concert, with their songs This Is The New Year and Cheer Up! being all about finding happiness and fresh starts in every situation. This Is The New Year is definitely one of my favourite songs by them, and you may know it from Glee (although, you also may not, as everyone with any sense stopped watching that show many years ago). It’s a reminder that new years are not limited to January 1st, and that you can take any moment to make a change. 

My absolute favourite song by them, however, is Rockstar. I was so excited when they opened the show with it, and a teensy bit disappointed that the nature of concerts is that you can’t play the same song twice.

 It’s a big deal for me to say this, because I have seen almost all of my favourite bands in concert, but I think A Great Big World last night was the best live show I’ve ever seen. It was so down to earth, so positive, so catchy, so fun. I started the show with a smile on my face, and it didn’t leave until I went to sleep last night. If all you know of A Great Big World is Say Something, do yourself a favour and look up the rest of their music. They’re playing Brisbane tonight, Melbourne tomorrow, and Auckland on Tuesday, so it’s not too late to catch them on this tour. Otherwise, you can cross your fingers with me hoping it won’t be too long until they’re back in Australia again. 

frangipani princess xoxo

 

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Watch (And Cry): The Fault In Our Stars Trailer

The official The Fault In Our Stars trailer premiered last week, to the delight of John Green fangirls across the globe.

The Fault In Our Stars is one of my all time favourite books. Augustus Waters comes in second only to Draco Malfoy in my list of fictional guys I’d really, really like to marry. The book is so grand, so wonderful, that I had a lot of fears when I first heard it was being made into a film. After seeing the trailer, a lot of those fears still remain. Is Ansel Elgort right for the role of Augustus? (probably not, but is anyone?) Will the pretentious language of the novel translate into realistic teen conversation in the film? (again, probably not, because books use a different language to film. Maybe they should have adapted the conversation, but then most of the beauty would have been lost. Maybe it’s a lose-lose.) Will they ever be able to capture the bittersweet perfection of the relationship between Gus and Hazel?(This one I’m surprisingly less pessimistic about – Ansel and Shailene have amazing chemistry.)

I guess we’ll just have to wait until the 5th of June to find out for sure.

frangipani princess xoxo

Watch: One Direction, Midnight Memories

A day with a new One Direction music video is a very happy day indeed. It’s even better when the video is perhaps my favourite yet (although Best Song Ever is a hard one to beat).

Have a watch, and let the envy of the fact you’ll never get to run around London at midnight with One Direction sink in (or even the fact you’ll never be at a totally lame shitty party with them. I know, I feel it too.).

frangipani princess xoxo

Watch: Hannibal Season Two Trailer

I liked a lot of television shows in 2013. I even really loved a few. But one that truly stands out for me is Hannibal, the perfect show about a cannibalistic psychiatrist and poor, innocent Will Graham.

The thirteen episodes which made up the first season really weren’t enough, especially when it ended the way it did. I have known the second season has been in the works for months, but the waiting has been painful (Will Graham needs to be saved, dammit! Why is nobody saving Will Graham?!).

But now, finally, we have a trailer. Warning: Feelings ahead.

Hannibal Season Two will premiere in the USA on February 28th 2014, and hopefully in Australia eventually.

frangipani princess xoxo

Links To Start Your Week

I’m starting a new job this week, and so time available for posting will be significantly declined. In lieu of all the posts I’d ideally like to get up this week (I will get some posted, promise), have some links:

Have a great week!

frangipani princess xoxo

Review: Sherlock – The Empty Hearse (Part Two)

On Thursday, I wrote about the problematic aspects of the first episode of Sherlock Season Three. After a rewatch, and some time to ponder and browse tumblr, here’s a more general review. 

The much anticipated return of Sherlock (which does not yet have an Australian air-date) occurred on New Years Day, UK time. Season Three promised to answer the much conspired about question: Just How Did Sherlock Survive The Fall?

Warning: Spoilers ahead: 

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Review: Sherlock – The Empty Hearse (Part One)

CORRECTION: In my haste to watch the episode and get a post up, I neglected to notice that the writer of this episode was Mark Gatiss and not Steven Moffat. All other claims made in this review stand. 

The Sherlock Season Three premiere episode, titled The Empty Hearse, aired in the UK this morning. I was hopeful that the episode would be good. That we would be given an explanation as to Sherlock’s survival, that the big reveals would be respectful, that John’s response would be realistic. And, as feared, I was disappointed.

Under the cut I talk about the aspects of the episode I found most problematic. If you’ve seen the episode, let me know what you thought.

Spoilers Ahead

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#Sherlocklives

After two years of delirious anticipation, Sherlock Season Three is set to grace our (computer) screens in half an hour. 

Putting aside how problematic the series can be, fans around the world are unbelievably excited right now. It’s been two years since Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman last graced our screens. Two years since we saw Sherlock jump to his supposed death. Two years of speculating about how he did it. Two years, and in twenty-five minutes, all will be revealed.

I’ll be posting a spoiler-free review of the episode once it airs.

Twenty minutes to go. Take a deep breath. We can do this, together.

frangipani princess xoxo

Don’t Be Dead: Why Season Three of “Sherlock” Will Be A Complete Disaster

(This post contains spoilers for all seasons of the BBC series Sherlock, in particular season three, as well as the finale of season 6 of Doctor Who. This post also contains TRIGGER WARNINGS for discussions of suicide, trauma, and emotional manipulation.)

(I am making this post not only as a fan, but as someone who has experienced situations somewhat similar to those John experiences in The Reichenbach Fall. I apologise if my take on these experiences is alienating to other survivors of emotional manipulation or abuse. I have tried to write not only from what I know personally, but from what I can objectively observe.)

I’m not usually one to cast aspersions and make assumptions beyond casual speculation about episodes of a TV show before they’ve aired—in fact, I’m usually the guy encouraging people not to. That said, I have spent the past few months deeply worried about the impending premiere of season three of BBC’s Sherlock, and I don’t think it’s without good reason.

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