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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