The Wrong Fangirl Decisions

It’s been a while since I’ve written here about anything but in terms of fangirling there’s been little to justify much of a post. So that brings me on to today, what has prompted me to write now?

A lot of it has to do with one artist. In my last post I said that I was saving my concert fund to see this artist and as a consequence made sacrifices when it came to other artists. The thought of a particular show kept me going but once I found out that it wasn’t going to happen, I spent the concert fund on a computer. That I don’t regret however there’s still a part of me that regrets some of the decisions I did make and every so often my head likes to remind me of some of the negativity surrounding them. I still feel from time to time that as far back as my first concert from this artist that I should have chosen an alternative show.

Then this brings me on to the album signing. The last one was in 2012 and thanks to HMV’s over-zealous security guards, I left feeling upset and disappointed that I couldn’t even speak to the artist. I later realised that another disappointment the day prior to this signing could have sub-consciously altered my behaviour. I put it behind me, hoping for a more positive experience in the future but alas that was not to be.

Fast forward to more recent times. The artist announced a signing and later in the details emerged that to be able to go, you’d have to purchase a particular version of this album that did not feature any bonus content that I had decided that I wanted. To some people this wasn’t an issue but for me it was just a little bit too over budget when I had to consider travel costs plus the cost of the album that I was hoping to purchase. I had to say no but now regret it as I find out that it was a better experience than the one I did actually go to.

It now seems to have left me with an even sourer memory of the 2012 signing but I guess I have to look at it this way, at least I had the opportunity and the fact that I blew it is just one of those things.

Choices

I no longer have the same concert fund that I used to have – because I spent it on concerts strangely enough! So that means that I have less money available to spend on them when they do come up and recently all four of the artists I have followed or would like to to see in concert have announced that they are planning shows or have released the tickets for sale already. To cut a long story short, I can’t afford to travel to see the three of them and still have any money left over to be able to see the other one in the very special show that he has planned for next year. One of the three’s tickets are still affordable (under £40) and because she is performing in Bournemouth, I decided several months ago that I’d go and see her and rumour has it that she may not be back on tour here for a while as well. The other two recently released tickets for sale and both were over £60 at the cheapest prices and neither were performing near enough to me that I’d be able to get away with not paying for a hotel room and a rather pricey train fare. It was disappointing but something had to be done and so I decided that the best thing to do would be to concentrate all my efforts on making the most of seeing one artist rather than try to see them all and end up disappointed when my bank balance says no.
How do you choose who that artist should be though? There was only one who was really only a maybe anyway because I don’t think he was as vocally strong as he used to be. The second I’d never seen before but the frontman, who some say made the band what it was died years ago. Could I justify spending that kind of money to hear half the group that they were in their prime. The answer ended up being no.
The third I already had tickets for but she is young enough to still have a career in front of her and thus more opportunities to see her in concert than some of the others. It is for that reason that I decided that for the moment she would not be my primary focus. I will have seen her four times and my focus could very well return to her when my ‘chosen one’ has drawn a close to his live performing days.
That brings me to the ‘chosen one’. What was it about him that led me to choose him in the first place? I have seen him seven times and although his tickets aren’t as cheap as the lady who was my second choice, he gives value for money. He gives everything he has to giving his fans a great show, he has consideration and gratitude for his fans in general. Whilst his tickets may not be the cheapest out there, his VIP ticket packages are one of the cheapest and he is so warm and friendly to those he meets that you just can’t help but like him as a person.

Occasionally I’ll ask myself if I’ve picked the right one, particularly with the advertising for the others and the ‘chosen one’ being quiet in comparison but then I’ll listen to a live album or watch a DVD and I’ll know that I made the right choice.

 

Charity and Social Media

Recently there has been a campaign on social media sites where women have been sharing ‘selfies’ of themselves without makeup to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Research UK. Some people have wondered how this can help and the theory behind it is, I believe, that it shows people at their most vulnerable, just as you would be if you were affected by an illness like cancer. It raised something like £2 million in 48 hours because participants also had to text a donation to a given number. It just goes to show how social media can be used for a good cause sometimes.

About a day later, I saw a post from one of my friends to raise awareness for another cause which has a lot less media attention but is equally as devastating to lives. Motor Neurone Disease. People were encouraged to post their ‘Hi Five’ messages and like with the Cancer Research campaign, text a donation to a given number. I don’t have much of a personal connection to MND but I sent a donation and created a graphic that could be shared rather than a personal ‘Hi Five’ and posted it to Facebook and Twitter. Within 12 hours the image I created has been shared over 30 times on Facebook and my Tweet has been retweeted 15 times. Although it was only a small contribution to the cause, it’s a nice feeling to know that a graphic that I had created could encourage someone to donate to the cause.

To learn more about Motor Neurone Disease please visit: http://www.mndassociation.org

To take part in the ‘Hi Five’ campaign and send your donation, please text ‘MND FIVE’ to 70004, if you want to help raise awareness of the campaign, you can get my image here which you can share on your own blog, website or social networking account.

Favourite Concert/Show Leaderboard

  1. Meat Loaf – Hang Cool Tour – 5th December 2010
  2. Imelda May – Tribal Tour – 18th November 2014
  3. Imelda May – Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival – 9th March 2014
  4. Meat Loaf – Last At Bat Tour (Newbury) – 17th August 2013
  5. Meat Loaf – Last At Bat Tour (Cardiff) – 21st April 2013
  6. Meat Loaf – Last At Bat Tour (London) – 10th April 2013
  7. Imelda May – Mayhem Tour – Feb 2011
  8. Ronan Keating – Time of My Life Tour – 9th September 2016
  9. Meat Loaf – Last At Bat Tour (Nottingham) – 20th May 2013
  10. Meat Loaf – Last at Bat Tour (Birmingham) – 12th April 2013
  11. Steps – The Ultimate Tour (Westonbirt) – 2012
  12. The Big Reunion – The Tour – 10th May 2013
  13. Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns – 11th March 2009
  14. Imelda May – Life, Love, Flesh, Blood Tour – 19th May 2017
  15. Meat Loaf – Last At Bat Tour (Sheffield) -19th April 2013
  16. Neil Diamond – Home Before Dark – June 2011
  17. Steps – The Ultimate Tour (Birmingham) – 25th April 2012
  18. Scouting For Girls – 17th November 2013

Tour Documentaries

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few weeks, you’ll probably be aware of a little film called ‘This Is Us’ which follows British boyband One Direction on tour. There has been advertisements on TV and their premiere, which attracted th0usands of happy fangirls made the news. I’m not a One Direction fan but from the trailers for the film, it looks like a fairly fun and light hearted documentary and I’m sure that One Direction’s fans will enjoy the chance to get a closer look at their idols as they are on tour.
There has been several different tour documentaries in the past and like the One Direction film, they’re a fairly fun and lighthearted film for the fans to watch and enjoy but it is at this point when my attention focuses on another film called ‘In Search of Paradise’. The 2007 film follows American rock singer Meat Loaf as he embarks on a Canadian tour. Unlike how ‘This Is Us’ appears, ‘In Search Of Paradise’ is a realistic but rather depressing watch. Moments of fun are infrequent and brief and Meat Loaf spends much of the film either complaining or worrying.

Is this approach to a tour documentary the realistic approach that fans want to see or do they want to see something that gives them some hope that they are going to be in for a fun and entertaining evening when they themselves are able to go to a concert? The first time I watched this, it actually made me question whether I wanted to go to a show of an artist who clearly wasn’t getting much enjoyment out of giving concert but on the other hand, did I want to see something that over-glamourised the tour process?

I don’t get it

For as long as I’ve been part of fan communities there will always be fans who like to ask the question about their favourite male celebrity’s underwear preference and maybe I’m a bit different to other fans but I couldn’t care less about what kind of underwear my favourite celebrity wears. I think that the only purpose for publishing that kind of information is to fuel the fantasies of some fans because other than that, I can’t see any point in having that information published. Surely a person’s underwear choice is personal to them, after all you don’t go and ask some other random man you don’t know what kind of underwear they prefer. They don’t seem to ask female celebrities whether they prefer thongs or boyshorts, unless I’m just not interested enough in female celebrities to read that kind of information.

My Experience of General Admission

This weekend I had my first experience of a General Admission standing show which I had up until recentely refused to do but given the fact that this may have been my last chance to see my favourite singer in concert in this country, how could I say no.

The idea with General Admission is that there is no reservable seating so it’s a case of First-Come-First-Served to get the best spots for the show and because of that, we pretty much went to the stage area as soon as we arrived. My friends and I had purchased Golden Circle tickets so that gave us an additional advantage and thankfully we arrived early enough to secure a space at the very front which would mean a great view of the show. The downside of this is that once you’ve got your space, you don’t really want to give it up but thankfully the other fans at the barrier were friendly and we held each others spaces if needed. It seeemed strange waiting in the rain for a concert but it didn’t seem to drag as much as I thought it would. About an hour before the concert the Golden Circle started to fill up and it was at that point that I realised that I was pretty much stuck where I was unless I wanted to end up at the back of this area. There wasn’t the pushing and shoving that I imagined through the concert although you definately have less personal space than you would at a seated show and that made it more difficult to bend down to pick up the camera batteries from my bag when they ran out during the show. The only occasion when there was any pushing was after the show finished and people were starting to file out of the Golden Circle Area. A rather rude individual decided to push his way to the front in the hope of getting a guitar pick and shoved me out of the way but ended up being the recipient of a rather sharp elbow in the ribs in return. He didn’t get a guitar pick either!

Would I do a General Admission show again? I’d still avoid it if I could and there’s probably only one artist that I’d be willing to do it for and at the moment it’s unlikely that I will ever get the chance to see him again.

Las Vegas

Last week Meat Loaf finally released details for his upcoming residency in Las Vegas. For six weeks, he will be playing a series of very special shows in a small theatre at Planet Hollywood. As these shows are taking place in Las Vegas there is an ‘Entertainment Tax’ which pushes the prices of the tickets up. I thought I’d see a few people posting that they couldn’t afford to go but I really wasn’t expecting to see quite as many complaints from people that clearly weren’t reading that there was a number of different ticket types available.

The cheapest of these tickets is $94.85 including these taxes and that works out at about £61.80 and considering the fact that this is such a special show and such a small, intimate venue I don’t think that’s a bad price at all. I paid £65 (about $98 USD) PLUS FEES to sit in the second from back row in a large, impersonal venue that seats 16,000.

I’d have loved to have been able to go to these shows but I’d spent everything I had in my ‘Concert Fund’ on the Last at Bat tour so I just don’t have the money to do it. I’m disappointed not to be there for such a special show but I made what I believed to be the right decision at the time.  There’s nothing I can do about not being able to go and I know that dwelling on it will only make it worse.

You can tell by reading what Meat has said in interviews about this show that he is excited about it and by the sounds of it, the show will play on his strengths and talents brilliantly. I genuinely hope that it will be a success for him as I know he’ll have worked extremely hard on putting the show together.

I wanted a pretty fansite

For anyone that has known me a while, I’ve made no secret of my liking for pretty fansites. I wouldn’t normally be coming across them but every so often I’ll look at other fansites to see what sort of content they offer and I’m nearly always distracted by the design.
As a female designer, I suppose it’s only natural that occasionally I might have a yearning for pretty but I’m at a disadvantage. The subject of my site is male and cute pink flowers just aren’t going to work. I could change my subject matter but there is no other possible subject matter that I have the same respect and admiration for than I do with Meat.
I’m not one to give up on finding alternatives to the prettiness and as The Iconic Meat Loaf was currently using a very dark theme, I decided that it was worth looking at how I could lighten it up a little bit.
I spent biggest part of the morning experimenting with the photographs for the header before the rest of the theme began to take shape and even after i’d done that and tested it on the live site, there was still edits to do.

Here’s the finished design:

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Videoing Concerts

If you’ve been to a concert recentely you’re bound to have noticed someone waving their smartphone in the air recording the concert. If you’ve searched under an artist’s name on YouTube, you’ve probably come across the results of this. Now for some unknown reason, some fans think they’re entitled to be doing this and can get quite defensive if the video they have posted to YouTube is removed.  The fact is that fans do not have the right to be videoing concerts and on the reverse of every ticket I’ve ever bought is a notice that says that video recording is prohibited. At some concerts there has also been noticed displayed on the big screens at the start of the show and you’d have to be fairly stupid to miss them. Despite this, people still try to video the shows although it seems daft to pay all that money to go to a show and then spend the majority of it watching it through a smartphone or a camera screen. If you’re happy to watch your favourite artists through a screen then why not stay at home and do that?
I appreciate that some people might want to video a concert so they can have something to look back on in the future but judging by some of the videos I’ve seen on YouTube of the shows I have been to, these recordings do not do the performance justice. In some cases you can barely see the artist because it is recorded from so far back in the arena and in some cases you can barely hear them because of all the distortion or the sounds of the other audience members singing along. Personally, I don’t blame artists for wanting these videos removed from YouTube because after all, what artist doesn’t want their work to be seen at its best?