Concert Review #1

Amber Run – Manchester Academy 2 – 23/02/17

I’m going to jump straight out there and begin with how much I adore Amber Run. Even though I have only been following their music for around three years, I think it’s safe to say that I consider myself one of their biggest fans. I cannot say I’ve been to more than one of their concerts, nor can I say that I have bought the majority of their merchandise, but I can say that I must have gone onto Spotify and shuffled their music hundreds if not thousands of times in the past few years. In fact, I stumbled across the band whilst watching a beloved show of mine (Teen Wolf) as one of their more famous songs, I Found, featured on the show during a romantic moment between two main characters.

Anyway, it was one night in January that I was surfing the internet and to my excitement found a rather lovely ad to see Amber Run perform in Manchester. I instantly switched apps and messaged my friend, who also loved the band after watching the same show. After weeks of debating whether to go (the debate was simply due to an issue with getting there, since we live just under an hour from the place of the concert), we finally turned to each other and quite simply said “screw it, let’s go!”. This, was probably the best decision I have ever made. 

In the run up to the performance (excuse the pun), I decided to design my own t-shirt (which the band seemed to rather like!). This really kicked in the excitement. I think my family were rather irritated by the obsessive need of mine to shuffle their new album 24/7, just to make sure I knew the words to belt out during the show. 

It was it, the day of the show, what could possibly make my mood worsen? Oh right, that’s it, storm Doris. Why did it ruin my night you ask? Well, after debating what time to leave for the concert, we figured an hour and a half to get there would be suffice considering it only takes forty minutes usually… nope! We got into Manchester with about fifteen minutes before the doors would open; I started feeling hopeful. Then what? Oh yes, road works! I kid you not, it took twenty minutes to probably move less than half a mile! 

After a stressful drive, we finally arrived and began to queue. What could go wrong now? Oh yes, realising when we get to the doors that we are at the wrong venue and we almost got in to see the chainsmokers was pretty annoying! We then ran to the next building across and finally entered the right building. 

I was so stressed and tired from the stress, that it didn’t quite hit me what was happening until Island came on stage (I did enjoy Meadowlark too, but unfortunately we only saw the last 30 seconds of their last song!). All of a sudden I had this rush of emotion and I found myself bursting with joy as soon as I saw Joe appear at the side, whilst Island played. It reached a quiet moment and without a thought, me and my friend frantically jumped and waved in his direction and by surprise, he waved back!!! 

My heart fell from my chest as Amber Run walked onto the stage that would soon be like a stairway to heaven in my eyes. They played so many songs that I had previously listed as the ones I would love to hear. I could tell that they were the band for me the second I heard and saw them perform even the first note of a song. They’re so passionate about their music and they can get lost so easily in what they do… it’s so mesmerising to watch. 

During a quiet gap after a song, I couldn’t help myself, I screamed “I love you” and Joe giggled and said it in return! I could not believed that even for a second, one of my idols had just acknowledged me! To a lot of people, a band like this seems so small with a considerably lower amount of fans compared to that of One Direction, however, to me they’re amazing and deserve to be idolised by anyone who loves pop, rock, alternative or indie music. They have one thing that most “bigger” bands lack… the ability to just perform for the simple fact that they love singing and performing and having a good time. Bigger named stars have a tendency to lose control a little, with the whole “fame and fortune” aspect (in my opinion). 

When they said that they were performing their last song, my heart broke, but I carried on dancing and shouting/singing the words to the highest volume possible. But, in a second it was over and I found myself (again, ignore the pun) crying and smiling and radiating joy. I turned to my friend and yelled “stomp your feet and they might come back” as I had learned from a previous concert. What next? They returned, ready to perform a futher three songs!

Haze, I found and No Answers would be the last songs I would hear from them that night. They performed haze and I was yet again, completely mezmorised by their amazingly talented vocals. I was on the brink of tears by the end of it, and at the first note of the next song I turned to my friend and we knew the next song was going to break us. This was the song that introduced us to a band that we may have never known. I welled up with tears and was crying by the half way mark. Tears were streaming down my face, my throat was hurting from the gasps and loud singing. And just like that, less than ten minutes had passed and it was all over.

We shuffled our way out of the doors, and I couldn’t believe how quickly it was over. I must have uttered the words “amazing” and “oh my God” millions of times that night. 

We met Island, grabbed some ‘merch’ and stood around waiting for our lift back home… until I spotted a crowd of people and rushed over. It was Joe! We waited about five minutes and then we finally met him. I informed him of our little “moment” during the concert and he jokingly said “And now we’re in love” which obviously was the highlight of this magical evening. After a couple of photos, we headed for the doors until we saw Tom (the bassist) and asked for a ‘selfie’. We got some good photos, and Tom took some photos of himself – which I am completely fine with 😉 – and then that was that. It was over. The beautiful, magical, mesmerising night that will probably be the highlight of my teenage years, was over. 

And now, four days later, I’m still obsessively shuffling their music, looking through the hundreds of photos and videos, and getting very emotional. I know they say that “post-concert blues” can get quite bad but I had no idea I’d feel this bad. 

All I can say now is, that it was so meaningful to me, and I am selfishly glad that they aren’t ‘world famous’ to the same extent as One Direction or Take That, as this would never have happened and I rather like the fact that they have the ability to notice the majority of their fans. I am completely looking forward to more of their music, and the next tour! 

Amber Run Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/0MmnmsAuQKRFpo6vJElcaU

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