A Year in Review: 2019
The decorations are starting to be packed up and resolutions are on the mind - 2019 is almost over! As we enter the new decade, we asked our writers to talk a little about their favorite concerts and favorite new releases of 2019. Additionally, we wanted to hear a little about what people were excited about in the new year! Check out what a few of our writers and editors had to say below.
Favorite Concert of 2019
There is no way I could pick just one, so I have three top concerts in no particular order for three different reasons. Waterparks in Baltimore was amazing. I love a crazy crowd. Crowd surfing, moshing, just all around insanity is my vibe. I may have gotten hit square in the face with a full water bottle, but it was worth it. I would do anything to be back in that environment. Chase Atlantic at the TLA in Philly. Chase was my artist of the decade, and seeing them live for the first time (aside from Warped Tour) was one of the most riveting experiences in my life. The overall energy and obvious passion of them was just that, riveting. I was so obsessed with that show, I didn’t stop talking about it for weeks. And lastly, Badflower. Not gonna lie, the crowd was dead, even boring in fact. But the sound quality was above and beyond. I’ve never heard a band sound exactly like I expected them to. Those are my top three concerts of 2019.
Grossing over $116M on their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself tour, the South Korean Kpop group, BTS, easily had one of the most successful tours of 2019.
After selling out arenas in 2018, the group went on to tour the Americas, Europe, Asia and held their first concert in Saudia Arabia. These stadium shows (where the capacity ranged from 50,000-90,000) sold out in just a couple of hours.
BTS has released their 6th EP, Map of the Soul: Persona earlier in 2019, which topped the US charts. Their extensive discography, sold out international tours and large collection of awards has made them one of the most popular music acts to date. With their latest EP they became the first group since the Beatles to have three number one albums in less than a year. While the statistics behind BTS’s success are impressive, what they bring to their live shows is unique, memorable and worth the price of the ticket.
I attended the first show of the Speak Yourself Tour at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, California. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. With over 90,000 dedicated fans in the stadium, the energy was high even before the group took the stage. Their concert featured various costume changes, incredible stage designs, innovative production and spectacular performances.
When you see BTS live, they create and entire world for you to step into. Their setlist featured upbeat songs that you can dance to, emotional unit songs and solo performances from each of the members that were unique from one another. The range of emotions experienced throughout the concert cumulated with their final song, Mikrokosmos, a testament to finding strength in each other and in yourself.
Not only was this one of the most successful tours of the year, it was my favorite concert of the year. Although BTS plays to thousands of people each year, they still have a way of making stadiums feel intimate and special.
It’s nearly impossible to choose a favorite concert for this year, but I would have to go with LANY and Fletcher. They did a two-date stop in Boston in the early summer, and I decided to treat myself and go to both. I had seen them a few times before, but they kicked it up a notch on this tour. The first evening, I wasn’t able to snag floor tickets, so I was up in the first balcony, right against the barrier. I’m someone who loves to be down in the crowd - the energy down at the stage, especially in larger venues, is half the reason I go to shows, and made that second night, where I was down at stage level memorable in its own right. But, being able to be up high and just watch them put on a show was unlike anything else, getting to soak in the effects and Paul’s command of the stage (as Jake and Les were up on top of the screen, so Paul had the whole space to himself). These two shows recemented my love for a band that means a lot to me, and this is why in the end, it has to be my pick for my top concert of 2019.
Favorite New Release of 2019
Kathleen - Caro - ‘songs from 3am’
I’ve surprised myself with my own pick for my top release of the year, considering I didn’t know who Caro was a few weeks ago. Still, coming across “see you in hell” on my Spotify Discover Weekly stopped me in my tracks like few things have this year and ever since, I’ve barely played anything besides this EP. I can’t help but hear elements of this EP that reminds me of the style of Olivia O’Brien and the tone of Maisie Peters, two artists I also love. Really, this EP is everything I’ve loved in music this year all in one package. After a debut so strong, I’m so excited to see what’ll be next for Caro.
Honorable Mentions: Omar Apollo - "Friends", joan - “ease your mind”
Kate - Noah Kahan - ‘Busyhead’
Sitting at number one on my Top Artists Spotify list was, unsurprisingly, Noah Kahan. His debut album was released in June and quickly became the soundtrack to my summer. What I love so much about Kahan’s music is how well these songs translate to a live show. I got to see him twice on tour and felt like I was reliving those first moments when listening to this album both times. I couldn’t imagine my year without his music!
Honorable Mention: Hardcastle - “Mundane”
Elise - Dead Poet Society - .swvrm.
Such a weirdly unique modern rock song. This is one of the most shocking bands of 2019. They are going to take over 2020.
Looking Ahead to 2020Kathleen - New music from The Aces It’s been a wild ride watching the aces grow and evolve over the three years I’ve been a fan of them. They are one of my love-at-first-sight, listen-on-repeat-for-weeks bands, even when all I had from them -at least as The Aces - was “Stuck”. Watching the process of them creating their next album, which they started the moment their debut album ‘When My Heart Felt Volcanic’ dropped, has been so much fun. Every little tease we get gets me even more pumped for new music, and I believe the best is yet to come from them. I’m so ready to see what 2020 brings for them! Kate - The Wrecks’ upcoming album After seeing The Wrecks last December, I have been DYING for more. They released two singles this year, “Freaking Out” and “Fvck Somebody,” and have started teasing an album to be released in March. Whatever they have planned for the new year, it’s bound to be one heck of a good time! Elise - HUNNY Headline Tour HUNNY 2020. I cannot wait for their tour. I intend on going to at least two dates. Also, for my personal music career, college! I haven’t picked which one yet, but I’m studying music business in the fall. It is an exciting time!
Happy New Year from FH&G, make sure to tell us what your favorite music events from the year were!