I Am A Concert Fanatic, And I Am Not Ashamed

I Am A Concert Fanatic, And I Am Not Ashamed

"It's okay to love something maybe a little too much as long as it's real to you."

I still remember the experience of my first concert like it was yesterday. It was the final show of the OP Presents Tour; the headlining act was my then-favorite band, Boys Like Girls.

I’d been counting down the days for what felt like forever. I remember the rush of adrenaline I felt as my cousin, my sister, my mom and I joined the long line wrapping around the venue. I remember listening to the chatter of the people around me, observing them and picking out the band tees and worn-out Converse low-tops that matched mine exactly. When you’re thirteen, all that seems to matter is fitting in and feeling like you belong, and for the first time, I did. Some had brought warm blankets with them, a sign of true dedication, since they knew they’d be waiting for several hours out in the November cold. And then, finally, feeling my heart skip a beat as the line started moving.

Seeing my all-time favorite band burst onto the stage was more thrilling than I ever could’ve expected. Being part of that crowd, that group of hundreds of strangers, united by our love for the music; hearing my favorite songs played live right in front of me and singing along; feeding off of that energy shared by everyone in the room—it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. And of course I’d taken a gazillion pictures and videos so that I could relive it all over again the next day.

After that first concert, I caught the bug and I was hooked. I even traveled to different states a few times for those special shows with killer lineups that I just could not miss. To this day, I have probably been to at least thirty concerts, and the looks of surprise I get from people when I tell them this never gets old. I have to explain to them that concert-going isn’t just a hobby, but a lifestyle for me.

Now that I’m a junior in college, I don’t get the chance to attend concerts nearly as often as I did in high school. But I still consider my love for live music one of the most important parts of me (and of course I still snatch up tickets whenever I do get the opportunity!). Those seven years of road-tripping to see my favorite bands, of waiting in lines in the summer heat at Warped Tour to get photos with them, of decorating t-shirts with their lyrics and album art and getting tons of compliments on them, were a defining period of my life. One of the best and most memorable parts of it was the overwhelming sense of community and solidarity it brought, especially at the smaller venues. In my normal, everyday surroundings, it was pretty rare to find even one person who felt as strongly about certain bands as I did, and some people even made fun of me for how “obsessed” I was. But once I was there, at the show, surrounded by people who understood, I felt right in my element. I probably spent hundreds of dollars on tickets and mercy during those years, and I do not feel one ounce of regret. Having those experiences helped me figure out who I was as a teenager and brought me so much happiness and wholeness, and now I have amazing memories to hold onto forever. Now, one of my adult goals is to become financially secure enough to travel to shows and music festivals all over the world.

I know that concerts will always be a huge source of happiness and comfort for me, and it feels pretty special to have developed an interest in my early teens that has stuck with me into my twenties. For those reasons, I feel absolutely no shame in my concert history, and acknowledge the nostalgia I feel even for bands I no longer listen to or care for. My taste will probably continue to change and evolve as I get older, but I will always owe my passion for live music to those early days and they will always mean the world to me. I plan on being an avid concert-goer until I can’t walk anymore, and if people want to call me crazy for that, I’m okay with it. Because, in the words of Gerard Way, former frontman of the beloved emo band My Chemical Romance, being at a show is all about “singing your heart out, and knowing it’s okay to love something maybe a little too much as long as it’s real to you.”

Cover Image Credit: Ariana Leo

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How SoundCloud Is Changing The Music Industry

Many of the most popular artists in the music industry all got their start on SoundCloud.

It’s no secret that the term “SoundCloud rapper” has changed in recent years. Due to the number of popular artists that originated from SoundCloud, aspiring artists are posting their music there in hopes of becoming famous now more than ever. This phenomenon has helped crank out some of the hottest artists in the music industry right now, and there are more artists blowing up every month.

Soundcloud has changed the game in the hip-hop scene. It was first founded in June of 2007 in Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss and was launched in October of 2008. It was originally intended to allow musicians to collaborate by facilitating the sharing and discussion of recorded audio but quickly became a music distribution tool. It offers a platform for artists to build a profile of their music and gain a following.

With the amount of music and so-called “SoundCloud rappers” on the site, the industry is flooding with more and more talent. Some of your favorite artists who are topping the Billboard Top 100 charts right now originated from Soundcloud, and you might not even know it.

Recent notable artists that got their start on SoundCloud include XXXTentacion, Post Malone, Lil Pump, Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, Lil Yachty, and even Lil Uzi Vert. They first started posting their music on Soundcloud and quickly built significant followings. Not only have they not been known for more than a couple years, but some of them have made timeless classics that you’ll be hearing for many years to come.

Post Malone’s first studio album, “Stoney [Deluxe Version],” released on December 6th, 2016, peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top 100 and was on the Billboard Top 100 for seventeen straight weeks. His album went platinum less than six months after being released. That album then reached double-platinum about six and a half months later.

His most popular song on that album, “Congratulations,” went platinum in about three and a half months after its release and has since gone 7x Platinum (selling seven million units) a little over a year and three months after its release according to the RIAA.

Another prime example of a popular SoundCloud originating artist is Lil Pump, who was one of the fastest growing artists in 2017 and 2018. He released his first album ever, "Lil Pump," on October 6th of 2017. On that album was his song, “Gucci Gang,” which went platinum a little after four months from its original release on September 1st of 2017.

For a SoundCloud artist who first started making music in late 2016 and putting up big numbers on SoundCloud with songs like "Boss," which went RIAA certified gold, and "Drose" in 2017, he's a prime example of an artist that originated from SoundCloud and became one of the biggest names in hip-hop in just under a year.

These hip-hop artists, along with many others, that originated from Soundcloud have made big marks on the music industry by making multiple platinum and triple platinum hits on multiple songs and albums, as well as some making songs that each top the Billboard Top 100 Charts consistently for multiple weeks in a row.

These facts not only describe the artists themselves, but it also paints a picture of how Soundcloud and the internet are shaping the music industry and making music more successful and accessible than ever. Soundcloud is one of the primary drivers of bringing up new artists and making networking easier than it ever has by allowing music to flourish and reach more people.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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5 Netflix Movies You Should Definitely Check Out

When you don't have a clue what to watch, try these.

Everyone goes through the "I don't know what to watch on Netflix" phase, and I'm here to tell you exactly what you should watch at least once.

1. "The Lovely Bones"

"After being brutally murdered, 14-year-old Susie Salmon watches from heaven over her grief-stricken family -- and her killer. As she observes their daily lives, she must balance her thirst for revenge with her desire for her family to heal."

This movie is actually my personal favorite movie. The film adaptation is spot on with the book, only missing minor details. It's an emotional movie though, so ready the tissues and ice cream.

2. "Charlie St. Cloud"

"Adored by his single mother and his little brother Sam, Charlie St. Cloud is an accomplished sailor and college-bound senior with a bright future ahead of him. When Sam dies in a terrible accident, Charlie's dreams die with him. But, so strong is the brothers' bond that, in the hour before each sunset, Charlie and Sam meet to play catch. The return of a former classmate leads Charlie to a difficult choice: remain stuck in the past, or let love lead him to the future."

"Charlie St. Cloud" is a movie that I watch at least three times a year. Zac Efron (swoon) performs flawlessly as his character and makes you feel as though what he's going through is real. This movie is truly moving and touches my heart. I highly recommend this movie, especially if you're looking to have a good cry.

3. "Cruel Intentions"

"Annette unwittingly becomes a pawn in Sebastian's and Kathryn's deliciously diabolical wager of sexual conquest when she writes an article in Seventeen Magazine about how she intends to stay pure until she marries her boyfriend. However, Sebastian gets more than he bargained for as he attempts to woo Annette into his bed."

Reese Witherspoon is my everyday woman crush so of course, I would recommend this movie. Its a dark kind of movie, at least for teen blockbusters. They actually made a musical out of it- which I find pretty cool.

4. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"

"Struggling musician Peter Bretter is better-known as the boyfriend of TV star Sarah Marshall. After she unceremoniously dumps him, he feels lost and alone but makes a last-ditch bid to get over it by going to Hawaii. However, she and her new boyfriend are there in the same hotel."

Okay so I actually just watched this one last week for the first time, and it is absolutely hilarious. There wasn't a moment I didn't laugh, sometimes I even cried a little. I highly recommend this movie if you and your friends are just hanging out and wanting to have a good laugh.

Warning: There's A LOT of nudity in this.

5. "When We First Met"

"After spending a night with the girl of his dreams only to become just friends, a man gets the opportunity to travel through time and alter that night over and over again until he gets everything perfect."

To be honest, I usually don't like Netflix originals (other than Stranger Things), but this one was actually really good. I watched this one day with my friends while we were all just hanging out and honestly, I was surprised with how much I liked it. It's really funny, and has some touching scenes as well. I highly recommend checking it out

Cover Image Credit: Charles Deluvio

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