With the COVID-19 pandemic’s reign over our social lives, there’s one thing I miss more than anything which is concerts. As a huge fan of music, it is an integral part of life and the music experience to go to concerts for my favorite bands and artists. Not only will this article provide you with some insight into some of the best performances (that I’ve seen) it’s also helping me reminisce on the best times of my life. I’ve been to many concerts before and have found that they are one of the best ways to get an exorbitant amount of serotonin rushing through my brain. Without further ado, I will enlighten you with the best live performances I’ve witnessed in hopes that we will soon return to attending concerts.
Music Farm Charleston
I was a wee infant when I attended my first Bad Suns concert in 2015. I was a huge fan of this band’s first album, Language & Perspective which I still love to this day. Tickets were only $12 and I found myself at the front of the stage on the barricade after waiting in line for a solid 6 hours. They put on a great show and the lead singer Christo Bowman went into the crowd a few times (bonus points for interaction). Overall this concert was unforgettable, I only wished the second time I saw them that it was as good.
The second time I saw Bad Suns was years later in 2019. I was still madly in love with this band, but the concert just did not hit the same way that it did before…very unfortunate. I did however discover two new bands that opened for them, Liily and Ultra Q (highly recommend checking them out).
Young the Giant
Music Farm Charleston (2017)
I’ve been a longtime fan of Young the Giant after hearing Cough Syrup for the first time, so I felt compelled to buy tickets, especially since their opening band, Lewis Del Mar, had become a new favorite for me. They had so much energy and brought the crowd together for a beautiful night.
North Charleston Performing Arts Center (2019)
After seeing Young the Giant for the first time, I knew I had to see them again as soon as possible. It was last minute when my sister and I decided to buy tickets to see them again in North Charleston, but it was well worth it. We bought the cheapest tickets we could find which were in the far back and it was one of the best experiences. Well into the show we wandered around the far back where there was no one and let loose, singing and dancing along.
Lewis Del Mar
Music Farm Charleston
I have so many words for this band, I cannot even begin to describe the experience of seeing their live performance. There’s a special place in my heart for Lewis Del Mar and there always will be. When I saw them at the Music Farm opening for Young the Giant, I was more excited to see them than the actual headliner…sorry. They had a moody setup and it was an out of body experience singing along to their songs, even though I was the only one who knew them. I won’t forget when the lead singer, Danny Miller got up on the barricade right in front of me during one of my favorite songs. It was a wild night to say the least. At the end of their show I was able to get a setlist and meet the main members of the band. Lit!
Twenty One Pilots
North Charleston Coliseum
At the time, I was a die-hard fan of this band, now that has waned and I can only look back and laugh at my dedication and serious emotional attachment to Twenty One Pilots. Jokes aside, they put on by far one of the best concerts I’ve seen which says a lot. I was in the general admission queue for nearly 12 hours in hopes of being at the front, however, a lot of stuff went wrong in the process of entering the venue which set me back to the 6th row. It was an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least, but I was fortunate enough to see two artists open the show that I adored (Jon Bellion and Judah & the Lion). The show itself was so thematic and engaging. The duo was in the crowd numerous times and the energy of that night was unreal. The lead singer actually ran over me in an inflatable hamster ball, which was pretty dope. Even though I no longer am a fan of this band, it would be silly for me not to recognize the talent and dedication they put into their shows, it was actually insanity.
Catfish and the Bottlemen
The Fillmore Charlotte
I had practically begged my mom and sister to attend this show with me knowing that they were fans of the band themselves. We arrived right as doors opened so we ended up in the middle of the general admission crowd (my mom was enjoying drinks in the back though, good for her). It was simply a night of good alternative rock music by a British band. Nothing crazy happened and the concert was just as I had expected. Good vibes only. I had only wished for a little more engagement with the audience, but I can’t blame them.
Charlotte PNC Music Pavilion
This venue is by far my least favorite that I’ve been to, the parking is terrible and the venue itself is a bit wonky. However, it was the location of my first concert which just so happened to be One Direction. No hate, this was literally in 2014, the peak of my One Direction obsession. I still cannot believe I was lucky enough to see all five members perform together and 5 Seconds of Summer were the openers which only made the show better. This is beyond biased, but as my first concert and the fact that it was One Direction, this show will forever go down in history. They put on a fantastic show and it was probably the most surreal moment of my life.
The National (Richmond, VA)
Yet another one of my favorite alternative bands that I begged to see live. Growing up on Tumblr introduced me to a lot of things, good and bad, however, the music I was exposed to at such a young age transformed my entire personality. The Neighbourhood was one of the bands that I instantly became attached to and I had been dying to see them live at some point in my life (sooner than later). They put on a great show and I am still in love with the lead singer, JesseRutherford, who is quite a handsome fellow. The opening bands were an interesting combination though. It started with the electric band, HEALTH, and I really thought I was going to lose all hearing after they finished, it was not my taste at all. Following their set, field medic, a cutesy little ginger pulled up with an acoustic guitar and harmonica. He was pretty good. The concert as a whole was pretty good and I would love to see the Neighbourhood again. Kings!
Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
There are no words to describe this night. My family was staying the night in New York City, and I was well aware of the fact that Mr. Styles had a show that night only 10 blocks away, so naturally, I purchased tickets last minute for my sister and me to attend his show. Right off the bat, it was an adventure, we were not prepared in the slightest, but we persisted. Neither of us has ever been in the city by ourselves, but somehow we hit the streets alone and hailed a cab, beginning our journey. We arrived safe and sound and I was nearly bouncing off the walls from excitement, considering the fact that this was the first time I would see Harry perform solo. By some miracle, we found our seats on the upper deck and so the night started.
Kacey Musgraves opened the show (love her!) and then Harry came out. I actually think I tore something in my throat that night from all the yelling and singing…yowza. He absolutely killed it and I fell more in love with him. I found out later that night that Anna Wintour, head of Vogue and other celebrities also attended so that’s huge. The departure from the venue was rough and crowded and we even ended up getting scammed trying to find a ride back to our hotel. It was unforgettable in so many ways.
Random Storage Unit (Charleston, SC)
Yes, you read that correctly, I did in fact see Briston Maroney play at a random storage unit downtown. He and other artists were part of a mini-festival called “Everybody’s Got Nipples 2.” It was the end of summer and me and my girlies were all huge fans of Briston Maroney so of course, we had to go. We were the youngest there and we were surrounded by mid-20 year-olds that really fit the “indie” vibe a little too closely. Nonetheless, we came for the music and it was good. Briston was one of the last to perform, so we got to hear a bunch of underground performers which were pretty good, Shane T was by far my favorite. By the time Briston came on, the indie kids were coked out and riled up. If you’ve ever listened to his music, you wouldn’t expect a mosh pit to form, but that’s exactly what happened. All the aggression made it hard to just vibe to his music, but we survived somehow and ended up meeting Briston after his set. He’s a lovely little man with a pure heart.
Family Circle Stadium (Daniel Island, SC)
Yet another alternative band that I owe my life to. The 1975 have always been near and dear to my heart and when I had the opportunity to see them so close to home, I had to take it. The show would have been fine and dandy had it not been in the middle of the summer in an outdoor venue. I waited in the general admission queue in the heat for 5 hours and that did not benefit me in the least once we were let inside. The 1975’s fanbase is an insane group of girls that will do anything to be at the front, which was frightening to my 14 year-old self. I witnessed many people pass out before the show even started…whack. The opening band was superb and had the most angelic music, shoutout to Wet. When the 1975 finally came out, I had lost my sister in the crowd and was left to my own devices. I was vibing throughout the show until the end when I was dehydrated and overheating. One of my favorite things about general admission concerts though is the kindness of security to throw water bottles out into the crowd prior to the show. This really came in handy when I had to resort to drinking half-empty bottles off the ground to stay conscious. I was on the brink of passing out as the band finished, but my resilience is unmatched and I survived. The show itself was fantastic and full of energy. Thank god for the 1975 and warm water bottles, am I right?
Music Farm Columbia
After seeing Jon Bellion earlier in 2017, I knew I had to see a full show, and what better way to see him than to travel to Columbia, SC with my sister and AMHS alumni, Will Schnell. We embarked on our journey which was filled with good laughs and good music. We only had to wait 3 hours in the general admission line for a good spot in the second row. All three of us had purchased VIP tickets to enter the venue early and we witnessed a mini show by the man himself. The concert was absolutely insane and Jon Bellion is truly a mastermind for combining both rap and pop in the most artful way possible. We vibed all night long and I couldn’t have asked for a better show.
I could go on and on about the concerts I’ve been to and the concerts I want to go to, but I will spare you the details. It goes to show just how important live music is for fans, but also artists. Live performances bring everyone together for a few hours to share something we all know and love. Music is a truly beautiful thing and I hope that in the near future everyone will be back together to enjoy live music again.