I feel like the post-COVID era has been full of accidents and injuries at gigs while people try and regain the spirit of the pre-COVID live scene. Not to say that these incidents weren’t happening before, but it seems as though the TikTok for you page is full of “omg look! This artist’s stopped because someone fainted in the crowd. Look at this artist doing the absolute most!” when really in a post Travis Scott Gate era, they’re just doing the bare minimum.
I’m gonna talk about some of my favourite moments where an artist has had to stop a show that I’ve been at for whatever reason leaving a lasting impact on fans, or an unprecedented moment in a show (again that I was at) that left a pretty cool or funny legacy.
My first comes from my favourite concert ever, and this memorable moment is probably a huge reason why it holds such a special place for me. I saw New Hope Club on their acoustic fanfest showcase tour in May this year. It was an opportunity for them to show fans the music they’d been working on in the sort of small settings where they knew the faces and names, and it just felt like a big family singalong. They sang mostly unreleased music, but before singing the song that put them on the map (kinda?)- Know Me Too Well, Blake asked “are you all ready for a singalong?”. Then, completely unprovoked, George started singing if you’re happy and you know it, causing all of us to clap, and the boys to just laugh that this was so stupid. Then, bouncing off that energy, Blake went back and started singing the alphabet. All 500 of us in the crowd then sang the rest of the alphabet, and the boys were just so bemused that this had taken off. They knew these people and knew that we’d do exactly this. I think that a safe space for them really allowed them to just relax and calm down. Plus it made a great memory for us.
Next comes quite a touching moment actually from seeing 5SOS in Birmingham this year. Anyone that knows them will know that they absolutely have hearts of gold. It was a classic moment of someone unfortunately not being hydrated enough and fainting in the audience at a point where Michael was just talking about their new body of work, the general sort of stalling conversation so that the rest of the band could hydrate while their spotlights weren’t on. However, Michael and Ashton, at the back on drums, noticed a fan passing out and completely smoothly and without many of us noticing, immediately got the other boys to call for help, and they just continued talking, joking around, and being classic 5SOS while the incident was dealt with. They didn’t stop what they were doing to bring attention to the fan, it was dealt with really smoothly and quickly and with very little disruption to the show, despite more stalling time than normal. It was quite touching and also allowed us to enjoy the show more, we weren’t worried about the person, we were laughing at all the goods they were saying, Ashton wasn’t even meant to be talking but he wouldn’t shut up to the point they had to put a spotlight on him, which made many people laugh. I’d like to see these incidents dealt with like this from now, much more subtly.
My final moment comes from the last gig I went to – JP Saxe. He played his first headline show in the UK this year and I got to be there! He hadn’t prepared a setlist in as many words, he just played whatever he wanted to in whatever order, and it was really nice intimate show at the Heaven Nightclub. The memorable moment in question comes towards the end, where he does the usual encore thing but without actually leaving the stage. He first asked what we wanted to hear, and essentially created a mashup with the barrage of requests we threw at him, completely off the cuff, and we were left in complete awe of the fact he was able to so seamlessly switch between songs. However, what happened next is something I don’t think anyone else noticed. He asked for one final song, and one that had come to mind was ‘Soft Landing’, off his deluxe debut album, and many of us asked for that. However, he looked at me and my group of friends and quickly recalled the moment when we told him in meet and greet that his song Love v Logic had meant a lot to us and helped us through hard times. Then, despite that song not being requested, he said he knows how much this song means to people and he started singing it. We like to think that was especially for us, and seeing as though we were right in front, it’s likely. It’s a moment that blows my mind because even if he hadn’t remembered that moment in meet and greet, he knew that we’d have gone away not having heard it and felt slightly like something was missing. I really appreciated that!
Those were a few memorable moments from concerts in the past, and I really hope the gigs I have lined up now provide these same moments and the same memories, and also that you may be remembered some moments like that in gigs you’ve been to.