Writers’ Beat- Favorite Concerts

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In celebration of Labor Day Live, we're talking all about our favorite concerts for this special edition of Writers' Beat! Don't forget to listen live starting 4pm on Friday featuring some of our favorite artists like Lake Street Dive, Brandi Carlile, and U2. It's gonna be a BLAST!


Risa Tapanes

One of the best concerts I've been to was Mumford & Sons this past December at the TD Garden. Having been a fan of them for so long, I had yet to see a full set of theirs. Not able to afford the tickets, I entered contest after contest for practically every date in close proximity to Boston. Finally, a few days before the show, I bit the bullet and got a general admission floor ticket as a Christmas gift to myself. Best last-minute decision EVER!

I got to the Garden early, sat in line with other fans, and when the doors opened, we all rushed to the barricade. With the circular stage in the middle of the venue, it was truly a 360-degree experience. It didn't matter I went alone because fans of all ages brought me in as their own. A highlight of the show was when Marcus Mumford, lead singer, walked throughout the entire arena whilst singing one of my favorite songs of theirs, "Ditmas." Truly a night to remember!


Minah Thomas

One of my favorite concerts I've been to (since picking one all-time favorite is too hard) would have to be seeing Lorde at TD Garden. Seeing her felt so surreal since I have been listening to her for years and she seemed practically untouchable. Her energy and stage presence was unreal; she danced, prompted the crowd to feel everything she was feeling in each song, and was overall unbelievable vocally and visually. Being able to hear songs like Ribs and Sober, which are songs that I listen to constantly, was so exhilarating. She definitely surpassed any expectation I had.


Cindy Howes

I was in high school and my friends and I took the commuter rail into Boston, so this was a big deal. I had just bought Ok Computer and was really excited. Our seats were in the third row and I remember being so pumped. The Dandy Warhols and Teenage Fan Club opened. It was one of those concerts where you actually feel pumped and warmed up by the time the headliner came on.

I was awestruck by Radiohead.  I remember Thom Yorke being a wildman on stage and the crowd was fantastic. The stand-out song for me was "Bones" because Yorke didn't have a guitar to hold and he flailed around like crazy. The band's energy, the lights, and the setting were all fantastic. I feel lucky to have been at this concert!


Lily Doolin

Dermot Kennedy was the first concert I ever went to cover when I first started working for WERS, which means I was absolutely shaking in my boots. On top of it being my first show to review, I was also interviewing Dermot before the show. However, I had nothing to worry about, because Dermot was an absolute sweetheart, and he and I had such a great conversation about the projects he was working on and his former days busking in Boston.

When I left backstage and made my way into the thick crowd on the floor (which was already electric because of the Red Sox winning the world series the night prior), I knew this was going to be a spectacular show. This wasn't a set all about crazy lights and choreography-it was all about the music and the soul behind it. Dermot's set was a milieu of tracks about love and loss and triumph over tragedy that warmed my heart and made me feel alive. It was a show that surprised me every second. I don't think I've ever seen an artist more passionate about their music and the impact it has on people than Dermot.


Phil Jones

As a radio host, I think it's assumed my favorite band is deeply obscure, but I cannot lie. My favorite band is Coldplay.

When I saw them at the Garden, age 15, they were touring their critically divisive and unpronounceable Mylo Xyloto. The answer to a lackluster album? A show that meshed Mylo with brilliant reworkings of "Speed of Sound," "Yellow," "Green Eyes," and made every moment seem newly glorified in spray paint. It was a happy time, and we all sang happy birthday to drummer Will Champion. Openers were Emeli Sandae and then little known Marina and the Diamonds, who helped me believe Chris Martin when he said, "I think our best f***ing show ever is gonna be a Monday night in Boston."

Personal note: this show was the only conversation I ever had with my Dad about pot. During "The Scientist," a stealthy fan lit a joint in the row ahead of us. Dad said, "Breathe in, but not too deeply." Pause. "Do you know what that is?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Good." We inhaled again and they began "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face."


Michael Rocco

The all-time best show I've ever seen was Palehound. They had an impressive set on their own, but it was really the openers that sealed the deal to make it the coolest concert I've been to. The show's first opener was Dazey and the Scouts, a band that isn't around anymore. This was their last show, and they totally played like it. My favorite song of their's was "James Deen You Let Us Down," a tune about being disappointed by the person a pornstar is behind the camera. Their whole set was this over the top, and my friends and I alternated between dancing, moshing, and laughing about their amazing lyrics the whole time they were playing.

The last opener before Palehound was Oompa, who just came out with her sophomore release. This set was the best show I've ever seen. Her energy rocked the whole venue. I hadn't heard of Oompa before the concert, so I couldn't prepare for her amazing stage presence. By the end of their set, every single person was singing along and dancing. It was contagious.


Haley Mendoza

When I walked into Fenway Park to see Paul McCartney, I was 16 and probably had no business taking up a seat at his concert. However, I can genuinely say it was the best concert experience I've ever had.

The whole concert was great, but I don't think my heart has ever swirled the way it did when Paul started to sing "Let it Be." Not only did it feel like an honor to be listening to a Beatle sing such an iconic song, but I'll never forget the way the whole crowd came together. I've never been to a concert where everyone in the audience was so willing to wrap their arms around and sway with the strangers next to them.

Pure bliss.

Plus Rob Gronkowski came out and awkwardly danced on the stage afterward so that was funny too.


Jamie Groele 

Hippo Campus was the opener at a show at the Royale and I was a little freshman practically weeping in the audience. When they started playing I was a little surprised. Their sound was so much like their EP. I don't really know why I expected anything less. Their guitar tone hits hardest for me. Hearing that in the crowd made it all seem real. I couldn't believe they were actually in front of me. It was like I realized they were real people not just some robots behind an EP.

I got to meet two of them after and when I told them they were my favorites and I was just so happy to be there, they didn't really believe it. I'm forever grateful for that experience and as they grow bigger and bigger no matter what venue they play, I'll never forget that feeling of hearing their music live for the first time. 

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