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I’m starting my year of lists with the music category. Here I’ve listed my Top SIX all-time favorite bands/groups/artists, with the corresponding Top FIVE favorite songs by the artists. I’ve also included a few honorable mentions for each group, but that’s really just a fluffed up way of saying I couldn’t make up my mind & choose just 5 songs, so I crammed in a bunch of others at the end. As you will notice, most of my top picks are from Rock and Roll groups.


A Pop-y, flashy Alt-Rock band a-lá fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. This was the very first Alt-Rock band that I became a diehard fan of. I’ve seen this band several times in concert, & it always feels like a party amongst friends. This band’s music will always put me in a good mood, no matter what.

killers top5

killers mentions


A band who’ll never let you forget that they hail from Portland, Oregon…but first, Alaska. With a lot to say about social issues & current events, this band surely knows how to tell a story with a super catchy, radio-friendly beat.

ptm top5

ptm mentions


I love this smokey, Bluesy, Rock band with melodies that feel both gritty & soulful. This band always gives me a cozy, down home feeling, like I’m sitting on a porch while wearing my worn-in denim jacket & sipping on a glass of bourbon. (Did I mention that I’m going to see this band in concert this August?)

nratns top5

nratns mentions


I’ve seen this band in concert before, & I can clearly state two facts. One, they sound just as fantastic live as they do on CD. Two, they sound nothing like The White Stripes. When I listen to this band, I imagine myself being in a motorcycle club & taking a relaxing cruise through open mountain roads (like in those over-glamourized outdoors/camping photos on Instagram). 

blk keys top5

blk keys mentions


All hail the British Invasion! Ok, I swear I’m not becoming an Anglophile. At least I think I’m not, but who knows? All I know is that Rock music from England is the tops! I really love the catchy, grungy, punk vibe from this band. Plus, lead singer Alex Turner is a pretty fit bloke…so, the eye candy is also a bonus.

am top5

am mentions


My first memory of this band was back in the early 90s, when having a home computer with AOL internet was becoming popular. Our house had a clunky Compaq desktop computer with a pre-installed video player program that came with Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” music video along with some other random music videos. There wasn’t much for me to do on the computer in those days except for playing “Sam & Max Hit The Road” or play around with Microsoft Paint, but once I discovered this music video, I was playing it on repeat with no clue who this band was. It wasn’t until much later, in my 20s, that I truly started appreciating this chill, fun Alt-Rock band…which is why I’ve seen this band in concert several times already.

weezer top5

weezer mentions


Hey, I finally figured out how to embed a music player on my blog!! I hope you enjoyed a little slice of my musical heaven. Enjoy & cheers, mates!

No song of the day because this whole post was about songs. LOL!

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When a band offers you a pre-sale link to buy concert tickets, you better work fastThe Killers had a special promotion for their Wonderful Wonderful tour, that if you buy their new album Wonderful Wonderful through their band website, they’ll not only include a free t-shirt, but they’ll also send you a link to pre-sale concert tickets before anyone else. Well, well, well…that website nearly crashed, & all of the pre-sale tickets were sold out! I mean, the concert tour sold out so fast that Jian & I had to buy our tickets through a (trusted) third-party ticket reseller. We were lucky that the third-party ticket prices were only $10 dollars more than the general ticket price(s), give or take, so it all worked out in the end.

We met up with two of our closest mates, who surprisingly have never ever been to a live music concert before. They were also huge fans of The Killers, so they were equally as pumped up as we were. However, they had no idea what they were in store for. Jian & I had to explain a few things about concerts to them, like: why assigned seats are better than standing-room floor seats, or whether to stay for the opening acts or not, or whether to buy the concert goods online or at the concert. That night was one of the most memorable moments in my entire life. I will never forget this experience with my favorite rock band & my best mates. Alright, let me break down the concert for you into sections.


THE BAND STAGE

The stage was a fun throwback to the retro neon signs of the famous Las Vegas strip. At the beginning of the concert, the stage had a minimal abstract appearance, with a wrap-around video screen behind the band & a triangular video screen above the stage. Then from the middle of the concert & all throughout, the stage changed to show neon lit arrows on one side of the stage & a water tower on the other side of the stage. Fun fact: for each city stop on the tour, the band would display the city’s name on the water tower. The concert I went to said “Los Angeles”. Of course everyone wants to know the ultimate answer to which electronic keyboard was Brandon Flowers going to use for this tour? Well, since the main & first single off of the Wonderful Wonderful album was “The Man“, Mr. Flowers had to use his ‘male symbol’ keyboard, while the backup singers had stands with the ‘female symbol’, as you can clearly tell from my photo below.IMG_2940-1.JPG


THE FAN EXPERIENCE

It was so badass & cool when The Killers invited a random fan to play with them on one of their songs. I know a lot of other bands do this at concerts, like Foo Fighters, Blink-182, & Green Day, but this was the first time I got to witness it in person. The band invited a teenage girl named Aelena Gilles to climb up on to the stage & play the drums on the song “For Reasons Unknown“. The crowd went absolutely nuts when she got up on stage. The band jokingly anointed this fan with some actual sand from the Mojave desert, & lent her a pair of plastic Elvis-inspired sunglasses. Let me just say, that this was one of the many highlights from the concert. This teenage girl totally killed it on the drums, & like I said before, the crowd went wild every time the camera would showcase this fan on the video screen. Everyone sang their hearts (& lungs) out & danced along to every song. When the band asked the audience to hold up a light, the entire Staples Center arena nearly erupted in smartphone flashlights. It was so cool to be part of this amazing fan experience. It kind of sucked that they had to replace two of the original band members (Dave KeuningMark Stoermer) with two fill-in band members, but those guys had legit reasons for not going on tour…like going back to college to finish their degree, &/or spending more quality time with their kids before they grow up too fast. The experience was still amazing as ever. They all know how to put on a great show. The last time I saw the full original cast lineup of The Killers was at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, back in 2015.


THE “MEAT & POTATOES” A.K.A. THE MUSIC

Since this was the Wonderful Wonderful tour, I was assuming the band was going to play most of the songs from their latest album, but surprisingly they didn’t. They played a great mix of all of their albums, focusing on most of their hit singles (Mr. Brightside, Spaceman, When You Were Young, etc.) & a few throwback gems (Jenny Was a Friend of Mine, Smile Like You Mean It, Andy You’re a Star, etc.). Oh man, the audience got the most pumped up every time the band would play an old school song from their Hot Fuss album. (I can’t believe in a few short years it will mark the 20th anniversary of the Hot Fuss album!) I just fact checked my own personal catalogue of The Killers music, & I just realized that the band practically played an entire set (plus encore) straight from the lineup of their Direct Hits album, minus the songs: Shot At The Night, Miss Atomic Bomb, Just Another Girl, & Be Still. However, you could just replace those missing songs with the new songs from the Wonderful Wonderful album, & you’ve pretty much got the entire setlist for the Los Angeles leg of their concert tour. Here is the complete song lineup for the concert.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

This concert was one of the most incredible live music shows I’ve ever been to. I love how engaging Brandon Flowers was with the crowd, & the band really knew how to whip the crowd into a frenzy & get us all to chant along to all the songs (I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!). The band usually plays a cover song from another artist or band, but for this concert tour, they decided to write & perform a spur-of-the-moment song the band wrote just for our city venue. As described by Mr. Flowers himself, the song was written on the road while the band was touring, & the song was titled “L.A. Song” as it was written for the Los Angeles venue, & it was a little tribute song to all of the landmarks of Los Angeles. I’m not sure what The Killers had planned for other cities, but I’m sure it was just as memorable & amazing. With this Wonderful Wonderful concert tour, you really get a strong sense of how proud The Killers are of their Las Vegas, Nevada roots. I mean, Brandon Flowers came back for the band’s encore performance wearing a metallic gold suit! I was so blown away by this concert experience, & I’m sure my lungs felt blown away as well. My throat felt a little sore after all the singing I did to go along with the band. I’m going to end this post with a quote from Brandon Flowers that I’ve fallen in love with. Cheers everyone!

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Today’s song of the day:


So last week I finally went to the Bramdon Flowers concert. I had purchased the tickets months in advance, so the anticipation was making me antsy & excited. Since I’ve only seen Brandon Flowers perform with his band The Killers, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect stage performance-wise. I knew he was going to sing songs from his two released solo albums Flamingo & The Desired Effect, & I had a feeling he would perform a few of his band’s hit songs just to ramp up the crowd’s attention. I never knew I could admire him so much as an artist & a songwriter.

  

Brandon Flowers really knows how to engage his audience & fans. He really made us feel like we were all one big group of longtime friends who haven’t seen each other in a while. He took the time to explain a few of his songs, likes how the inspiration behind the song Magdalena came after experiencing a spiritual Mexican festival focused on musical celebrations. The entire audience erupted in rowdy cheers when he asked the question “Do you think he’s innocent or guilty?” then proceeded to perform a spirited rendition of Jenny Was a Friend of Mine.

The theater of the concert was pretty small, but it didn’t feel small until I got to my seat. I was sitting quite high up in the second tier balcony section. Yes I could easily see everything on the stage, but it was hard to get a clear view of the Brandon & band. It was difficult to spot Brandon, but that was because the stage lighting was so bright & harsh, so he was constantly being overshadowed by the set lights.

I try not to take too many photos or videos during concerts anyway, so I didn’t bother taking good quality photos of Brandon.

After the concert, Jian complained that the acoustics & the sound in the theater was not that great, but I didn’t think of it one bit. I was too busy enjoying the atmosphere, the music, & dancing in my seat. I was clapping so hard the entire time that I actually made a small bruise form on the palm of my hand. I didn’t even notice it until I got home & was in the shower, then I saw the purple & blue spot on my palm. It didn’t hurt at all, but that’s how I knew I had such a blast…being so enthusiastic. I absolutely enjoyed the mix of songs from both of Brandon Flowers’ solo albums (more songs from The Desired Effect than Flamingo), & peppered inbetween were a few of The Killers’ songs as well.

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I had such an amazing time at the Brandon Flowers concert. It kind of made me wish I could go to a Killers concert some day. I’ve only ever seen The Killers perform at music festivals, so I’d like to go to one of their standalone concerts. Well, next month I’m going to yet another concert (at the same venue no less!). This time I’m going to see Franz Ferdinand perform with Sparks & debuting their hybrid group called FFS. I’m so excited to see my favorite Scottish band in concert!! I can’t wait. This is going to be the year of concerts for me, even though I am super bummed out that I missed Outside Lands this year, but there’s still more of 2015 yet to come. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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Dear Friday, I love you. Sincerely, me... . z . z . z . z . z . #DreamingOfFriday #DreamingOfFridayAlready #Friday #MoreFridays #fun #meme #sleepy #sleeping #ghosts #sleep #IJustWannaSleepForever #TuesdayIsTheNewHumpDay #LOL #LineCamera
One of the best waffles I’ve ever had. Soft & fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Definitely Eleven approved. (Oh, & the fried chicken was bomb too.) 🍗 🥞 . . . . . . . . . . #ChickenAndWafffles #FridayFunday #Fryday #FriedChicken #waffles #LeggoTheseEggos #ElevenApproved #StrangerFoods #StrangerThings #FoodsOfInstagram #RedwoodCity #DowntownRedwoodCity #CityLife #CityLiving #supper #dinner #LineCamera #FoodieApp @strangerthingstv @milliebobbybrown @timbersaltrwc
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I’m looking forward to the upcoming sweater weather. 🍂 . . . . . . . . . . #SkatingInCentralPark #SongTitle #TrackName #BillEvans #JimHall #BillEvansAndJimHall #jazz #music #AutumnIsHere #FallIntoAutumn #SweaterWeather #CuppaTea #HotTea #CupOfTea #PourMeACup #WarmAndCozy #AllTheFeels #OverApp #InShotApp @billevansestate @over @inshot.app
Hmmm... Anime, video games, killer cocktails, & bomb food. What a way to spend a Saturday night! . . . . . . . . . . . #FallingOffTheChocobo #TheSamuraiWhoSmellsOfFlowers #cocktails #DrinkNames #YesTheseAreRealDrinkNames #drinks #FinalFantasy #chocobo #SamuraiChamploo #向日葵の匂いのする侍 #anime #アニメ#ファイナルファンタジー #サムライチャンプルー #VideoGames #TheDreamOfThe90s #LobsterPaella #BeefHeart #ビーフハート #corazon #Kaiyo #海洋 #UnionSt #CowHollow #SF #JapanesePeruvian #DrinksOfInstagram #FoodsOfInstagram #FoodieApp #LineCamera @foodieapp.official @linecamera_official @kaiyosf

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