A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I realize maybe I should not write about music, bands or concerts since there have already been a lot of posts on this topic, but I just can’t. This November turned out to be quite crazy for me as a part-time fangirl, not only because of all the deadlines from school work, but also due to my rather tight concert schedule.
1. Swim Deep @Paradiso, Amsterdam (Nov. 9)
Swim Deep is definitely one of my favorite new bands this year (or last year when they first released their single “King City”). Seeing them live for only 10 Euro was the sweetest dream to me. A small crowd in a small room on the second floor of Paradiso — always my favorite kind of concert. Their performance was amazing. I mean, I have to see them again sometime.
Source: st-pam @Tumblr
After the show:
My friends and I talked to the band manager, Ryan, who’s a really cool chap. I bought a band T-shirt I might never take off.
2. Volcano Choir @Paradiso, Amsterdam (Nov. 16)
Never heard of Volcano Choir? No way. You must know the frontman of the band — Justin Vernon. Still no? (How dare you?) Then try Bon Iver. Still no? Well, you are not an indie kid, are you?
It’s probably my favorite concert of this month. It was magnificent in every way. To be honest, I don’t know how to describe the show in a proper way. They lived up to their name — as I was standing there at the back of the crowd, I felt like standing on the top of a volcano, listening to a singing choir. The lighting, the music and Justin Vernon, this is a show that I’ll never forget for life.
Source: bamshakalah @Tumblr
After the show:
I did not wait for the band because mostly I am a fan of Bon Iver, but this is another totally different project and I respect them as Volcano Choir. So I walked straight back to the central station in the night drizzle. On my way back, I wanted to go to Torture Museum on a whim (by whim I mean a poster on a post), but only realized that I hadn’t have any cash with me since the Swim Deep concert.
3. Money @Tivoli, Utrecht (Nov. 18)
Don’t ask me why they are called Money because I might feel very embarrassing to explain this to you like their guitarist Charlie did to me. Not a big show on a Monday night but their performance is fascinating. The frontman of the band, Jamie Lee’s voice sounded even better than that on the record (and their record is already wonderful). The only pity was that they didn’t perform my favorite song due to the lack of a piano that night.
After the show:
I got to talk with the band and actually chatted for a while. I even got them to follow me on Twitter 😛 They are all sweet guys and absolutely not as “complicated and mysterious” as they may seem on their poster.
But this was not the only amazing thing happened that night. As I walked out of the venue, a couple said “hello” in Chinese to me. Usually I wouldn’t even react to this, but I was in a good mood so I turned back and said “yes, I am Chinese”. We ended up talking for a little while and they drove me to Utrecht central station. They are two of the really cool Dutch people I’ve ever met. Thank you for a nice Monday night!
4. Vampire Weekend @Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam (Nov. 19)
The third concert in four days! I didn’t even realize how popular Vampire Weekend had become over the past few years until I walked into HMH. Looking around at those boys and girls, I remembered when I first listened to them years ago, they were just a small new band with the reputation of Columbia graduates. The show was great, but rather bland, like exactly what I had expected to see. But still, it was a fun night with two friends. I was very happy to be there.
Source: teamvampireweekend @Tumblr
5. Tom Odell @De Oosterpoort @Groningen (Nov. 25)
I had never thought there would be so many people gather together on a Monday night, but it was a sold-out show after all. What I did not expect either was how Tom was so powerful at a concert, with the help of the band. For several times during the show, I was really nervous about his piano get wrecked by his hands.
Source: musicbringshappiness @Tumblr
After the show:
Ugh. Between catching the last train back to Den Haag and waiting for Tom to give him my birthday present, I bravely chose the latter. When I told him that we shared the same birthday, he looked surprised, calling us “birthday twins”(only I forgot to tell him that I’m two years younger). He said so many times of “happy birthday” to me that I lost count. But the most awesome thing happened to me during the talk? Nope, I’ll keep it as a secret.
Thanks for everyone who’s taken those pictures of Swim Deep, Volcano Choir, Vampire Weekend and Tom Odell. (I am never good at being a taking-pictures-at-concert person.)