Las Vegas Part 1: Caesers Palace

During Christmas 2016 I visited Las Vegas. I was quite excited as it was my first time there. I had already compiled a list of everything I wanted to do and a lot of the stuff was in an area called The Strip. This is the touristy area which has loads of hotels, casinos, clubs, and restaurants. Unlike a lot of places I've been to before, the hotels were tourist attractions. By that I mean that they all have some sort of theme or distinctive feature and it was a common thing for people to spend the day walking through the different hotels to appreciate the architecture and enjoy various facilities. As it was Vegas, they all contained a casino of course. But some hotels also had theatres, bowling alleys, aquariums and other stuff in them. I went to a lot of cool places and took loads of pictures so I'm going to split my time in Vegas into various different posts. I'll begin with my first night.

I arrived in Vegas in the late evening after a 10 hour flight. Of course I was exhausted but I didn't want to rest. I just wanted to hurry up and see stuff. I dropped my bags at my cousins' house, had something to eat quickly,  and then we were off. We headed to The Strip and went to a hotel that was at the top of my list called Caesars Palace. It has stunning architecture that is Roman inspired but with modern elements such as neon lighting. I suppose we could call it Neon-Classical. 

Inside there is a mall called 'The Forums Shops' with a mixture of high end and high street stores and restaurants. I was very into this colour changing neon H&M wall. There was also a really cool Sephora with an amazing  Pat McGrath Labs display (We need a Sephora in London asap). I was unaware at the time but after doing more research into the hotel I found out that it also features a massive arena called 'The Colosseum' (of course) and has hosted boxing events since the 70s. 

There is usually a Moving Statues Show that usually takes place where the statues move around and talk. Unfortunately by the time we arrived, it had already finished for the day. Nevertheless, I still appreciated the amazing architecture. I love the contrast between the classical architecture and the store logos. 

This bust had amazing eyelashes.

Me displaying one of my main talents: an inability to keep my eyes open in photos.

It was definitely one of the most impressive hotels that I saw and was a great way to start my trip. 


The 1975 Concert @ The O2 Arena 16/12/16

The 1975 are one of my absolute favourite bands. I was lucky enough to meet them at their pop up shop at The White Space in February 2016 (which had a super long queue. I was in one of the last groups to go in to see them so it really was luck. They were all really lovely so it was definitely worth the long wait. Perhaps I'll write a post about it one day). I also saw them live for the first time in March 2016 at O2 Brixton Academy. It was one of the best concerts I've ever been to and the post-concert-blues lasted for longer than usual. I was itching to see them again. Their show at the O2 arena would be their biggest yet so there was no way I was going to miss it. I knew it would be one of the highlights of my year. 

Me and my friends arrived at the venue around 10:00 am and to my surprise there were 150-200 people in front of us in the queue. Last time we saw them, we got there around 9:00 am and we were 20-something in the queue. I suppose we should have expected this for such a big venue and for a band with such a huge fan base. We were still quite close to the stage though so I didn't mind.

The Japanese House opened for them, just as they did at their last tour. I was quite happy about that because it brought back good memories of the first show and I really love their dreamy, ethereal sound. My favourite song by them is 'Face Like Thunder' which you can watch above.

One of the best things about The 1975 other than their music is their visuals. Their lighting design is really thought out and aesthetically pleasing (thanks to Tobias Rylander). The lighting for each song fits the mood perfectly.

 As it got closer to the time The 1975 were meant to be coming on, I had so much adrenaline. I can tell the feeling was mutual throughout the entire audience. When 'The 1975' intro started playing and the lights gradually started coming on, everyone was going wild. 

My favourite piece of lighting design was for 'Ilywysfyasbysuoi'.The rectangles looked like iridescent, rotating crystals. It was so clever and beautiful. I was absolutely mesmerised by it. 

Another piece of lighting design that I really appreciated was 'Loving Someone'. It was updated  to include the LGBT rainbow flag after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando to pay respect to the victims. The song already had such a strong message and I think this set design emphasised it even more.

'If I Believe You' is one of my absolute favourite The 1975 songs. I find it really touching. I love that they bring a gospel choir on stage for this song (and a few others). I was anticipating it the most throughout the whole show. Finally getting to hear it was amazing. 

I'm already looking forward to seeing them again. I don't know when that will be as they're currently still touring, and I'm sure they'll need some much deserved rest afterwards. For now, I can enjoy their cover of Sade's 'By Your Side' that they released today (well yesterday since I'm writing this after midnight). 


Catfish and the Bottlemen Concert @ Wembley Arena 15/11/16

Catfish and the Bottlemen are one of my favourite bands. I saw them for the first time at an intimate show in May at Electric Ballroom in Camden. When they announced they were performing at Wembley, I was so proud and excited so I was determined to get tickets. I had my laptop and phone ready on the site to buy tickets half an hour before they went on sale and I refreshed them constantly. When it hit 9:00 am and I was able to select my tickets, they went out of stock. I knew it was presale and more would be released, but being the person that I am, I was determined to get them at that moment. I figured some people would back out of their purchases so I kept refreshing the page. Half an hour passed. I still kept refreshing the page. An hour passed. I started to feel quite ridiculous and overly optimistic. I told myself I'd wait another half an hour, and it's good that I did. All of a sudden, it no longer said sold out and I was able to successfully purchase a ticket. My stubbornness paid off (although I probably would have been able to get a ticket in the general sale or the later extra ticket releases).

Now onto the concert. Me and my friends arrived at Wembley arena at around 9:00 am. We went to the entrance allocated on our ticket and there were only a couple of people in front of us. This was quite shocking as usually people camp overnight for concerts at Wembley. Last time me and my friend went there to see Years and Years, there was already 20 people in front of us at 8:00 am.

When I tell some people how early I arrive at concerts they look at me like I'm crazy. But in my opinion it's totally worth it to be front row. Everyone pays the same price for standing tickets, why not get the most out of your money and get a good spot? We're quite used to lining up for so long so time went by quite quickly in between a visit to McDonald's, toilet breaks, and exploring the area.

They opened with 'Homesick' like at their previous show. The set list was pretty much similar to the first show I went to but I didn't mind as I knew the songs from the second album better this time so I was able to enjoy them even more.

The crowd gets quite rowdy at Catfish concerts so I'm glad that I was at the barrier so that I had something to hold onto. It got really intense at times but it was still so much fun. It was interesting to see the difference between a show at a really big venue vs a small one. To be honest I preferred their more intimate show as the gap between the barrier and the stage at arenas is so big. Of course its for safety and so that everyone has a good view but I prefer the cosiness of smaller shows. The atmosphere at Wembley was great though, and I'm happy that they were able to sell out such a big venue. 

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