Ten Non-K-Pop Artists I Love

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I pretty much only talk about my love for K-Pop on this blog so I wanted to talk about groups or soloists that I love that aren’t K-Pop. So here are some groups I love in no particular order.

My Chemical Romance

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I’ll start with My Chemical Romance because it’s no secret that I was a massive fan as a teenager. I think I’d still be a big fan now but you know they selfishly went and split up so it’s kind of difficult to continue being an active MCR fan. But they were definitely my favourite band for pretty much all of Secondary School; I was a loyal hoe to My Chemical Romance. I was lucky enough to be able to see them live twice – once in Manchester and then again in Birmingham.

I’ve already talked about all the MCR related stuff I did as a teenager so I won’t harp on about it again in this post because you can read about it in my ‘Fandoms That Low-Key Saved My Life’ post here but yeah, I still have a good jam to My Chemical Romance every so often because I still love them and if they ever did come back one day I would be at their next concert within minutes.

Favourite Song: I Never Told You What I Do For a Living

Anastacia

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Anyone I talk to about Anastacia is always like ‘oh yeah I loved her as a kid’ but honestly I still love her. I haven’t really listened to much of her recent stuff but I still blast her oldies from when I was younger and I just think she’s an amazing singer. I’m really sad that I haven’t seen her live, pretty much everyone from work recently went to a Lionel Richie concert in Shrewsbury and Anastacia was the supporting act and I was gutted to not have gone because everyone said she was amazing.

I would definitely love to see Anastacia live one day, my Mom’s seen her a couple of times and I’m infinitely jealous. I really want to see her!

Favourite Song: Paid My Dues

All Time Low

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All Time Low are the band I’ve seen live the most amount of times as I’m pretty sure I’ve now seen them seven times. Let me try and recall each time:

– Birmingham, O2 Academy
– Slam Dunk Festival, Wolverhampton
– London, O2 Arena
– London, O2 Academy Brixton
– Birmingham, O2 Academy (again)
– Birmingham, Genting Arena (with You Me At Six)
– Birmingham, Genting Arena (meant to be with Pierce the Veil but they couldn’t come)

To be honest there may be more times but I can’t remember. I’ve also managed to meet them twice – the first time was at a signing in Birmingham that lasted about ten seconds and I barely said one word to them because I was so nervous and it went so quickly. The second time was in London because Penina was a member of the Hustler’s club and I got to go in as her carer. This was better because we all got a selfie with each member – my photos didn’t turn out as good as I could’ve hoped… I also dropped my phone when handing it to Jack Barakat and he went “Don’t tell anyone I screamed like a girl” and I was like “… What?” like a complete moron.

All Time Low are one of those bands that I always buy a ticket for and say ‘this will be me last All Time Low concert’ whilst knowing that it won’t be. I know for a fact the next time they come to Birmingham I will be there in a heartbeat and have an amazing time. They’re such a fun band to see live, the first time I saw them was probably one of my favourite concerts ever. I even got given the day off school by my head teacher so I could go and queue all day. So yeah, I love All Time Low.

Favourite Song: Remembering Sunday

BabyMetal

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I have talked about BabyMetal on this blog because I wrote a post of my top ten favourite songs and I mentioned their concert was one of my favourites I’ve been to. As mentioned before this group were recommended to me a couple of times by my friend Cheyenne but I always insisted I wasn’t going to listen to a group called BabyMetal but then Kerrang posted one of their songs, I gave it a listen and suddenly really liked them. Sorry Cheyenne!

I’m really happy I got to see BabyMetal too. It was such a fun concert and BabyMetal are so energetic and are generally amazing performers. Definitely one of my favourite concerts I’ve been to. They’re coming back again in July I believe but performing on a Tuesday which is a bit of a shit day to perform. I’m also not sure it would be the same since Yui’s left the group and they’re being a bit vague about this whole ‘seven new members’ thing so maybe it’s just as well.

Favourite Song: The One

The Used

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I’ve seen The Used twice, the first time was when they supported Evanescence which really seemed an odd support act for Evanescence but there you go. Then I got to see them again at their own show in the O2 Academy. That was amazing because Bert kept calling out my friend Jess for not knowing the lyrics to certain songs – she knew some but was more of a casual fan who came because I really wanted to go.

I’ve loved The Used for a few years and I recently went through all their songs on spotify and just fell in love with them again.

My favourite album is definitely ‘Lies for the Liars’ there isn’t a single song on there that I don’t love and it’s just such a perfect album. If you listen to any of their albums I definitely recommend that one.

Favourite Song: Empty With You

The Pretty Reckless

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I’ve only seen The Pretty Reckless twice but they were good both times! The first time was when they supported Fall Out Boy and the second time was their own show on the ‘Going to Hell’ tour, it was perfection. Except for the ninety year drum solo during ‘It’s a Fucked up World’ like honestly I thought it would never end. But other than that it was a banging concert, one of the few I’ve been to where I knew all the songs that were played. Also, have you seen Taylor Momsen? The woman is absolute goals. Also their ‘Going to Hell’ album is another one that’s just absolute perfection, every song is amazing and honestly they’re just such a good band. I’d love to see them live again soon.

Favourite Song: Sweet Things

Lindsey Stirling

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I can’t remember when or how I discovered Lindsey Stirling but I love her. Lindsey’s a violin player but not in a classical sense, I’m not really sure how to describe her. I had a ticket to her show a while ago but unfortunately couldn’t go because I didn’t have enough holiday at work or enough money so I had to sell my ticket. I’d have loved to have seen her when she toured with Evanescence but they didn’t come to Birmingham and I couldn’t afford to go to London.

Either way, I love Lindsey Stirling’s music and I could listen to it for hours. She’s so talented and I wish I could be like her to be honest.

Favourite Song: Roundtable Rival

Evanescence

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I think Amy Lee is one of the prettiest people I’ve ever laid eyes on and she is an absolutely amazing vocalist. I love Evanescence and their latest album ‘Synthesis’ is perfection. As mentioned I’d have loved to have seen them at their latest tour but as they didn’t come to Birmingham I couldn’t. I did see them with my friend Sam a few years ago though and they were brilliant. I think they’re a band I’ll never get sick of because they have such amazing songs and honestly they’re just great.

Favourite Song: The Change

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

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Kyary’s another one I’ve talked about because I’ve written a list of my favourite songs by her and I wrote a post about going to London to attend her concert so it’s no secret that I’m a big Kyary fan. I was a fan of Kyary before I became a fan of K-Pop, I just loved her songs so much. Kyary is one of those people that I will always make an effort to go and see if she comes to the UK ‘cos her shows are a ton of fun and Kyary’s outfits are always amazing. I was gutted there was no seating at her last concert as I want to be able to appreciate her aesthetics instead of having to crane my head over thousands of tall people to get a glimpse of her.

I’m not sure if I like the direction Kyary’s heading with her music, it just seems very different to her early stuff but I think if she announced she was coming back to the UK I’d definitely go and see her again.

Favourite Song: Candy Candy

Tonight Alive

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I started listening to Tonight Alive because they were supporting All Time Low at one of their shows and I wanted to know at least a couple of the songs before I went. In the end the queue to get into the fucking concert was so long that I missed half of Tonight Alive’s set but a few months later they came back to do a solo show in Birmingham and by this point I was hooked so I had to get a ticket.

Since then I’ve seen them twice more and both times have been fab. They’re such an amazing band to see live and most of their songs have a special place in my heart because they’re so meaningful. Especially ‘Hell and Back’ like oh my god, what a song. I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of Tonight Alive.

Favourite Song: Lonely Girl

So there you have it, ten of my favourite non K-Pop artists. If you have any recommendations then feel free to hit me up!

Do’s and Don’ts of Concerts

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I got the inspiration for this post when scrolling through a ‘concert unpopular opinions’ threated on Twitter and there were a lot of divided opinions in the thread. It made me want to write a post about my own general do’s and don’ts of concerts because at this point I’ve been to a fair few and sometimes the people in the crowd can make or break the concert. Feel free to disagree with any of my points and I’ll happily have a friendly debate in the comments or you can take my advice – it’s up to you!

DO plan your outfit accordingly

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Concert outfits can be difficult because we all know the moment we step inside we’re all going to turn into sweaty mess’ but if you’re queuing outside all day for a concert in January it can get a bit cold so you need to dress accordingly. If you’re gonna be in the pit at the concert it can be annoying having to hold onto your jacket but the moment you get back outside you will appreciate that jacket because within minutes the heat from the concert will be gone and you’ll be shivering.

If it’s a summer concert I’d really recommend like shorts and a vest top but to be fair even I don’t normally follow that advice. My usual concert outfit is just a pair of jeans and usually one of the band’s t-shirts if I own it. Just always remember that even if you’re seated, it’s going to get hot in there and it will probably be freezing when you come back out so prepare for that.

I remember going to a concert and there was a girl wearing a bumblebee costume (I don’t know why) and since the pit was so crazy she passed out and had to get dragged out while her friends followed her crying. There’s always one person at a concert in a onesie and I mean like, hey you do you do what you want, but I will never forget that guy that pushed past me at Slam Dunk in a teletubbies onesie. Boy absolutely stank and it can’t be comfortable wearing a onesie at a concert so why?

DON’T be worried to go on your own

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I think the first concert I went to solo was Melanie Martinez and although standing outside for over an hour in November to queue up to get inside wasn’t my idea of fun I still had a good time at the actual concert itself. Since then I’ve been to a few by myself including 24K and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and you can have a good time on your own. If your friends don’t want to go then certainly don’t let it stop you.

I understand that safety can be an aspect – I don’t get scared walking around London at night but I would feel a bit worried if I was in Birmingham. Figure something out beforehand – maybe get a hotel near the venue or ask your parents if they’d be willing to pick you up afterwards. But if what you’re worried about is people judging you for being alone then trust me when I say they won’t, nobody will care.

DO accept that you get what you pay/wait for

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When I went to see Melanie Martinez I was sat just one row from the back and when Mel came on stage everybody stood up as they often do so I stood up too, and so did a girl who was sat one seat away from me. She was maybe fourteen/fifteen years old and suddenly the woman behind her started screaming at her to sit back down. Timidly she sat back down but obviously then couldn’t see anything so her Mom encouraged her to stand back up to which these women who were there with their extremely young daughters (like maybe eight or younger) started yelling that she was ‘selfish’. Luckily everyone else came to the teenager’s defence but I’m still not over their sense of entitlement and how rude they were? Mate, you have a seat on the back row – yes it’s frustrating not being able to see but you get what you pay and why should this girl ruin her view to improve yours?

Recently at concerts where I’ve had no choice but to stand I’ve found myself behind several tall people, to which I usually take a pic and post to my Instagram story with the caption ‘tall people have no mercy’. However these tall people have waited in the queue longer than me, nabbed their spot before me and have no reason to worry about me or my view whatsoever. Fair is fair. If I wanted a perfect view I should’ve queued up long before the doors opened instead of 10 minutes beforehand (I used to queue all day but now I really can’t be bothered).

I’ll admit that yes in the heat of the moment it can be frustrating to be that short person at the back. I remember when I saw Kyary Pamyu Pamyu I didn’t even know if she was on the stage because I couldn’t see past the sea of tall men in front of me. But that’s not their issue and I’m not about to start having a go at them just because I couldn’t be bothered to queue up earlier for a better spot.

The real issue is bad venues. I’ve decided now that I really like 229 The Venue, maybe it’s ‘cos it’s not as crowded there but I can stand towards the back and still have a good view of the group whereas at ULU Live I had absolutely no chance.

DON’T make fun of others

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We’ve all been there, there’s that group of people in the queue or in the venue who are making you cringe to the point where you want to die a little bit. But is it really worth ruining their night just because it makes you cringe, especially if the stuff they’re doing or saying is just a little bit of innocent fun? When queuing for K-Con some girls started dancing to TWICE’s ‘Cheer Up’ and I’m not gonna lie, it was really cringe but ultimately they were having fun and who the hell am I to ruin their good time?

A lot of the time I prefer the groups of people that make me cringe to those that are unnecessarily rude. At 24K a group of girls were chanting “24K AYE 24K AYE 24K AYE” and they were a lot nicer to stand next to than the girls on the other side of me who were saying “God, I hate people like that.” You know what love, I hate miserable cows with bad attitudes but I’m not calling you out am I?

Similarly people that spend the whole time being judgemental. I once read a girl’s opinion in a band forum that said ‘I would never the band’s t-shirt to their show, that’s so cringe. I’d wear a different band’s shirt.’ Which I thought was weird but whatever. So I went to see Block B and as I don’t own a Block B shirt I wore a BTS one then literally got called out for it on a Facebook group by a girl I’d spoken to quite politely who said she’d wanted to scream at me when she saw what shirt I was wearing. If I was meeting the group then sure whatever maybe I should’ve been a bit more sensitive but trust me when I say that I nor anybody else there dropped £110 on a ticket to disrespect Block B.

Also it’s important to point out that I’d had an amazing time at this concert whereas this girl had moaned she’d had a terrible time. I even got a wave off Kyung, one of the members, who clearly didn’t give a damn what t-shirt I was wearing. So honestly stop focusing on everybody else and just focus on you and whether you’re having a good time.

DO hand out water if you get to the barrier

Everyone in standing is dying but nobody can go to the bar to get a drink otherwise they’re gonna lose their spot. I’ve never understood people who squeeze themselves through the crowd to the front, there’s already no room and you’re just gonna barge right on through?

Anyway, if you are lucky enough to get to the barrier and they’re passing out water then pass it back man there are people dying back there. Obviously drink some yourself if you need it but don’t forget about other people. I remember at my first All Time Low concert we all stopped caring about who had already drunk from the cup, I passed it to a girl, she had a drink then gave it back to me half full and I chugged the rest. It’s super important to stay hydrated but remember there are other people you need to look out for too!

DON’T be rude to the staff

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I remember me, Penina and her friend got to meet All Time Low before their concert once so we were let into the arena early but I decided I needed to pee so we came out to a very confused security guard who didn’t understand how we’d already gotten into the hall – we explained to him about the meet and greet but he still didn’t understand so he made us stand there while he called over a colleague who luckily knew about the meet and greet and explained it to him. He apologised, we went to the bathroom and he let us back into the hall with no issues.

This guy was literally just doing his job and I would never dream of making him feel bad for not understanding what we were doing in the hall. This applies to all members of staff – if someone tells you to stop doing something it’s not to kill your good time, it’s probably for your safety so shut up and do what they tell you instead of being a baby about it.

DO take as many pictures and videos as you want

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Controversial topic – taking photos and videos at concerts. We all see that argument of ‘if you wanted to watch through a screen then stay at home, enjoy the moment at the concert’. But here’s the thing, I enjoy taking videos and updating my Instagram story throughout the concert so why the hell shouldn’t I? I’ve paid money to be there and I’ll do whatever I want with my time whilst I’m there.

I don’t really film the whole song anymore or every song, I like to record the first verse and chorus of my favourites and then spend the rest of the song ‘in the moment’ having a good time. But don’t let anyone else tell you how you should be doing it, if you want to record every moment then go for it!

DON’T sell your tickets on for 5x the price

I understand that the temptation is there. I found I couldn’t go to a Lindsey Stirling concert, something I was gutted about, so I had to sell my ticket on getmein. For face value because I’m not an absolute as*hole. There is nothing worse for a fan than desperately wanting to go to a concert only to discover the only tickets left are on sites like getmein for five times the price.

Also by jacking up the price you’re putting a lot of people off so what if you don’t sell out? Now you’re out of pocket AND you’re an as*hole. If you find you can’t go then sell it for face value or maybe like £20 or so extra because to be fair those sites do charge an admin fee. But it should never be more than double the price, it’s honestly ridiculous.

That’s all I can think of for the moment, if you have any more then please feel free to leave a comment!

Best Concerts Ever

Since it’s a new year and all that I’m looking to write new blog posts to add a bit more variety to my blog, hence all the lists you’ll be seeing over the next few weeks while I get a feel for what I like writing. I’ll still be posting my book and horror film reviews but I want to expand on that. So I’ve decided to write a list of my favourite concerts I’ve been to, ever.

10. Tonight Alive

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I’d heard about Tonight Alive but didn’t really bother to listen to them until I saw them support All Time Low at the O2 Academy in London when I decided I should give them a try. I quickly fell in love with them and when they announced a UK tour I convinced my friend we should go. They played at the HMV Institute in Birmingham which is a relatively small venue and they were great. Not the best concert I’ve ever been to but I’m glad I went. I don’t listen to them as much anymore but I still love their songs ‘Lonely Girl’ and ‘Hell and Beck’.

9. The Pretty Reckless

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For a long time I only really knew one song by ‘The Pretty Reckless’ and that was ‘Miss Nothing’, the popular one. Then they supported Fall Out Boy and I suddenly fell in love with them. I bought their album ‘Going to Hell’ and it was one of my favourite albums for a long time so when they came to the UK to promote it I dragged my friend to their concert. They’re so good live and I’m really glad I went, I nearly went again when they came back this year but unfortunately I didn’t have enough money. Next time I’ll definitely be there!

8. Thirty Seconds to Mars

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At the time I said this was the best concert I’d ever been to and it was really good. What I liked was that it was visually good as well as sounding good. To be honest unless I really love a band I get kind of bored watching them if all they’re doing is singing (I’ve seen You Me at Six four times now and was always bored), I like other things to be going on and I got that at Thirty Seconds to Mars. They’re definitely one of the best live bands I’ve seen and I’d recommend going to see them!

7. The Used

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So I saw ‘The Used’ in a tiny little venue so even though me and my friend had only shown up about thirty minutes before the doors opened we managed to squeeze our way to just behind the front row so we had one of the best views ever. If we’d been at the back I don’t think I’d have included them on the list because although they were good, what really made the concert was that my friend wasn’t as big of a fan as me so she didn’t know as many lyrics to as many songs. So whenever she didn’t know a song the lead singer, Bert, kept coming over and pointing at her and shaking his head for not knowing the lyrics. Whenever she knew a song he kept going to the other side of the stage. It was honestly hilarious. She managed to catch his water bottle though, that was brilliant.

6. We Are the In Crowd

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For a long time, ‘We Are the in Crowd’ were my favourite band. I’ve been to see them five times now and every time I’ve met at least one member – which stresses me out because I don’t wanna break the streak if I ever go see them again. My favourite time seeing them was on their first headlining tour when they were promoting ‘Weird Kids’, I saw them at the O2 Academy in Birmingham and you could just tell how genuinely happy they were to be performing. They’re also really good to their fans, my favourite member changes every time I see them because they’re all lovely for different reasons. Unfortunately I think the band are on a break at the moment but you should definitely listen to their album ‘Weird Kids’, it’s so good!

5. All Time Low

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All Time Low are probably the band I’ve seen the most. I’ve seen them six times and I’ve booked to go see them again this year with three of my friends. The first time I saw them was a wild experience. I got permission to skip school and queue all day with two of my friends. Me and one of my friends decided to go and find the bathroom but we got lost and ended up by the tour buses. One of the tour bus doors opened and there was some random guy stood in the doorway. And then Jack Barakat ran past him, completely naked. Then the guy shut the door again.

They’re just a really fun band to see live and I had tons of fun each time I saw them but nothing will ever beat that first time. I was lucky enough to meet them last year (I got to go to the Hustler meet and greet as my friends carer YAY) and they’re all so lovely, especially Jack even though I dropped my phone on the floor when I went to give it to him and seemed to have a stroke ‘cos I couldn’t figure out how to pick it back up or talk to him. But yeah, they’re brilliant live and you should definitely see them if you have the chance to!

4. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

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So a while ago Tumblr kept talking about this song called ‘Pon Pon Pon’ and I decided to give it a listen because so many people were talking about it and I had no idea what on Earth they were on about. I didn’t like it at first but the more I listened to it the more it grew on me so I started listening to more of her songs and soon I fell in love. She announced a tour with a stop in the UK the next year but unfortunately she was going to London on a school night so I couldn’t go.

Then the next year she announced another show in London and I was attending university in London so I could go, YAY! Like I said, I don’t like just watching bands sing I like something visual and that’s definitely Kyary. It was a small venue but it didn’t matter, Kyary was brilliant, her costumes were cute and her dancing was great. Also her English was really sweet, it was definitely one of the most fun concerts I’ve ever been to and you should definitely look her up!

3. BabyMetal

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I feel bad because my friend had been telling me about BabyMetal for years, and saying they were her guilty pleasure and I should give them a listen. To which I kept responding “I’m not listening to a group called BabyMetal.” Then Kerrang tweeted a link to one of their songs and I finally gave it a listen… And really enjoyed it. Sorry Cheyenne, I’ll listen to you in future.

Anyway, they kept announcing dates for their world tour and I was getting so stressed because they weren’t saying anything about the UK but then it finally happened! They announced a show in London then I pestered my friend until she agreed to go with me. And I had the best fucking time.

For those of you who haven’t heard of BabyMetal they’re a Japanese girl group who sing and dance to metal music. Some of their songs are fun, silly and cute but some are really good like ‘Road of Resistance’ and ‘The One’. They’re definitely not to be missed; they’re so good and energetic live. If they come back then I’m getting another ticket and seeing them all over again. Give them a listen; trust me when I say they’re good!

2. 24K

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I’ve been really into K-Pop lately and for the longest time it was just me on my own but luckily two of my best friends got into it as well. Not many K-Pop artists come to Europe, let alone the UK but 24K announced a concert here. I remember complaining to my friend in the cinema “No one’s heard of them, how come they can come here and the really famous groups can’t?” Then my friend turned around and said she’d listened to a couple of their songs, thought they were good and wanted to go see them. So I invited myself along and our third K-Pop friend wanted to come too. Oh My God, I’m so glad we all went.

One of the best nights of my life, 24K were so lit and the vibe was just really good. No one was pushing, shoving or arguing or anything we were all just there to have a good time. And 24K were so fun as well, they got halfway through the concert then invited three fans up to the stage to teach them how to dance and then there was a dancing contest and I just? It was one of the most laidback and fun concerts I’ve ever been to. We’re all considering travelling to Amsterdam to see them again because they were honestly so good! If you haven’t listened to 24K then I recommend going and listening to ‘Bingo’ right now.

1. K-CON PARIS 2016

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The line-up was Shinee, IOI, BTS, Block B, f(x) and FT Island. At the time I wasn’t a massive fan of any of those groups, I’d heard the odd song by a few of them but I wasn’t in love with any of them or anything. But my friend’s bias group is BTS and my other friend loved most of the groups so we decided to go. We managed to get to Paris relatively cheap and had the best holiday there ever.

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The concert itself was the best thing I’ve ever been to in my life, I fell in love with BTS at that concert and just everything was so perfect. Every group was so good and we all had the best time ever. I was sat next to some lady who had to be in her thirties or forties who kept fangirling over Taemin from Shinee, it was amazing. I’m really hoping K-Con Paris 2017 is announced this year, or even better a K-Con London but we’ll have to see. I might weep forever if there isn’t because it was honestly the best concert ever.

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To be honest, this list didn’t make an awful lot of sense but I just wanted to remember the fun times I’ve had! Let me know the best concerts you’ve ever been to!