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Andrew
Houston, Texas
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Hazy Shade of Winter (Part 1)

February 13, 2014

For the first times in recent memory, school has been cancelled tomorrow due to snow. The University of Richmond NEVER does that. Because classes and activities were cancelled after 6:00 pm today, there was a mad rush to get things done at the post office, bookstore, and Etc. (our convenience store). Heck, there were so many people buying Pop-Tarts and bread and snow shovels that it resembled a one-day-only store closing sale.

To be fair, I did end up walking out with some Hot Fudge Sundae Pop-Tarts.

snow

Anyways, this newfound free time has allowed for me to finally set aside the books and the papers and the films I need to see and read in order to talk about two of the most important events of the semester thus far: Ring Dance 2014, and the Arctic Monkeys concert that was at The National last week. I'll start with the concert and write about Ring Dance in a separate post (they're too different and too significant to lump into one post).

I discovered Arctic Monkeys during my senior year in high school, well after they'd established themselves as England's premier 21st century rock group and the true successors to Oasis in terms of widespread popularity. I'd always wanted to see them perform live, but they were usually performing at big-time festivals or touring in South America whenever I was available. In the meantime, I was able to see Eric Clapton, The Who, Deep Purple, Dave Matthews Band (twice), Pretty Lights, Joan Baez, Ben Folds, and others that I'm currently forgetting.

When The National announced that Arctic Monkeys were going to be coming to their venue in February, I quite literally freaked out. I triple checked the date that tickets would go on sale, made sure to have an Ethernet cord ready (our campus internet is a bit more stable through wired connections), and when the day finally arrived I found myself refreshing the Ticketmaster page in hopes that I'd be the first to snag one. It was a scene that closely resembled the typical UR class registration frenzy.

To make an unnecessarily long story much, much shorter, I purchased my two tickets and silently prayed that none of the band members would injure themselves before the concert. I didn't want anything standing between Alex Turner and me (I don't mean that in a weird way).

Fast-forward to February 4th, 2014, and Bridget and I are standing outside the venue in the bitter cold. As the security guards usher us in, one man slaps an "OVER 21" bracelet on my wrist while another marks an X on Bridget's hand. After a bit of shoving, we were able to stretch our legs within the venue. The National has a floor that gently slopes towards the stage to allow for good views for those in the back, and the floor itself is wooden and bouncy. It felt like someone had turned down the gravity for a little while.

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The opening act was The Orwells, a 21st century punk rock band out of Chicago that sounded a lot like The Strokes. I'd never heard their music before, but I liked them enough to pick up one of their vinyls after the show. I looked up the band later that week and found that they had been pretty controversial on Letterman (although in later interviews, David Letterman said that he really does like them).

a

The Arctic Monkeys came on next. The "problem" with almost all live shows is that the band needs to play a disproportionate amount of new stuff so that they can sell some albums and merchandise, and many concert-goers only want to hear the tracks that were released back in the day. Fortunately, their newest album (titled AM) kicks butt, so the tracks on their newer albums blended well with their older stuff. Here's their set list, in case you were curious (their live version of "505" was chilling):

Set List:

  1. Do I Wanna Know?
  2. Brianstorm
  3. Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair
  4. Snap Out of It
  5. Crying Lightning
  6. Reckless Serenade
  7. Fireside
  8. Knee Socks
  9. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?
  10. Arabella
  11. Dancing Shoes
  12. Evil Twin
  13. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
  14. Pretty Visitors
  15. I Wanna Be Yours
  16. Fluorescent Adolescent
  17. 505 

Encore:

  1. Cornerstone
  2. One for the Road
  3. R U Mine?

All in all, it was one of the best concerts I've ever attended. The band was very enthusiastic and I felt like they were genuinely happy about performing in Richmond (a situation that makes every concert feel so much more awesome). Bridget had a great time, and she even had a chance to meet the guitarist for The Orwells after the show.

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I can now cross off "Attend An Arctic Monkeys Concert" off of my bucket list, although I'm still hoping to see another one in the future.

I’m a former lacrosse player from Houston who has a knack for sarcasm, LOLcats, bragging, and exploring Richmond. I can polish off a novel in an hour, yet spend a day staring at the pictures in a National Geographic Magazine. I’m an American Studies Major and a History Minor, and I'm very involved with the admissions office as a tour guide and, as you can see, a blogger. I applied Fall Early Decision to Richmond because it has a strong focus on undergraduate students, countless opprtunities to find one's academic passion, one of the best campuses I’ve had the pleasure of walking around, and some of the nicest people on the planet.


Why UR?

I applied Fall Early Decision to Richmond because it has a strong focus on undergraduate students, countless oportunities to find one's academic passion, one of the best campuses I’ve had the pleasure of walking around, and some of the nicest people on the planet.