sean.liao.dev

cultural site

SEAN K.H. LIAO

sean.liao.dev

cultural site

hi

I'm sean. This is me, away from all the tech stuff.

shows impressions

Mostly music gigs, occasionally something else to spice things up.

note: dates using the Holocene Calendar

upcoming plans
12023-01-27 Kimbra

A very synthetic(?) show. Lots of effects up to a point where I couldn't quite tell associate the action I saw with the sounds I heard. Also, quite a bit of talk about inner self and reflection, but I guess that's par for the course for album launch events.

12023-01-26 PVRIS

With Maggie Lindemann and Charlotte Sands

One of the shows where I loved every part. Charlotte Sands opened with what felt like boundless energy, I expected nothing less and wasn't disappointed. Maggie Lindemann was in comparison more muted. A softer performance that ramped up as it went on, I think slightly hindered by "not my audience". And PVRIS, I'd been looking forward to this for almost a year. By the second song there was a mosh pit which generally didn't let up until the very end. It felt like every song was a hit, bringing back good memories and making new ones.

12023-01-24 Kings Elliot

With Sophia Alexa

An evening of sad, but not depressing, songs. The show opened with someone quite forgettable. Act II by Sophia Alexa felt refreshingly better, upbeat in contrast with the lyrics, mixing in a hint of country. The headliner, Kings Elliot, brought a much fuller experience. A rich sound that draws in your attention. I don't think there could have been a better end than the final song with strings accompaniment. It rounded off the night so well, like everything before but turned up to 11.

12023-01-17 Sofar Sounds

An impulse decision to go in the middle of a work kickoff week. Last minute reveals of location and artists to try and build an air of mystery? 60 people in a bar, all seated. Michael Bird - singer guitarist: not bad, but not really memorable either. Woodzy - poet: I wasn't expecting a poet for the night, but with puns abound, it was the best part of the night. Ruth Brown - singer: a powerful voice, but I did wonder if the tonal variations were in there just for the sake of it. Also, way too loud with the audio systems turned up.

12022-12-09 Pierce the Veil

With Against the Current

Pierce the Veil was the headliner, and they obviously had a very excited crowd. The performance felt more spectacle than music, with smoke screens, confetti, flying guitars, and general acting out. Something I've noticed with support acts is they usually get the short end of the stick in terms of lighting, and it detracts from the experience a bit. I also felt like Against the Current weren't quite all in for this show...

12022-12-03 Halocene and Halflives

This was fun, and I was jumping around quite a bit for both of these. I witnessed crowdsurfing and playing a song again for the music video. As the final show of the tour, you can see them all letting go and just enjoying it. Halflives' music seemed most aligned to my taste, while Halocene seemed a bit more all over the place.

12022-11-24 UPSAHL

With Lizzie Esau and Eyelar

Someone certainly knows how to leverage a live show to create an experience. Apparently I liked a lot of her songs. The live versions don't aim to be pitch perfect recreations of the studio versions, but emotion filled variants enhanced by the stage presence.

12022-11-15 Nina Nesbitt

With LonelyTwin and Katelyn Tarver

It counts as pop (I think), but it's slower than I expected. Not bad, but not amazing either.

12022-11-10 renforshort

With Valencia Grace

Such an exciting little show. Not sure what I was expecting but this was fun and energetic and actually knew most of the songs. Maybe a bit of it is just standing in with the crowd instead of sitting up somewhere far away, but I loved it either way.

12022-11-06 Frayle

Another small bar / music venue, all the scary looking people outside made me wonder if I had walked down the wrong alley. 2 heavy metal bands, then... witch metal? alchemy? For all 3 bands, many of the songs just felt the same, with no real differentiation.

12022-11-05 The Pretty Reckless

With The Cruel Knives

They were amazing. For once, I felt the music pull its weight, and going to the show is a balance of the music and the experience. The songs were revitalizing and the crowd was hyped for them. I think this is the frequency I'm on, I havent changed much since I found them. O2 Academy, circle front center off right.

12022-11-03 The Rasmus

With Overlaps

It was okay for the night, but a bit bland. The songs sound like they should have energy, but I just wasn't really in tune with them. O2 Forum, balcony center.

12022-09-16 BANKS

With Maeve

The roundhouse, as the name suggests, is round, and gives off circus vibes. This is the second show I've been to where there are 2 backup dancers dancing around, they still feel a bit weird... The lighting felt on point, cementing our focus on Banks. Alternating between high energy and slow (love?) songs, overall a bit of a throwback for me (Gemini Feed).

12022-08-25 Nadeah

A cozy little bar, a little reminiscent of times past. Halfway bwteen acoustic and rock.

12022-07-29 London Grammar

Outdoor festival, and with a song catalogue that's a bit ethereal. Hannah forgetting the lyrics to a song (and feeling bad about it) is fine, the joy she shows when the crowd also forgets the lyrics to another song makes it much more human. Front centre.

12022-07-26 The Seagull

A theatre show, superfically about playwrights, but maybe really about feelings around success (or lack thereof). I went into this blind, having picked the show based on the lead Emilia Clarke. There are no fancy settings, just a box, chairs and actors who never leave the stage.

12022-06-29 Billie Eilish

With girl in red

Seated centre back in an arena full of screaming teenage girls (and their guardians)... The songs flowed well into each other, and even with the high production experience, it didn't feel artificial or detached. With a crowd this size, they could just be an amorphous blob, but it didn't really feel that way, maybe except when she stands to take in the adoration showered onto her. Bonus points for coming out much closer to the crowds in a swinging crane arm.

12022-05-19 Charli XCX

With Yeule

We're into the more mainstream hyperpop territory, and it shows. Polished high production with more focus on the performance and spectacle, less on the music and crowd. Front centre right.

12022-05-15 Fletcher

With Gracey and UPSAHL

In a female domninated (90+%?) audience, I stuck towards the back of the crowd near the sound tech. Fletcher certainly knew who her fans were, addressing the crowd directly.

12022-04-10 Against the Current

With Halflives and Yours Truly

After a pandemic and a move to country with way more events, guess who's back first? Around mid centre in the crowds, the energy is as high as ever.

This time I actually knew the openers: Halflives were very similar to ATC, working up the crowd in a similar fashion (high energy bounces). Yours Truly had a slightly stronger metal lean(?), I think it took a while for people to recognize them from their songs.

12019-12-08 Against the Current

ATC again, this time I got VIP tickets because why not? That got me a 2(?) acoustic performances, a poster, and a photo op. In the crowd, close to front, the energy levels are high.

12019-03-19 Against the Current

One of the first bands I learned to recognize by name, for this show I sat on the upper floot and mostly just enjoyed the music. Chrissy is a bundle of energy bouncing around the front of the stage.