Songs that Remind me of Specific Memories

13680682_10154392656439089_7754389135912694447_n
(Photo cred: Me, Boys Like Girls @ Playstation Theater, NYC 2016)

This post is exactly what it says in the title; nice and simple. Below are 6 songs that hold a great deal of meaning to me, be it places that I’ve travelled to or childhood memories, or ones that remind me of specific people in my life. I could have picked at least 20, but keeping up with my last post, I picked the first 5 that sprung into my head. If you want to hear what my 5 songs are, then keep on reading!

 

  1. DANIEL RUCKER – WAGON WHEEL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvKyBcCDOB4

This upbeat song reminds me of my time working at an American summer camp. I worked out in Rock Hill, New York for the past 2 summers and honestly they were the best times of my life.  The obvious choice! This is one of those songs that always manages to put a smile on my face. I picture the sunshine, the warmth, the smiles on everyone’s faces and just having a general good time. The upbeat melody never fails to get me moving, and the catchy nature of it sticks in your head for weeks. This is a song that without a shadow of a doubt brings up my best memories of camp, and especially driving down the open road in my first summer of 2016. It’s the ultimate road trip song, at home or abroad, and will guarantee to make you break out singing and dancing. It brings me closer to all my friends across the world, and that knowing we all have a home at Iroquois Springs summer camp.

 

  1. BOYS LIKE GIRLS – THUNDER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytLzxl4-mLw

This is one of my all-time favourites songs from one of my all-time favourite bands. This song reminds me of New York again, but for different reasons. I saw Boys Like Girls for the third time in Times Square, NYC, in my first summer at camp. It had been about 6 years since I had last seen them, and my teenage me couldn’t handle the excitement! To top it all off, they played at the Playstation Theatre which is a historic venue! This song is about summer love and finding someone who really made your summer and how you will always remember them. Some of the lyrics in the chorus specifically talk about someone’s voice being ‘the soundtrack of my summer,’ and how no matter what you will always remember the summer you spent with them. As a band in general they have helped me a lot growing up with bullying and constant shaming, but it also reminds me of a time over my summer where love existed in places where I thought it couldn’t anymore. It helped me find happiness, even if it was not meant to last.

 

  1. TINIE TEMPAH – TRAMPOLINE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VOeQZ6Bi7I

This song is more of a silly one, and a type of music that I’m not normally in to. This reminds of my first year studying at Sheffield Hallam University. Meeting your flat mates for the first time and living away from home is scary, but luckily I was blessed to have awesome flat mates. One of my flat mates was convinced that he knew all the lyrics to this song, and whenever it came on he would really try and sing it loud and proud. The rest of us thought it would be a great idea to learn the lyrics too, so we printed them out and pinned them onto our picture wall for us all to learn. Long story short, we never ended up learning any of the lyrics, but whenever I hear this song I think of me and my best friend trying to learn them for a laugh, and miserably failing to do so.

 

  1. JASON DERULO – WHATCHA SAY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBI3lc18k8Q

This one reminds me of a young naïve me. 15-16-year-old me made a lot of mistakes, and really put my trust and time into the wrong people. This song reminds me of heartbreak; of being cheated on by someone that I thought the world of. It reminds me of my ex best friend going behind my back liking this guy who completely broke my heart, yet she was the one holding me when I cried my heart out. I should never have let him hurt me and looking back I shouldn’t have been so harsh on her about what she did. It just reminds me that everyone is not as they appear to be. I gave this guy a second chance a year later, only to be screwed over with again.  I remember him even saying that this song really reminded him of our situation, and that it was one of the biggest mistakes he had made.  The worst part? To this day he has never admitted to cheating on me, and never apologised to my face but instead sent me a pathetic voice mail recording that was so rehearsed it was just…yawn.  It is a song that reminds me that some people just don’t deserve another minute of your time or any second chances, and to not make that mistake again. Apologies can be worthless, and somebody like that trying to come back into your life is a definite no-no.

 

  1. PARAMORE – LAST HOPE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoYu7K6Ywkg

I have always been a huge Paramore fan and will say that their music has taken a creative turn from their normal music. I have so much to say about this song, but I’ll try and keep it short and sweet. This song basically gives me hope; it gave me hope during last summer working at an American summer camp when I was losing hope in everything. I had personal relationship issues going on and was made to feel a lot of guilt, I was so miserable and no matter how many times I had tried talking about it, it ended up making things worse or nothing change. I felt worthless and like nothing; I was in a dark place in myself. I honestly cried every night wondering if things would ever get better. This song acted as a keepsake for me, as a reminder that I am STRONG no matter what. It reminds me that letting go of control is OK and it’s nothing to be scared of, and it’s ABSOLUTELY OK to have hope. Always have hope; that’s my motto here. Whenever anyone tells you to stop dreaming and believing, ignore them. This song honestly kept me going the entire summer and told me that tomorrow is a new day that brings new things, and that things will get better slowly. I owe a lot to Paramore for making this record and I’m going to link the live version because I believe that this version does the song a lot more justice than the recorded one.

 

  1. PAPA ROACH – LAST RESORT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0lSpNtjPM8

Finally, more my kinda music! This song is an absolute classic amongst rockers and is an anthem wherever it comes onto a stereo. I have quite an early childhood memory associated with this song. Every year up to the age of 12, my family and I would drive to France and go on family holidays for a couple of weeks. We would drive to the South coast, get the ferry across to France and drive to our campsite. My brother regularly wanted to put his music on the CD player and when he had his best friend with him, there was no other option but to let him play his music. He was really into his rock music at this time and this was his go-to song. My dad was never too much of a fan of it because of the swearing in it, so as a way around it my brother always used to use the word ‘Donald’ instead of a swear word. I still laugh about it now, and whenever I listen to it I always remember my brother shouting ‘DONALD!’ in the back of our car.

 

So there you have it! Just a few songs that remind me of places I’ve travelled to or of specific memories in my life. Everyone has their own songs to remind them of things; this is what is so great about music! What are your songs? I would love to hear what songs you have that remind you of great memories!

 

Stay beautiful,

Shannon
xoxo

Advertisements

John Mayer ‘The Search for Everything Tour’ – O2 Arena, London, 12th May 2017

So for the people that follow me on social media, you will know how much I love John Mayer.  On Friday 12th May I was in London ready to go and finally see him for the first time, after years and years of waiting.  The word ‘excitement’ didn’t even cover it!  An idol, an inspiration, a song for every emotion and phase in your life; he really is a massive inspiration to me and has had a huge impact on my life.

18423939_10155275685334089_3159277174199939937_n

[Cheesy photo in the tube station at the O2; ended up on the @allontheboard instagram page!]

The gig itself was, of course, incredible.  The stage setting was more extravagant than the one seen on his ‘Where the Light is’ Live DVD tour, but it was more simplistic than many artists today.  An interactive board behind and an interactive floor (which most of the time was rippled water); this was showing a more ‘out-there’ Mayer that people have not seen before.

Playing to a sold out show, the genius himself mixed old and new songs with a generous balance.  Chapter 1 saw the names of all the band members and who the show was ‘starring’, almost like it was the start of a brand new movie at the premiere.  Then the crowd erupted as he broke out into the classic ‘Waiting on the World to Change.’  Slick transitions, smooth solo guitar playing and silky vocals, it was John making his mark on the stage from the word go.  From classics like this, to newer songs like ‘Moving on and Getting Over’, he really set the bar high for what was to follow in the rest of the show.

Chapter 2 slowed down the night going into an acoustic set, with John standing alone on stage.  The Japanese inspired back drop with pink blossom trees and pagodas, and a lone red bridge crossing ‘water’, created a nice touch and simply beautiful.  This part of the set in particular was my favourite, as whilst he played ‘Neon’ and ‘Stop this Train’, the lesser popular songs were echoed around the arena.  Mayer played my favourite song out of his whole discography, ‘Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, 1967’, with such passion and emotion and told the story like it was a novel which reduced me to tears.  The acoustic setting was truly heart-warming and all the emotion was clear to see in John himself.

Chapter 3 saw the pace picked back up, with the John Mayer Trio making an appearance after a short video explaining why they were back.  Although a short section, the blues oozed from the fantastic trio of Mayer, Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino.  From covering Robert Johnson’s ‘Crossroads’, to playing the electric ‘Vultures’, the trio were sharp and on point, and demonstrated why their reformation was the best decision.  The crowd absolutely loved it and Mayer seemed to too, as his endless talent was clearly shown with his prolonged guitar soloing and jamming with a massive smile on his face.

Chapter 4 saw the revival of the full band and backing singers, and the stage was full once again.  Whilst doing a cover of the late Prince song ‘The Beautiful Ones’, this again was another fantastic section in the show.  Playing a mixture of old, new and lesser known songs, Mayer really brought in all his discography into this section.  The crowd went crazy for the well-known heart wrenching ‘Slow Dancing in a Burning Room’, whilst his latest single ‘Still Feel Like Your Man’ was also a favourite, and even saw the music video’s pandas appear on screen.  This section ended with ‘Dear Marie’, which the crowd seemed to adore.  Mayer described that song as ‘the best thing to come out of a terrible album that the label hated’; a bold statement because personally some of my favourite songs are off that album!  It was slow, it was smooth and it was pitch perfect as always.

After being beckoned to return to the stage for more, Mayer reappeared for his encore and epilogue.  The crowd favourite ‘Gravity’ was played to perfection, with the crisp guitar solos echoing around the room and people stood in sheer awe at his playing.  The tour debut song ‘I Will Be Found (Lost at Sea), although lesser known, received a great reception from the crowd with John’s melodic piano playing.  The rippling water effect on the floor gave the impression that he was out at sea, playing to find his way back.  This led into the final song of the night (unfortunately!), the one that he finished with every night on the tour.  ‘You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me’ was a superb finish to the John Mayer experience; it was calm, relaxing and honestly gave you chills.  His vocals were perfect and the piano playing was captivating and it was so simple, with John sitting alone at a white piano with a white backdrop and floor setting.  It was a great final chapter to the show, and as the lights went off you knew the book was now closed for the night.

18471607_10155281949274089_148409932_n

[Photo Credit: Shannon Westwood]

It was hands down the best gig of my life so far, and that’s not me being biased.  The only downside (apart from the fact that the concert finished!) was that ‘Free Fallin’ was never played.  Although it’s a cover, it’s a crowd favourite and I overheard many a conversation when leaving the arena that they were devastated that he did not play it.  However the set list was the best mix of old and new songs, with a few other new covers thrown in and the different genres that John plays in were showcased.  Hands down the best night of my life so far and I still haven’t quite gotten over it!

I know it’s a long gig review, but because it was so important to me I felt I just had to write one!  Comments are welcomed (as I don’t normally do gig reviews, so any advice is appreciated) and I will get writing my next post real soon.

Stay beautiful,

Shannon

Xoxo