Ed Sheeran Concert Review

“My name is Ed, my job is to entertain you, you’re job is to be entertained. My goal is for you to leave this gig with no voice.” This is how Ed Sheeran, greeted the sold-out O2 arena on his last gig in London. Standing alone on stage with just his acoustic guitar, two microphones, and a loop-pedal system that allowed him to layer his voice and guitar beats, the goal was easily accomplished.

1013787_816123408437758_3925948044556839471_n[1]About 20,000 fans seemed as eager to accomplish the goal Sheeran set. Singing throughout all the songs and screaming in between, it barely gave him the opportunity to speak to the crowd, which he didn’t seem to mind. Dressed in a flannel button-down shirt, jeans and converse it’s not hard to see the same Sheeran who was busking on the street just 5 short years ago.

Sheeran played a 90-minute set drawing songs from his highly successful debut and sophomore album. He kicked off the night with “Mess” before going into fan favorite “Lego House”. You can clearly see the busking influence on the star, but he now he adds hip-hop, and R&B influences on his tracks. Sheeran kept the audience on their toes by mixing in covers with his songs. With his number one hit rumored to be about Ellie Goulding titled “Don’t,” he added Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” and Chris Brown’s “Loyal”. Before playing “Runaway” he added the Backstreet Boys “Everybody” making the concert more than just an Ed Sheeran show.

Sheeran laid-back attitude about playing 4 sold out nights at the O2 is what made the concert so intimate. It certainly helped that he still refuses to have a full band play behind him, and instead creates all the music on his own. There isn’t much of a difference between seeing Sheeran play a 100 person gig or a 20,000 person gig. There was no special gimmicks, just images that changed behind him as the songs changed.  His confidence seemed unnerved yet thankful for the opportunities he experienced.

To pick one highlight of the night would be difficult but anytime Sheeran went into one of his ballads the crowd simmered down and listen to him open up his heart. “Thinking Out Loud”, Sheeran’s newest number one hit unquestionably got the biggest applause at the end of the evening. It was the only time Sheeran played an electric guitar, almost giving a hint to what could be to come in his next album.

Sheeran closed out the night with three of his most popular songs. “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You”, the first of his songs to reach radio, “The A-Team”, which gave him the opportunity to break into the States and finally “Sing” which includes Sheeran’s biggest collaboration, Pharrell. “I don’t want you to stop singing even after I leave the stage” Sheeran shouts leading the crowd through one more round of the chorus before quietly disappearing from the stage. The crowd still sings for a few seconds after before simmering down and ending the night. It’s easy to tell that Sheeran is a unique talent. There is nobody out there doing what Sheeran is doing and because of that Sheeran is on his way to global superstardom.

 

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The 1975 Concert Review

Kicking off the first of two sold-out nights at Alexandria Palace the 1975 has checked another venue off their bucket list. It has been more than a year since they released their self-titled debut album, which went platinum and more than two since they started what became an international tour. The frontman, Matty Healy confirmed that these would be the last tour dates in the UK for a while until their sophomore album is complete, so naturally, they went out with a bang.

10686915_807351012648331_2693821443456072697_n[2]Having to stick with the songs that gave the band their gigantic fan base they now have they kicked off the night with their big bass staple track “The City” before going into hidden classic “Milk”, which is a secret track on their “Sex” EP.  The track list was similar to their past gigs at venues like the Royal Albert Hall and the 02 Brixton. During the pop-funk songs “Settle Down”, “Heart Out”, and “Pressure” the band added a saxophone player, which add a somewhat cheesy but smooth eighties sound to the band’s set.

Despite being one of the four band members, Healy is clearly the leader. He was the only member to speak throughout the night and certainly owned the stage more than his cohorts. Constantly throwing his lanky body around the stage he held the neck of a red wine bottle in one hand and the microphone and cigarette in another.  He oozes the swagger that one expects from a rock star.

A highlight of the night was certainly the middle of the set when the band played two of its only ballad’s, “Me” and “fallingforyou”. Healy kindly requested that the audience “stop watching us through a screen and look me in the eyes.” The entire venue became dark except for the four lit up rectangles, the symbol that the 1975 have become associated with.

10259879_728324283884338_2167838324984624221_n[1]The show had a monochrome theme to it. The stage lights only being white while the band dressed in all black. The color mostly came from the music itself, with the exception of a red light flashing during the hit Sex. The color mostly came from the music, something the band has taken pride in from the beginning.

The show got a “fangirl” twist to it when Healy brought a fan onstage during their tragic love song ballad, “Robbers” which was inspired by the relationship in True Romance.  The fan sat on the edge of the drum stand as Healy kneeled in front of her pouring his heart out, while fans screamed from the floor.

The band played a 90-minute set in total but it was clear the fans could have heard them play for hours. Closing out the night the 1975 proved they are here to stay. Playing their biggest hits “Chocolate” and “Sex” they sent every fan home happy, but craving more.

Michael Bublé Christmas Album Review

It’s hard to believe the Christmas 24112379_700x700min_1[1]season is upon us once again. It’s the time of year when stores have already decked the halls and a small number of artists try to release albums that can compete with the Rat Pack’s classic Christmas repertoire. This year Idina Menzel, known for the song “Let It Go”, Darius Rucker and Earth, Wind, and Fire are all taking a shot at their place in Christmas music history.

 It has been years since the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy David Jr has released the iconic Christmas songs that we grew up. Many artists have tried and failed to come close to the untouchable title that these men and women have but one man has managed to get extremely close to it.

It has only been three years since Michael Bublé released his first Christmas album, and yet it has become a staple in many households around the world. Titled Christmas, the album covers a range of holiday songs, including the old classics and modern hits as well as a couple originals. The album covers the classics like “It’s Beginning to Look A lot like Christmas”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Silent Night”.

While the album is mostly filled with the usual repertoire of Christmas songs, Bublé mixes it up by adding an original, as a way to show that his big band crooner voice, isn’t the only talent he has. He also adds his own personal twist to Mariah Carey’s classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by slowing it down to a piano ballad, making it, in my opinion, better than the original.

A highlight of the album certainly has to be “Ava Maria” and “Feliz Navidad”. Bublé, a Canadian covers both of these songs in their original language, this being Italian and Spanish. While these songs aren’t exactly like “Let It Snow”, they are staples in other cultures and with Bublé covering it shows that he has a global audience he is willing to keep happy.

What makes this album a Christmas classic, is Bublé’s ability to bring back these oldies in a modern way. His voice is certainly similar to previous Standard singers but it is his arrangements that keep these classic songs fresh. If it weren’t for these new arrangements this album would have been easily unforgettable, and have been lost in the crowd of Christmas albums.

If you can’t get enough of Bublé’s holiday songs, there is no need to worry. His fourth annual Christmas special will air on NBC, December 17th at 8pm EST. Filmed at the infamous Radio City Music Hall, it has special guests for all ages including Barbra Streisand, Ariana Grande, Miss Piggy and The Rockettes. And if that isn’t enough, Bublé is featured on the track “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Idina Menzel. This can be found on her newly released Christmas album titled “Holiday Wishes”

Predicting the Music Industry’s Future in 2014

BY ASHLEY BOURQUE

Sometimes industries need to look inside themselves before blaming the problem on consumers.

This past month Advertising Week took place in New York City and more than 10 music industry executives were there to discuss the music business struggles and what the upcoming year has in store for the industry.

Marcie Allen, founder/president of MAC Presents, a sponsorship company for artists predicted that music sponsorship will pay labels and artists more than music streaming sites altogether. Ash Pournouri, Owner & Founder of At Night Management, who manages Avicii, predicts the digital era of streaming music will keep developing.

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Many consumers of music have their own predictions. “Too many people in the industry are focused on the fame and money aspect of it,” Marco Urbani, a sophomore at Salve Regina University and Metallica fan stated.            “The only way the industry can improve is if people start focusing on the music itself.”

According to Urbani, the industry is only going to get worse in the years to come. He believes that technology will continue to make a significant impact on music stating, “all the sounds will be created electronically so there will be no authenticity to the music.”

Sponsorships are key to keeping the industry afloat. Sponsorships are when companies pay artists to promote their product. “It’s already being used today,” Urbani stated. “That’s how so many artists are getting their music videos produced, through these sponsorships.”

Dawn Emsellem, a research and instruction librarian believes that it is the music industry’s own fault that they are struggling in the first place stating, “It has been a long time coming for the industry to fail”. She believes that artists are not being imaginative when it comes to their product and should work on locking down a specific sound and run with it.

According to Emsellem, sponsorships could be the one thing to help the industry, but she doesn’t support it. “Sponsorships are like selling out,” Emsellem said. “From a business perspective, yes, it’s a great idea, but I don’t like to see artists selling out.” Although sponsorships could potentially help the industry, Emsellem doesn’t think the music business will change that much from what it is this year, especially when it comes to dealing with illegally downloaded music.

“It’s the music industry’s fault for not dealing with that issue,” Emsellem said. Emsellem thinks that the industry has seen the piracy of music since the beginning of the millennium and has had plenty of time to address it.

Emsellem explained how multiple bands like Nine Inch Nails release their album on the Internet for free, to gain a following before going out on tour, which is how they earn their money. “When it comes down to it, it’s all about loving music,” Emsellem said. “That’s why it happens. It’s not done in a negative way.”

Caitlyn Wolny, a senior Residence Advisor thinks that the music industry is struggling because of platforms like iTunes where you have the option of buying one song for $1.29 compared to before iTunes existed, you could buy an album for $10.99.

According to Wolny, the industry isn’t going to change in the upcoming year either. “Artists are going to make a hit single then stop, make a hit single than stop, just like so many artists did this year,” Wolny stated. Wolny gave the example of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines “which came out in March and stayed at the top of the Billboard Top 100 Charts for consecutive weeks. Thicke then released another single; “Give It 2 U” in July, which only charted as high as 25 and rarely, got radio play.

Wolny believes it isn’t bad because it helps the song become viral. “Everyone shares it with everyone else and eventually some sort of company picks it up and that’s how the artist can make some money off of that song,” Wolny said.

Annual Study Abroad Fair Returns to Salve

BY: ASHLEY BOURQUE

Salve Regina University hosted its annual Study Abroad Fair this past Wednesday from 3-5pm at Ochre Court, to give their students the opportunity to learn about the benefits of studying abroad and the different programs Salve Regina offers.800px-The_world_flag_2006.svg

Students could go to booths to learn about the different programs or schools abroad that work with Salve Regina.   The booths focus on yearlong, semester-long, and short-term summer or winter programs.

Salve Regina either offers an exchange program with a specific college or offers program sponsors like Academic Programs International (API), which offers countries like Poland, Hungary, and Italy or International Studies Abroad (ISA) which offers more unexpected countries like South Africa, India, and Morocco.

One of the booths featured St. Clare’s University, a liberal arts college in Oxford, England.  St. Clare’s offers Salve Regina students the opportunity to study at their campus over the summer for a short-term program of one month. During this month students would take two, three-credit courses taught by both Salve Regina faculty and St. Clare faculty.

Ines Molinaro, a representative from St. Clare’s said that she felt that studying abroad in the United Kingdom “gives students opportunities to see how different American culture is from British culture” and “allows them to see how others perceive Americans.”

Prospective students could talk to other students who have studied abroad in South Africa, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, and England. Salve Regina did its best to place one studying abroad alumni who had gone abroad at each of the booths to give prospective students the opportunity to not only talk to each programs representative but also a student who has worked with and experienced all that specific program has to offer.

Alessandra Pulit, a senior who studied abroad in Australia, wanted to share her experience of studying abroad that’s why she stepped in to be a representative at the University of the Sunshine Coast. “They couldn’t get the representative for the school, so I offered to step in so I could share the amazing experience I had there.”

The fair had a very high attendance rate with people coming and going throughout the two-hour period. All the booths had numerous interested students coming to talk with them but the short-term study abroad program to study at St. Clare’s, as well as the CIS Abroad booth, which allows students to study in South Africa, had the most traffic.

Students who were not able to attend the fair have the opportunity to go to Salve Regina’s Office of International Programs where they have all the programs listed in their office and hold information sessions at 4pm Monday through Friday.