As 2018 is coming to a close, it’s time to reflect on some of the best gigs that took place in the UK this year. Of course, there were so many gigs that were incredible this year it would be a very long list if all of them were mentioned, but here are a few of our highlights:
- 1. Fall Out Boy- ‘Mania Tour’ @ Manchester Arena, 29th March 2018
Fall Out Boy are a band who keep developing themselves with every album they release, working in a variety of genres and incorporating electronic sounds into recent songs (‘Young and Menace’), yet still staying true to their rock roots. ‘Mania’ was released in January 2018, the bands seventh album. Hype for the album started through the release of ‘Young And Menace’ back in April 2017, and the album debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart and UK Rock and Metal Albums chart.
Their ‘Mania Tour’ came to the UK in March, where they played arena’s in Birmingham, Cardiff, London and Manchester. Blessing the audience with a setlist of songs from every era of their career, they produce a show filled with pyrotechnics and visuals to accompany songs that play out behind them. Highlights of their show at Manchester Arena include a piano rendition of ‘Young and Menace’, storming drum solo by Andy Hurley, switching to playing on an elevated stage in the middle of the arena halfway through the show (which saw everyone’s jaw drop to the floor), appearances from their llama mascots and an encore of old-school hit ‘Saturday’.
- 2. Neighbourhood Weekender @ Victoria Park, Warrington, 26th-27th May 2018
2018 was the year in which Neighbourhood Weekender made its debut. After the success of Neighbourhood Festival, it seemed only fitting to create a bigger version that would take place right at the start of the summer festival season. The 26th-27th May 2018 saw huge names such as The Courteeners, Noel Gallagher, Jake Bugg, Blossoms, Miles Kane and The Sherlocks (as well as many, many others) cook up a musical storm in Victoria Park, Warrington. Tickets for this event quickly sold-out, and the sun shone throughout, further enhancing the already amazing vibes. The weekend received incredible reviews, with stand-out sets including Circa Waves, The Magic Gang and Sundara Karma, and upcoming artists such as Sam Fender, The Blinders and Whenyoung becoming people’s ‘ones to watch’ and who will also make their return to Neighbourhood Weekender in 2019. Tickets for the weekend (25th-26th May 2019) are available now, so grab yours whilst you can!
- Neighbourhood Weekender 2018
The Courteeners NBHDWKND 2018
- 3. Sounds of the City @ Castlefield Bowl, Manchester, 27th June-6th July 2018
The brilliant Sounds of the City returned to Castlefield Bowl for another year, once again boasting a line-up other events should be envious of. The Levellers, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, Shed Seven, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Nile Rodgers & Chic and support acts including The Wildhearts, Crazy P and J P Cooper (among many others) played to packed out crowds each night. Castlefield Bowl in the heart of Manchester City Centre has hosted over the years countless sold out shows, being the perfect outside venue for a summer celebration of music. Sound of the City will be back in 2019, with an even more tantalizing line-up featuring The Wombats, Elbow, The National, Kylie Minogue, The Kooks and a show from the spectacular Hacienda Classical which brings some popular club anthems back to life with a classical twist. Tickets for SOTC 2019 are available now too.
- SOTC 2018
Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott SOTC 2018
The Wildhearts SOTC 2018
- 4. Little Mix @ Earlham Park, Norwich, 21st July 2018
In July, Little Mix created a mini festival in Norwich’s Earlham Park, as part of their Summer Hits tour. The Summer Hits tour was the groups fifth tour and their first stadium tour. Playing to a sea of faces young and old on a beautiful summer evening, Little Mix stunned with powerful renditions of their much-loved chart hits, dressed in their own ‘PWR’ clothing tailored especially for their shows. Looked up to as role models from their demographic, they have evolved over the years into fierce, confident young women, sending messages of self-love and equality, all whilst giving flawless performances- which is why their Earlham Park gig (& ‘Summer Hits tour in general) was one of the best of 2018. Little Mix will be performing a run of shows in support of their new album, in 2019. Tickets are available now.
- SOTC 2018
- Little Mix ‘Summer Hits’ Tour 2018
- 5. Christine and the Queens @ Manchester O2 Apollo, November 27th-28th 2018
Héloïse Letissier, known by her stage name Christine and the Queens, reinvented herself this year with the persona of Chris, ahead of her critically acclaimed new album of the same name. Bringing her highly anticipated live show to the UK this November, which saw her do not one, but two sell-out dates at Manchester’s O2 Apollo. Chris gifted the audience with a setlist of songs from her new album, including ‘Girlfriend’, ‘Comme-si’, ‘5 Dollars’ and recent single ‘The Walker’, as well as ones from her debut album ‘Chaleur Humaine’ including the top 20 hit ‘Tilted’. Each song was accompanied by intricate, perfectly executed dance routines that act as storylines for the songs, enabling the show to flow with such beautiful ease and intrigue. It’s no surprise that Chris received a standing ovation from the entire audience. It will be remembered as a very special gig for attendees to any show of her tour.
- 6. Muse Benefit Show For The Princes Trust @ Royal Albert Hall, London, 3rd December 2018
Muse are known globally as one of the best live bands in the world, in terms of production, execution of songs and crowd interaction. Their shows drop jaws from the first few seconds, taking the crowd on a whirlwind extravaganza of stunning visuals and renditions of intricately crafted hits that shake stadiums. Their show at London’s Royal Albert Hall was a more intimate venue than they are used to nowadays, but it was all in aid of a good cause- to raise money for The Princes Trust. Selling out almost as soon as it went on sale, the night raised £500,000 for the charity, which is amazing. Muse blessed the audience with songs off pretty much every album they’ve released, including ‘Showbiz’. Incorporating a head-spinning medley of their heavier hits and finishing the night with the outstanding ‘Starlight’ and ‘Knights of Cydonia’, it was a triumphant night for both Muse and The Princes Trust.
Muse are a must-see band to see live, and have recently announced three UK tour dates for 2019, in London, Manchester and Bristol. Tickets are available now.
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- 7. Kylie Arena Tour @ Various Stadiums, 2018
The Queen of Pop, Kylie Minogue, brought her ‘Golden Tour’ to the UK in September, carrying on the feel-good vibes this long summer gave us. It was a glittering amalgamation of old classics, new tracks and covers of songs by Robbie Williams and Jason Donovan, divided into 6 acts and an encore. Her latest album is infused with country, which was recreated through visuals and line-dancing in her first act. Her tour received high praise and multiple 5-star reviews from critics, further cementing why Kylie is, and will forever will be a pop icon. Kylie will be performing as part of Sounds of the City, which takes place at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester in July 2019. To catch Kylie’s sensational performance, get your tickets now.
- Kylie Minogue ‘Golden’ Tour 2018
8. Country To Country 2018
Country to Country took place at The O2 in London from the 9th-11th March this year, becoming a firm favourite amongst the country music community. Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, Kacey Musgraves and Little Big Town were this year’s headliners and went down an absolute storm, as well as acts such as Delta Rae, Ashley McBryde and Lukas Nelson, who created an immense buzz over the weekend. More than 50,000 people attended the event, and it received amazing reviews from the likes of Rolling Stone Country, Music Week and Entertainment Focus. Following this brilliant reception, Country to Country will return in 2019, with another stellar line-up of the cream of country music’s crop, featuring headline acts Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Chris Stapleton. Tickets for Country to Country 2019 are available now too!