As we approach the end of 2019, we reflected on the most iconic events of the year. From Stormzy’s Glasto set to the My Chemical Romance reunion, its definitely been a special one…
10. Take That Hit 30
2019 marked 30 years of Take That, and they celebrated with a HUGE UK tour and re-imagined greatest hits compilation album Odyssey. The now-three-piece are renowned for their incredible live production and The Greatest Hits Live tour was no different! From motorcycles and a giant orb, to crossing over two stages, they kept the shows as fresh and original as ever. They also had a setlist to match as they played Odyssey in full, featuring special guest appearances from the likes of Lulu, Gerry Marsden and a gospel choir. With a support slot from the one and only Rick Astley, as well as an extra special added date at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium, it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime tour!
Check out them performing ‘Relight My Fire’ with Lulu below! Not bad for 30 years, eh?
9. Alex from Glasto
Picture this: you’re at a festival, on your mate’s shoulders having the time of your life watching one of your favourite artists. They ask for someone to come onstage and perform with them. This is your chance. You’re even wearing a shirt with the song name on it. How could they not pick you?! Everyone around you is point at you. They see you. You’re it.
That’s exactly what happened to 15-year-old Alex Mann when he saw the multi-award-winning rapper Dave play the Other stage at Glastonbury. Rapping the entirety of the 3 minute song with his idol, he quickly started trending on Twitter, now named ‘Alex From Glasto’, was personally congratulated by footballer Thiago Silva (whom the song was named after and whose shirt Alex was wearing), and was instantly offered record deals. Just six weeks later, he released his debut single ‘What Ya Kno Bout That Bro?’, and has probably had the best debut live performance ever.
8. Foals Reach Number 1
This year, Foals have revealed their most ambitious project to date. This came in the form of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 and Part 2 in March and October. While Part 1 garnered their third Mercury Music Prize nomination, and a ‘Best Album’ award at the 2019 Q Awards., Part 2 is their first ever number one album! Spanning seven months, the Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost project has seen Foals drop almost 80 minutes of music across 20 tracks and has instigated the most successful era of their career so far, receiving stunning reviews across the board. NME rated it 5/5, commenting “Add it all up and the Everything Not Lost era is testament to all that Foals are capable of – in sound, in scope and in greatness.”
7. slowthai vs Boris
On 19th September, Northampton rapper slowthai stated he was “holding a mirror up to this country” when he brandished a fake Boris Johnson head during her performance at The Hyundai Mercury Awards Ceremony. He sparked incredible controversy as he stated “F**k Boris” before jumping straight in to ‘Doorman’, taken from his nominated album Nothing Great About Britain. Dropping lyrics such as “I’m not a mop you can drag across the floor” while wearing a “F**k Boris” t-shirt, the performance was met with applause but was also berated by many. Either way, you definitely can’t deny his set featured the most imaginative prop of the evening…
6. Spice Girls Reunion Hits High
Last November, Emma Bunton, Mel B, Melanie C and Geri Halliwell announced they’d be returning for a huge stadium tour, two decades after the Spice Girls revolutionised 90s pop and six years since their last live performance at the London Olympics Closing Ceremony. The four spices took on 13 dates across the UK and Ireland in May and June, with extra dates added due to demand, making the overall combined attendance around 700,000. Their three nights and London’s Wembley Stadium became the highest grossing gigs of 2019, and the venue’s highest grossing engagement of 2019 and fourth-highest in its history!
5. Taylor Swift: Artist of the Decade
She started the decade with only two albums, both dowsed in country pop. Now, she’s a multi-award winning, Platinum-certified pop star with six number one albums, and has been named 2019’s most influential person on Twitter. Due to Taylor Swift‘s constant successes, she was named Artist of The Decade at the American Music Awards, and also took home the trophies for Artist of the Year, Favourite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favourite Adult Contemporary Artist, Favourite Music Video and Favourite Pop/Rock Album that same night. This took her total AMA wins to 29, which surpassed Michael Jackson’s record! Considering how often she’s been the focal point of media and fellow-celeb drama, yet has continued to rise above the scorn, who else could be more deserving?
4. The Rise of Billie Eilish
Having just celebrated her 18th birthday, Billie Eilish has spent 2019 breaking records. In March, she released her debut rogue pop album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? to immense critical acclaim. Following its release, she was named The Guardian’s Artist of 2019, the youngest artist to be nominated for all four of the biggest GRAMMY categories, and the youngest female artist to reach number one. The latter saw her feature in the Guinness Book of World Records, where she also won Most Simultaneous US Hot 100 Entries By A Female. Meanwhile, the album itself was the most streamed record of 2019, rated 5/5 by NME, and Pitchfork commented “[it] lives in a world of its own: gothic, bass-heavy, at turns daring and quite beautiful.”
3. My Chemical Romance Return
The future is bulletproof. The aftermath is secondary. It’s time to do it now and do it loud. Killjoys, make some noise. My Chem are back.
It’s been a dark 6 years for emos worldwide. On 22nd March 2013, the New Jersey four-piece announced in a lengthy statement: “My Chemical Romance had ended”. Now TONIGHT (20th December 2019), they’re performing their very first reunion show in Los Angeles! Fans have been begging them for years to reform, despite each member taking on their own projects, be it The Umbrella Academy or Frank Iero and the Future Violents to name a few. On 31st October, this became a reality as they created an Instagram account and posted a black and white image captioned “Like Phantoms Forever… Tickets on Sale Friday ” Since then, they’ve announced headline sets at Download Australia and Japan, with fans across the world waiting to see what 2020 will bring…
2. Taking Glastonbury By Storm
Stormzy made history this summer with his iconic headline performance at Glastonbury. Not only was he the first black British solo artist to take on the prestigious slot, as well as the second youngest after David Bowie, but the media also noted how unexpected it was considering he’d only released one album to date. Wearing a Union Jack stab-proof vest designed by none other than Banksy, he performed a grand setlist including the likes of hit singles ‘Big For Your Boots’, Shut Up’ and ‘Funky Friday’, the latter which featured fellow London rap stars Dave and Fredo. Despite later revealing that he had technical issues that caused him to cry as soon as he left the stage, it appeared to be a flawless set, with no one but the man himself knowing that his in-ear monitors had broken just 20 minutes in. That alone goes to show exactly why he was deserving of the headline slot.
1. The Year of ‘Old Town Road’
From TikTok to Glastonbury mainstage, Lil Nas X has won 2019. After purchasing the beat online for $30 and recording the full song in less than an hour at a local studio for another $20, he’s seen ‘Old Town Road’ go Diamond and break the record for longest-running #1 song in history at 19 weeks. He spent months teasing the track on TikTok as he featured it in his short skits. By also taking advantage of the #Yeehaw Challenge which started on the platform, the song became the soundtrack to thousands of memes before it was even released. Blurring the lines between country and trap, it’s excelled within both genre’s fanbases, and has had many remixes featuring various artists such as Billy Ray Cyrus, Mason Ramsey, Young Thug and BTS. Having managed all this by himself, Lil Nas X’s success just goes to show how complex the music industry is in 2019, and has opened up a brand new door for future independent artists with $50 and a social media account.
From all us at Gigs and Tours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and we’ll see you in 2020 for more unmissable shows!