By Dani Lauren
These past two weeks were a whirlwind. My mom came to visit me for my 20th birthday, I went to my first concert at London’s Scala, and went to see Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Even though I’m still recovering from the exhaustion, I’d say it was a pretty amazing couple of days.
Two weeks ago, my coworker told me he had an extra ticket to Lights’ concert at Scala and he invited me along with him. I had never really listened to Lights but I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to see a live concert. We left promptly at six o’clock after work ended and headed over to Kings Cross Station area, where the venue was located. Already there was a line forming out the door so we joined in on the other freezing fans waiting to be let in. It just so happened to be the coldest day of winter so far so the wait wasn’t pleasant, but once we entered the doors it warmed up a bit. By the time we got to the stage, the show was just about to start. The venue itself was standing room only, but it created a nice, intimate concert experience that I wasn’t really used to back in the states. Scala is on the smaller side too, so that definitely added to the atmosphere. The opener for Lights was an artist named K Flay, who I hadn’t listened to before either. It was just a drummer, a computer, and the singer, and I have to say I was very impressed by the energy that filled the room with such a small ensemble. Her music was unique too, so she was interesting to watch. When it was time for Lights to come on, the room was so packed that my friend and I decided to move up to the balcony area to see her set. When she came onstage the crowd went wild, and I could tell that I was definitely the only non-super fan in the room. Even though I hadn’t listened to her music before, I had a great time watching her perform. Her voice was incredible and her music was catchy and fun. I think it says a lot about an artist if you can really enjoy a set while standing up the whole time without having heard of them before.
When my mom came to visit me for my birthday weekend, I had booked tickets to see Phantom of the Opera. If you ever have to decide which show to see, in London or anywhere else, I would pick this one over any of them. The music just haunts your soul and the storyline puts you at the edge of your seat the whole time. I can’t believe of all the Broadway shows I’ve seen in New York City that I hadn’t made it to Phantom before. The voices were incredible and our seats were right under the famous chandelier (if you know the plot that’s a pretty great spot to sit). Other highlights of the birthday weekend included Afternoon Tea at Fortnum and Mason (another must for special occasions in London…or just when you feel like having fancy scones with clotted cream), shopping at Selfridges, another trip to Borough Market, and almost accidentally crashing the BAFTA’s red carpet on the way to dinner.
I recently met a friend who plays piano. He had a keyboard in his dorm room so we played and sang together a bit last night. I’m starting to think about actually playing some gigs here! Who knows, maybe I’ll even have some recording sessions lined up soon.
If you want to follow my adventures in London I will be posting here on Musicovation every other Friday! I will be talking about the London music scene as well as life as a member of the Synchronization department of an innovative music company.