Seeing live music is undoubtedly my favorite thing on this planet. Concerts are my favorite activity, along with dressing up for the show, being with friends, and being able to see my favorite performers. I have certainly been to my fair share of shows this year and here are my favorites ranked!
10. Weyes Blood (2.25.23 @ Cats cradle)
This concert was at the Cats Cradle in Carrboro, NC, which is one of my favorite venues. Weyes Blood has notably collaborated with artist Lana Del Rey, so I was extremely excited to see her perform on her own. My favorite song she performed was “Andromeda” and her performance sounded almost identical to the studio version. The reason this show is last on my ranking is simply because I usually like concerts that are more upbeat!
9. Jaden Hossler (4.1.23 @ The Ritz Raleigh)
Deciding to see Jaden Hossler was a very last-minute decision. I am really glad I went because his set was really fun and punk-rock-inspired. I was not familiar with a lot of his music before this show, but knew a few songs from Tik Tok. My favorite of the night was “Angels and Demons” as well as his cover of the Weeknd’s popular song, “The Hills.” His vocals reminded me of a young Justin Bieber but with a rock edge to it!
8. The driver era (4.22.23 @ NC State university)
Every spring, NC State hosts its annual “Wolfstock” festival and invites an alternative/indie artist to headline. Tickets are free of charge for students and is a great opportunity for students to experience live music. I was not familiar with any songs from “The Driver Era” but I am a big fan of Ross Lynch who is the lead singer. They performed a song from “Teen Beach Movie 2” called “On My Own” which was one of my favorites growing up. I enjoyed being able to listen to new music and expand my music taste!
7. Travis scott (10.13.23 @ PNC Arena)
Travis was the first rap concert I had ever attended so I did not know what to expect. His physical set was the best I have ever seen before. It took up the entire floor and even had tunnels that fans could run through in order to follow him around the stage. There was never a dull second at this concert as he performed all of his classics and new songs from his album “Utopia.” My favorite song of the night was “Nightcrawler” because it was his first time performing it since 2015. This song has been a long time favorite of mine and it was so amazing that I was there to see its resurgence.
6. Carrie underwood (6.6.23 @ Grand ole opry)
Seeing Carrie Underwood was one of the coolest experiences of 2023. She performed an intimate show at Nashville’s most famous venue, “The Grand Ole Opry” where some of the biggest country artists perform. During the show, she announced the deluxe version of her album “Denim and Rhinestones” and even performed these never heard before tracks. My favorite of the evening was “Out Of That Truck” because of the beat and her witty songwriting.
5. Lana del rey (9.29.23 @ pnc pavillion)
Lana’s tour was simply iconic. From her being dragged off stage by a sheet, to her classic “Americana” themed visuals, I enjoyed every bit of it. She performed a lot of her radio hits but also performed some fan favorites. My favorite song she did was “Bartender” because “Norman Fucking Rockwell!” is my favorite album by her. I wish she performed some more songs off of her album “Lust for Life” as well as a song from “Honeymoon” because she mainly focussed on her new album as well as “Born to Die.”
4. Tate mcrae (9.23.23 @ music marathon works)
Tate’s “Are We Flying?” tour was for her debut album “i used to think i could fly.” Tate has unquestionably showcased her artistry just through her singular album. This tour had amazing visuals and of course, demonstrated Tate’s astounding dancing and singing. My favorite song she performed was “go away” which is a standout track from this album.
3. Sabrina carpenter (5.16.23 @ the ritz raleigh)
As a newer Sabrina Carpenter fan, I was thrilled to see what she brought to the concert scene. Sabrina was high energy the entire show and showcased her impressive vocals. Her show was at a smaller venue, but she still had an entire set design which I had never seen at that venue before. After seeing her live, it’s safe to say that I think Sabrina will continue to grow in popularity and solidify herself as a “pop girlie.” My favorite song she performed on the “emails i can’t send tour” was “Tornado Warnings.”
2. Sza (9.24.23 @ Bridgestone arena)
SZA’s first studio album, “CTRL” has been my favorite album since its release in 2017. Attending her show felt so special because I had anticipated seeing her live for many years and was finally able to go. Her set and costume changes were extremely impressive as well as the variety of songs on the setlist. I knew going into this show that I would be amazed by SZA’s talent, and I left the show with even more adoration for her. My favorite song she performed that night was “Garden (Say It Like Dat)”
1. Taylor swift (4.29.23 @ mercedes-benz stadium)
Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” has doubtlessly taken the world by storm. As soon as Taylor announced this tour, I immediately signed up for the presale, hoping to be one of the lucky fans to receive a code. Thankfully, my friends and I all received codes and were able to secure floor seats! This experience was truly like no other concert I have ever attended. From the fans trading friendship bracelets to the openers and Taylor herself, no other show will ever compare. My surprise songs were “Gorgeous” and “High Infidelity” and “Gorgeous” was her first surprise song she performed from “Reputation” on the Eras Tour.
In 2024, I plan on seeing Olivia Rodrigo, Madison Beer, and Taylor Swift. I have had an amazing year seeing these talented artists and cannot wait for more to come!