Let the anticipation begin!

SPU students reflect on 2022 concert experiences, preparing for new year excitement

Isabella Tranello, Features Editor

After an almost two-year lack of live musical performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 was marked by the reemergence of concerts in many people’s social lives. For many Seattle Pacific University students, their desires to get back into the Seattle venues were intense, which led them to attend multiple shows during the year. However, for some, making an appearance at a limited number of venues was enough to satisfy them. 

Fourth year business administration major Victoria Thornton was one student who took full advantage of the abundance of concerts. During 2022, Thornton attended 10 concerts, which included seeing Harry Styles four times. 

“I would say my favorite concert of 2022 was seeing Harry Styles from the third row of the pit at the final show in Los Angeles in November. Being so close to Harry and the whole process of being in the pit was exhilarating,’ Thornton said. “Plus, Harry sang “Medicine”, which is an unreleased song, as well as singing a duet with the opener, Ben Harper. That didn’t happen at other shows.” 

Although Thornton’s favorite concert was seeing Harry Styles, she had many great memories from the numerous shows she attended. 

“Luke Hemmings and Michael Clifford from 5 Seconds of Summer both waved at me at the show in Seattle last June. I was in disbelief because I’ve loved 5SOS since I was 13 years old and that moment was just surreal,” Thornton said. “As far as the show goes, the setlist was the perfect mix of their different eras, and watching them perform was so entertaining. I had the time of my life.” 

Along with those special moments, Thornton also has very fond memories of meeting the band the Wallows and taking a picture with Louis Tomlinson following their respective performances. 

For the 2023 concert season, Thornton only has two solid plans for who she is going to see. They include seeing Louis Tomlison for the second time and attending Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated “Eras Tour.” 

“Louis recently released his second album, “Faith in the Future”, and wow, it is so good. I’m excited to hear these songs live,” Thornton said. “When I saw him in 2022, I had only listened to his first album 24 hours before the concert because a friend and I got tickets on a whim. This time around I’ll know the lyrics a lot better!” 

Thornton is no stranger to high-profile performers and expects that Taylor Swift’s performance in Seattle on July 22 at Lumen Field will be worth the stressful hours it took to purchase the tickets. 

“I’m also seeing Taylor Swift in Seattle this July. I think Taylor is the artist of our generation, an incredible songwriter, and an impressive performer. I’m excited about this show and think it’ll be a fun time, even from my seat in the nosebleeds,” Thornton said. 

Unlike Thornton’s stacked concert schedule in 2022, third year applied biology major Abby Dean attended only one show when she saw Hippo Campus for the first time with a group of friends. 

“It was such a fun show. They had the best colored lighting to match the songs and everyone there had a great time. They also had an awesome opener named Ginger Root who we had never heard of before,” Dean said. “My favorite memory of the concert was going with friends from SPU because it was my first concert while in college. COVID-19 wrecked our plans for other concerts in my freshman year.” 

Even though Dean did not get the opportunity to attend as many shows as she may have wanted to in the past three years, she hopes to expand her attendance in 2023. Dean will also be attending the Taylor Swift concert as well as Noah Kahan. 

“Taylor Swift and Noah Kahan are my top two favorite artists. I also have plans to get tickets for a country concert, maybe Zach Bryan, and I also might go see Sabrina Carpenter. As I’m sure other college students would say, it depends on the ticket prices,” Dean said. 

No matter how many concerts SPU students see in 2023, whether it is as low as one or as high as 20, the experiences and memories they gain from these performances are unforgettable. They can fulfill lifelong wishes and even remind a person of childhood dreams of meeting their favorite artists. The anticipation for 2023 concerts is slowly building and will soon explode as the year’s biggest artists prepare to take center stage. 

“I’m most excited to see Taylor Swift because I’ve been a fan of hers since kindergarten and have never seen her in concert. So, I’ve basically waited around 15 years to see her play,” Dean said. “I can’t wait to yell “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” at the top of my lungs. It’s special because it’s one of her favorite songs that she’s ever written and now we have the ten-minute version which makes it even better.”