Busted – Night Driver tour at Bristol O2 Academy

I’ve been to a fair amount of concerts over the past few years. I’ve been to major ones like One Direction at Wembley Arena and I’ve been to smaller ones like Gabrielle Aplin on a local boat venue called Thekla. I’ve been to concerts I’ve loved and I’ve been to concerts that I’ve enjoyed at the time but haven’t remembered for very long afterwards.

Seeing music live is an experience that I love. Even if you already love an album, band or song, seeing it live gives it a completely different feel. There’s so much more energy in it and seeing the band actually play their instruments makes you appreciate it all so much more.

My most recent gig was last Sunday. It saw Busted at the O2 Academy in Bristol and I think it could be one of my most favourite gigs ever. That’s quite a statement for me to make considering some of the ones I’ve been to –  it’s not quite a match with the time I went VIP to a 5SOS concert, but it’s close!

I saw Busted play last year at the NEC Arena in Birmingham, on their Pigs Can Fly tour. I was ecstatic when they reunited and revealed they were making new music and seeing them as the original trio was a moment 8-year-old me will forever be thankful for. Obviously, this bigger concert was great but I didn’t love it as much as this smaller, more local one – even though they played all their old classics back from 2003.


This year, they played a pretty equal mix of some old classics and some new tunes from their album Night Driver, which came out in November. I didn’t fall in love with the new album at the time, and I still didn’t love it even after listening to it a lot in the car. It was always going to be a near impossible task to make music which was as good as their old stuff, but the new music is very different and I found many songs on the album ended up sounding the same after while! But I can say that my mind has been changed after hearing them live – it made them all so much better! They had a whole different effect on me and I loved hearing them and singing along. Now when I listen to the album, I’m taken back to that little gig and I enjoy every song so much more.

The Bristol O2 (and I’m sure many other O2 Academy’s) has much more character than the huge arenas and stadiums and the smaller venue made it a more intimate gig. While their NEC performance last year was incredible and a had a huge production, there’s something I preferred about it being more basic. It’s much better to be be closer to the band and not cramped in with thousands of people, just watching them play on the large screens because you’re too far away from the stage.

On top of all that, the Busted fans I encountered on Sunday were all super nice – whether it was joining in with conversations when queueing up for the gig or letting me in front of them in a chocker-block car park, everyone I spoke to was lovely!

Seeing Busted back together is a childhood dream come true, so to have memories of them playing their old and new songs live is amazing. I also realised how good smaller gigs are so I’ll be making sure I go to more in the future!

// Beth


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