Earlier in the year one of my best friends Vivian sent me a message to check out the song Rather Be by UK band Clean Bandit. I remember listening to it for the first time when I was in a hotel room in Germany. I was alone and tired but the song immediately resonated with me and it put me in such a good mood. I really liked the mix of strings with electronic beats and bright vocals. Immediately I checked for concert dates in Amsterdam because I know it would have been cool concert to go to with Viv. But unfortunately when they were going to be touring Amsterdam, Viv was going on a trip through Japan. 

In August I saw that Clean Bandit were touring The Netherlands again and I did not hesitate to buy two tickets, one for myself and one for Viv. I bought it 3 months before the concert and it was hard for me not to tell Viv, because I knew she would be really excited. The concert was just a couple days after her birthday so I told her to "save the date" for a birthday surprise. 

The day finally came and I asked Viv to meet me at the station after work. When we met I told her to buy a train ticket to Utrecht and she was so excited! I just laughed because she had no idea what it was but she was still excited. When we got out of the train and sat down at the station to eat something, I brought out the 'pre-event' gift, which was a Clean Bandit poster that I took when I was in Stockholm. When she opened it, she just stared at me in disbelief because she knew that we would be going to the concert. It was such a cool feeling to make someone to close to me this happy. 

It was our first time in the TivoliVredenburg and it was a rather new venue walking distance from the Utrecht Central Station. The venue itself was big with many floors and halls; very clean but very confusing. All the other concerts in the same venue were signposted and people were lining up wherever in hope they were in the right line. 

The support singer Sumera totally blew us away. We actually hadn't done any research about her, but the moment she started singing, it was with so much power without holding back, I could just feel her passion. The acoustics were great in the TivoliVredenburg and every single lyric she sung was crystal clear. 

Soon enough Clean Bandit came on stage and the first thing I became mesmerised by was the electric cello that Grace Chatto was playing. It's from the brand Ned Steinberger and it was fixed to a stand so she could stand up playing and it also gave her the freedom to dance around and play other instruments (like her drum pad). I was inspired! 

The two singers were so different but side by side with the violinist and cellist together they were just as energetic and positive as each other. It was so nice to see that the band wasn't focused on one lead singer, but all members had equal weighting in the band and they played and moved as one unit. The songs got us all dancing. The crowd was rather young, full of cute girl couples, girls with their dads, groups of students and just very friendly and happy people. When Rather Be came on Viv and I went crazy! This was our jam. It was such a great show and I was so glad to have seen them live with someone who means so much to me. xx

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