2017: A Year Of Live Music

Posted: Monday 18 December 2017

The end is nigh. The end of 2017 that is, and WHAT a year it’s been! There have been some incredible moments created within our walls, coming from some of the most amazing, talented and showstopping acts from around the world. From amazing voices, to jaw-dropping production, special guest performances and so much more – here are just some of our favourite live shows from the past 12 months.


Stormzy: 2 - 4 May, O2 Academy Brixton
That’s right, 2017’s King of grime sold out three nights at Brixton earlier this year, which marked a monumental point in his career. On the third night, Ed Sheeran joined him on stage to sing ‘Shape Of You’ and even Adele came down to show her support from the crowd. Growing up in South London, it was truly a special moment to see Stormzy doing what he loves, so close to home. See photos of his performance here.

Parkway Drive: 10 April, O2 Academy Leeds
Pyro, pyro and more pyro. Australian metalcore ragers Parkway Drive really pulled out all the stops for their ‘Unbreakable’ tour back in the spring and it was quite frankly one of the best stage setups we’ve ever seen! See more of it right here.

BBC Radio 6 Music Festival: 24 - 26 March, O2 Academy Glasgow
Over three nights, BBC Radio 6 took over Glasgow for a huge celebration of music, including performances from Goldfrapp, Sparks, Future Islands, Belle and Sebastian and many more. Still mentioned by 6 Music themselves as a highlight of the year, we’ll certainly look back on those shows with very fond memories.

Sean Paul: 21 April, O2 Forum Kentish Town
2017 was the year that Sean Paul was truly on top of his game and his headline performance at O2 Forum Kentish Town reminded us just how many bangers he’s produced! The energy in the room was electric and the crowd had the best time dancing along to all the reggae-pop grooves. He then later returned to London for a show at O2 Academy Brixton, which can simply be summed up by a million fire emojis. Check out photos from his performance here.

Konvict Kartel With Akon: 4 - 5 November, O2 Academy Bristol
Having sold out his first date in Bristol before anywhere else in the country, Akon added a second show due to huge demand! To make things a little extra special the bar served up Akon-themed cocktails, appropriately called ‘Smack That’, ‘Corked Up’ and ‘Girl Make Man-Go’, and they went down so well the show broke all bar sales records for the venue! After his anthem-filled, highly energetic performance, Akon even made the effort to meet all the bar staff after the show and have a photo taken, what a guy!

Lil Peep: 26 September, O2 Academy Islington
This September, we were privileged enough to see Lil Peep play a sold out show in the main room at O2 Academy Islington. His performance was both genuine and raw, his lyrics and stage presence coming together to create a show that laid out his inner thoughts for all his dedicated fans to see and love. The crowd were full of energy and passion and we are privileged to have had such a lovely person grace our stage for one of his last performances. See more from the night here.

The XX: 21 June, O2 Academy Birmingham
Having sold out a record-breaking 7 nights at O2 Academy Brixton earlier in the year, The XX then headed to Birmingham for a pre-Glastonbury show on the hottest day of the year. Cramming their entire festival-sized production onto the stage, it created an incredible atmosphere (and with the heat, it felt like you were watching them on a tropical island!) There was sheer euphoria in the place when they played ‘Loud Places’ from Jamie XX’s In Colour. A phenomenal night in the height of festival season. Get a glimpse of it all right here.

Vulfpeck: 22 September, O2 ABC Glasgow
Pretty sure we’ve only just stopped laughing from this show! Not only a talented funk band, but also a real crowd pleaser and we’re struggling to get ‘Back Pocket’ out of our heads months later because of the sing-a-long on the night. See more of their show here.

Fireball – Fuelling The Fire Tour: 13 October, O2 Academy Leicester
2017 saw the return of the Fireball – Fuelling The Fire Tour, which took over many of our venues in the autumn, and what a line-up it had! Headliners Reel Big Fish are always a blast live and their performance in Leicester was no different, whipping the crowd into a frenzy with their ska-punk anthems. Winners of the local band competition, Last Edition were also a notable highlight of the night and proved that Leicester has some real talent coming through! See photos from many of the bands' sets right here, and check out the interview with Mad Caddies below!

Skunk Anansie: 27 May, O2 Ritz Manchester
Skunk Anansie was a particularly special show for O2 Ritz Manchester. Taking place shortly after the Manchester bombing and as the last night of their UK tour, it was a huge celebration of being alive and defiant. The band even offered to buy everyone a drink at the end of the show, and even though most didn’t take the offer seriously, some lucky people stayed and got a free drink on the balcony, what a treat! You can see photos from the show right here.

Future Islands: 29 April, O2 Academy Liverpool
Having grafted their way up the rock’n’roll ladder, seeing Future Islands headline O2 Academy Liverpool was a triumphant moment. Leighton Baines from Everton Football Club even sent the band the club’s famous blue shirt before the show and frontman Samuel Herring paraded it in style during their set. The crowd’s energy matched Herring’s throughout, as he batted his way through an armoury of his staccato synth pop winners, while the fans danced and smiled their way through the entire performance. Want to see more, head here.

Royal Blood: 18 May, O2 Academy Newcastle
Brighton noise-duo Royal Blood played a handful of O2 venues earlier this year and each of them were special in their own way. Their show at O2 Academy Newcastle was a particular highlight, though. After selling out in minutes, expectations were high and boy did they deliver. It’s hard to believe that two lads alone can create such an immense sound and stage presence, but they totally blew us away. The bass had us rattling right through for days! Take a closer look at their show, here.

While She Sleeps: 8 December, O2 Academy Sheffield
While She Sleeps have had a wild year as a band, with their album You Are We racing into the UK Top 10 and what better way to top off 2017 than with a sold out, hometown show at O2 Academy Sheffield? The atmosphere in the room was electric and it proved how all the hard work has paid off for the band, and it was great for us to be a part of their journey as they rise to the top. See more of what went down right here.

Gary Numan: 6 October, O2 Academy Oxford
After scoring his highest album placing in 20 years with Savage, Gary Numan proved he can still deliver the goods, and then some. Strong visuals and his unmistakable wall of dark, electronic sound grabbed the audience from the off with a set of classics and new material. A triumphant return to form!

Muse: 19 August, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
When you need to practice for a headline performance at one of the world’s biggest festivals, what do you do? Well, if you’re Muse you put on a very special, intimate performance at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in aid of charity. Not only did they hundreds of thousands for The Passage but they worked their way through a setlist chosen by the fans themselves and live streamed the entire thing!

Alt-J: 6 September, O2 Academy Bournemouth
Everyone loves the seaside, but experimental indie band alt-j really love the seaside, so much so that they did an entire tour dedicated to some of the UK’s best beaches. Stopping off at O2 Academy Bournemouth to perform tracks from their Mercury Prize-nominated album Relaxer, the trio created a positively stunning and intimate atmosphere in the room, and hearing earlier hits such as ‘Breezeblocks’ and ‘Matilda’ were a particular highlight. You can see more of their show right here.


When one year passes, another awaits and 2018 is already shaping up to be another unmissable year of live shows. If you want to stay up to date with what's happening near you, subscribe to our newsletter!