Do you remember the excitement of your first ever concert? Weaving your way through the sweaty crowds, singing (actually, make that shrieking!) along until your throat gets hoarse and generally feeling on top of the world?
For so many of us, going to see our favourite rock stars, bands and pop icons is about more than entertainment – it is a way of life! Music plays such an important part in our world that it’s hard to imagine not getting excited about it. Still, that special feeling of the FIRST time is difficult to beat, right? It’s sheer magic.
When the SSE Hydro opened in Glasgow in 2013, local gig-goers knew that a game-changer had just landed. A venue so huge that it could attract major events in music, sports and much more! I’d already seen two of my favourites (Prince – OBVIOUSLY – and Katy Perry) play the Hydro last year (and have seen a ridiculous amount of live shows in general…like I said, it’s kind of a way of life!) so when I was invited along by Clydesdale Bank to see Taylor Swift recently I was pretty sure I knew what I was in for.
That is, until I heard about The Vault.
As well as holding over 12,000 superfans at each event, it turns out that there is also room for a couple more at The Hydro. Four, to be precise – if you and your buddies manage to get access to The Vault!
So, what is this Vault, it sounds like some kind of secret society?!
Well, yes and no! The Vault is an exclusive VIP concert experience that allows you to be part of the most secret society in town for one awesome night. But the beauty of it is, ANYONE is able to win access to it if they hold a ticket to a concert at the SSE Hydro. All you have to do is enter the dedicated prize draw and leave the rest up to lady luck.
I started my evening at The Scullery, a Finnieston favourite and a perfect spot to grab a bite to eat before a concert at The Hydro seeing as it’s only a hop, skip and a jump away! I met up with Ryan, Sarah and Amanda for dinner and we were all giddy with excitement before our drinks order was even taken. Most of us had never seen The Vault before, and couldn’t wait to experience it.
I enjoyed a yummy cashew, strawberry and spinach salad for dinner and then – by the literal definition of ‘happy accident’ – ended up with two desserts! The night was clearly off to a fantastic start and before you could say “it’s all coming up Milhouse”, we were skipping down the road towards the Hydro…
Accessing The Vault is where the real secret society part kicks in. We made our way in to the venue through a separate entrance, managing to avoid any part of the queue – hooray! After slipping on our wristbands we were then led up a private staircase (yes, really!) and past the exclusive Hydro Club Bar. I was half-expecting a secret handshake at this point, but instead, a thick curtain was pulled back and we were seated in The Vault.
With a plush, roomy sofa and enough space to get up and dance, The Vault was the ideal size for a group of four. As well as the comfortable surroundings, we had one heck of a view of the stage!
Before Taylor Swift was due on stage, we made full use of the special butler service and ordered our drinks. Waiting in line at the venue bar and missing the first song or two is always a bummer – but in The Vault we didn’t even need to get up as our order was taken at the touch of a button. I could quickly get used to this kind of thing…
Suddenly, the lights went down and the arena went wild as Taylor Swift came onstage and transported us to the streets of New York with her army of dancers. The show was a lot of fun, filled with lights, dazzling costumes and uplifting messages. And as well as being visually entertaining, Taylor (I’m 99% sure we’ll be on first name terms now, right? Maybe?) sure can belt out a tune!
For me, the real highlight of the setlist was Shake It Off, which was kept as a sparkling finale that had EVERYONE on their feet, shaking off their worries and feeling mighty fine. It’s a song that you just have to dance to, I can’t even keep still if it comes on in a shop.
Being able to experience the show from The Vault really took things to a new level! The VIP access, space and wow factor (I still can’t get over that view) made things feel super special, and I hope that I win the chance to do it all again one day. It can’t transport you back in time to that very first gig, but it CAN recreate that feeling of excitement in a really extraordinary way and make sure you shake it off in style while catching your favourite bands.
Sound good? Find out more about The Vault and enter for a chance to win access here!
With confetti kisses,
Photography credit: photo 2 – copyright Stuart Wallace