Wall of Sound presents: “2018 YEAR IN REVIEW” – by Wall of Sound photographer Renae Egan

It’s that time of year again… Christmas is over and now it’s time to not know what day it is until New Year’s Eve 😂 It’s also the time where I sit down and struggle to remember things from earlier in the year because I have the memory of a goldfish.

I didn’t think I listened to that much new music this year until I started writing this list and I was pleasantly surprised, considering I usually listen to the same old emo jams on a loop at work all day. Here’s a list of things I liked about 2018!

Top 10 Albums of the Year

  1. State Champs – Living Proof
  2. Tonight Alive – Underworld
  3. Real Friends – Composure
  4. Fall Out Boy – MANIA
  5. Stand Atlantic – Skinny Dipping

  1. Panic! At The Disco – Pray for the Wicked
  2. 5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood
  3. Trophy Eyes – The American Dream
  4. Twenty One Pilots – Trench
  5. With Confidence – Love and Loathing


Top 10 Songs of the Year

  1. Real Friends – ‘Get By’
    (Yes this came out last November, but the album was released this year so it counts)
  2. Stand Atlantic – ‘Skinny Dipping’
  3. Fall Out Boy – ‘Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea’
  4. State Champs – ‘Sidelines’
  5. Panic! At The Disco – ‘High Hopes’

  1. Tonight Alive – ‘Just For Now’
  2. Hellions – ‘X (Mwah)’
  3. Trophy Eyes – ‘More Like You’
  4. Tonight Alive – ‘For You’
  5. 5 Seconds of Summer – ‘Babylon’


Top 5 Videos of the Year

  1. Paramore – ‘Rose-Coloured Boy’

  1. Twenty One Pilots – ‘My Blood’

  1. Panic! At The Disco – ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night)’

  1. Fall Out Boy – ‘Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)’

  1. Real Friends – ‘From The Outside’


Top 10 Shows of the Year

  1. Fall Out Boy March 3rd @ Qudos Bank Arena

Fall Out Boy are my favourite band in the entire world so of course their Sydney show tops my list. I still don’t have the words to describe how incredible that show was. The goosebumps that crept up my arms when I heard the ‘Thriller’ intro will stay with me forever. Also being able to photograph them was an actual dream come true so thank you Browny! (Review & Gallery here)


  1. ParamoreFebruary 9th @ Qudos Bank Arena

This show was super special to me because I finally got to take my best friend of 20 years to a show and she LOVED it. That means more to me than any review. The setlist was filled with hits, the stage and light were I N C R E D I B L E and Hayley’s performance and the way she can work a crowd leaves me amazed every single time. (Review Here)

  1. Tonight AliveMay 4th @ The Metro Theatre

Another special show to me. I hadn’t photographed Tonight Alive since 2012 so it was very nice to get to do that again. There’s nothing quite like a hometown show for any band and Sydney Tonight Alive shows are just always so special and nostalgic for everyone in the room. With a little bit of every album in the setlist, everyone was pleased (although there was still no ‘New Heights’…) (Review & Gallery here)

  1. Vans Warped TourJune 24th @ Ventura Fairgrounds, California

Can you believe I waited until the last year of the Vans Warped Tour to attend? Shocking, I know, but oh man I am so glad I made the trip. It was absolutely everything I hoped it would be and more. It was hot, sweaty, I got on the barrier for Simple Plan, kicked in the head by crowd surfers during Real Friends and I still have the dumbest tan lines on my arms 6 months later. With the likes of All Time Low, The Used, Tonight Alive, State Champs and about 50 more bands playing around the country, it’s no wonder attending the Vans Warped Tour was such a rite of passage for American emos. (Gallery of Pomona Warped Tour here)


  1. Panic! At The DiscoOctober 6th @ Qudos Bank Arena

The stage and lights at this show were enough to make it onto this list. Like holy shit it was insane! Brendon Urie is possibly one of the best performers I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live and he never ever disappoints. Playing almost 30 songs including an incredible cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, it was probably one of the most high energy shows I’ve been to in a very long time. (Review & Gallery here)

  1. Neck DeepDecember 1st @ The Metro Theatre

Neck Deep forever. This was the ultimate pop-punk show. With Australian pop-punk lords Stand Atlantic, Between You & Me and Stateside opening the show, the crowd was well pumped by the time Neck Deep hit the stage. I have seen Neck Deep 6 times and this was hands down the best I’ve seen them. (Review & Gallery here)

  1. 5 Seconds of SummerAugust 9th @ Hordern Pavilion

Yeah look, hate all you want, these guys put on one hell of a show. Opening with my favourite track from their new album, Babylon, they smashed out an array of tracks from ‘Youngblood’ with a few hints of their older material, but you can tell they’re definitely trying to break the boyband mould they created for themselves all those years ago and I’m here for it.

  1. Twenty One PilotsDecember 16th @ Qudos Bank Arena

This show was only a few nights ago and it was wild from start to finish. Kicking off their set with Jumpsuit, the opening track from their new album Trench, they literally set a car on fire on stage and that was it for me. That was until their encore where they closed out the show with Trees, just as they always have. I’ll never get over watching them standing on the crowd beating their drums with the confetti flying everywhere and CO2 cannons going off behind them. (Review & Gallery Here)

  1. Good Things FestivalDecember 8th @ Parramatta Park

Ah yes, summer festivals. Despite the horrendous heat and complete lack of shade, Good Things was the best. There’s nothing quite like getting in the pit for your favourite bands, in my case, All Time Low and Tonight Alive and just belting out song after song and ending up with a croaky voice for the next 3 days.

  1. Trophy EyesOctober 12th @ Enmore Theatre

I only jumped on the Trophy Eyes bandwagon recently and I am very cranky with myself for not jumping on sooner. This was one of the most passionate, exciting shows I’ve seen in a while. Opening the set with ‘Lavender Bay’, complete with confetti and CO2 cannons, it definitely set the standard for the rest of the show and they delivered in fine form. (Review & Gallery here)


Favourite Band Discovered in 2018

Well I mean I didn’t “discover” them in 2018, but I certainly became a huge fan of Stand Atlantic in 2018. Bon has the perfect pop punk voice. I’ve literally been listening to ‘Skinny Dipping’ on a loop since the album dropped!


Next Big Band to Watch in 2019

Yeah look, Stand Atlantic are gonna blow up in 2019 and I. Am. Here. For. It.


Most Looking Forward To in 2019

More than anything, I want Real Friends and State Champs tours. But I’m also super keen to travel more, hopefully, score a new day job, all of the sick tours I’m sure are just waiting to be announced and the new BMTH album.

Written by Renae Egan @RenaeEgan 

Chip in a buck or two for the WoS crew!

Want to help Wall of Sound grow and deliver more killer content? Support us by chipping in as little as a dollar to help!