Fresh from winning the American Music Association artist of the year for the third time, Taylor Swift gave a spectacular concert at the Vector Arena last night. The second leg of the pop star's Redtour, which will see Swift perform 79 shows internationally, opened in Auckland to a sold out crowd of all ages.
Kicking off with State of Grace, also the first song on her Red album the tour supports, Taylor Swift offered up her thoughts on the highs and lows of love, something of a recurring theme for evening. Throwing her black hat into the crowd, she also kicked off a continuing and heartfelt interaction with the audience. Through a series of costume changes and a seemingly never ending series of red outfits and accessories - including a red rhinestoned microphone, red guitar, red shorts and red lipstick, an allegiance also echoed by the crowd who speckled the arena in red clothing - Swift explained her preoccupation with the colour. Red, for this pop star, is the colour that most represents the deepest thoughts, feelings and doubts about love and became the force behind her album and tour.
Speaking often to the audience during the fun filled and uplifting performance, Swift delivered 90 minutes of incredible energy with the polish and confidence of a performer much older. An active and engaging performer, Swift's sets and special effects included a circus theme, flying sparks, music box and dramatic scenarios all wrapped up in a colourful vaudevillian performance, backed up by a dozen or so dancers and large band.
Although it's a slick act, there's something friendly and genuine about Taylor Swift. The crowd love her and she made every effort to relate to and connect with her fans throughout the gig, including a set and striking multi-level staging that let her move through and fly over the audience on a mechanical arm. There was even a small stage at the rear of the arena where Swift moved to during her hit song 22, touching hands and greeting fans along the way while a montage of photos and home videos from childhood to 22 played on the giant screens.
The old favourites You Belong With Me and Sparks Fly had the crowd excitedly on their feet, but most of the new Red album seemed to be well known also. The crowd sang along loudly to Swift's characteristic confessionals such as the banjo inflected Mean, her big hit I Knew You Were Trouble and All Too Well. Her final song of the evening, the catchy chart topper We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, brought the house down. The smarting lyrics and girl next door demeanour of the video gave way to a fantastical, circus tinged performance. Fairies, clowns and stilt-walkers took to the stage while Taylor Swift, their ring leader in a top hat and red sequined tails, dealt out her own particular brand of girl power. As she left the stage to thundering applause from the audience, heart shaped confetti exploded from the ceiling and was excitedly gathered up by fans. A few tickets remain for the final 3rd show on Sunday evening.... after word gets out they won't last long.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The wait is almost over as Auckland City Limits is set to take place this Saturday (March 3rd) at Western Springs Stadium. Included on the bill are one of France’s most famous four-piece band's Phoenix.
“I find inspiration from people who are trying to do something different. There's a lot of producers trying to copy each other, eg Terror Squad. But it’s really cool to hear guys like SumthinSumthin, completely unchallenged in their own lane.” – Graham Matthews
John Butler Trio announce their return to New Zealand in March to play Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre on Saturday 2 March and an afternoon set outdoors at The Hunting Lodge in Waimauku, Auckland on Sunday 3 March.
British rock royalty Arctic Monkeys have ushered in a spectacular new era with their sixth studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and it has now been announced that the band will return to New Zealand for a mammoth arena show in March 2019.
Californian rock legends Jefferson Starship will join TOTO and Dragon on next year’s ‘A Summer’s Day Live’ series, which will take in some of the most picturesque locations and popular concert venues across New Zealand.
In celebration of the highly anticipated November release of their fourth studio album Delta,English folk conquerors Mumford & Sons today announced details of a massive 60 date world tour which will include a very special one day event in Auckland this Summer –their first New Zealand show since 2015!
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed My Design, On Others Lives in April this year, Estère teams up with the poetically tongued NZ/Rwandan MC Raiza Biza, to take on the myth of an infamous figure in cross-continental African folklore, the Tokoloshe.
If Anika Moa was feeling ready to kick back for the remainder of 2018, then things haven’t really run to plan. In fact it’s about to get a whole lot busier for the multi-talented entertainer with a new album release, tv series and live shows all on the way.
Since achieving international recognition from Rollingstone.com and Billboard.com for hit singles Too Strung Up and Stone Cold, and amassing over 3 million Spotify streams for their releases to date, Alae now unveil All Gived Up.
'Call Me', the latest track by Wellington electro-pop singer and producer Josie Moon made last week's New Music Friday playlists from Spotify Australia/NZ and Japan and influential UK blogger Popjustice.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.
Featuring Brouhaha: choreographer Malia Johnston, composer Eden Mulholland, AV designer Rowan Pierce; In Transit: choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant, composer/AV designer Paddy Free; The Geography of an Archipelago: choreographer Stephen Shropshire, composer Chris O’Connor.
The last hurrah of the Comedy Fest! The Season Finale! The bit at the end where the awards are decided, everybody relaxes and much fun is had. It’s the titled Last Laughs on Sunday 20 May at SkyCity Theatre.
The 13th Annual Doc Edge, International Documentary Film Festival opens today - Wednesday 9th May at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema followed by Auckland’s Q Theatre on Wednesday 23rd May, bringing an influx of prestigious directors and documentary subjects from all over the world.