Luckily I checked setlist times prior to arriving at Vector last night as Steve Miller Band were on quite early at 7.00pm followed by Santana at 9.00pm sharp (please return to your seats..... Carlos Santana will be starting in 10 minutes)... Vector Arena seemed to be at pretty much full capacity with seating in the main floor area as well as upstairs.
Ah Steve Miller Band - all those old favourites came out including Abracadabra, Fly Like An Eagle and Jet Airliner. My particular favorites were The Joker (never gets old) and another tune The Window which Steve claimed to have reintroduced to his set after some 30 years of not playing it live. Steve was on form with his guitar playing and he was ably supported by the rest of the band. Special mention goes to the legendary singer/dancer Mr Sonny Charles with his fabulous dance moves - he totally encouraged the audience to fully participate at each step.
And then came Santana. Must say I have not seen that many people together on stage all playing at once for a long time - so much action to take in. Guitars, three drum kits/percussion set-ups (THREE), keyboards, a very enthusiastic bass player and even a horn section. And the man himself Santana. Singers Tony and Andyhandled the tunes between them (and often together) - they have quite different styles of singing but blend together in all the right ways. The band as a whole performed like a close family and totally looked like they were having a load of fun playing together.
Black Magic Woman was an early highlight (and crowd-pleaser) - always great to hear something so classic being played out live right in front of you. Another favourite was Smooth with both singers joining in enthusiastically on this one for Rob Thomas' vocals and the audience reacting accordingly. Further standouts were Maria Maria and Sexy.
Santana spent a fair amount of time doing what he does best - playing that damn guitar and playing it his way. No need to go into any further detail on his talent - it was obvious everyone was there because of him and were totally enjoying every note.
Steve Miller was welcomed back to the set for a few tunes and was given centre stage with Santana moving to the side to let him give it his all - with the boys singing back-up.
So many different styles of music to taken in - and loved the fabulous montage of shots from Woodstock and various other festivals that Santana has played at over their career.
The audience were again in full participation mode especially downstairs - singing/dancing and swaying along to various tunes, despite it being a totally seated event. Even Santana himself was in the swing of things with his own dancing. Oh and we must not forget the fabulous Cindy Blackman Santana (who previously played with Lenny Kravitz for many years). Her drum solo must have lasted at least 10 minutes - the bass player couldn't even keep up with her, and Santana joined in with a little cameo on percussion.
Best line from the night from Santana in the midst of his welcoming speech - "The Fillmore was my alma mater" - indeed. What a humble, inspiring man. And then the white dove flew across the screen and Carlos Santana exited stage right. Thanks Santana for a great performance - I am now a total convert to your music. - see you next time you guys return to our city.
And lastly just a word of warning when attending concerts - if you don't like loud music, probably best not to get a FRONT ROW seat.... I think the guy seated next to me was in the wrong place as he spent the whole of the Steve Miller Band set with his fingers in his ears - really? Funnily enough he was noticeably absent when Santana took to the stage
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.
They immediately sold out Sydney and Melbourne dates earlier this year, and now LCD Soundsystem are returning to Australia and New Zealand for their biggest headline shows ever this summer – touring February 2018!