The giggly neon explosion of Katy Perry fans had taken hold of the streets of Auckland long before reaching the doors to the Vector Arena. Excitement breeds more excitement and rickshaw bicycles blasting her tunes and masses of blue wigged Tweens present obstacles to returning my date (my 6 year old niece) back to her parents in one piece.
Tove Lo from Sweden is the warm up and ticks all the pop boxes... Gorgeous, manufactured, talented and comes up overall decidedly average. The graphics, back up drummers and light show just save it for me.
There is a huge wait for Katy Perry to come on stage during which my niece crawls onto my lap and falls asleep. The Mexican waves, screaming and city of flashing Katy cat ears apparently being not enough stimulation for the younger audiences.
After 40 minutes black floods the arena and mohawked glow stick warriors emerge from the ground, side of stage and fly from ceiling. Katy Perry emerges from a myriad of co2 blasts in front of a pyramid, which drops away for the grand reveal. She's squiggled with glow wire undulating through every colour of the spectrum. I try to wake up my niece to hear her favourite song 'Roar'. The geometric animal graphics are beautiful and intricate. The lighting and synchronisation of the performers is truly world class.
The stage set up is cool, a massive "V" shaped catwalk segregating rich children and competition winners into the middle. The thin end of the "V" has been widened to create a mini stage in the centre of the arena, which is put to great use later in the show for the sentimental songs.
Katy is on form and her pitch is incredible for all the running around she is doing, a concert like this is a pretty incredible feat of endurance and she does a good job at keeping the energy high. I can't help but think of the moment in her movie where she is crying behind stage right up until the moment she goes on and find myself pondering throughout the concert what really lies behind the colorful charade.
Back to the show now and hydraulic revolving platforms and various structures transform the stage into a pop playground. Katy starts cheerleader-with-tourettes-like motivational speeches the 3rd song in, and are frequent throughout the show both in the middle of and in between songs.
'Supernatural Alien' is worth a mention with two acrobats on a suspended on a twisting turning diamond structure Cirque du Solei style and finishing with Katy being hoisted into the air underneath it by the belt, singing away while arched backward and spinning pretty damn fast.
We then went back in time to Egypt, which happened to have hot gladiator back up dancers, picking the ladies up and frequently making sure Katy's skirt was hitched up high enough.
'I Kissed A Girl' was pretty funny... The back up dancers had mummy (as in bandages and undead) fat suits on, that were only fat in the bum and boobs. Two guitar players flew around the stage and I couldn't help but wonder how they got to this concept... Well we've done it all with this damn song and we're so sick of it, this is what's happening now ok team?
Next up was the tap dancing kitties complete with to scale scratch mansions as stage dressing during 'Hot n Cold'. Costumes were completely over the top, cheesy and awesome. Katy's bright pink cat suit with plunging neckline to her navel was my niece's favourite outfit. Mine was the dancing can of sardines next to her, with a close second being the mouse that threw huge chunks of cheese to fend off the other cats.
There we're many musical interlude tributes to other musicians including Madonna and Snoop Doggthroughout the show. Katy really knows how to take people on a journey. Many of the transitions between songs we're filled in clever ways, with story, light and graphic. The hyped up beginning and main body of the show ebbing away to a lullaby for 'By The Grace Of God'.
A 2-hour extravaganza was too much for my tiny companion so we headed home just before the finale. Unfortunately we weren't able to make use of our 3d Katy Perry glasses, which I waited 30mins in the merchandise line to receive... I assume it was for an unforgettable psychedelic light and colour uppercut to the frontal lobe. But we had had our fill of overblown candy coated pop for the evening and went home to have our dreams filled with the extraordinary world that is Katy Perry.
Katy Perry is also playing the Vector Arena tonight for another sold out performance!
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.