So this is Christmas, well actually ‘Christmas in the Vines with Sol3 Mio'. Villa Maria Winery Estate was the location and the 7100 strong crowd were here to revel in the seasonal festivities with glow-sticks, Santa hats and picnic hampers under an unusually clear Auckland sky, a fitting end to the trio's long but successful year touring theatres and arenas both here and overseas.
Make no mistake, the crowd were here for one thing, to hear this phenomenal Samoan trio made up of tenor brothers Pene and Amitai Pati and baritone cousin Moses Mackay. Their growing popularity is hardly surprising, given the burley Polynesian threesome who look like they would be just at home on a league field as they would touring operas' world stage, have impressed audiences near and far with their stirring vocals and trademark humour.
Showtime, the boys clad in their characteristic suit jackets proceeded with a hospitable "Welcome to Mangere" and the Polynesian hit song machine was off. The well-loved Neapolitan songs ‘O Sole Mio' &‘Marechiare' started the night's proceedings, almost a saunter for the trio as they dedicated ‘Mamma' to all the mums in the audience before Amitai was left to his own devices, lunging into the Spanish love song ‘No Pue'.
Sol3 Mio's album was the highest selling Kiwi album of 2014 nudging out our Lorde's Pure Heroine for top spot, it went platinum seven times and was only second overall to Ed Sheeran's X. Not a bad feat for the boys from Mangere and Auckland's North Shore. Sol3mio have done for Opera what 80s Electronica German bands have done for Industrial music, exposing Opera to the masses on a mainstream level, and done it well they have indeed.
The first of the nights special guests, Lexus Song Quest winner Isabella Moore literally blew the roof off with her aria ‘O Mio Babbino' a great new singing talent who will be one to keep an eye out for. Pene returned onstage with Christchurch soprano singer (also girlfriend) Amina Edris for ‘Tornami' before she introduced her next aria, "enjoy every moment of your life sing and dance, because you won't be 20 years old forever". As she scaled the heights of the aria she stopped as the audience clapped musing "I'm not finished yet" smiling to the audience before being joined on stage by Isabella for a rousing rendition of the classic flower duet ‘Lakme' or as Amina nicely put it "the British airways ad" .
The boys returned after a quick hiatus, ‘Amazing Grace' ‘You'll Never Walk Alone' and ‘That's Amore' (that's Amore not a Maori) with the boys on double bass, ukulele and guitar showcasing their musical skills got the crowd in sing-a-long mode, by now dusk had descended upon the winery resembling a glow-worm grotto as glow sticks lit up the cool night sky.
However nothing could compare to the scene that unfolded as Pene Pati proposed to his girlfriend Amina Edris on stage, not only in front of thousands but also with his and her whanau on stage. After serenading her with ‘Dein ist Mein Ganzes Herz' he got down on knee to make his proposal public before Amitai & Moses sung them off with the ironic touch of ‘Beauty & the Beast' musing " We didn't put a mic on her just in case she said no". The night ended in the spirit of Christmas with the boys obliging the crowd with a selection of choice carols, a wonderful end to 2014 and also an exciting night for one special couple.
It's easy to see why Sol3 Mio are one of this country's most popular artists, their warm rapport, spirited songs and natural humour bring a modern touch to Opera, exposing mainstream audiences to a traditional art form they probably wouldn't otherwise listen to.
Sol3 Mio strike a perfect balance of song and humour that transcends all ages and cultures. The best thing was even the weather seemed to enjoy the show.
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.