I have never been to a concert where the band's ‘walk on' was not an ego boosting hit of theirs, but rather a greeting from the lead singer - Matt Berninger; "Hello, how are you doing?". I loved it! Further to that, before getting underway, a lovely introduction was made to Logan Coale who was standing in for Scott Devendorfon bass as Scott was at home with his new baby. Good work/luck Scott. Then, and only then, did they start.
"Don't Swallow The Cap" from their most recent album Trouble Will Find Me kicked us off. We moved from there to "I Should Live In Salt" which is possibly one of my favourite songs of all time. Not saying that the concert was all about me but I was most definitely in my happy place by then. I doubt I was the only one.Vector Arena was packed with a sea of indie heads. The retro kind of indie, originally born from this sort of music. Less the modern, hipster kind that requires a dedication to rare coffee beans and a rehearsed look of aloof disinterest.
As they worked their way through the set, my admiration for the lighting and backdrop graphics grew. The team managed to create the feeling that one was watching a music video throughout. Each song was granted its own unique display that complimented the music beautifully. There were no large screens showcasing the action onstage. We focused instead on the live performance and hence were drawn closer to the band. It made the vast arena feel smaller and more intimate. I would also go so far as to say there were far fewer camera phones in the air interrupting the view then usual.
The whole gig was peppered with little chats to the audience. Another mention to Scott's new baby, a salute to the recently deceased Philip Seymour Hoffman accompanied by their song "Lean", a shout out to his brother Tom's documentary "Mistaken For Strangers", a shout out to Lulac the support band and a very generous mention of our own Lorde and her Grammy success. She was, and I quote, "The best thing about that circus." Kudos kid. That's a pretty good shout out to get.
Hat tipping wasn't reserved for people only. New Zealand featured too. There were threats to abandon the tour and road trip around the South Island in a van. As long as you finish this concert first lads. The rest is at your disposal.
The concert was, unsurprisingly, a promotional tour for their latest album Trouble Will Find Me. Naturally the set was a wonderful display of many of the tracks all much loved by the audience not least "Sea Of Love". However the crowd pleasers came thick and fast as gifts from Boxer, High Violet and Alligator rang out.
My only criticism of the evening would be with any sort of crescendo the sound system struggled. This is by no means a fault of the band or the sound techs but unfortunately a plague of any musician playing Vector. The arena is a librarian wishing us to remain hushed. However this was easily overlooked by the sheer quality of voice and instrumentation. Yes they have been touring for years with much experience behind them but to keep a live performance in such a big stage so true to the recordings is no mean feat.
"Fake Empire" just before the encore had everyone beside themselves so it was hardly surprising that the band was still on stage attempting a dignified walk off when the shouts for an encore started. They fired back with "Humiliation" and then continued with a rousing finish; "Terrible Love" had all in uproar with Matt displaying energy that no man should have at the end of such a performance, Leaping into the crowd, racing up the stands. His return to the stage had all his companions in a line and with arm around shoulder they sang "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks". The whole audience sang too. Gone were the fancy projections and lights. This was a one for all and all for one salute to the end of the night.
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!
Roger Waters is bringing his US + THEM tour to New Zealand this week, performing two shows at Auckland's Spark Arena on Wednesday Jan 24 & Friday Jan 26, before heading to Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium on Tuesday Jan 30.
Central Otago was on song today, when the annual nationwide Summer Concert Tour kicked off in Queenstown with international music artists Colin Hay of Men At Work fame, Alanis Morissette and The Orchestra starring former members of Electric Light Orchestra performing to a 18,000 strong sell-out crowd at the Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert.
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.