For their second trip to New Zealand, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis pulled out all the stops, fresh from a gig atTSB Bank Arena in Wellington, the duo - along with their full band and dancers - made their way up toAuckland for a one night stand at the Vector Arena. It was a long night filled with tears, laughter and great music, and it will go down as one of the biggest, and brightest nights in Vector Arena's history.
After an hour of what I would consider one of the worst DJ sets I've ever witnessed - highlights included a dubstep remix of Queen's We Will Rock You, and a one minute speed mix of Lorde's Team - Tinie Tempah took to the stage to warm up the crowd. The man took his job seriously, not only warming them up, but wearing a lot of them out. By the time his 45 minute set was over, half the crowd seemed to disappear out the doors to get refreshments. Just him and a DJ, Tinie bought an insane energy and even more crazy noise level to the arena that left everyone there buzzing and ready for more to drown out the ringing in their ears.
After half an hour or so, the crowds long wait was over and the instrumental intro to the show began, as the band - which included a three piece brass section - came on stage the audience's cheers grew louder and louder, until Macklemore finally took to the stage with Ryan Lewis raised behind him. The feedback from the audience was immense and from the beginning the energy levels on and off the stage in the arena were matched.
Throughout the set the audience was taken through a journey by the rapper and producer. Whilst Ryan Lewis stayed mute when it came to stage banter, Macklemore opened up to the audience, inviting them to stay at his house so he could take them to the thrift shop, and even telling them about his battles with drugs and alcohol. The latter resulted in an a capella rendition of one of his most personal songs, just him and a spot light for two minutes. His talent and passion were not showcased any better throughout the night than during that song.
They threw in all their well-known hits, namely: Thrift Shop, Same Love, and Can't Hold Us. For the first and last of these the collaborators were bought on stage to sing their choruses, and dancers would join the stage to bring a full exciting atmosphere to the arena. It became a party, one with smoke machines, confetti cannons and streamers.
The night was split between comedy and personal songs, with three costume changes including one into a Mexican outfit for the radio friendly White Walls and a glittery cape and David-Bowie-in-Labyrinth-esque wig for their older song And We Danced. Macklemore knew how to take the audience where he wanted. He made us laugh, and he could bring us to silence with his stories and more personal songs like Wing$, which was one of the loudest sing-alongs of the night, the entire crowd was entranced and enthralled by the raw emotion the rapper displayed.
Though you could question whether the opening DJ was necessary, as were the half an hour of stories that were put to the audience by Macklemore, it is clear that the rapper is a master of his craft and delivering it to audiences. With the mega producer Ryan Lewis by his side he is unstoppable, managing to create songs that slay the charts together, and performing them together in a way that an audience can sit back and watch with joy, or can get into right in the middle of the mosh-pit.
Though I have never been the biggest fan of their music, tonight certainly turned me into one, I haven't seen many rappers perform at such a high level, and to see one doing that and doing it on their own terms brings out a whole new level of respect in me. They finished the show promising: "we'll be back very soon." And I for one certainly hope they are.
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.