Taking the stage quietly and alone to a single guitar note, Bruce Springsteen opened his Auckland leg of theHigh Hopes tour with a spine tingling acoustic version of Lorde's hit Royals. It's really something to win aGrammy, but to have Springsteen cover your song in your hometown is quite another. Before he came onstage the excited crowd were trading suggestions of which local act The Boss might choose to cover. The Australian leg of the tour had seen some surprising choices, thoughtfully covered versions of INXS, AC/DCand even a bit of Bee Gees were served up to appreciative crowds. In Springsteen's hands Royals became something new - the already authentic and vulnerable lyrics held their own but gained from the experience and wisdom of a man who understands what it means to struggle with the culture around you. The Mt Smartcrowd was captivated.....
My Love Will Not Let You Down from the Tracks album was next, closely followed by Badlands, the band ripping through Springsteen's classic grass roots rock tracks with something to say and a hook that won't leave you alone. Early works Out in the Street and Loose Ends came next, Springsteen grabbing a sign from the crowd requesting the song and holding it up before launching into the number. Backed up by the extensive E Street Band he delivered three hours of a performance that was hugely energetic and engaging. Accompanied by great visuals from a well-cut and thoughtfully curated live vision mix the performance was polished but still organic and playful. Watching him interact and connect with the band on stage, including long time friend E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt - a fabulous smaller and more menacing Dot Com predecessor - was a treat. There was an incredible amount of talent on the stage, all musicians at the top of their game collaborating as something of a rock orchestra and occasionally lining up at the front of the stage. The line up was joined by guest Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine offering a ferocious and historic guitar solo on Springsteen's track The Ghost of Tom Joad later on.
It's been over a decade since Bruce Springsteen was last in New Zealand and the animated atmosphere gave the impression like fans had felt every moment. A few tracks from the recent Wrecking Ball album were enthusiastically received, and then as Atlantic City recalibrated its pace and flowed into The River the crowd really got excited. An hour in Springsteen offered the crowd the Born in the USA album "from top to bottom" which had everyone up on their feet, singing along to hit after hit from the mid 80s blockbuster album. Often when you get someone with such an extensive back catalogue as Bruce Springsteen they throw you a bone with an old classic every now and again, but this was really an incredibly generous performance. Other acts often pay lip service to earlier hits they're not really capable of pulling off any more, but Springsteen was right there, drilling down the title track along with others like Cover Me and I'm On Fire with the same erotic intensity and conviction as ever. Throughout old and much loved songs were played with a joy and exuberance that suggested they're as meaningful to him as they are to his fans. Old hits were given fresh energy and Springsteen showed that he's still a force to be reckoned with in music, and a stone cold fox to boot.
Some three hours after he started Springsteen dedicated the last song of his encore to the Auckland City Mission and the work they do. An ethereal and tender acoustic version of Thunder Road saw him on the stage alone with only guitar and harmonica, exactly as he'd started the evening's performance. Slowing things down he really took his time to reveal hidden layers within the well-known lyrics of the song. If you like Bruce Springsteen there's absolutely no doubt you'll LOVE him live. There are a few tickets left for tonight's performance - grab them while you can.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The wait is almost over as Auckland City Limits is set to take place this Saturday (March 3rd) at Western Springs Stadium. Included on the bill are one of France’s most famous four-piece band's Phoenix.
“I find inspiration from people who are trying to do something different. There's a lot of producers trying to copy each other, eg Terror Squad. But it’s really cool to hear guys like SumthinSumthin, completely unchallenged in their own lane.” – Graham Matthews
John Butler Trio announce their return to New Zealand in March to play Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre on Saturday 2 March and an afternoon set outdoors at The Hunting Lodge in Waimauku, Auckland on Sunday 3 March.
British rock royalty Arctic Monkeys have ushered in a spectacular new era with their sixth studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and it has now been announced that the band will return to New Zealand for a mammoth arena show in March 2019.
Californian rock legends Jefferson Starship will join TOTO and Dragon on next year’s ‘A Summer’s Day Live’ series, which will take in some of the most picturesque locations and popular concert venues across New Zealand.
In celebration of the highly anticipated November release of their fourth studio album Delta,English folk conquerors Mumford & Sons today announced details of a massive 60 date world tour which will include a very special one day event in Auckland this Summer –their first New Zealand show since 2015!
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed My Design, On Others Lives in April this year, Estère teams up with the poetically tongued NZ/Rwandan MC Raiza Biza, to take on the myth of an infamous figure in cross-continental African folklore, the Tokoloshe.
If Anika Moa was feeling ready to kick back for the remainder of 2018, then things haven’t really run to plan. In fact it’s about to get a whole lot busier for the multi-talented entertainer with a new album release, tv series and live shows all on the way.
Since achieving international recognition from Rollingstone.com and Billboard.com for hit singles Too Strung Up and Stone Cold, and amassing over 3 million Spotify streams for their releases to date, Alae now unveil All Gived Up.
'Call Me', the latest track by Wellington electro-pop singer and producer Josie Moon made last week's New Music Friday playlists from Spotify Australia/NZ and Japan and influential UK blogger Popjustice.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.
Featuring Brouhaha: choreographer Malia Johnston, composer Eden Mulholland, AV designer Rowan Pierce; In Transit: choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant, composer/AV designer Paddy Free; The Geography of an Archipelago: choreographer Stephen Shropshire, composer Chris O’Connor.
The last hurrah of the Comedy Fest! The Season Finale! The bit at the end where the awards are decided, everybody relaxes and much fun is had. It’s the titled Last Laughs on Sunday 20 May at SkyCity Theatre.
The 13th Annual Doc Edge, International Documentary Film Festival opens today - Wednesday 9th May at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema followed by Auckland’s Q Theatre on Wednesday 23rd May, bringing an influx of prestigious directors and documentary subjects from all over the world.