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.
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.