By Poppy Tohill
Date / Venue: Sunday March 30th, The Powerstation, Auckland
Although describing themselves as a modern-rock quartet and being compared to the likes of Coldplay, Irish band Kodaline came across as more your classic stadium pop boy band on Sunday night at Auckland'sPowerstation.
Surprised and grateful at the turn out themselves, they certainly managed to pull a decent crowd for a relatively unknown band in New Zealand. Though the sheer volume and enthusiasm of the screams protruding from the crowd of mostly young females fans made it feel like an even larger platform.
Kodaline went on to perform their entire debut album, ‘In A Perfect World,' along with a couple of favourites from their two EPs (The Kodaline & High Hopes) and a stunning unplugged rendition of Sam Cooke's ‘Bring It On Home To Me', during their encore. Although not being a huge fan of the boy band formula and repetitive pop rhythms myself, they put on a good show performing a nice combination of both up-lifting, energetic tunes such as set opener ‘After The Fall,' and ‘Brand New Day' to more melodic ballads such as ‘All Comes Down'and ‘The Answer,' which truly highlighted the remarkable vocal ability of lead singer Stephen Garrigan.
Immediately creating a fantastic rapport with the audience, Garrigan‘s humourous banter, awkward comments and outbursts of laughter were met with great applause, and screams from the enthusiastic audience. Escalating to the point where Garrigan would have to pause mid sentence and tell everyone to stop screaming so he could finish what he was saying.
Although hyping up the crowd with their extensive upbeat rhythms and energetic, foot-stomping tunes, the show was nothing overly exceptional from a visual perspective, in terms of their stage act.
Musically however, the band were very solid indeed, presenting a performance that was both polished and tight. With each member excelling on their instrument, top points were awarded to lead guitarist Mark Prendergast for numerous remarkable guitar riffs and an exceptional solo during crowd favourite ‘High Hopes.'
Just when each song was beginning to sound a little bit too similar to the last, Garrigan changed it up at the perfect time pulling out a mandolin and harmonica for the catchy, dance-worthy tune ‘Love Like This' which proved to be not only my personal favourite, but a highlight for many audience members.
Soon enough concluding their set with the slower-paced, melodic ‘All Comes Down,' the audience stomped their feet, clapped their hands and screamed till their lungs gave way to ensure the boys returned on stage for an encore.
Sure enough, the boys came running back on, which was met with more screaming and applause from the adoring fans.
Stripping it right back, with one acoustic guitar, no microphones and the soft clicking of fingers, they began their encore with an absolutely stunning rendition of Sam Cooke's ‘Bring It On Home To Me.', Which I've got to hand to them, was incredibly mind-blowing. Beautifully intertwining each member's smooth and powerful vocal melodies to create an exquisite harmony among the four of them, it was highly impressive.
The catchy and slow-paced ‘The Answer' also featured in their encore before drawing the night to an end with their most popular single (my secret favourite track) ‘All I Want.' As the audience helped sing along word for word at the top of their lungs, I highly doubt there was one single person who didn't leave the concert with that song still whizzing around in their head.
Although not totally my favourite style, scene or band, it certainly wasn't the worst concert I have ever been to and I believe they definitely have the potential to grow big very quickly. I just hope they don't turn into a fully-fledged One Direction type wanna-be boy band.