By Poppy Tohill
Artist: The Naked And Famous
Date / Venue: Friday May 16th, The Powerstation, Auckland
Having recently played the Coachella music festival in California last month, The Naked And Famousreturned home to one hell of a welcoming home present last night at their sold out Auckland, Powerstationshow.
Fans piled into the venue as the doors sprung open, with everyone rushing to the front barrier to try and claim the best spot for the night.
After a fantastic set by alternative pop-rock band She's So Rad, and a long wait between stage set ups, The Naked and Famous finally took to the stage proving every second waited was more than well worth it.
As impressive blue lights strobed around the room and dry ice seeped across the stage, which was backed by the flower cover image of their ‘In Rolling Waves' album. The band took to the stage launching straight into‘A Stillness,' as spotlights settled on and revealed vocalist/ keyboardist Alisa Xayalith and guitarist Thom Powers who opened the song on acoustic guitar while keeping with the dark, atmospheric mood masking his face with a hoodie.
You couldn't have asked for a better, more dramatic opening as they continued to build up the song. Powers changed to electric guitar as the drums grew louder before switching to full energy mode, as the band absolutely let rip for the ecstatic and enthusiastic sold out crowd of obvious adoring fans.
Singing about "All the time and energy" with their next hit ‘Hearts Like Ours,' it was obvious the band had put all their own time and energy into this performance, putting on the best show any fan could have ever wished or asked for.
Their set list proved packed with a great deal of hits from both of the bands albums, as they went on to play‘Girls Like You,' ‘The Sun,' ‘Frayed,' ‘All Of This,' ‘Punching In A Dream,' and ‘No Way,' from their debut album,‘Passive Me, Aggressive You,' which all received great cheers and applause evidently proving just as popular among the crowd, as their newer tunes.
The Powerstation echoed with ‘Rolling Waves' as everyone joined Alisa in singing the chorus as she added a touch of tambourine to the popular hit.
Not only was the softer and more melodic, ‘Grow Old' a personal favourite of mine and popular highlight for many amongst the crowd, but the soft purple lights shining against disco balls which lay on the ground as they reflected shiny specs of light all over the roof and around the room were very impressive. More than appropriately setting the perfect eerie mood throughout the venue for the atmospheric tune.
‘Girls Like You,' ‘I Kill Giants' and ‘Waltz' also proved popular, as the floor almost moved in unison with the audience as everyone mentally jumped up and down, enjoying it just as much as the band seemed to be.
Concluding their set, with what I'm sure was everyone in the entire venue singing along loudly to ‘No Way,'the band departed the stage as it blackened. With white lights still strobing around the stage, the volume level of applause, foot stomping and ‘encore' yelling, it was a given the band would come back on stage for an encore.
Sure enough, they came running back on stage, much to the crowds' devotion. With Powers attempting to speak, the crowd continued to show their full support, love and enthusiasm, leaving both Powers and Xayalith (who looked like she could have almost burst into tears) in awe of what was happening. Managing to finally get a word in, Powers exclaimed, "Thank you so, so, so, so much. We're lost for words so just gonna play some more songs if that's okay,' he laughed.
Continuing on to play (my all time favourite) ‘The Mess,' Powers and Xayalith's vocals blended beautifully together, putting on a totally stunning and energetic performance to kick-start one hell of an incredible encore.
Combining their radiant melodies once more, ‘To Move With Purpose' was another great pick that contributed to their striking encore.
"This is the best homecoming we could ever ask for," exclaimed Xayalith, as they of course went on to conclude the night with an energy-fuelled performance of their biggest and most popular hit, ‘Young Blood'which saw a bubble machine fire bubbles over the entire audience.
Walking out of the Powerstation once the concert concluded and the night had drawn to an end, it was obvious to me why the band had played at one of the world's biggest music festivals just weeks beforehand.
Grateful for the sheer amount of support and love shown to them tonight, The Naked and Famous made it pretty clear why they are one of New Zealand's top bands and I'm glad we were able to give them the homecoming they so greatly deserve.