Date / Venue: Tuesday November 3rd, 2015 - Vector Arena, Auckland
If there is one thing that 25 years in entertainment has taught Robbie Williams, it's how to keep a crowd in suspense.
Robbie began his closing show in Auckland last night by communicating with his awaiting audience before he even stepped foot onto the stage. In uber cool Mission Impossible style, words appear across the big screen...."Hello"...... Is anybody there?"........ "I want to contact the living"......Teasing the crowd who are excitedly expecting him to appear any moment.
His larger than life silhouette paces back and forth across the scene before he bursts out onto the stage looking every inch the star he is in his black suit and aviator sunnies and straight into the tours namesake Let Me Entertain You and big hit Rock DJ.
Armed with a large and a fantastic sounding support band including trumpets and horns, 4 gorgeous female vocalists/dancers and his name in bright lights behind him, Robbie took to the stage and did what he does best. Owned it. I was left no doubt that this show was gonna make the big impact it was obviously designed to. Superb lighting effects created a big rain storm as he bounced through Monsoon and in true down to earth Robbie style, came down off the stage to greet his adoring crowd made up of men and women of all ages.
Next up one of my personal favourites, Come Undone. Released in 2003 during his "off the rails" days, the music video was heavily censored by MTV Europe for its debauched content! He encouraged the audience to join in and sing, but it seemed like the Kiwis were not too familiar with the words to this one!?
After his performance of Win Some Lose Some from way back "When I was famous", Robbie mentioned briefly his early days in Take That, and launched into an example of Everything Changes expecting the crowd to continue the song... but nobody knows who Take That were?! (I was singing along!)
To educate a few of the younger ones in the house he grabs opening band Lawson up on stage to help him out with Take That's 1995 hit Back For Good... I'd say at least half of the arena knew the words and sang along. I know I can speak for the original Take That fan girls that we appreciated this tribute to the band that made him famous.
It seemed like Robbie wanted to gauge the age of his audience and rattled through a few "Do you know this one?" including Angels, Wonderwall by Oasis, and Supreme..."yeah that was a massive hit let's do it!" After that awesome trip down memory lane, things get a bit more intimate. Robbie grabs his guitar and settles down at the end of the runway surrounded by the crowd. He talks a bit about his two children and how much he has been missing them while on tour. Motherfucker was a song written for his son, and dedicated tonight to his daughter who has been recently repeating Daddy's naughty words!
This snippet into his personal life was the only clue that this lovable northern rogue is now all grown up!
Keeping along the family theme, a short way into Better Man, a rather dapper looking Pete Williams (aka Robbie's' Poppa) strides onto the stage and down the runway, microphone in hand to join his son in this tribute written for dads. He exits the stage looking emotional, and Robbie assures him it won't be their last time on stage together. "Love you Poppa" Rob calls after him.
We Will Rock You came accompanied by bone rattling bass and a light show of throbbing speakers. It was loud! A lucky girl called Morgan got some time up close and personal with Robbie in bed for Hot Fudge(though not before he had satisfied himself that she was of legal age!), and Feel was accompanied by an awesome laser and smoke show.
He paid tribute to Kiwi music with a rendition of Lorde's Royals, and had the whole venue on their feet withMillennium.
He paid every inch of the stage attention and interacted with his audience as if there were only a few in the room. To create that kind of intimate atmosphere in such a large venue is a one of Robbie's very special skills.Hey Jude and Kids were sung in a medley and followed by an awesome version of Bohemian Rhapsodycomplete with the original Queen video playing behind him. It's quite clear that Robbie is a huge Queen fan, and the cover was by no way meant to compete with Freddie Mercury's high notes, so I don't feel the need to bash him on that!
I could feel the end approaching as he made his way through She's The One and Angels, both of which had the whole venue singing and arm swaying in time.
This week Robbie has fallen victim to a bitter review, and caused plenty of media buzz ahead of his Auckland show with a Tweet showing music critique Simon Sweetman holding his son, captioned "Baby Eater". It seems he wasn't quite ready to leave it at that though! He began to recite "Hello Sir". The bonus track poem from his 1997 Life Thru A Lens album. Orginally written about his high school teacher who bullied him and told him he would never amount to anything. He adapted the ending perfectly to suit the occasion.
But thanks for the advice and I'm sure it'll do For the negative dickheads just like you. As for now I've a different weapon Stage and screen is about to beckon. And here I sit in first class Simon Sweetman, Kiss my Fucking Ass...
The crowd cheered him on in full support, it was obvious that Sweetman's venom wasn't going to spoil the night.
Robbie had a bit of a heckle with some of the crowd in the high seats as they got up to leave just slightly ahead of the end. "Hey where ya going? We're not done yet!" he called after them! "Oh have you got kids who will wake you up early in the morning? That ok then you can go"! The words of an understanding parent there!
He wrapped up the nearly 2 hour show by letting us know it was his first tour that he hasn't ended up in rehab by the end of and treated us to a bit of his crooner karaoke style with My Way.
He promised us he wouldn't leave it so long before his next visit and asked us how we were fixed for 18 months time. I'm gonna hold him to that. He left the stage singing an acapella repeat of Angels... leaving us to finish it as he disappeared off down the stairs.
All in all, I'm confident that absolutely everyone was entertained. I left with sore cheeks from smilling. Robbie Williams was nothing short of awesome tonight, he's still got it!
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!
Due to significant weekend rainfall, and the forecast of more rain over the next 72 hours, Coffs Harbour City Council, Frontier Touring, John Logan Entertainment and Midnight Oil management have met and reviewed the site for Midnight Oil’s show on Thursday 19 October.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
Instrumentals, imagined soundtracks and cut and paste experimentation sets a bracing, perception-shattering course for Who Built The Moon? - the keenly anticipated, WORLD TOUR-triggering third album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.