With a very quick ascent to fame - two years ago, he was a nobody - Vector Arena was filled with rapturous applause, thousands upon thousands of teenage girls doting on every mopey lyric. It was some of the loudest shit I've ever heard.
Smith's emotional, somewhat downtrodden music really bridges the gap here in NZ. He's a male version of Adele with the underdog appeal of Ed Sheeran; a wonder Boy George all dappered. Based around his big debut In the Lonely Hour, the set was a brief, safe, entertaining show.
Smith played the jilted lover, unintentional heartthrob, and most of all, the superstar. His big face and earring was there on the screens, gushing, smiling. It was great. On the other hand, people on the floor were flat out drunk, getting dragged out; grown men and women starting fights. It was all a bit ridiculous. There were parents and executive types clapping out of time and talking through the songs they didn't know, which sucked if you were next to one. Which I was.
A sold out gig, there were the obvious highlights, especially the big singles. ‘I'm Not the Only One' was played early and faithfully. ‘Money on My Mind' shoehorned in CeCe Peniston's Glenfield Skateland anthem ‘Finally'. His Disclosure feature, ‘Latch' was slowed down; Smith asking for cell phones up (still really cool to see, even if it happens at damn-near every Vector gig).
‘Stay With Me', his Grammy winner and mammoth hit record, was the closer and the moment that gave you the big fuzzies.
May I be honest? It was a bit run of the mill - his band cranking out some faux Prince runs, two looking like Duck Dynasty in suits. ‘Do you know this one, Auckland?' (SCREAM) ‘This is the best show yet'. But when it was just Smith's voice stripped down to its sulky essence, like on latest single ‘Lay Me Down', he transcended the clichés. The man really is a superstar with a stellar voice. And him pulling out the hot steps with the audience was a hoot.
It worked. I can't say I'd listen to his album from start to finish after that - 75 minutes of diary confessionals gets a bit tiresome - but overall, the Sam Smith show was good, clean fun.
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.