Artist: Sol3 Mio
Date / Venue: Friday March 11th, 2016 - Vector Arena, Auckland
In a world of quick fame, reality stars and questionable skills being force fed to us to make a fast buck, we are often left empty handed in the pursuit of great entertainment with the talent to back it up.
One genre still holding the torch high is classical music especially opera… why? Because you just cant fake it.
Standing on stage live, tasked with reaching notes and a range of octaves that we mere mortals can only dream of takes courage, skill and the audacity give the middle finger to pop music, judges and text votes. Instead years of passion, practice, sweat and tears are brought together to provide what really is an awe-inspiring moment.
These three lads not only have reached this accolade, you can see and feel the emotional journey they have endured over the last 4 years as a trio and the 20 plus years they have each lived previously… and they will only get better.
This is their final tour before they take a 2-year hiatus to pursue individual careers at some of the most prestigious opera companies in the world.
As they are, they are remarkably talented but there is still softness, greenness to the sound, it sets them apart from the likes of the great Italian and Spanish tenors that have filled the great halls and football stadiums of the world… This trio of Samoan 20 somethings are just a few years away from achieving such status.
You see the scary thing is, voices, especially operatic voices, mature with age… so they'll only get better.
To use a culinary terms, its like achieving a Michelin star and each one of them WILL get there.
Last night's show was an imperfect delight for the senses. The average age of the audience, as one would expect, was around 50 and Caucasian but there was a small chorus of youth; Pacific islanders especially that were waving the flags with the occasional “Chahoo” and by the end of the show walked away with new roll models and even aspersions to follow their dreams. This wasn't only entertainment, brothers Pene Pati, Amitai Pati and cousin Moses Mackay took the audience on a personal and emotional journey, exposing the struggles and tribulations as well as the heartwarming stories of support they have each been through.
The show was divided into two sections. The first half was predominantly classical Arias, this is where you not only engage in the sound, but you get the rear privilege of witnessing live where this sound comes from, to watch the control and vocal mastery is what really brings these kinds of performances to life. In between songs they brought the wit and typically Polynesian humour to the stage as well as giving us a basic history lesson on each song from a personal standpoint.
There were moments of slight cringe as some of what was meant to seem improvised jokes came off a little rehearsed, occasionally with uncomfortable stares at each other as they tried to remember the next gag, but this only added to the endearing nature of who they are as individuals.
After a quick intermission for the oldies to relieve themselves the show went in a very different direction. We took a more personal musical journey as the boys sang a few more contemporary tunes from their past, 'Yellow Bird', 'Island in the Sun', 'Fix You' and 'Volare' to mention but a few as well as sharing stories of their individual journeys and why those particular tunes meant something to them. This was certainly the more emotional section of the evening with tales of performing in old folks homes to working as security at the very arena we were sitting in to the loss of loved ones, you would've had to have been born of stone to not get a little watery eyed at some stage.
They found their footing in the humour and dazzled us with the depth of music talent these Samoan lads have as each of them played several instruments between them. Piano, Double Bass, Percussion, guitar and of course ukulele were used in fine form, this was certainly the most comfortable they had been all night as the pressure meeting the requirements and standards of the operatic connoisseur vanished and they were able to creatively clown around while at other times, pull our heartstrings out with emotional ballads.
In summary, I couldn't recommend Sol3 Mio enough, whether you are a classical fan or not, you'll either enjoy the music, marvel at the talent on hand or both. Its a must see. They are an inspiration to the youth of today and I encourage more under 25s to get in there and be captivated.
Turn off the “auto tuned” rubbish and see some real talent, starting with these humble island boys from our own back yard.