By Poppy Tohill
Artist: Cherie Currie
Date / Venue: Friday May 20th, 2016 - Kings Arms, Auckland
Unfortunately I can’t just write “Speechless” and leave the review at that, which would actually be the most accurate response, but if there was one word to sum up The Runaways legend Cherie Currie’s show at Auckland’s Kings Arms last night it would be “unforgettable.”
After dreaming of visiting and performing in New Zealand for over 40 years, Currie’s undeniable excitement as she took to the stage last night was pure magic in itself, as she exuded love and thanks to the just as excited and passionate audience.
Joined on stage by three male rockers who took the reigns on drums, bass and electric guitar, Currie certainly proved her vocal abilities and energy haven’t diminished one tiny bit, justifying she’s still just as much of a powerhouse, if not even more so (if that’s even possible) than she was whilst leading The Runaways.
Kicking off the nights proceedings with American Nights, from The Runaways first album, the legend herself continued to deliver a rocking tribute to the all-female rock & roll band that birthed her legacy. Treating us to a selection of fist-pumping worthy, sing-a-longs from Is It Day Or Night? to the rollicking girl-powered, Queens Of Noise and personal favourite California Paradise - which Currie went on to dedicate to the dairy owner who earlier in the day had told her he wanted to move to California.
Whilst the music enthralled every single soul in the venue, the one other element that deemed just as captivating and enchanting was Currie’s personality. Her genuine passion for performing combined with her equal love for the music and the audience was simply magnificent to witness in and of itself.
Immediately establishing an intimate rapport with the audience, Currie repeatedly ensured the crowd, “I am here because of you all and I am myself because of you. I wouldn’t be anyone if it wasn’t for you.” Even shedding a few tears at one point throughout the night as she emotionally thanked the audience to rapturous applause, for, “making this forty year dream of mine come true.”
However it wasn’t only The Runaways hits we were treated to, as Currie pulled out tributes and dedications to her early idols Suzie Quatro with Rock N Roll Rosie, followed by David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel, which had me imagining I’d been transported back in time to Currie’s early high school days whereby she would perform a collection of Bowie hits throughout her school talent show. A narrative you will be aware of if you’ve either, seen The Runaways film, or read Currie’s autobiography, Neon Angel, both of which come highly recommended by more people than just myself, I’m sure.
Also throwing in a few covers including The Velvet Underground’s Rock & Roll, Nick Gilder’s Roxy Roller and Kiss’ Do You Love Me, which all proved to coincide with the audience’s taste, who exhibited no troubles whatsoever singing and dancing along when it came to helping out, as Currie continuously encouraged, “please do sing along.”
Despite slight hesitations to begin with, Currie eventually committed to performing Believe, a beautiful track off her latest solo record, Reverie, and although accidentally cutting out each band member’s solo, before eventually continuing on to finish the song, her vocal performance was impeccable and her honest, rock and roll attitude as she later stated, “see, everyone fucks up and you just have to own it!” was both refreshing and inspiring.
Much too soon for anyone’s liking the band launched into the booming recognisable riff of what was to be Currie’s last song for the evening - the one and only, Cherry Bomb. As both Currie, the band and audience let rip with every ounce of energy they had left, the song was over in a flash, leaving fans utterly mesmerised and speechless with the powerful intensity of everything we’d witnessed in the past hour and a half. That of which was an experience I’m still trying to assure myself was in- fact a real life dream come true and not just one of those in which I’m going to wake up from shortly.
- I repeat, Cherie Currie was one hundred percent here and she five hundred percent rocked it.