By Teylor Moss
Date / Venue: Saturday March 4th, 2017 - Waterfront, Wellington
Celebrating the 10th Homegrown this year, it was completely sold out and the weather couldn’t have been better! Six stages across the gorgeous waterfront to celebrate the love of music, especially artists from our very own backyard.
After walking around the festival in the morning, admiring the sounds, smells and sights, we landed in the rock stage in time to see City Of Souls. As always they put on an amazing show and do an incredible job at hyping the crowd up for an amazing festival experience. The six piece band, has heavy bass and a heavy attitude to match. You can’t help but jump along to their bassy set.
Making our way to the public stage, I got pulled in by the elusive sound of Bakers Eddy. A band with a lot of character and a lot of fans! With soulful sound, they drew more and more people to come listen and dance along. I can definitely see them becoming a big thing. It was amazing Homegrown had a free stage open to the public, to share the love of music.
Next we wandered through the markets that had a wide variety of foods, face painting and merchandise. We settled on a simple hotdog each and made our way to the dub and roots stage. Performing were Three Houses Down, and what started off as an amazing chill show turned into an even better show when one of the band members young son came on stage and sung 4 songs for us. Boasting his undeniable talent, even with back up dancers! The crowd never stopped screaming and dancing, one of the best shows I’ve seen.
Staying perched at the dub and roots stage, next on was Sons Of Zion. The crowd increased in numbers and there was a loud hum of words filling the air, this poor girl had come from Whakatane to see them but her boyfriend had too much too soon. So she had to dance by herself from the sidelines watching over her sleeping partner (I would have left him). Putting on an amazing show full of love and soul, they were clearly popular amongst the crowd.
The band I was most excited for was now on. The Black Seeds. Pressed against the barrier, I turned around and there was no empty space in the park, obviously not just my favourite. Playing some classics such as; Fire, So True, Cool Me Down and Turn It Around. Ashlee and I were screaming every lyric at them, not caring people were staring weirdly. As always, they put on an unforgettable show. Using every ounce of energy they hadand making full use of the stage, which is always good to see. Definitely a band worth seeing if you get the chance!
Headlining the rock stage, was the infamous and another of my favourites. Shihad. We managed to get there just in time, it was so packed that people were being denied entry. Having seen Shihad for my 5th time now, I knew just how committed they were to a performance. Yet again screaming every lyric and jumping as high as I could (with much encouragement from John Toogood). Playing favourites such as; Fvey, Think You’re so Free, Home Again, Pacifier and my absolute favourite mosh song- Cheap As. This band never fails to amaze me and continues to blow my mind every time I see them perform. Seeing as they were giving us all the energy they had, it was only fair I returned the favour. After almost passing out from jumping, I knew I would have done them proud.
Sadly this amazing night was coming to an end, while I was recapping the festival, I couldn’t believe how friendly every single person was there. It must have been the gorgeous weather, with slight intoxication. But I have never felt more welcome and free at a festival before, even from the staff! This has to be the best Homegrown yet and I’m so lucky to get this opportunity to review it. Every single artist I saw, were so happy and all performed so amazingly, I can’t stop thinking about it.
Thank you to every one who made this event possible, the staff, security, the fans and especially to the talented artists, without whom this wouldn’t be possible. Best. Festival. Ever.