With tree canopies as a visual backdrop and Underworld as the stage headliner, Oro '17 was set to be a music festival the likes of which Auckland had never seen.
Autumn had well and truly settled in to the 09 and prepping for the 12 hour festival out in Woodhill forest wasn’t for the faint hearted: To gumboot, or not to gumboot? Oro '17’s premise was that reminiscent of 90’s rave, and I for one, was pretty pumped to rehash my fire poi twirling days to some arm flailing beats set amidst a forest of fruity festival goers.
Bit of background on the land before getting into the music; local iwi and owners had worked in unison with festival manager Dave Roper (one of the founders of FuBar) to provide a unique setting which we all love and respect. With a clear understanding for the land and restrictions around protecting it, Oro '17 had lovely intentions, but transport logistics were a headache. Shuttle services were set to pick up and drop off punters every half hour, which is good for environment and good for the pocket, but best laid plans proved worse than ineffective.
Panic was set on a number of peoples faces… perhaps due to bad acid, or perhaps due to the claustrophobia of knowing there was no escape once you were inside the venue. It made me wonder how many people actually considered walking the route back to Auckland, and of those that had followed through with action to the idea, how many of them are still walking now.
The set up was pretty good, although AWOP was present, and I have yet to meet a single person who is a fan of that payment system. A small range of drinks and a few eat stands to choose from, everyone was catered for. Patchy cellphone connection was a bit shit, as were the amenities. And then there were the queues (which are always to be expected) but it seemed like the organisers of Oro '17 were expecting a far less thirst crowd.
But enough of the gripe, there was also some pretty sweet music to offset and dance to while waiting in lines for hours.
New York hip hop legend Jeru the Damaja was one to note, just when the crowd seemed to lack energy he hit us with beats so fat you’d almost want to refer to them as PHAT. Bangers like 99.9 Pacent and Come Clean had us all break into a dance and in turn, quite a sweat, which cooled quickly in the fresh forest air.
The trees swayed and we all swayed along to the electronic and diverse beats of DJ Phil Hartnoll of Orbital. With an arsenal of tracks to choose from his 10 years on the music scene, the crowd really got into his vibe and he took us on quite the journey.
World-class house musician and producer of famed artists such as Bowie, Petshop Boys and many more Dave Seaman pulled his plethora of vinyl and hit us with some pretty chilled but fun beats.
With local artists like Greg Churchill and DJ Dubhead, everyone felt at home and bopped along to our own homegrown legends. Up n comers SoccerPractise were a bit of a wowee too – hearing them at Splore earlier in the year, it was wicked to see them come to their own on stage again with funk/reggae and hip hop melting to the audience.
But in all fairness, we were all there to see Underworld, and they did not disappoint. Underworld's set began with a light display that was pretty amazing and really added to their performance. It took our breath away and the crowd was erupting in anticipation and elation at seeing the legends take to the stage. It was almost a spiritual experience when Born Slippery played – a track that is the stuff of legends.
Shit eating grins, even though we had a bus ride back to the city with some pretty dilated peoples, Oro17 was a festival worth the effort. Here’s hoping to more tree hugging, forest stomping for an Oro18.
New Zealand’s premiere house and techno-focused festival, Sonorous, is back! Returning for its second year, the one-day extravaganza will be held on the Sunday of Auckland Anniversary Weekend, January 27, at Matakana Country Park, just outside of Auckland.
Faithless are a phenomenon, and a cornerstone of the electronic music scene. For over twenty years, they have given the world some of its most euphoric moments, soundtracking the high points of a whole movement.
Fresh from a sell out night at Wembley Arena, legendary UK Grime event Eskimo Dance brings the authentic sound of London to New Zealand in a touring first - showcasing an MC line up that features some of the biggest names in the scene today.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The wait is almost over as Auckland City Limits is set to take place this Saturday (March 3rd) at Western Springs Stadium. Included on the bill are one of France’s most famous four-piece band's Phoenix.
“I find inspiration from people who are trying to do something different. There's a lot of producers trying to copy each other, eg Terror Squad. But it’s really cool to hear guys like SumthinSumthin, completely unchallenged in their own lane.” – Graham Matthews
John Butler Trio announce their return to New Zealand in March to play Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre on Saturday 2 March and an afternoon set outdoors at The Hunting Lodge in Waimauku, Auckland on Sunday 3 March.
British rock royalty Arctic Monkeys have ushered in a spectacular new era with their sixth studio album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and it has now been announced that the band will return to New Zealand for a mammoth arena show in March 2019.
Californian rock legends Jefferson Starship will join TOTO and Dragon on next year’s ‘A Summer’s Day Live’ series, which will take in some of the most picturesque locations and popular concert venues across New Zealand.
In celebration of the highly anticipated November release of their fourth studio album Delta,English folk conquerors Mumford & Sons today announced details of a massive 60 date world tour which will include a very special one day event in Auckland this Summer –their first New Zealand show since 2015!
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed My Design, On Others Lives in April this year, Estère teams up with the poetically tongued NZ/Rwandan MC Raiza Biza, to take on the myth of an infamous figure in cross-continental African folklore, the Tokoloshe.
If Anika Moa was feeling ready to kick back for the remainder of 2018, then things haven’t really run to plan. In fact it’s about to get a whole lot busier for the multi-talented entertainer with a new album release, tv series and live shows all on the way.
Since achieving international recognition from Rollingstone.com and Billboard.com for hit singles Too Strung Up and Stone Cold, and amassing over 3 million Spotify streams for their releases to date, Alae now unveil All Gived Up.
'Call Me', the latest track by Wellington electro-pop singer and producer Josie Moon made last week's New Music Friday playlists from Spotify Australia/NZ and Japan and influential UK blogger Popjustice.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.
Featuring Brouhaha: choreographer Malia Johnston, composer Eden Mulholland, AV designer Rowan Pierce; In Transit: choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant, composer/AV designer Paddy Free; The Geography of an Archipelago: choreographer Stephen Shropshire, composer Chris O’Connor.
The last hurrah of the Comedy Fest! The Season Finale! The bit at the end where the awards are decided, everybody relaxes and much fun is had. It’s the titled Last Laughs on Sunday 20 May at SkyCity Theatre.
The 13th Annual Doc Edge, International Documentary Film Festival opens today - Wednesday 9th May at Wellington’s Roxy Cinema followed by Auckland’s Q Theatre on Wednesday 23rd May, bringing an influx of prestigious directors and documentary subjects from all over the world.