Review: Auckland City Limits

Photo by Megan Moss

Photo by Megan Moss

By Daryl Habraken

Date / Venue: Saturday March 3rd, 2018 - Western Springs, Auckland

Auckland City Limits, after the demise of “the Big Day Out” ACL has had its hits and misses. The acts are still of a caliber worth paying for but the experience has somewhat lacked. This year saw a marked improvement from the previous instalment but not without its pitfalls.

Again some stellar performances and the facilities were far better this time around meaning the queues were fewer. Most of the refreshments on hand were mid strength to the dismay of some, but for me that’s a minor (and in some ways necessary) inconvenience, as long as it’s easy to have a beverage in my hand I’m sound as a pound. Once you’ve drank your fill, the evacuation of said liquid didn’t mean waiting in god awful lines while your bladder played Russian roulette with your mind.

So well done on the logistical team for 2018

The thing with ACL is it lacks a bit of personality. Other events like Splore and Laneway have a thematic drive which give it a personality. ACL feels like its trying to fill a hole where the Big Day Out once sat but it’s forgetting how relate to its audience. A festival is more then just bands and bums on seats, it’s character.  In short, Auckland City Limits feels a bit like the Howick of festivals. (Sorry Howick)

That said, once the bands came into their own, there was some fantastic entertainment.

During the long hot afternoon it was the locals HLAH, Katchafire and P-Money who was joined by longtime collaborator Scribe that really had the masses moving. A little bit of something for all kiwi tastes

After dark belonged to the internationals.

Tash Saltana the former busker from Australia was a power house of talent. Her one woman show wowed the crowd with her mastery of however many instruments were on the stage. A soulful modern sound with sometimes not so subtle political undertones.

The Avalanches entertained with their eclectic, genre defying sound that they’ve carved from a decade plus of fine tuning

But the true winner for longevity goes to Grace Jones. All sixty fucking nine years of her was a power house of admirable class. This former Bond girl and all round entertainer was a tick off the bucket list I never knew was in there.

Beck took to the main stage as the final headliner and didn’t disappoint. He kept us entertained and satisfied our lust for nostalgia.

At the end of the day this was a much improved Festival from previous years and its finding its feet as a legitimate replacement for BDO which makes me excited for what in store for next year.

Check back tomorrow to view our full Auckland City Limits Photo Gallery!

Click Here to See Full Gallery of Beck: