Concert Review: Little Steven And The Disciples Of Soul

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By Francesca Champion

Artist: Little Steven

Date / Venue: Saturday April 27th, 2019 - Town Hall, Auckland

Excitement grew as audience members flooded into one of Auckland’s oldest and most iconic venues on Saturday night. Anticipation built while seats filled and crowd members gawked at the humongous collection of instruments about to be played by the 14-piece band.

Little Steven brought the stage presence of good old fashioned rock and roll to Auckland City as he emerged onto the stage and belted out in a passionate scream “Do you like good music?” His band, The Powerful Disciples of Soul jumped to musical life as they all leaped straight into their first song. The crowd mostly made up of over 40-year-olds instantly roared with Little Steven, and Auckland Town Hall itself seemed to be bursting at the seams with the life of rock and roll infused with good old soul.

Not only was Little Steven's incredible passion for music clearly visible in this final show of the 2 year Soul Fire teacher solidarity tour, but also his passion for the traditional rock and roll spirit, as he reminisced on his life, what music was like many years ago and why it's important to keep the soul of music alive. He jokingly dissed drum machines and new age technology and the effect it has had on rock and roll culture, He spoke briefly between songs about his activist days and why he was doing this tour - To recognise and respect the work that educators do across the globe.

In an attempt to “Make up for all the shit [he] put them through in high school,” he told the crowd. Overall Little Steven and his Disciples of Soul brought back the values of rock and roll, and real soulful music.

Whilst the show was not sold out, the enthusiasm of the audience filled up the empty seats around the hall. Little Steven encouraged the audience’s inner rocker alter egos to come out, by leaning into the crowd and connecting with them. He shouted out “YEEEAAAHHH!” and waited expectantly for the crowd to echo his words; they willingly obliged.

Hanging off his every word, he is working the audience as his instrument, in a beautiful moment the crowd rumbles in unison with him. You can clearly see the passion and love this rock and roll moment brought the crowd, as it was reflected off Little Steven and the disciples’ faces.

One person stands with a drink in his hand, belting out the lyrics to the rock and roll songs as his alcohol-fuelled dancing feeds off the amazing energy the band is throwing at him. A sea of music washes over the crowd and leaves them dripping with anticipation, waiting on the next lyric, the next shout, the next clap, stomp and beat.

The harmony of the brass section paired with the percussions, the beautiful backing vocals, every individual sound perfectly timed and controlled, with Little Steven as the conductor of this rock and roll orchestra, the sound was overwhelmingly full of life.

.This night was overwhelming, loud, wonderful, full of life and all about the music and how it connects us all. Auckland being the last stop of their 2-year tour, they went out with a glorious bang. Little Steven himself defined the connection between the music tonight and the audience as Soul music, which is “Filling the loneliness, and making everyone feel good.”