Troye Sivan, YouTuber turned pop star, played an iconic show at the Spark Arena, Friday night, touring with his Bloom album. He hit most big cities in the northern hemisphere and is now making his way through the south, opening his Australasian tour with New Zealand, saying that he loves Kiwi's; "the people, the fruit…"
The atmosphere in the air was palpable and Troye appeared energised by it. He asked for the stage lights to come up, to shine on the crowd so that he could get a good look at people's outfits. The theme for the night was blue, but I definitely missed the memo and dressed in all black. Around me were various shades of blue and variations of pride colours; adorning flower crowns, blankets, and leis. The fashion of the all ages crowd spanned the spectrum, from those dressed in a shirt and jeans to those wearing their fest best. There was no judgement here, one fan was covered in lights and transformed into a disco ball when the arena lights were low. The vibe was very accepting, and Troye was obsessed with the effort put in. The crowns were one of his favourites, making him laugh "pride flower crowns, I can't imagine a gayer thing." He promises a big reveal at the end and I cannot wait.
The set feels fast but dedicated, more timeless than quick. The lighting is constantly changing, mostly through pinks and oranges - the colour scheme for Bloom, blues, and pride.
Troye's band on the stage behind him are ordered in a straight line. The keyboardist and synth player do double duty as backup singers. Their voices are sweetly melodic, mixing perfectly with Troye's own dulcet tones. The drummer gets many spotlights. Literally. The stage lights strobe over him, flashing rainbow and changing colours as fast as he plays. The whole band is well on display and Troye praises them often.
Troye was a bubble of energy, bouncing and twirling around the stage. It is clear that he is a performer at heart; from childhood stage to YouTube, Troye is comfortable in front of a crowd. Between clusters of songs, he stops to chat, connecting deeply with his fans.
It's been three years since Troye was last here. A fact not researched but screamed out by someone in the audience. He plays a lot of the old, well-loved stuff, as well as the newer, grittier stuff. The difference between Blue Neighbourhood and Bloom is lived experienced. Troye cops to this, talking bluntly about the odd type of heartache experienced when you end the relationship and the toughness of coming out. Despite the raw vulnerability, Troye remained upbeat, dismissing his debuzz trains of thought with a laugh "I don't know why I’m treating this as a therapy session, I’m okay though."
Troye sounded pretty much exactly the same live as in his released tracks. Even hitting the debated line, "I Wanna Drown in your Hands," this remained as ambiguous as ever. His upbeat tracks give me 90s inspired vibes, while the grittier stuff gave me a Basement, mid-2000s feel.
"Do you want good news or bad news? Bad news, we only have one more song. Good news, I just lied." The insincerity of encores has always perplexed me. Why do we all participate in this charade? Troye feels similarly. He tells us that he will pointlessly go off stage, that we will yell and he will return like it was not scripted. After discussing the various roles we all play in the act, Troye stands up straight and takes the mic, "1 2 3 action, okay guys, last song…"
When Troye returned, he was a dazzling display of pink. Splendid, in a full-length, deeply plunging neckline, sparkly pink jumpsuit that caught the light and drew the eye. The voiceover intros were Bloom focused and as Troye strode into sight, the voiceover was overtaken by the sound of the heavy bass. Troye walked the stage like a pageant queen, holding a bouquet which he threw into the crowd stem by stem.
The encore was two songs long and the night wrapped up neatly. Troye had jokingly suggested an after party in town and people headed out in hopes that maybe… He flew out today; let's hope that it doesn't take him three years to hit our shores again.
Kiwi hip-hop “man of the moment,” Kings, will be embarking on his first-ever nationwide tour of New Zealand to celebrate the release of his new single Flex.He’ll be joined on stage by The Katayanagi Twins this August. Tickets on sale next week.
Rising global talent Kian is heading to New Zealand shores for two very special shows at Meow, Wellington and The Tuning Fork, Auckland this July. The Australian teen will be sharing music from his newly-released EP Bliss, with Kiwi fans for his debut New Zealand tour.
After making its first New Zealand appearance last summer, Australasia’s favourite one day, one stage, all inclusive festival FOMO is back for 2020, and it’s moving outside to make it much bigger and better.
Never afraid of wearing their hearts on their sleeves, The Samesees Horrorshow delivering their trademark vulnerability but with a newfound cinematic tone so visceral you can feel the lump in your throat.
Hilltop Hoods have announced the The Great Expanse World Tour 2019, which will see the band play in 14 countries across the globe. The New Zealand leg has Hilltop Hoods returning to play four headline shows this July. Having supported Eminem at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium at a New Zealand record-breaking concert in March, Hilltop Hoods will return for shows in Auckland, Wellington, Queensland and Christchurch.
Sydney’s indie-rap group Triple One have released their new single and video for Butter. Their most personal song to date, Butter centres itself on the battle against poor mental health, and acts as a running commentary on the headspace of each of the members of Triple One at the time it was being made.
The poet of British Suburbia, THE STREETS, have announced a New Zealand tour off the back of their Splendour in the Grass appearance in Australia this July. The Streets will perform two shows, at the Auckland Town Hall on July 22 and Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre on July 23.
Aotearoa has an abundance of world-class talent that you can see on stages across the length and breadth of the country. In clubs and pubs, community centres and RSAs, theatres and school halls, and so many other venues, there is no shortage of live music happening every week around New Zealand.
21-year old superstar Khalid has announced that he is heading back to New Zealand shores for his Free Spirit Tour. With his Grammy-nominated debut album American Teen having been certified double Platinum and his new record Free Spirit finally out in the world, there’s no better time for fans down under to experience the El Paso singer’s magic.
Returning to New Zealand this February atop the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2019 line-up, the ever-evolving rapper/songwriter Denzel Curry will perform one wild AF sideshow in Wellington this February – bringing the heat to what’s sure to be a hot summer music festival season.
Due to overwhelming demand, the history-making, multi-platinum megastar Post Malone has announced a second and final show in Auckland at Spark Arena on Sunday May 12 – taking things up a notch for his HUGE arena tour across Australia and New Zealand in April/May 2019.
Multi-platinum artist Post Malone has announced his timely return to Australia and New Zealand with shows taking place in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland across April and May next year, 2019.
One of our writers sat down with Amy Mansfield, writer of I Didn’t Invite You Hear To Lecture Me, ahead of the Basement shows. Most students throw out their study notes, but not Amy. She has kept hold of them for the past 20 years--vertibiam quotes from her lectures that are too good to ever get rid of. The play was shown throughout the Auckland Fringe Week 2018, and even in some personal living rooms, the vibe is very independent and witty.
It was a cold bleary eyed Saturday night as the clock struck midnight, and counted towards 1am… the time set forth to conjure Richard Shaw, guitarist for legendary UK black metal act Cradle of Filth. We talked ahead of their sold out, first ever performance here in New Zealand.
NZ is about to get OBESSED, with the newest in kiwi music. Local Tauranga sweetheart, Amelia McNabb comes to us fiercely, independently, and with more fire in her lungs than I've heard from any kiwi artist in while. THIS is what we’ve been waiting for.
Elgusto, one part of the innovative electronic/dance music duo, Hermitude, sat down with one of our interviewers this past week; chatting about their loaded schedule, the bands ethos, how they communicate an instrumental show, and their creative collaborations.
Catching up with friends who are musicians at their gigs is always an odd, awkward, rushed affair between sets, pack-down, or a series of inaudible shouts as another band plays. So with the release of the new Seas of Conflict single Monachopsis, I thought it was time I simply scheduled time for a chat, not only once but twice--due to technical issues--with guitarist Declan Storrie.
I recently ventured back to my old festival haunting grounds - or at least the successor thereof. It was a hot Sunday afternoon and after juggling band members between their Festival One main stage duties and their prior commitments off-site, I managed to sit down with the guys and gal from Amanaki - one of the few hardcore-metal acts to perform at the mostly radio-friendly festival.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
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.
Featuring Future of the Left members Andrew “Falco” Falkous and Jack Egglestone, with the addition of Damien Sayell from the St Pierre Snake Invasion, the Cardiff outfit will be playing venues in Wellington and Auckland this January.
Andrew Fagan returns with a satirical take on today’s social media preoccupied society. Being an amateur social anthropologist, it is a topic close to his heart. Listen to new track On Channel Me below, off Fagan’s forthcoming solo album Act Normal, due for release in October on Southbound.
Brisbane’s own indie rock royalty, The Grates, have been invited along for the ride, and will treat their hometown crowd to classics from their extensive and impressive catalogue of tunes including 19-20-20 and Turn Me On.
Pixies, one of the most influential alternative rock bands of all time, have announced a second show for Brisbane fans due to overwhelming demand. Following on from Melbourne’s second show announced on Friday (on sale 12pm today!), Brisbane fans have been just as eager to see catch the influential music pioneers, selling out the Fortitude Music Hall date on March 13. A second show has been added at the same venue on Thursday March 12 as part of their mammoth world tour, Come On Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa.
The Ugly Kings, featuring Devil Electric guitarist, Christos Athanasias, are four powerhouse blues rockers drawing influence from an eclectic and dynamic musical background. They offer a powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene, formulating what can only be described as power blues. They have released a new music video for Black Widow, featuring an award winning burlesque dancer Ferri Maya. Plus announced a live show this weekend!
Fame and fortune on the Kiwi music scene are a step closer for the top 10 acts just announced in Smokefreerockquest, New Zealand’s biggest live, nationwide all original music event for high school students.
Pluto’s nascent trajectory has covered the spectrum of the New Zealand musical stratosphere, bursting brightly onto the scene in 2001 just to have their star seemingly burn out just as abruptly in 2009. It would have been a suitably intriguing end to befall one of the finest, most exciting and alluring bands New Zealand has ever produced.
Exhilarating and high energy New Zealand rock band, Written By Wolves, have just released their killer new track, Tell Me What You’re Running From? This is the first single from the band’s upcoming new album, set for release later this year.
Australia’s foremost authority on progressive rock, Caligula’s Horse, are just weeks away from kicking off their Let It Grow tour which will celebrate their cult classic The Tide, The Thief & River's End and breakout progressive masterpiece Bloom by playing them back to back!
Within the four walls of The Fortitude Music Hall, lies The Outpost. Brisbane’s newest 300 capacity multipurpose venue that will feature a diverse program of artists, an impressive drinks menu featuring a cocktail list curated by the talented team at Proof & Company.
After spending the past year pulverizing the world with their stupefying live performances, Tropical Fuck Storm return home to tour their new album Braindrops and put the Antipodean public to the sword! Braindrops, the follow up to 2018's epic odyssey, A Laughing Death In Meatspace, will be released on Flightless Records in August
It’s been 20 years since The Flaming Lips released the one-of-a-kind aural hallucination that is The Soft Bulletin. To celebrate the anniversary of its release, The Flaming Lips will play a special show at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall.
15-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Alicia Keys makes her musical return with the powerful track and visuals for “Show Me Love,” featuring Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and producer, Miguel via RCA Records.
Backstreet’s back, alright! Get your group together, because the biggest selling Boy Band of all time (100 million albums), the BACKSTREET BOYS are heading back to New Zealand in 2020 for a show at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Saturday, May 16.
Platinum-certified independent singer, songwriter, producer, and pop visionary Lauv has released new single 'fuck, I'm lonely' with Anne-Marie today. The track will be featured on Lauv’s forthcoming debut album titled ~how i'm feeling
Frontier Touring and Roundhouse Entertainment are excited to announce that Norwegian pop icons a-ha are returning to Australia for the first time in 34 years, before heading to New Zealand for the very first time! They’ll be joined by very special guest Rick Astley at all February & March 2020 shows, taking in Sydney, Melbourne, and Christchurch, as well as a day on the green events in Australia and New Zealand.
Hitting a massive nine centres on his regional tour this September, Stan will take the stage to perform songs from his impressive catalogue plus his brand new pop smash single Give (co-written by Matiu Walters of SIX60) for his beloved fans. The Springboard tour will also boast three of NZ’s most up-and-coming new artists – Lepani, Niko Walters and Jordan Gavet.
TEG DAINTY and THE MISSION ESTATE WINERY CONCERT announced today that global superstar Michael Bublé will return in February 2020! Accompanied by a 36-piece orchestra and ready to to thrill his New Zealand fans for one night only; this will be Michael Bublé’s only show in New Zealand.
Elton John will perform a third and final show at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium, to satisfy New Zealand’s insatiable demand. It has also been announced that, due to a scheduling conflict, three of Elton’s sold out New Zealand concerts have been delayed by one week. Rescheduled dates affect the second show at Mission Estate Winery, and the first two Mt Smart Stadium shows in Auckland.
Vocal prodigy RUEL is returning to New Zealand for one show in Auckland at the Bruce Mason Centre in May. Counting Elton John and Khalid among his fans, RUEL is taking the globe by storm, smashing show records, and he’s only 16 years old.
Exactly six years to the day since the release of Vance Joy’s debut EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing, Liberation Records are pleased to reveal an extremely limited run of the EP have been pressed on vinyl for the first time ever for release on Friday 26 April. Vance Joy has also announced he will bring his Ukuleles For Kids program to Australia in a new partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia. Launched in the USA last year the program delivers ukuleles and how-to video tutorials lead by Vance Joy to children’s hospitals.
LA two-piece Moby Rich have announced two headline shows on their debut Australian tour this May. With their latest single Blink bringing further attention to the duo, this Australian tour is the perfect opportunity to catch two indie stars on the rise. Support on the tour comes from yergurl in Melbourne, whose lo-fi beats and unique pop style made her a Triple J Unearthed favourite. Sydney support will be from Hoodlem, a streaming sensation with her mix of experimental soul and future R&B.
Darren Middleton (POWDERFINGER), Mark Wilson (JET), Davey Lane (YOU AM I) and Kram (SPIDERBAIT) have joined forces to become ARC, one of the most collectively celebrated and successful supergroups in Australia’s rock history will be performing Abbey Road live, commemorating 50 years of existence.
Abbey Road, The Beatles' swansong and their crowning achievement as a recording group - is a stately, majestic, playful yet fiercely rocking masterpiece of pop music, regarded as one of the greatest records of all time.