Concert Review with Photos - Happy Mondays - Auckland - 28th February 2019

By Brendhan Lovegrove & Floyd Lee

Artist: Happy Mondays

Date / Venue: Thursday 28th February 2019 / Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand

Photo by Leah Victoria

I’d forgotten how great the Powerstation is.

You’re never more than 40 feet away from the band from any point of the venue, with a truly great sound.

 It was a packed house for the Happy Mondays last night, on fire from start to finish.

The audience made up mostly of expats, mainly 40 - 50 years old, and losing their nut! The risk of a heart attack was high.

 Bez with the shakers; hyping up an already enthusiastic crowd, an excellent conjurer of the vibe akin to Joel Gion of the Brian Jonestown Massacre….but to the power of ten…. surely one of the most rewarding jobs in rock & roll. Met with outstretched hands, he shook every single one. Bez truly summoned something tribal & rare.

 Musically the band were tight, vocalist Rowetta entered the stage like a woman with intent as her vocals soared through the sea of mashed up heads, taken aback in awe. Enter stage left, the poet himself, Mr Shaun Ryder grooving & grinning his way through Kinky Afro “I had to crucify some brother today.” No this was not the shambles some feared at the bar pre gig. These guys are happy to be here and look like they've got something to prove.

 Time to take back what had been lost to myth and madness, this was about the music. A perfect blend of acid house, skunk, deep bass lines and Hendrix-style guitar leads. Happy Mondays proceeded to run through their most successful album Pill’s, Thrill’s and Bellyaches, which being a melting pot of culture, drugs, poems, cowboy movies, Shaun Ryder’s cut throat observations, the crowd obviously overjoyed.

 Audience favourite Loose Fit and Step On had the people raving just as hard as they would have raved in their misspent youths. The highlight was saved until last, as the gospel yell of Hallelujah cut through the rising techno keyboards to an audience with its fists raised, out of pure respect and awe.

 The Happy Mondays were once signed to Joy Division’s Factory Records under the late great Anthony Wilson. He saw something in these young scallywags from greying Manchester and quite frankly tonight, we all saw it too.

 To quote Shaun Ryder himself; “Good, Good, Double Good”.

 So bring on The Jesus and Mary Chain this coming Monday, If the sound was as great as it was tonight, I’d recommend you go and have a blast.

The Powerstation is the perfect venue to witness these two extremely important bands from the United Kingdom.

 By Brendhan Lovegrove / Floyd Lee