You are Us Concert Review with Photos - Christchurch - 17th April 2019

All Photos by Erik Norder

All Photos by Erik Norder

All Photos by Erik Norder

On the 15th of March 2019, 50 people were shot and killed in a Christchurch Mosque. This was an unprovoked attack on a group of New Zealanders that are quiet, peaceful members of the New Zealand community.  Another 50 people were shot and injured.  Since this horrific attack, the Muslim community has shown nothing but grace and dignity, they have our empathy and respect, are considered ‘US’…. New Zealanders...we are one.

The "You Are Us" concerts (Auckland 13th April and Christchurch 17th April) organised in conjunction with Eccles Entertainment, New Zealand musicians and many broader industry services in order to raise both money and put forward a show of solidarity for those affected by these horrific shootings. Many people lost family members and friends and the shock and gravity has been felt globally.

It was a fresh, cloudless autumn night in Christchurch Stadium; with a crowd just short of 20,000 people braving the cold for what promised to be a kiwi-dream lineup as far as concert events go.

The event itself - sound, stage, lighting were seamless, first rate; it’s hard to believe it was put together in less than a month. Well done to promoters Brent Eccles and Mark Kneebone and all concerned for such a delightfully diverse and well-run show.  Also, a big thank you to all those performers who came down to Christchurch to share their music and solidarity.  It was also heart-warming to see so many Christchurch performers on stage.

Kiwi of the year Mike King as MC first introduced Dave Dobbyn who opened with Welcome Home - a lovely start.  

The Adults picked the tempo up and got the crowd jumping with Boomtown, Take it On the Chin and Bloodlines.  Chiai’s set went down well (after a slight technical glitch) and having a song in Farsi helped highlight the diversity.

The Christchurch Combined Choir was joined by Jason Kerrison for a lovely version of Hallelujah to which the crowd sung along with as one voice.  There were lots of happy faces in the crowd. 

Next up were Sol3 Mio adding to the diversity of the music, as well as rappers Illbaz with Melowdownz (Peace Signs went down well).

Young kiwi singer Bene looked right at home on the stage considering her age.  Mitch James slowed the tempo down a little by performed solo singing his song 21, followed by Robbie Williams' Angels with the crowd once again raising their phones.  The stadium looked like a field of fireflies.

Six60 brought the tempo back up with their set - I'm not sure if their lyrics "I'm a loaded gun, got my aim on you" and "you're not bulletproof" were ideal considering the reason for this concert, but the crowd took it in good spirits.

Stan Walker and Seth Haapu lead a sing-a-long with a cover of Crowded House's Hey Now as well a very energetic version of the New Zealand National Anthem.  Shihad pumped it up again with Think You're So Free, Pacifier and Home Again.

Locals Nomad belted out a couple of songs the crowd could sing along with.  Anika Moa, Boh Runga and Hollie Smith had a fun set and were joined by the Christchurch Combine Choir and Don McGlashan.  Teeks joined Hollie Smith for a beautiful version of How Great Thou Art. Marlon Williams and friend Delaney Davidson sang Get On Your Knees And Pray. Next up Shapeshifter had the crowd jumping again.

Crowd favourite Lorde was joined by Marlon Williams and we were wowed with The Sound of Silence.  Bic Runga then joined Lorde for Team.  Christchurch icons The Exponents sang In Cashel Street I Wait, Victoria and Why Does Love Do This to Me.

With reverence; A member of the local Muslim community, Jamaal Green spoke and repeated that it was time to move forward.

As the night drew to an end; Dave Dobbyn was the last onstage act; singing Beside You; then joined by EVERYONE for the final, brilliant sing-along of the night - Slice of Heaven… A fitting end to the night.

The crowd a lot younger than I was expecting however responded excitedly to every act that came on, they sang, danced and they cheered and were one.

Please consider donating money to help our people rebuild their lives

You are Us - Aroha Nui

By Erik Norder