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FOALS


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My mate suggested Foals to me when we were in year 13, which would have been around the release of their fourth album ‘What Went Down’ way back in 2015. He said he’d make me an irresistible playlist that would have me hooked from the moment I listened, a new favourite band he promised me. I was keen, of course. As a little suburban white kid why would I not want to expand my indie/art/math/alternative/post rock listening sphere? Well, the playlist never came, my mate went to live in Wellington and I never ended up listening to Foals, a trend which continued until, well, this last Friday night. It’s not unusual for me to go to a gig completely blind on an artist, but there was something about going into Foals which felt a little different. It’s clear they have an extremely dedicated fanbase, half of the crowd seemed to know 90%+ of the lyrics (something I can’t say I know about my favourite artists), which was made even more impressive considering the 1 hour 40 minute setlist. This show was for the fans, not bandwagoners like me. Yet despite being a Foals noob, I still had a really good time. It’s certainly not music that’s difficult to get into upon first listen, and it helped that that most of their tunes are danceable as heck. And the musicianship, damn, Foals are a tight band. Often seamlessly transitioning from one song to another, it sometimes felt like a single polished jam session. The single song I knew beforehand, about not having someone’s number (turns out it’s understandably called My Number) was a highlight for me, although there were plenty of other tunes I didn’t recognize that made the night special. The town hall is absolutely perfect for gigs like this. The reverb gifted by the great hall wrapped the sound in a warm blanket which really enhanced the sound of the band’s more atmospheric tracks. Aesthetically, there’s something pretty cool about watching a high-energy alt. rock band dressed in short sleeve Hawaiian shirts with fake ferns as stage decoration play in a 100-year-old baroque-style concert chamber. But hey, when is the town hall not subject to a clash of worlds like this these days?

The crowd was as sweaty and danced out as they could have been when the show finished. As I waited for my posse at the entrance, I happened to spy the face of my mate who’d failed to make me that playlist all those years ago. Funnily enough, that was the first thing he yelled out as an apology when he saw me. He was as sweaty and red faced as anyone else, and he was absolutely frothing the gig. Who knows how big a Foals fan I could have been by now if I’d had that proper earlier exposure? Ah, well, better start some time I guess.

- Buster Darragh Major

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I always enjoy starting the night off, dancing my heart out! And Daffodils are brilliant at getting a crow to do just that. When I found out that my mates were opening for FOALS, I got so excited for them! Playing a sold-out show at Auckland's Town Hall and opening for an international band, is no easy feat, but Daffodils deserved every minute of it.

- Madeleine Brighouse-Mayo (Images included)

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Maggie Rogers


I've seen some fantastic acts over the years, but I have never seen someone perform who is more genuine and overwhelmed by the support of the crowd. I was too far away to be sure, but I think Maggie cried a little after the crowd sang every word to the last three songs. I've heard this time and again at shows, where artists mention how amazing an NZ crowd is, and that it's like nowhere else. This show got me wondering if it is actually true.

Maggie Rogers’ ability to captivate an audience from start to finish was a performance in itself. Her energy had the crowd buzzing while her raw talent brought tears to the eyes of some. Maggie is the kind of artist that connects with your emotions as well as your ears. A special few deserve the appreciation she received at her Auckland show, but she most certainly did. “ - Tim Tolley

So during the three songs I'm allowed to shoot, I kind of ran up and down, by the end I got pretty tired then I jumped into the crowd and danced around. But man, I don't know HOW Maggie does it, she ran, pranced and leapt around and not once did she appear tired!

She did this thing that really amazed me, as I've not seen anything like it before. She brought up the subject of how hard it can be going from the highs of a show to the lows that can come afterwards, and how hard it can be so hard to cope with and manage. For her last song, Maggie asked everyone to be silent while she sang a capella, and towards the end she would slowly fade out.

Now for Stella Donnelly. Damn girl, she was funny! What a wicked sense of humour. My Welsh heritage greatly appreciated Stella mimicking her mum's Welsh accent. She seemed like such a cool person and man she could sing!

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Carb on Carb + Friends


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Before their journey to Japan, Carb on Carb spent a night at Whammy Bar playing alongside their mates.

It was Blush Juliet's debut show, and even though they commented it would be their last, I hope it won't be! Their set was very enjoyable. Looking for to their single that's coming soon.

Ana Te Kōtiro was breath taking. I couldn't keep my eyes off her. As her beautiful voice boomed, her hand was moving so quickly using her looping controller. She would loop four, five even six sample layers with not a single mistake (well, not that my ears could pick up). I came away feeling very inspired!

Being., the graceful Jasmine Balmer is always mesmerising to watch. She has a way of being (hehe), so calming while still brings forth emotions of both fierceness and bubbling joy.

Finally one of New Zealand's coolest Emo-Punk bands 'Carb on Carb' played their set. Ok, so you know how I can be a bit fangirl, it's quite embarrassing at times. But I want you to know I played it cool while asking Nicole and James to sign my records of theirs (which was so not cool). Carb on Carb is off on their first ever Japan tour. Performing their worldwide acclaimed album 'for ages', my favourite album they have released yet. Good Luck Guys, We'll See You When Your Back Home.

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Blush Juliet

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Ana Te Kōtiro

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Being.

Being.

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Carb on Carb

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HOZIER


I, like many others, stumbled across HOZIER while Take Me To Church was dominating the airways. A thematic ode to sex and humanity, it caught my attention instantly, and soon after I found myself having well overplayed the song. After that, I never really revisited HOZIER, at least, not until a party when their catchy rock number 'Jackie and Wilson' came on, after which 'Someone new' happened to play as well. These two songs have stayed in my heart for the past few years now. I can't help but remember my best friend every time I hear them; they sum her up so perfectly.

I knew HOZIER's new album 'Wasteland Baby' would be worth listening to, especially since was at one point The USA Billboard No.1.

Wasteland Baby has such a strong opener, 'Nina Cried Power' is my favourite on the album. It references artists like Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, James Brown, and John Lennon, to name a few. It talks about the battle for equality that these artists championed for, a campaign that remains ongoing and necessary to this day.

Hollie Smith was a natural artist to open for HOZIER, but I was shocked to hear that she had never opened for an artist before. Singing with that soulful voice of hers, she made the crowd boogie, and I couldn't help but dance.

Their presence on the stage was clearly well choreographed. Band members had the biggest grins on their faces, running up and down stage. I think I counted seven including Andrew (aka the main guy we're talking about here). Overall, the night left me well impressed with the band's skill and experience, certainly not one to be forgotten any time soon!

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