Openside + Friends


Diversity, Love, Strength and Being your true self. This is what comes to mind when thinking about who Openside are and the message they are spreading. I'm proud that New Zealand is where such exciting, empowering and boundary pushing music is happening.

I've seen Openside many times over the years from ACL, Tuning Fork, Armageddon to the Big Gay Out. They have a way about them that creates a safe space to be young, dance, sing and go crazy, all while being yourself. Their show at Hollywood Avondale the other week reminded me so much of when I was underage and starving for music, going along to every all age gig I could find. This show was such a great environment. You had the parents taking their eight olds, the sixteen to eighteen-year-olds going crazy in the mosh and the oldies like me dancing at the back and singing our lungs out (haha all while still trying to look cool). Rainbows were everywhere and everyone had a smile on their face.

The line up for this show could not have been a better showcase of young and upcoming talent. You've got Foley who are just rocking it and looking fab at the same time. Classic Daffodils with their gloomy synth-pop vibe. Ashy with her great stage presence, unfortunately I arrived too late into her set to get photos sorry folks. But here are the photos I did get.


Lucy Dacus

I've been a bit embarrassed to post this as I don't believe I did my best when shooting Being. or Lucy.

Arriving at The Tuning Fork I realised my camera battery was about to die, so I began using it as sparingly as possible. I only managed to get a few shots of Being. and Lucy before my camera craped out. The lesson here is always to check and charge your batteries or even better buy a spare and keep it on you (which I'm still yet to do)

So after my baby died, I had the pleasure of watching and singing at the top of my voice. You all know how I love Being. and the music she is creating, but this performance was mixed with moving poems which struck a chord with me. With a grin on my face (thanks Being.) I waited patiently for Lucy! She and her band did not let us down. As their last show on tour, I hope that we as an audience did not let them down and I believe we didn't, swaying, singing and cheering Lucy's name. She spoke of how ducked (you know the word I mean) of a place she thought America had become so I reckon she and her band should just come live here in New Zealand.

It was a great night despite my technical difficulties.


Death Cab For Cutie

First I must say one thing that's been on my mind before I get into the joy of seeing my favourite band again.

There were times I felt angry watching Death Cab perform, seeing so many people around me on their phone, talking very loudly to one another, or being so drunk that they would shout the same thing over and over again, e.g. play the song 'I will follow you into the dark!', one lady must have said that maybe 15 times, of course they will play it, it's their top song. I felt like shouting at everyone around me to stop what they are doing and have some respect or leave! Ok, rant done! Promise.

I've been listening to Death Cab For Cutie since I was a 5-year-old (thanks mum for giving me a musical education). I first saw them live maybe three years ago at the Saint Jame theatre before it shut its doors. I did not believe my favourite band would come back so soon. I was delighted to find that they were going to be part of the Auckland Arts Festival. Now my photos do not do this performance the justice it deserves. I wish they could relay how tight a set it was, how well they all worked together. You could see that they have been working together and performing for a long time. Everything was perfect, perfect at some moments for me at least. You could probably guess, but I sang at the top of my lungs for every single song! And I loved every minute of it. I would bet $100 that my mum, sitting two rows behind me would have been crying for most the show!


Snail Mail

One of my most favourite things about being able to be part of Music here in New Zealand is that I get to watch from the shadows as artists grow stronger and get these great opportunities. I experience feelings of pride and joy, which is funny because a bearly know these artists, I just know their work. But every time a see Maxwell perform, I can see how much stronger and more comfortable he is on stage. Oh, Maxwell was opening for Snail Mail if that wasn't clear.

So at the dark, gloomy stage of Galatos played Snail Mail. 19-year-old Lindsey Jordan and her band performed one of the dreamiest indie sets I’ve seen. Unfortunately, due to elements out of Snail Mail's control there were some sound issues. This did not take away from the enjoyment of the show. The crowd and I sang to every song and swaged to their dreamy sound. But I could see the frustration coming through on Lindsey's face as she and the rest of the band battled with the sound crew to change the sound during the set. This is just proof of the talent within Snail Mail that even through adversity, everyone still had a wonderful time and loved every minute of it! Let’s also not forget that the show sold out! So hopefully that means they will be back soon again!

Maxwell Young  @maxwell_young

Maxwell Young @maxwell_young