Category Archives: music

been | London Grammar

They say good things come to those who wait and Kiwi fans of London Grammar were certainly kept in anticipation on Saturday night.  

Nearly half an hour later than scheduled, London Grammar graced the stage of Auckland’s Spark Arena and fans were awarded for their loyalty.  Over 5,000 were eagerly waiting to see London Grammar’s first ever New Zealand performance and they weren’t disappointed.

Starting with a minimalistic performance of Rooting for you, Hannah’s unique and mellisonant voice resonated throughout the arena.  Performing songs from both their albums, die-hard fans sang along to every song while the majority of the crowd bellowed to their chart-topping singles; Hey Now and Strong.

The subtle lighting and colour washes, their humble approach, and the emotion on their faces made it a mesmerising performance to watch.  This was further complemented by their unique ability to make the arena performance feel intimate.

My only gripe; after spending hours vocal training at local Karaoke bars, practising for my time to sing-along to their cover of Bitter Sweet Symphony, I was disappointed to hear it wasn’t part of their hour-long set.  Still, London Grammar gave a fantastic performance and I hope we see them on shores again.

Check out all the photographs from their performance here.

been | Cole

How much charisma does it take to fill the Auckland Town Hall? If you’re Michael Griffiths, consider the building bursting.

The spirit of Cole Porter lives in Griffiths, who has been portraying Porter for 3 years in this show. From the moment Griffiths stepped onstage – complete with Porter-esque limp – the spell was cast for an hour of marvellous musical magic.

As with the best cabaret, all of the glamour and fun of the genre combined beautifully with hints of melancholy as Mr Porter regaled us with the highs and lows of his life and career; taking in Paris, New York, a marriage of convenience, love lost and found, and the riding accident that nearly ended his career. These moments, retold wittily and wistfully, but never self-pityingly, were touchingly revealing, and Porter’s greatest hits are cleverly woven into the narrative, musically illustrating the story.

Typically matinee audiences are subdued, but Griffiths in mischievous style alternately teased, cajoled and affectionately bullied the assembly until we were transformed into his own private singalong chorus. A gorgeous setting – complete with glittering curtains at the doors, romantic lighting, roses on the tables, and a particularly well-deployed mirrorball– completed the spell.

Like the most pleasing of parties, the hour flew by in the blink of an eye. I didn’t want it to end. Five stars.

Grab tickets HERE.

been | The Legend Of Zelda – Symphony Of The Goddesses

At E3 2011, Jason Michael Paul Productions produced a 4 minute overture to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic Zelda franchise. The clip contained footage from the various titles paired with an arrangement of some of the stirringly beautiful themes the series is famous for which, for anyone who’s spent even a moment of their childhood wrapped up in the saga of Link and Zelda, was one hell of a nostalgia trip. Shortly after the event a full concert was announced whose success would eventually lead to the creation of “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses” to which I had the unique pleasure of seeing on the evening of the 14th of August at Auckland’s Civic theatre.

Multiplay Insomnia60 at NEC – Matthew King/iEventMedia

The show begins with the aforementioned overture, conducted with infectious enthusiasm by award winning Australian conductor Jessica Gethin, and performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with assistance from the haunting Freemason Chorus. The performers are accompanied by the very same footage from the E3 presentation projected upon the back of the stage behind the Chorus.

The closing of the overture precedes an early teary eyed applause from series fans and newcomers alike and is followed by a brief introduction from Jason Michael Paul and a short clip from the one and only Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Not the last we see of the legendary game director as he makes a further announcement towards the end of the show, espousing his love for the series and the personal impact it’s had on him. He’s joined by two further clips, one from designer and current director of the Zelda series – Eiji Aonuma (who began his work with the series during the spectacular “Ocarina of Time”) and the renowned video game composer Koji Kondo.

Each piece of music is expertly choreographed to footage of the particular title it’s inspired from. It’s not just promotional footage either: a good deal of the scenes are actual gameplay meaning someone played through and recorded them for the show (I like to imagine Mr Paul did a start to finish “Let’s Play” of all 30 years worth of games for this himself). The masterful pairing with the swelling and pacing of the score suggests the clips were chosen by someone with a love for the series and, while a couple of clips felt like slightly odd choices, the vast majority of footage fit in sublimely and included enough chicken chasing and Master Sword pulling to satisfy everyone.

The pieces include arrangements from many of the greatest games in the series. Act one begins with a composition of the Dragon Roost Island theme from Wind Waker which, as the piece draws to a close, has the orchestra bathed in crimson light while showing Links dramatic battle with Gohma in the caverns. The stage lighting is used to great effect throughout immersing you even further from the vibrant greens of the Plains of Epona during a piece from Breath of the Wild to the deep blue of the Great Sea during Movement III – The Wind Waker.

I could more than happily talk about each piece in detail but, as Miyamoto says himself that “life, just as in the game, is full of surprises” and the surprises of this show really need to be experienced in person. The show will be moving on to Perth on the 24th of August and Singapore on the 26th before returning to Melbourne for two more shows on the 3rd of September. I implore you, if you’re able, crack open some pots and collect as many Rupees as you can to make it to one of these showings. You will not be disappointed.

Hyah!

 

 

 

Visit the Official Website HERE

 

DocEdge 17 | Tokyo Idols

Canada / United Kingdom | 2017 | 89 min | Japanese / English Sub | Kyoko Miyake

Tokyo Idols focuses on idol culture in Japan and is more of an overview, rather than an in-depth look at what is a facinating subject.

We are introduced to young aspiring idols (some very young), and the journey that they inevitably will take on their road to success – or not. With so many eager would-be idols striving for the top spot, the competition is fierce and truly popularity based. A dominating factor of this popularity contest is based on a superficial image constructed by and for the individual. Innocence, youth, vitality, and cuteness are all key qualitites.

The fandom (and potential to profit from ‘super-fans’) is what seemingly drives this industry; However, once you start looking closer at this, questions start arising. Why are these sometimes significantly older men so emotionally invested in these young girls? Is it obsession? How healthy or unhealthy is this obsession?

With a constructed image of innocence and youth catering so blatantly to the personal desires of these fans, one has to consider some realities, such as safety of the idols (and perhaps a few other things).

This is cleverly illustrated with the characters we are introduced to; specifically Rio Hiiragi, or ‘RioRio’, to her fans. She is paving her way to hopeful success by doing her own promotional work, and utilises her small fan-base for support; you can truly see her earnest determination to succeed.

If you have little to zero knowledge of the subject, I would  highly recommend this as a introduction or taster if you will; It provides a fantastic overview as well as an objective take on Idol culture.

Absolutely recommend.

 

The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz

been | Lost in Paradise tour

Roots superstars, Common Kings returned to New Zealand as part of their Lost in Paradise South Pacific tour.  They were greeted by a packed-out, raucous crowd at the culmination of the New Zealand leg at Auckland’s Powerstation last night.

The crowd, after being amped up by Mikey Mayz, were full of energy to welcome the Common Kings on stage.  They began their set with a drum and guitar set and played all of their classics as well as tracks from their latest album, Lost in Paradise.

Their mix of uptempo rock beats, feel-good vibes and emotional riffs had every member of the audience jumping, head-bobbing and swaying.  It was a great night for all hip-hop, urban and reggae fans a-like.  Whilst performing their own catalogue, they also played a few classic hip hop tracks, with their own unique twist.

All fans were certainly Lost in Paradise last night.

Check out our photographs from the night.  All photos were taken on a #HuaweiP10NZ.

been | Milky Chance

Folk off- it’s not folk music, if there was no tambourine in sight!

Germany has certainly come a long way since David Hasselhoff and Rammstein.  Its latest ‘folky’ export comes in the form of Milky Chance, a nu-folk electronica act whose infectious toe-tapping songs charmed a sold-out crowd at Auckland’s Powerstation.  

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Their set, paired with the resonating bass and colourful lights left us feeling like we’d entered Milky Chance’s psychedelic brain. Each song was sung with perfection, every beat was tapped by feet, and several harmonica solos reminded the crowd, that folk music can be cool and a tambourine is not required!

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Milky Chance certainly have a cult-following of loyal fans here in NZ, and it showed with most of the sold-out crowd singing along to every song.  With a solid 90 minute performance, they performed tracks from all three of their albums, including Flashed Junked Mind, Cocoon and their biggest hit, Stolen Dance.  These tracks have been playlisted on several NZ radio stations and have racked up over 400 million plays on Spotify!

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If you ever get the chance to see them live, I’d fully recommend it.  Check out our photographs from the gig, taken on a HuaweiP10NZ.

humans of mac+mae: MC Bliss

Something that is very special to me is the craft of hip-hop music.  For me, it’s a creative outlet and a form of expression that I have found, nothing else is like.  I can get ideas and concepts out in a creative way.  In a lot of ways, it’s like self-therapy.

When I have something that’s on my mind that I really want to express it; to be able to do that and tell a story but also combine it with a sonic landscape that evokes emotions of what I’m trying to tell is amazing.

The best feeling on earth is when you first create a song and you hear it back for the first time and it gives you those shivers, those goosebumps or tears, or whatever it is and you know you’ve plucked a chord, you’ve plucked a heartstring.  So hip-hop music, Love ya.

Bliss n Eso, Off The Grid - available from 28 April (blisneso.com)

Bliss n Eso, Off The Grid – available from 28 April (blisneso.com)

MC Bliss is one third of Australian hip hop trio, Bliss n Eso.  Since meeting in high school, MCs Bliss and Eso plus DJ Izm have broken records, won ARIA and APRA awards, staged spectacular live shows, and toured internationally.  

This Friday, they release their hugely anticipated sixth album, Off The Grid about overcoming personal struggles and establishing new beginnings – Pre order the album.  They’ve also just announced 4-city NZ Tour – buy tickets.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “Humans of mac+mae”.