With all the big-name classic rockers who have appeared at Auckland’s Vector Arena in the recent past, you might think that audiences would be getting a bit jaded about 60+ year old rockers showing up to strut their stuff one more time. But that certainly wasn’t the case tonight. You could feel the anticipation in the crowd. Black Sabbath is no ordinary band and this show felt like the second coming.
Category Archives: Reviews
Looking back on The Flaming Lips’ 27-year recording career, it now seems that the band’s tenure as a somewhat mainstream act (1999’s The Soft Bulletin to 2006’s At War With The Mystics) was just a short detour on what is proving to be a fascinating musical journey.
The members of Black Sabbath are in Auckland preparing for their two shows (Saturday, April 20th and Monday, April 22nd) at The Vector Arena. The good folks at Universal Records invited a select group of music fans to The Langham Hotel on Symonds Street to get a first listen to Sabbath’s upcoming album, 13. The bandmembers were also on hand for a brief Q&A after the roar of the music died down. Self-professed metal-head Tove Partington represented The 13th Floor at this esteemed event.
After 2011’s world-weary I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive (produced by T Bone Burnett, Steve Earle re-teams with long-time producer Ray Kennedy and reconvenes his Dukes (and Duchesses) for a (slightly) more upbeat look at America from the window of his ever-rolling tour bus.
Ahh, the life of a concert reviewer is a strange one. Less than 48 hours ago I was rocking out to Robert Plant as he performed a searing version of Led Zeppelin’s Rock & Roll. Now, I’m in the same venue, sitting politely among a somewhat more sedate and well-dressed crowd, waiting for the operatic baritone Josh Groban to take the stage.
Well if you’re feeling a bit tired and jaded trying to stay up to date with the newest, hippest thing in music, may I suggest a good blast of 60s-style garage-rock to clear the head. Barring a spin of Nuggets, check out either or both of these new reissues.
It must be both a blessing and a burden to have the legacy of a band like Led Zeppelin behind you. A blessing in that it enabled you to present your music to a huge audience and a burden in that that audience will often simply demand that you relive past glories. Robert Plant did a superb job of walking that fine line between satisfying his own musical curiosity while keeping the fans happy who wanted to revel in the majesty that was Led Zeppelin.
There are a few advantages to being located “at the end of world”. One of them is that international tours often finish their runs in Auckland, and the artist is inspired to celebrate musically. It happened this past Saturday when Wilco and Mavis Staples joined forces on The Band’s The Weight, and it happened again tonight when Paul Simon brought Rufus Wainwright to the stage to sing The Boxer…then continued with two more classic tunes that were not on the set list.
With a chilly wind, dark clouds and a sprinkle of rain threatening to make Bonnie Raitt’s outdoor show at Matakana something for the hale and hearty, it was a pleasant surprise to see a bright sunshine-filled sky as the clouds parted and warm weather made for a perfect autumn day as 13th Floor photographer Michael Flynn and I made our way north at 4pm on Sunday afternoon. What we found when we got there was a generous crowd of fans basking in the late afternoon sun, ready for a little blues and rock to go with their wine and beer.
Wilco closed out the Southern Hemisphere leg of their tour in style, proving that they are one of the most exciting live bands on the road today. And the addition of gospel legend Mavis Staples to the bill insured that this was a show not to be missed. When she and her band performed The Weight with Wilco at the close, the result was pure magic.