Concert Review: Thomston @ The Tuning Fork, 8 April 2021

ThomstonInto the yearning world of hero haired Thomston I go! The Tuning Fork doors opened at 8, but it wasn’t until everyone was sipping seconds at 9.20 that the lights switched off. Bam! the LA bound kiwi appeared between fluorescent red lights.

The soft-faced singer serenaded the sea of young faces below as they danced to the opening song, Thomston’s latest single, JPA989. But with the second, Los Angeles, the crowd went wild. Phones went up and Instagram stories began spreading like wildfire. The angsty lyrics lined the lips of every barely 20-something in the room.

As the carefully crafted setlist unfolded, the drummer switched between an acoustic drum kit and midi beats pad. And wow! The mix on the kick-drum was out of this world, a toss away from Thor’s hammer!

ThomstonSoon it become obvious that drumming to the rigid backing track was… hard, and after a few off beats, Thomston politely signalled his drummer, introduced to us as George, to take a break for a bit. I would have asked the overpowering backing track to take that break!

Call me old school but I’m still not so sure about this whole backing track thing. There were a few moments in which I was satisfied by Thomston, like when he sat behind the keys and played Sooner, Outskirts and April with either minimal or no extra accompaniment. Not to say that Collarbone and Honeyboo weren’t good with their pre-recorded synth chords, I guess I just like to watch the musicians really play!

As Thomston took to the keyboard, the audience was prepared for an anthem to come. The Heights, what a great 2018 single! The room was swaying, and conviction bled from the singer’s creamy vocals. Definitely one of my favourites. The crowd was singing it word for word, so I think it’s safe to say that it was one of theirs too!

ThomstonNearing the end of the show Thomston stated that everyone should get vaccinated when the Covid vaccine is available because, “If everyone is vaccinated, I can travel and I don’t have to stay in Rotorua for two weeks, I can play more shows.” “Nope, I don’t like political!” was the irritated response from a long-time fan standing next to me.

Major political views such as who should and shouldn’t get vaccinated, is that too far? It felt like his fans came for feel-good vibes with the electro-pop singer, not a lecture on what will save the singer a couple of weeks of MIQ.

But boy! Thomston has come a long way since Rock Quest 2013! His ticket sales increase with every visit to New Zealand. But the expat has claimed Los Angeles his new home. Whatever he is doing there, he is doing right!

Odessa Neilands

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