Dope Lemon – Auckland Town Hall: July 22, 2022

Dope Lemon graced the Auckland Town Hall as part of this year’s musically ambitious Elemental Nights Concert Series.

“Magical” is the first word that pops to mind when witnessing the smooth sounds of Angus Stone and his delightfully talented entourage of fellow musicians that make up Dope Lemon. From the moment we arrived the atmosphere was charged and it was incredible to see the Lemons music extend to people of all ages and various walks of life.

The concert was hosted by Elemental Nights Festival, a yearly treat for Auckland of curated “arts, eats and beats” and D.L was first the first band to open up the live music sector of the festival which runs until the end of July. Held at the iconic Auckland Town Hall, the entire operation was a well oiled machine from the lovely and welcoming front of house staff to all the backstage cogs that fitted into place. Unfortunately the vocals did get a bit drowned out if you were standing below the balcony in the general admission area. However once we adjusted our location to the back of the room the vocals came through much clearer.

Walking in to the venue, my friend and I – both somewhat devoted D.L fans, discussed which songs we hoped they would play, my first hope was  Stonecutters a personal favourite which starts off slightly folky with a plucking banjo before the drums and other guitars kick in. It’s a song that can only be described as pleasant with a bunch of different vocal and musical techniques which make it an all round experience to listen to. As if mine and Angus’ minds were in sync, the lads opened the show with this beauty of a song. It was at that moment only one song in i told my friends that my review would just be one word- magical. You may however feel short changed if that’s all I have to say though so allow me to give you a few more…

Wrapping up Stonecutters, the boys moved straight on to How many times before Angus said gidday to his loyal fans who had been waiting ever so patiently to see him in the flesh. Dope Lemon we’re scheduled to play in last years lineup for Elemental Nights but had to pull out due to the dreaded C who must not be named.

After a quick yarn and all pleasantries were exchanged, they went straight into Marinade, a classic and well loved tune, in fact their highest streamed song from their first album Honey Bones (2016). Marinade was actually the first song I heard from them a few years back and i was quickly hooked on the hypnotic sound of Angus’ vocals. Straight after that came the delicious and what can only be described as sexy tune Hey You, if the crowd were grooving before this they were really getting down to business when this one started playing. The bass riff at the beginning really just does something to your bones.

Dope Lemon have recently- in January – released their third studio album, Rose Pink Cadillac, and what I liked about this show was that despite that album being fresh and having brilliant tracks, many of the classics from other albums were still played such as Salt n pepper & Hey man don’t look at me like that from their 2nd best selling 2019 album; Smooth Big Cat. There were actually a nice handful of tracks from each of his three studio albums plus Home soon from the 2017 EP Hounds Tooth which they wrapped up the show with.

As always though the fans hadn’t had enough and Angus and his bands return was demanded on stage for an encore to which they performed the lovely little number Kids Falling In Love, a single from the latest album Rose Pink Cadillac which was a perfect choice to end the night with. Kids falling in love is just a really positively charged song that whisks you away to dreamy lemon land. In all honesty I couldn’t have had a better night- unless it was a longer set. I guess he will just have to come back and play again sometime soon… Until then cheers little lemons (the fans) and everyone who helped make this show possible, it’s was very well done indeed and 5 gold stars from me. ?

Gab McDonnell

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Chris Zwaagdyk:

Dope Lemon:

Daily J:

Click here for more Elemental Nights shows to come