Harper Finn – Hollywood Avondale: August 13, 2022

Harper Finn brought his Newcomer tour to Auckland’s classic Hollywood Avondale theatre along with a couple of support acts worthy of a second look and listen.

Yes, the kids were indeed alright as the youthful crowd reflected the young, up-and-coming newcomers on stage.

Luca GeorgeUp first was 19-year old Luca George singing his little heart out along with a live drummer (Harry) and backing tracks. His 25 minute set opened with a dramatic Could This Be Love and closed with his most recent release Ruin My Life. Luca played keys for Flower Crown…about his imminent move to Auckland from Wellington and connected with the audience with the emotional Organized Chaos…about his parents’ divorce.

“I wrote this when I was 15” he told us…since he’s only now 19, that’s not so long ago.

I don’t think Judah Kelley is 19…but she’s not far from it.

Judah KelleyHer and her 4-piece band –McKenzie (bass), Casey (drums), Gracie (keys) and brother Levi (guitar) got our attention early and often with their brand of indie rock.

When Judah put down her guitar and sang the third tune, it became clear that she processes a formidable voice. And when she sat down behind the keys and sang the following ballad (with band members kneeling on the stage) I was hooked.

With a sound that reminded this old rocker of Martha Davis and The Motels they were quickly my new favourite band.

By the time Harper hit the stage it was getting late, but this being a Saturday it was ok to have the kids up past 11.

Harper FinnHaving recently moved to New York (see the 13th Floor interview here) young Mr Finn has been honing his craft both as a songwriter and a performer.  With guitarist Jake Skellern at his side, Harper showed us his new moves on set opener (and EP opener) Dark Side Of Summer.

Like his dad before him, Harper adds his own quirky moves on stage, legs and arms flailing wildly. The moves never interfered with the vocals, in fact they enhanced the total experience.

Harper FinnThe 45 minute set featured all of the Newcomer EP plus a couple of new song and a cover of Goldenhorse’s Maybe Tomorrow.

Dance Away These Days was the set closer and with the clock about to strike midnight, Harper rocked in the new day with Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself.

If this line-up is anything to go by, there’s plenty of cool new artists and new music percolating in Auckland and elsewhere in New Zealand.

And good luck to Harper as he flies back to his new home in New York.

Marty Duda

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

Harper Finn:

Judah Kelley:

Luca George:


Harper Finn setlist:

  1. Dark Side Of Summer
  2. Conversations (With The Moon)
  3. Different Skies
  4. She Said
  5. Euphoria
  6. Good For Me
  7. Runway
  8. Echo
  9. Sundown
  10. Maybe Tomorrow
  11. Dance Away These Days
  12. Dancing With Myself

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