Kaylee Bell – The Powerstation: May 21, 2023 (Concert Review)

Kaylee Bell closed out her Boots N All Tour at Auckland’s Powerstation on a Sunday with doors opening at 4pm.

Kaylee BellHaving just been at The Powerstation the previous night for Devilskin, a show that finished close to midnight, arriving at the venue at 4 the following afternoon seemed surreal. I felt like maybe I should just move in.

This was an all-ages show with the upstairs dedicated to parents and kids (and there were plenty of them) while early arrivers downstairs seemed a bit shell shocked at first , stunned to be at the venerable venue at such an early hour.

But when the lights went down and the music started up it all made sense.

Cassie Henderson

Taking the stage at 4:45pm was pop singer Cassie Henderson who was introduced by a Cassie Hendersoncouple of More FM DJs who noted that there were celebrities in the house, namely Suzanne Paul and Monty Betham (I eventually spotty Suzanne)

Cassie and Kaylee have been touring together for a while now (click here for a 13th Floor review of their show at Tuning Fork last year) and they make a good team, appealing to the young and young at heart.

Cassie’s sound is more pop, less country than Kaylee and she performs solo tonight, just voice, guitar and backing tracks.  Aged in her early 20’s, she’s a confident performer and has an assured stage presence.

Her set begins with 2021 single Complacent followed by at tune titled 11:59 (not the Blondie song) that is yet to be released as are several of the 6 songs she sings tonight. The one cover is Taylor Swift’s Mean, the song Cassie sang when she auditioned for NZ X-Factor 10 years ago.

“This is my final song…let’s make it a good one, shall we?” and the young crowd sings Na Na Na Na along with another new song titled Bitter.

30 minutes later Cassie’s down and it’s not even 5:30 in the evening!

Kaylee Bell

Kaylee and band take over just after 5:30, looking good in their white (ish) outfits…I think Kaylee has Dolly Parton embroidered on hers.

Kaylee BellThey open with Be With You, the first track on 2021 album Silver Linings and it is immediately clear that Kaylee and band have really become a tight unit, having just opening for some guy called Ed Sheeran a little while go.

Kaylee is thrilled to be playing at The Powerstation and insists on getting a photo taken with the audience behind her, just as Devilskin had done hours earlier.

The 80 minute set featured a medley consisting of 3 Aussie tunes, The (Dixie) Chicks’ Cowboy Take Me Away, a Taylor Swift song (must be required these days) and, after her pronouncement that she’s “proud to be a Kiwi”, a singlalong to Don’t Dream It’s Over.

Kaylee BellThere was one other notable cover, Coldplay’s Fix You, where the audience  was encouraged to wave their flashlit phones (another requirement it seems).

The crowd was loving it, singing along to Living Free and Boots N All.

The encore closed with her 2019 breakthrough single Keith and, crikey, we were done before 7pm!

With audiences getting younger (and older) perhaps earlier shows might become more common. It certainly made sense last night.

Marty Duda

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

Kaylee Bell:

Cassie Henderson:

Kaylee Bell Setlist:
  1. Be With You
  2. Getting Closer
  3. Don’t Be Stupid
  4. One More Shot
  5. That Summer
  6. Nights Like This
  7. Light On
  8. Who I Am
  9. Silver Linings
  10. Medley: Buses And Trains (Bachelor Girl)/Torn (Natalie Imbruglia)/Kiss Me (Sixpence None The Richer)/Cowboy Take Me Away (The Chicks)/Love Story (Taylor Swift)/Don’t Dream It’s Over (Crowded House)
  11. Wasted On You
  12. Small Town Friday Nights
  13. Home
  14. Fix You
  15. When Summer Rolls Around
  16. Living Free
  17. Boots N All
  18. Castle On The Hill
  19. Keith