Kristin Hersh – Tuning Fork: November 18, 2023

Kristin Hersh brought her solo show to Auckland’s Tuning Fork, highlighting songs from her most recent album, Clear Pond Road, along with plenty of old favourites.

We here at 13th Floor have been following the sometime Throwing Muse/50FootWave/solo artist for years now and it’s always a pleasure to see and hear her in concert.

The Tuning Fork was packed and things got underway early. With no opening act, Kristin was on stage before I had a chance to get in, so sadly I missed the first couple of tunes, catching the end of Flooding as I settled in.

Kristin Hersh“This song is about a goldfish named Freddie Mercury” announced the tiny figure sitting on stage, before launching into an intense version of Bywater, recorded by Throwing Muses on 2020’s Sun Racket album.

We go from goldfish to Dandelion, from Clear Pond Road and a creeping darkness seems to be running through these songs, a fact not lost on Kristin as she promises a ‘happy song’ several times throughout the evening.

Instead we get City Of The Dead, prefaced by the fact that bodies in New Orleans (Hersh’s adopted home) have to be buried above ground.

Kristen HershLongtime fans are thrilled to hear a couple of tunes from Kristin’s breakthrough solo debut, 1994’s Hips and Makers.

“Se ya in a minute!” Hersh blurts out after Teeth, and a brief break is in order before we resume 20 minutes or so later.

There is no change in wardrobe for set two, but Kristin’s voice seems to have gotten a bit raspier as the night goes on and that’s a good thing.

She also has a lovely interaction with the crowd…telling us about stepping on a cockroach before Palmetto and engaging in some friendly banter before Slippershell.

“This is a Throwing Muse song”

(audience cheers)

“It might be one you hate”.

We don’t.

Someone calls out, “What makes for happiness?”

A heavy question for sure.

“Maybe we should open this up to Q&A”, Kristin muses.

We don’t, instead we get crowd pleaser Your Ghost. The crowd whoops and hollers as Hersh sings, “I think last night you were driving around me” like a mantra.

The show ends with a trip across the Bo Diddley Bridge and then wrapping with Kay Catherine from Sun Racket.

There is no encore, no meet and greet, just a plea to buy some merch and that’s it.

We were treated to twenty songs but it still felt too short.

As P.T. Barnum once said, “Leave them wanting more”.

Marty Duda

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

Kristin Hersh Set 1



  1. Flooding
  2. Bywater
  3. Dandelion
  4. Sundrops
  5. Shaky Blue Can
  6. Reflections On The Motive Power
  7. City Of The Dead
  8. Teeth


Set Two:

  1. Bright
  2. Palmetto
  3. Slippershell
  4. Cuckoo
  5. Your Ghost
  6. Krait
  7. Gazebo Tree
  8. Haha
  9. Bo Diddley Bridge
  10. Kay Catherine

Kristin Hersh performs at Artworks on Waiheke Island tonight