Strange Universe: Parquet Courts et al – Powerstation July 22, 2022

Strange Universe returns to Auckland with a satisfyingly diverse line-up of international and local acts rocking The Powerstation.

It started early and ended late!

But with Parquet Courts, Marlin’s Dreaming, Mermaidens and Na Noise on the bill, there was a lot of music to get through.

The show was sold out and so, I got there early…or thought I did. I’m usually one of the first in the venue (ask the bar staff) but on this night I turned up at 8:15 only to find Na Noise halfway through their set.  Yolanda, Hariet and Christopher were deep into their 30-minute set closing with Open The Door, which sounded just a bit like the old Jefferson Airplane to these ancient ears.

Bummed that I missed half the set, glad that I caught some if it!

Next up, Mermaidens!

The trio of Gussie, Lily and Abe were looking and sounding sharp. Opening with Sour Lips, they whipped though their 30 minutes seemingly in no time, announcing a new album has been recorded and playing a few new tunes along the way. Speaking of The Airplane, Mermaidens seem to be dipping more and more into the psychedelics themselves, with Gussie’s guitar playing a major standout. Can’t wat to hear the new album!

By this time there seemed to be (by my own unscientific survey) a feeling that the best of the bands had already been heard.

Dunedin’s Marlin’s Dreaming did nothing to dissuade that feeling. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a fine band, but a bit uninspiring. Speaking of which, after their cover of The Chills’ Pink Frost, someone came up to me and said it was their best song but too bad it’s a cover. That kind of summed it up.

By now the clock was ticking and it was 10:37 by the time Parquet Courts took to the stage. Usually the night is winding down by this time but the Courts were in fine form, and within about 10 minutes the entire audience was a heaving mass, dancing to Almost Had To Start A Fight/In And Out Of Patience.

“So good to be back!” exclaimed front man Andrew Savage.

The vibe was celebratory and the groove was funky as the band whipped through their nearly 90 minute set.

After a fierce Stoned And Starving, the band wrapped up the evening with Pulcinella, leaving the audience dazed, confused, sweating and happy.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Brenna Jo Gotje

Parquet Courts:


Marlin’s Dreaming:




Na Noise:

Parquet Courts setlist:

  1. Application Apparatus
  2. Human Performance
  3. Dust
  4. Almost Had To Start A Fight/In And Out Of Patience
  5. Freebird II
  6. Marathon Of Anger
  7. Zoom Out
  8. Walking At A Downtown Place
  9. Wide Awake
  10. Plant Life
  11. Light Up Gold II
  12. Homo Sapien
  13. Black & White
  14. Mardi Gras Beads
  15. Stoned & Starving
  16. Pulcinella


Mermaidens setlist:

  1. Sour Lips
  2. I Might Disappear
  3. UTMII
  4. Foolish
  5. Soft Energy
  6. Sister
  7. I Like To Be Alone