Voom, Reb Fountain & Vera Ellen The Powerstation June 2, 2024 (Concert Review)

Voom, Reb Fountain and Vera Ellen closed out their 4-date tour at Auckland’s Powerstation keeping the spirit of New Zealand Music Month alive for an extra day or two.

The previous evening the tour was in Wellington where Voom’s Buzz Moller experienced a Spinal Tap moment backstage at the new Great Hall, struggling to find his way to the stage. But fortunately everyone found their way to the stage tonight, beginning with Vera Ellen and her band.

Vera Ellen

Vera EllenStill riding on the high coming from winning the Taite Award and having just released her new EP, heartbreak for jetlag, Vera Ellen was resplendent in her long, white flowing gown, taking the stage just before 8pm with Carpenter from last year’s Ideal Home Noise LP.

Apparently Vera Ellen is no longer a solo artist, but a band.

“We are Vera Ellen, collectively”, Vera announces proudly after Telegram 2. That band includes Ben Lemi, Samuel Austin, Bella Guarrera and Albert Riverthis being Sammy’s last show with Vera as he’s heading off to London.

As promised during her 13th Floor interview, Vera previews several new songs throughout the 10-song set, with Spit at The Sky getting a good reaction from the crowd.

Speaking of the crowd, there were elements in the back of the venue whose chatter annoyed the band just as they were getting to an emotional, and quieter position of the set. Ben Lemi suggested that those conversing should “suspend the chatter” while Vera was more direct…”Please be quiet for this one” she asked before performing a very moving version of Broadway Junction.

There was time for one more…a new one possibly titled Then There Was You, before Vera literally fluttered off stage like a fairy, white gown flowing, having just delivered one of her strongest set I have witnessed.

Reb Fountain

Reb FountainI’m pretty sure many in the audience were here in anticipation of the opportunity to hear Reb Fountain perform her revelatory version of OMC’s How Bizarre live.

And Reb did not disappoint.

Fans’ attention was initially drawn to stage by the sound of Dave Khan’s violin who was sounding not unlike Bad Seed/Dirty Three’s Warren Ellis. It make sense considering that Reb has performed entire shows featuring Nick Cave’s songs, and sure enough, tonight, Reb, dressed in black and snarling out the lyrics to Carpenter, seemed to be channelling Mr Cave once more, with Khan, on violin, keys, guitar and vocals a perfect combo of Warren Ellis and Mick Harvey.

But Reb and her band are much more than Bad Seed imitators. They opened with three tunes from 2021’s Iris album before serving up the evening’s most powerful one-two punch in the form of a very emotional Hey Mom, that had Reb wiping away tears, followed by the much-anticipated How Bizarre, with Reb playing the Lou Reed-inspired riff on guitar.

Then it was time for some new songs. The first, titled Come Down, was hypnotic with a trance-inducing guitar figure while the second, titled Memorial, grew to epic proportions as Reb sang, “I carry myself like a fuckin boss!”

The audience let out a big cheer at the end of the two new tunes, boding well for whatever Reb has in mind for her next album.

The set ends with a typically intense Don’t You Know Who I Am.


VoomThat Reb Fountain set would have been a tough act to follow by anyone, and I was sceptical that Voom would be up to it.

The four-piece took the stage at 10pm and opened with Beautiful Day from their 2006 album, Hello, Are You There? Front man Buzz Moller was dressed in a semi-psychedelic outfit…actually a tie-dyed T-shirt.

Despite knocking his vocal mic off the stand at the beginning to Relax, Buzz and Voom came up with a set that started slowly but eventually built up a decent head of steam. After some on-stage fluffing around at the end of Magic, the band seemed to shift into a higher gear as they cranked out King Kong, Let Yourself Down (a new song) and Isn’t That Good.

Martin Phillipps came to us complete with a bit of a backstory…Buzz’s cousin was a briefly a Chill…and the set closed with a rousing B Your Boy with Vera and Reb helping out on vocals.

But, as they say, that’s not all.

Those of us who stayed till the end were rewarded with an absolutely lovey version of Chris Knox’s Not Given Lightly performed by Buzz, Reb and Vera and accompanied by everyone in the Powerstation who sang along, making this a potent night on prime Kiwi music.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by our award-winning 13th Floor photographer Brenna Jo Gotje.


Reb Fountain:

Vera Ellen:

Voom setlist:

  1. Beautiful Day
  2. Relax
  3. We Don’t Care
  4. Everyone
  5. We’re So Lost
  6. No Real Reality
  7. Beth
  8. Magic
  9. King Kong
  10. Let Yourself Down (new song)
  11. Isn’t That Good
  12. Martin Phillipps
  13. B Your Boy
  14. Not Given Lightly

Reb Fountain:

  1. Fisherman
  2. Beastie
  3. Lacuna
  4. Hey Mom
  5. How Bizarre
  6. Come Down (new song)
  7. Memorial (new song)
  8. Don’t You Know Who I Am

Vera Ellen:

  1. Carpenter
  2. Telegram 2
  3. Spit At The Sky (new song)
  4. Lenny Says
  5. You Bring The Joy (new song)
  6. When It’s Over (new song)
  7. Heartbreak For Jetlag
  8. Broadway Junction
  9. Then There Was You (new song)