Very much the fan of a pretty frock, I was in heaven at the 45th New Zealand Music Awards last Thursday evening at the Vector Arena. The red carpet was filled with so many beautiful people that it was hard to know where to look, let alone who to shoot. It's pretty safe to say that I came away wishing that I had Brooke Frasers darling smile, and Gin Wigmore hanging off my arm... yep, I'm in love. Both ladies looked incredible in their black get-ups, while the Phoenix Foundation lads impressed the fans with their 'Buffalo'. Autozamm kept it casual as did 2010 New Zealand Music Hall of Fame inductees, Shihad.
Kicking off the evening inside the arena, Stan Walker, Dane Rumble and J Williams did a nice wee medley to keep the kids in the mosh-pit happy before comedian, and presenter for the evening, Ben Hurley took to the stage. He told a few disappointing jokes - if you're a Paul Henry fan, before getting on with it with his co-host, Shannon Ryan. Again - it has to be said, her outfit was absolutely incredible, and I think most ladies are with me when I say 'I want one just like that!'
Obvious favorite, Stan Walker took away one of the first awards of the evening - International Achievement, which came with a charming speech that nearly won me over. The Best Aotearoa Roots Album went straight to Opensouls, which I imagine must have been a tough decision - being up against the likes of Fly My Pretties and Hollie Smith. After a short acceptance speech, Anika Moa provided the audience with a spectacular version of 'Running Through The Fire', with the wonderfully talented Julia Deans joining her on stage. Clearly the entire band was having a brilliant time, as were everyone in the crowd.
Having an equally amazing time was Gin Wigmore who took home a grand total of four awards. Every speech was full of life and energy, with none of that 'I can't believe this is happening' bullshit. She was straight to the point and knew that she deserved it, which was as refreshing as the Vitamin Water drinks that lined the tables in the arena. The Phoenix Foundation wowed the crowd with their hit single 'Buffalo' which of course featured their 'horny friend' who entered with them earlier in the evening on the red carpet.
Collapsing Cities' drum-machine, Tim Van Dammen took away the award for the C4 Best Music Video giving another stand out speech of the evening that was truly heart warming. This teamed up with The Checks winning Best Rock Album of the year, and you've pretty much made my night. Teen favorites Kids of 88 showed off their 'Just A Little Bit' skills in attire that I didn't completely understand? Maybe I'm too old for this kind of thing, but I wouldn't mind if someone would explain why looking like a hobbit is suddenly considered sexy?
Something undoubtedly sexy was Rose McIver and Liam Finn's on stage appearance talking about things that are enough to make any 'lady' blush, as did Robyn Malcolm and Don McGlashan. Dirty Don is his new name I have decided, after he jokingly said 'I'd like to get into that dress...'. Eeeek! Look out Robyn! Here comes Dirty Don! There was absolutely nothing cringe worthy about The Phoenix Foundation taking the award for Steinlager Pure Best Group which came with an alright acceptance speech.
Gin Wigmore had everyone singing along to 'Oh My God' before hopping on stage to accept the final award of the evening - Vodafone Album of the Year. After another short but sweet speech, she trotted off to make way for kiwi rockers, Shihad to finally be inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame. A clip of the history of the band was played to the audience showing footage from shows from waaay back when, before the lads were presented with their awards.
It was humbling to see front man Jon Toogood struggle through his speech, and equally so to discover just how lovely the entire band are after the ceremony. Wrapping up their successes, rock band Luger Boa performed a six-minute medley of Shihad tunes from over the years while crowd favourite, Jimmy Christmas hopped off stage and onto a nearby table. That man sure knows how to make people smile with his stage antics, and it was wicked to see the lads of Shihad getting into it and watching with huge grins on their faces. All in all, another great night was had at the arena, and I'm already looking forward to next year's celebrations.