Homegrown, Wellington Waterfront, 18 February 2012
Homegrown, New Zealandís celebration of our culture of music is awesome. This is the day when all our finest talents are on display in a sublime setting of the Wellington waterfront. Five stages sprawled in between the urban jungle bordered by the sea. Itís across this spread that is layered all of our different genres in a day that will satisfy even the most fussiest of punters.
I loved Homegrown last year and enjoyed myself just as much this time. Last year I stayed put on the rock stage all day but this year I went with the mission to venture and see what else there was to offer. This was the best decision ever. I did start at the rock stage and intended to spend most of the day there but there were a few artists I wanted to step out and see The Adults and Kora were on my list of must see bands for the day.
Black River Drive opened up the rock stage with a fairly decent crowd to get things going and these guys play high energy rock and the crowd started to move around a bit about half way through the set.
Shotgun Alley was up next and these guys are hard rock glam styles. They run around the stage and have great fun rocking out with the audience. Hair flyís everywhere and a singer that can sing higher than your sister. Sometimes I miss the 80ís.
The next band that I always love to see is The Checks. They have a groove swing that sweeps across the room and the whole place goes to another world. They have a very psychedelic sound which in some ways brings to mind the doors. They are always a brilliant band to watch and it was a pity there were not more there to see them. Ed is an awesome front man who draws deep into himself and then lets it all out in front of you.
The Adults consists of three stars in their own rights Jon Toogood from Shihad fame, Shayne Carter from Straightjacket Fits and Dimmer fame and Julia Deans from Fur Patrol. Pretty much a supergroup and they played a super set. This was my first venture out of the Rock stage and into the red bull lab which was a much more intimate stage which was perfect for them. I love Shayne Carter and he always inspires me with his performance and he was magic again. The way he plays guitar and sings, his movements, his performance, the man lives his music and breaths it out of himself.
Blacklist is my favourite Kiwi hard rock band and I was very amped to be seeing them again. Last year we got a new song this year we got two new songs Red Hush and Egos both were very cool canít wait for the new album. These guys always get the crowd rocking and I let my hair out for them and let the head bang. They got a pit going and Damian their singer jumped into the crowd to do a little crowd surfing. One of the highlights was an acoustic version if Just know which as a hardened metal head I even had to struggle to hold back a little tear as I sung along with the rest of the crowd. As is always the case with Blacklist their set is always too short but I along with plenty of other fans were just happy to see the guys back in front of us. Please donít make it a year for us to get to see you again.
They were the best part of the day for me but Shayne Carter and Kora were right up there as well. Itís very difficult to pick a defining moment when there are so many moments. As I said earlier all genres covered and thatís what makes Homegrown so awesome is being able to Rock out then chill out and then get your boogie on all in one day to world class music.
I was introduced to Kora at a Shihad gig of all places and was blown away with their show then. They are not what your average Metal head would normally get into but these guys will blow your mind every time. This was the second venture away from the rock stage and was so stoked I did as they were unbelievable. Very tight clean crisp bass with some funky grooves that will knock your socks off. They are one of our most talented bands in New Zealand and I must say I ended my night in the Dub and Roots tent rather than the Rock stage which was a pleasant change and such a pleasure to be at.
Homegrown is a massive event showcasing some of New Zealandís greatest cultural assets. Itís a special day in which you can indulge in the finest of New Zealandís bands from Rock to Pop and Hip hop all in one magical place. When I die I hope this is what heaven is like. We have the best music right here in our own back yard ... Homegrown!!!!