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Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards - November 3rd, 2011. Vector Arena.

11 Nov 2011 // A review by Dilemma

Man, the Vector is massive. Anything staged there needs to be a spectacular just to do the sheer size of the Arena justice.

And as we know, bigger is always better and in NZ there is no bigger event than the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. The awards ceremony, held last week on the 3rd of November, brought together all the biggest names in NZ music, supported by some of the biggest names in Sport and Television. Up in the grandstands the biggest music fans sharing their enthusiasm for all the biggest hits of 2010/2011. It was big! Not just big, BIG!

Ironically, our country is comparatively small, but our musicians are some of the most talented and well known around the world. David Dallas is big in the States, Brooke and Kimbra who awas awarded the Critics Choice at the Critics Showcase at the Kings Arms prior to this awards show, are big in Australia, Ladi6 and The Naked and Famous are really big in Europe and the U.K. Tiki Taane is so big here in NZ that he was escorted onto the stage by a wall of policemen.

We deserve a big arena to showcase and shower appreciation upon our home-grown talent because they work so hard at what they do. Also, as much as they deserve the recognition and awards, the fans deserve to have their favourite artists all together for one night to enjoy and absorb the atmosphere that they spend all year creating through buying music and going to live shows.

The red carpet there pure glamour, prestige rampant and camera bulbs flashing. There are many calls of ‘hey bro,’ many squeals of excitement, and, as always, guys in basketball high tops. Not as fancy as in other countries, but Kiwis aren't really that way inclined which makes it awesome if you are a fan of NZ music to rock up to the awards and know that you belong there, that the night is for everyone.

The ceremony started with a bang, Six60 got the whole Arena hyped up with a rocking rendition of Rise Up lifting the level of excitement in less than 3 seconds. Matiu got everyone on their feet. It was a foot stomping frenzy from start to finish, sending vibrations through every crevice of the Vector. Man did the vector get a work out, hard opener to follow, but no one would be more worthy to take on that challenge than the Ladi of NZ music herself, and Ladi6 didn’t just bang, she Bang Bang-ed it! Her effortless vocals were spurred on by the untied handclapping pulsating though the crowed as she belted out her first Single from latest Album The Liberation of.

Through out the ceremony, awards were given out to the best of NZ music, Ladi6 killed it for the top female vocalist over Brooke Fraser, while Brooke herself picked up five awards out of her six nominations. The only ones to equal her award haul through-out the evening were The Naked and Famous pulling in five of their own awards. However, they really do need to work on their acceptance speeches, I felt awkward just watching their awkwardness. Brooke should give Alisa and the boys some more pointers about how to make acceptance speeches, but just not in the middle of her own acceptance speeches.

A little disappointing even though I love the song, was Avalanche City’s ‘Love Love Love,’ I love the diversity of our music but the performance just seemed a little lacklustre for such an event, even though the song was a deserving finalist for the Single of the Year.  Picking up the pace though was a very handsome Che Fu accompanied by Hollie Smith presenting awards for Best Electronica, Roots and Urban Albums of the Year. Tiki and his police entourage warmed up the crowd for Brooke Fraser who performed New Zealand highest selling Single of the Year, Something in the Water. Glowing in the Arena spotlights, Brooke Fraser who has been in Music Industry for well over 10 years and who I remember seeing when she was about 16 in one of her first performances at Parachute Music Festival at Totara Springs, really is the epitome of New Zealand Music. She is beautiful, unassuming and so talented, just her and the music that she creates which is nothing less than precision.

Of course what awards ceremony would not be complete without some drama or controversy and even though our awards are more relaxed and fun, this night was no exception. Gin Wigmore was surprisingly completely upstaged coming out to present some awards by her counterpart Colin Mathura-Jeffree wearing a Gaga inspired (or mock) meat dress AND SHOES! There is always one who comes to steal the show and entertain. We definitely had the bright lights, big names, zealous beats, but did not need any pyrotechnics to make this event go off with a bang.

Capping off an incredible night were the last two performances, one by the current young guns of New Zealand music The Naked and Famous, so talent and always so technically perfect in their performances, preceding the now more infamous young guns of 10 years ago Supergroove paying a rock-solid version of ‘Rain,’ a tribute to NZ Music Legends Dragon.

If you have not been to an awards ceremony this would have been the night to go, lucky you have an opportunity to go again next year. With the calibre of our musicians their talent and hard work, if you don’t go you are literally missing out on the biggest event in NZ music!

Biggest night in NZ music attended 2011 – CHECK!

Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2012 – Attending!


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