20 Aug 2019
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Summer Underground Tour @ Totara St, Mt Maunganui - 23/02/2018

24 Feb 2018 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

Venturing back into Totara St for the first rock gig of 2018, was like revisiting a familiar friend. A sense of dejavu engulfed me as I was greeted by Coridian at the door, but something was missing. As time passed and people started to gather to form a small but eager crowd, I couldn't help but notice the absence of our Nambasa Man or Barry, perhaps he was at Splore but the energetic dancing void had to be filled by someone, and I don't know if any of us apart from Dity has that kind of energy.

As the moments ticked by, we all waited eagerly for the first band Curlys Jewels from Wellington to start. Despite Andy the bass player having gall stones and medication to ease the terrible pain he must have been in, they took to the stage and kicked off a rocking start to the evening with P Whistle. Andy gave a stellar performance under the circumstances and got through the set without collapsing in a heap on the floor. That, my friends, is dedication. The band gave a good solid performance, straight forward rock n roll, with lead vocalist Janelle Pollock trying to woo the tough crowd with her charisma and smiles. I am sorry I didn't know more about Curlys Jewels music to make a clear assumption on what the playlist was, but I did send my not so under cover photographer friend out into the crowd to try and get a sneaky shot of it on stage, which he did an awesome job doing, so I know Sneaky was the last song played. These guys are doing great things out there in the NZ music world, so I am going to make it my mission to get to know their music better.

An enjoyable start that segwayed into Checaine, a melodic / progressive rock band from Hamilton. These guys appeared to be a crowd favourite, people tentatively gathering closer to the stage, and the atmosphere took on a more energetic vibe when the band launched into a dynamic and lively set starting with Moth to The Flame. Apart from trying to woo the female punters with a song dedicated to the ladies, which kind of slowed things down half a notch, they played a brilliant set which included Symbols and Time Bomb. Delivering an impressive stage presence, Fraser Coombes knows how to work a crowd and he tried his best. Checiane delivered a vigorous and clean performance. Head nodding threatening to turn to moshing at any second.

And then came Coridian. Three Ravens and a Dity from Auckland, delivering a dynamic performance on the most part. The beginning of the set didn't seem to grab the crowd's enthusiasm for hitting the dance floor for some reason with Nonetheless kicking things off, but after they had played Reflections (a personal fav), they really went to town, Dity and The Ravens' delivering a powerful, tireless and enthusiastic performance, ending with crowd favourite Blind Faith and a stunning version of Wicked Game. Vocal, fireball powerhouse is a good description of Coridian's lead singer, which I nabbed off their Facebook page, because I couldn't have said it better myself. Mike, Kris, Nick and Dity gave us a genuine high energy performance and having reviewed and photographed their work for over a year now, I have seen them add polish and extra enthusiasm to their set.

Animalhead from West Auckland finished off the night with a shred fest and Beastie Boys style vocals. High octane Rage Against the Machine sounding band that finally got the remaining crowd really trying hard to release their inner dancer. I apologise at this point to the boys, because, I was getting into the groove but had to leave a bit early due to a pesky cold, threatening a head explosion. Nobody wants that. However, I did make it through most of Animalhead's set and I must say, I was impressed. Dan Rooke on drums put on a vigorous performance not only going hell to leather on the drums but also adding to the vocals. These guys are not only entertaining but took that energy level to the next well...level.

The opinions expressed in this review are my personal opinions only (and maybe a few from those I cross-examined), and because the world is made up of many different people with many different opinions, what others experienced on the night may differ from how I have described it, and that is OK. It was another great evening down at Totara St, with awesome music and good friends. And I got out without my head exploding. You can't ask for more than that.


Review written by Corinne Rutherford

 

 

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