23 Feb 2019
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Festival Review: Auckland City Limits 2018

08 Mar 2018 // A review by Paul Goddard
Here we go again. It's a stunning day and the rain has held off. It's also early as I enter Western Springs armed with more wristbands and laminates than should ever be needed for a festival. Immediately I am told to load up one of the wristbands with some $$ as it is a cashless site. OK, makes sense if it works and guess what? It works very well. Easy to use, no queues and an instant cash refund if you have any $$ left on your tag. 

Off to one of the many bars and I must admit that I was disappointed with a choice of either 2.5% proof beer or normal strength Cider. Off I go exploring and find a bar that sells some normal strength beer (the queues for this one got too big by mid-afternoon) I understand that organisers of these events want people to drink responsibly and it is a condition of the licensing laws, but I would have preferred it if the customer had the choice (and took responsibility) rather than just being given limited options. 

OK, so loaded (not) with my purple festival mug. I head to the main stage to catch an early set from Alien Weaponry. I have seen these guys a few times before and to be honest I could never get past the novelty factor. Last time I saw them the metal inflected between song banter just cracked me up. Today though something has broken. Their voices!! Finally, it all makes sense, yes, they are still very young, but the set is polished, and they do a great job of warming up what is a decent crowd for an opening act. They do seem to get a little lacklustre mid-set but get fired back up again after the power goes out to the guitar amp - the final three songs are a great example of some original metal and it's clear Alien Weaponry have a bright and twisted future. 

Next up is Head Like a Hole. Local legends, they were always going to pull a decent crowd and they didn't disappoint. Their fucked up punked up West Coast Bogan Rock n Roll assault kept the juices flowing. It was my first Head Like a Hole experience, and whilst I thought they would go down much better in a sweaty bar, they clearly enjoyed themselves as did the few hundred people watching. 

I wander over to the smaller stages and catch the tail end of the Staves set. To be honest I wish I had got there sooner. Reading their bio, I thought it was going to be a bit dull, but the harmonies were spellbinding, and they have some tunes. Perfect music for a sunny Saturday afternoon.

When it comes to perfect music for a sunny day you can't beat the reggae blast as Katchafire take the stage. The venue is filling, and the vibe is tripped out, blissed out and the crowd is dancing. There appear to be about 15 musicians on stage as Katachafire show why they are as good as any band in their genre anywhere in the world. Multi-talented, multi-instrumental, with a multitude of vocalists. Perfection. 

I was told to check out Car Seat Headrest and I am so glad I did. They look like a bunch of dorky teenagers but come across like The Strokes crashing into Pulp. They were great to watch, moving all over the stage and kept the perfect pop vibe rolling on.  That was about to change as my favourite act of the day stroll onto the stage all looking as battered as their clothing. The Libertines aren't renowned for playing the tightest set of songs and even though it's only 4.30 pm they seem like they have been partying for a few hours already. They crash through a set of songs mainly from their debut album Up the Bracket. Pete is happy and sloppy, Karl is having a great time. The friction between the pair has been replaced with duelling guitars and a, "we don't give a fuck" attitude. Who knows how long The Libertines will last? It doesn't matter, they are all about living in the moment. 

Compared to The Libertines, The D4 are tight. They look lean and mean and are still as vital now as they were 15 years ago. They blast through a flawless set that brought back some great memories and also won over a few new converts. Let's hope the reunion wasn't just for these shows. As the sun sets The D4 come out shining. 

Grace Jones doesn't play my style of music, but I wanted to take a look and so did most of the people in Western Springs! Why the hell was she on one of the smaller side stages? It was clear she was going to be a big draw and people were straining to get a view. By far the biggest crowd of the day, she kept us waiting 30 mins, but it was worth it. Her voice soared above everything, she was slightly unhinged, carrying on vocals in between songs, chastising the band for getting impatient and starting a song without her. This is all part of the Grace Jones magic. I remember watching her as a kid and she scared me. She has not lost any of that fire and creativity and was a highlight. 

I make one final trek to the main stage to catch Beck and was unfortunate enough to be subjected to 15 mins of Justice. Honestly, I just don't get it. The stack of Marshall speakers was an added insult to any musician watching. Justice dampened my mood and to be honest, Beck just didn't manage to live up to the hype. He was battling with the sound coming from one of the other stages, and whilst songs like Loser were a highlight I found myself, drifting away. 

Overall ACL 2018 was a success, we need a festival like this, long may it continue. 


Review written by Paul Goddard
 

Other Reviews By Paul Goddard

Gig Review: The Prodigy @ Trust Arena, Auckland - 5/02/2019
06 Feb 2019 // by Paul Goddard
As I walk into the huge hall at Trust Arena a few hundred people are moving front of stage to what I initially thought was just music through the PA. Nope it is Enschway.
Read More...
Gig Review: Lily Allen with Bene @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 2/02/2019
03 Feb 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Hailing from Grey Lynn and still a teenager I am guessing the nerves were pumping before Bene took the stage at Spark Arena tonight. Making the shift from small venues like Neck of the Woods to this huge hanger is a daunting task but tonight you wouldn't have thought so.
Read More...
A.U.R.A - Single/Video Review: Who Decides?
02 Feb 2019 // by Paul Goddard
I rarely get the opportunity to describe a piece of music as beautiful. My preference is dark, twisted, loud, abrasive noise that would most often be described as brutal.
Read More...
Papercity - Single Review: Plastic
02 Feb 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Papercity have been coming up through the ranks for a while now following the well trodden path of Rockquest a few years back. They have matured a lot since 2013 single Time Will Find You and their new single Plastic is pure pop and catchy as hell.
Read More...
Gig Review: Jon Toogood @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 31/01/2019
01 Feb 2019 // by Paul Goddard
It’s pretty apt that Jon Toogood is playing at Anthology Lounge. Kind of sums up the whole vibe of his acoustic tour.
Read More...
Gig Review: Florence and The Machine @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 30/01/2019
31 Jan 2019 // by Paul Goddard
I caught the tail end of Yellow Days set at Laneway so was pleased to see a full performance at Auckland's Spark Arena tonight. The sunlight was replaced by stage light and the first thing that comes across is that mellow, baritone of a voice.
Read More...
Festival Review: St Jerome's Laneway Festival 2019 @ Albert Park, Auckland - 28/01/2019
29 Jan 2019 // by Paul Goddard
The grey cloudy humid wet morning opened up into blue skies as I walked up the hill to Albert Park. Thanks to non-existent Auckland transport I did miss seeing Miss June (pictured).
Read More...
Gig Review: Idles with Miss June @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 20/01/2019
21 Jan 2019 // by Paul Goddard
I first came across Idles around 6 months ago. A good friend of mine in the UK posted something on Facebook along the lines of “I have come late to the Idles party but fucking hell....
Read More...
View All Articles By Paul Goddard

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • 7 RINGS
    Ariana Grande
  • BREAK UP WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND, I'M BORED
    Ariana Grande
  • BURY A FRIEND
    Billie Eilish
  • WOW.
    Post Malone
  • SUNFLOWER
    Post Malone And Swae Lee
  • THANK U, NEXT
    Ariana Grande
  • WITHOUT ME
    Halsey
  • SWEET BUT PSYCHO
    Ava Max
  • SHALLOW
    Lady Gaga And Bradley Cooper
  • DANCING WITH A STRANGER
    Sam Smith And Normani
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem