18 Feb 2020
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Kings - Gig Review: Kings @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 24/08/2019

25 Aug 2019 // A review by Ben Ruegg
If you had told me that the ‘sold out’ Kings show at the Tuning Fork in Auckland was the last date on his very first tour, I would have probably slapped you. Why? OK. Let’s talk.

Wow.

This was, in fact, his first tour. Having spent months preparing it and rehearsing, The Auckland show was also his last date on the tour. But you could have easily assumed this was the show from a seasoned professional. Kings, of course, is a professional. His eye for detail, the way he has crafted his music, videos, images, albums and everything he does screams professionalism and hard work. It is a work ethic that our younger generation should study.

The moment the show started; it was a visual spectacle. A huge video panel was used to show video and lyrics. From the intro where Kings was seated on a golden throne, to the video clips used in Flex, Super and the huge Don’t Worry 'Bout It, the video added so much to the complete live package. Everything was perfectly timed and performed flawlessly with his spectacular band. The songs already sounded great recorded, but in this live environment with the extremely tight drum performance and killer synths to go with it, it was a newly refreshed and ultimately engaging sound. The chemistry on stage with his band was contagious. You wouldn’t help but groove or smile when the band were interacting with each other and the audience. They made us feel welcome.

Combined with the visual elements that Kings had running the entire time, this show was far from what I would expect a debut tour to be. This was a stadium show. It was a stadium show with all the energy of one but in a smaller venue. The crowd was right into it, the energy continually moving between Kings, his band and the audience.

The setlist showcased Kings repertoire and songwriting abilities. This is a guy who puts his heart and soul into everything. Flex, a recent single, translated damn well live, as did the new single Super where Kings had a little bit of a rock sound going along with it. By throwing a couple of covers in here and there, Kings performed his version of Humble by Kendrick Lamar, and it was a banger.

One of the biggest moments of the night was Don’t Worry 'Bout It which came around halfway through the set. This version felt slightly sped up but the original video played on the big screen still. The audience was now under King’s command and rightly so. The combination of the audio-visual is completely mind-blowing.During the final song of the set, 6 Figures, Kings blew the roof off the Tuning Fork by performing a little Drum n Bass remix of it at the end of it. It was the perfect way to leave the stage. Although, within a minute he was quickly encouraged to return for a few more songs from the crowd chanting for an encore.

The final song for the night was You Do You which felt very Shapeshifter inspired, and I loved that. Kings' complete set, from the RnB inspired songs, to using Dubstep, playing guitar solos and even bringing it right down low and having a more intimate song with the audience, it all showed how incredibly diverse he is as an artist. There was something for everyone and the range of age groups at the show proved that. It was an all-ages show and both the younger and older generations had a great time.

The audience was warmed up well by a DJ set from The Katayanagi Twins, whose set had the crowd getting into the right mood. Playing a short set before Kings, Unchained XL, who had a strong presence on stage really impressed me with his cadence and real, honest lyrics. At times, I thought I was watching KRS One. Great lyrics and old school hip hop that really helped to set the mood for Kings.

So yeah, if you had told me that this was his first tour after seeing what I saw tonight, I totally would have slapped you and called you a liar. It was that good. Easily one of the best live shows I have ever seen.

Photos thanks and courtesy to Gareth West from FocusedWest Photography.

 

About Kings

New Zealand born producer, rapper, singer, songwriter, Kings burst onto the music scene in 2016 with the release of his debut single Don’t Worry ‘Bout It.

The track went on to become the biggest local release that year and surpassed the record for longest #1 on the New Zealand Singles Chart, spending 33 consecutive weeks at the top. Written, recorded, mixed and mastered by Kingdon (Tuhoe, Te Arawa), like all of his music, the same went for the DIY music video, which he filmed impromptu in Fiji and then edited on the plane ride home. Don’t Worry ‘Bout It went on to sell double platinum, has had over 8 million streams and 1.5 million video views, and took home the Highest Selling New Zealand Single and Radio Airplay Record of the Year awards at the 2017 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

Kings’ followed up Don’t Worry ‘Bout It with his self-titled debut EP, which also included the singles What We Supposed To Do and Someday. Kings then cemented his big year by taking home Breakthrough Artist of The Year at the 2016 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, as well as Best Pacific Male Artist, Best Urban Artist and Best Producer at the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Kings

Releases

Smoke & Mirrors
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Two
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Chapter One
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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