26 Oct 2020
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L.A.B. - Gig Review: L.A.B. @ Black Barn, Hawke's Bay - 22/12/2019

11 Jan 2020 // A review by Ria Loveder

The weather leading to Sunday 22nd of December was unreliably sprinkled with a little bit of unpredictability. Luckily for the people that flocked to the gorgeous Black Barn Amphitheatre in the Hawke’s Bay to the sold-out L.A.B. concert, the day proved to be filled with sunshine and there was not a grey cloud in the sky.

I am a huge fan of L.A.B. and discovered them when they performed as part of the opening line up for John Butler Trio in March 2018. Since then, their sultry, groovy, electric-funk-rock fusion sound has made L.A.B. a New Zealand favourite, taking on the Kiwi music scene by storm and become a summer roadie essential. L.A.B. has become one of my favourite bands and I was excited and proud that they had their own headlining gig in good ol’ Hawke’s Bay.

With Tomorrow People and House Of Shem creating the opening vibes, getting the audience warmed up with upbeat tunes and fantastic vocals by the time they were finished, everyone was raring and ready for the boys from L.A.B. to grace the stage.

The energy was palpable as soon as they came on opening with She’s Gone, an instant crowd pleaser and one to make any audience member get up and grooving. Songs from the new album as well as old were played showing variance in their set list, however, I was dismayed to not hear the lyrics from Jimmy Boy being echoed back between Joel and the audience this time round but hey, you can’t get all your favourites played right?

The energy that was delivered from L.A.B. was matched by the audience and one lady was lucky enough to be brought up onto the stage to dance with them! I may have been in the front line slap bang in the middle but obviously my moves need to be improved on if I am going to be lucky enough to win a spot on stage next time… Here’s hoping!

L.A.B. is one of those bands whose performances you remember for a long time afterwards. Incredibly talented, fantastic performers and engaging artists, L.A.B. is bursting with entertainment qualities that will leave a lasting impression way after they have taken their final bow and the lights go down. You may call me biased but L.A.B.’s gigs and particularly this one at Black Barn was a powerhouse of energy and revelry making strangers into friends, dancing the night away at the foothills of Te Mata Peak.

 

About L.A.B.

The pedigree and musicianship of L.A.B. is undeniable.

L.A.B. was founded by the legendary Kora brothers Brad (drums) and Stu (guitar, keys) and quickly engaged the extraordinary talent of Joel Shadbolt on lead vocals & guitar and Ara Adams-Tamatea from the mighty Katchafire on bass.

The L.A.B. sound is one which has seen them quickly become a fan favourite on the New Zealand live circuit – trademark Kora grooves combining with Adams-Tamatea’s reggae/dub experience, and Shadbolt’s blues roots to create a sound entirely their own. Each member brings their own individual styles to the table, and the result is an eclectic mix of reggae, electronic, blues, funk, and reggae, even heading into country at points.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for L.A.B.

Releases

L.A.B. III
Year: 2019
Type: Album
L.A.B. II
Year: 2018
Type: Album
L.A.B.
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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