24 Jun 2021
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Six60 - Gig Review: Six60 @ Western Springs, Auckland - 22/02/2020

24 Feb 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg

"We are the mighty, mighty Six60", proclaims Maitu Walters, lead singer of Six60. And he is in right to say so. Not once, but twice, Six60 have managed to sell out Western Springs stadium, twice; a feat that no other New Zealand band can mark down on their CV or list of achievements. And now having been witness to one of their live shows, you really understand why this is.

After being treated to the likes of Mitch James (pictured), who had a stripped down band but a massive sound (and a killer lead guitarist), alongside Ocean Alley and Soraya with guests, the crowd was anticipating the return of Six60 to the stage. Mitch had the crowd clapping, singing and dancing with a short set of his hits that all resonated with the audience that slowly grew during the early evening. Ocean Alley had a tight sound, showcasing a selection of hits that again the crowd all knew. By this time, the stadium was becoming more sardine can like, and less free flowing. I was located in front of the sound tent as I know this would be the best sound.

Before Six60 appeared, little videos showed the members getting ready for the show and eventually the stadium went dark and the numbers 6:60 appeared on the gigantic screen at the centre of the stage. Ticking down, music everyone knew blasted through and the audience, now almost at capacity, sung together in unison to songs past from the likes of Bob Marley and Nelly, just to name a few.

But then, like magic, the stage began to light up with some eye dazzling lights and Six60 walked out across the top behind the drum kit and stood there against a black and white, almost TV static image. It was awesome. This is a band that has grown from their own passion from music. From their humble beginnings to performing at Western Springs, they stood there and embraced a crowd of fans that have come along on this journey with them.

Through the night, the band took the stage and owned it, moving around, fully interacting with each other and the crowd, creating a sense of 'whanau', as Maitu mentioned. Starting with Never Enough, a massive track that slowly builds up. One thing is for certain; Six60's craft of songwriting has grown so much from their earlier days. Boasting huge hits that the entire audience got into was humbling to me. It was a beautiful sight and sound to hear everyone getting behind the group.

Hit after hit, the stage was lighting up, at times showing the lyrics for us to sing, like in Vibes. The production value of this show was huge. It truly felt like a huge international act had arrived at Western Springs.

After the track Ghosts, Maitu had disappeared and was found above the sound tent singing to the rest of the crowd. With just an electric guitar and a mic, he went on to sing a few softer and acoustic style songs. This allowed a more intimate moment, even singing 10 Guitars for us all to sing; memories from our childhood at primary school.

After the show picked up again with Rivers and Long Gone, the highlight of the night was their version of Don't Forget Your Roots. Half way through the track, the stage adjusted and looked like a Marae followed by a kapa haka. Singing the rest in Te Reo was incredible. It sounded to me like the audience sung this version louder than what had been sung along to before. Including a haka in the middle of this performance was completely breath taking. We all felt that strong sense of pride in being a New Zealander, something Maitu spoke about before breaking into the track.

Finishing with Forever before thanking the crowd and heading off stage, the whole show was a perfect example of what a big stadium show should be like. It was the right combination of video footage and lightning.

Of course, they were not finished, the crowd demanding more. Returning to perform Don't Give It Up, and then inviting Israel Adesanya onto the stage with his UFC belt to perform The Greatest, Six60 finished the show with a lot of force.

I've been to a lot of shows but there really was something so special and sincere about this one. The band looked like they were having the time of their life (special mention to Chris Mac!) and yet they all remained so humble and grateful. It was pure bliss for us kiwi's in attendance. This is how we support each other and New Zealand music.

"We are the mighty, mighty Six60".

Yes. Yes, you are.


Photos courtesy of Chris Zwaagdyk/Zed Pics.

 

About Six60

Bonding over a shared love of NZ music and passion for making their own, Six60 formed after meeting at a Kora concert in 2006. Three members flatted together as Otago Uni students, spending countless hours in their recording studio (Eli's room) at number 660 on notorious Castle St.

The Six60 sound is unique - a fresh Kiwi fusion of roots, reggae, hip hop, dubstep, and drum and bass.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Six60

Releases

Six60
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Six60
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Six60
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Six60
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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