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Geoff Ong - Gig Review: Geoff Ong @ Cassette Nine, Auckland - 24/07/2020

31 Jul 2020 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo

I said my bygones to the week behind me. The global climate is still heavy in the background of what we all miss doing and seeing. At least one thing we all know is universal and always growing; music! This gig set the weekend on fire with its energy. Our local Auckland artists and friends got together a fantastic line-up of talented musos for a stellar Friday night at Cassette Nine. The crew rocked us off our seats onto the dance floor; it was a night you didn’t want to miss! Celebrating the new single release of Into Into You (download here) by pop artist, songwriter and producer Geoff Ong. Geoff Ong and his band headlined, with Manuela and Max Earnshaw opening prior.

The show kicked-off at 9.10pm; the crowd welcomed Manuela; an Auckland-based pop artist and singer. Manuela is a Colombian-Kiwi songwriter with gorgeous vocals and a beckoning stage presence. She shared with us a few of her originals, showcasing her open and honest lyrics. Manuela has also collaborated with a few other artists on stage. On bass for Manuela was the legendary Mazbou Q, also known as Hugh Ozumba; NZ’s own Nigerian-Kiwi rapper, producer and all-round musician. He swooped in for a distinguishable rap verse, and then electrified the harmonies. Manuela stunned us all with her enchanting voice. Featured that night we also had Spanish covers, rap-duos, and a real selection of dance numbers. She played a collaborated song called Esta Noche that stuck out - that of hers and rapper/producer Kevin Posey, also featuring Mazbou Q.

Manuela rapped a verse of Posey’s which was an empowering and cool surprise! She nailed it! Her band is tight and performed well with Josh Johnston on drums and Luan on guitar. Another talent was singer Nia, who also featured in a few songs. Manuela performed a duet with artist George After James. This track was really special, the two harmonised brilliantly together. Particularly iconic was the song Te Vas, based on Latino drama, which Manuela played with might.

Max Earnshaw came on after Manuela. Max and his band sounded dynamic and upbeat. His songs are reminiscent of pop rock/indie rock bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, The Kooks or Harry Styles. The lads studied music together at The University of Auckland. They had a jazzy blues vibe at stages, and really drew in the crowd. I loved the indie boy band feel; it really brought me back to raw live music.

Lucky last came Geoff Ong at 11pm - at least 130 of a head count. His songs are all very catchy, have great hooks, genuine lyricism and a fun-loving aura. Ong writes, performs, mixes, and produces his own songs. He is a honed guitarist and makes clean, crafty beats. However, live, Geoff Ong’s band is another type of experience! Geoff himself is very impressionable, and he sings about genuine, personable and relatable topics; he knows how to draw in and capture an audience. The band consists of Geoff Ong on vocals, Joel Griffith on bass, Robert Picot on guitar, and Dean Rodriguez on drums.

The gig celebrated the release of Geoff’s new hit Into Into You which was played mid set. It’s a song about the thrills of a new relationship, the love and the high feelings. That night we also had well-known numbers including Fingerprints, Save Me The Weekend and All The Hours. The crowd popped-off and continued to dance as they played covers to Bruno Mars, Daft Punk, Backstreet Boys and Katy Perry. Epic drum solos and guitar solos were had, and the band had excellent delivery. What a great bunch of talented musicians!


About Geoff Ong

Geoff Ong wants to be a pop star for dorks. “I love all the sounds and melodies of pop music, but I never really felt like I was cool enough to relate to the people performing it,” he says. “I figure there must be other people out there who feel the same way – my music is for them.”

Geoff’s 2018 single, Fingerprints, a shimmering slice of soulful indie pop, was recorded in his bedroom in Kingsland, with production, mixing and mastering by Phil Levine of the illustrious Igloo Music Studios in Los Angeles, who won two Grammy Awards for their work on 2016’s box office hit, La La Land.

Fingerprints made an immediate impact, peaking at #3 on the Hot NZ Singles Chart and #25 on the overall Hot Singles Top 40 Chart. It was also featured on ZM, The Edge, The Edge TV, and Radio New Zealand.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Geoff Ong


Maybe It'll Be Alright
Year: 2020
Type: Album
The Boston EP
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Year: 2014
Type: EP
The Snorlax Mixtape
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Year: 2011
Type: EP

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