20 May 2024

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


Over the past twenty years, Parachute’s audience has grown from 12 hundred to 24 thousand eager Christian music supporters, and from the looks of things, there’s certainly no slowing down.  Fans from all over – including Australia, headed out to Mystery Creek in Hamilton this weekend, and I was lucky enough to be part of it on the stifling hot Saturday.

Now, when you’re part of the media, you get treated to all kinds of things that aren’t part of the norm when it comes to these kinds of festivals.  One of the things that was most enjoyable was sitting in on the press conferences through the morning to learn more about the main acts set to hit the stages in the evening.

Reporters from all around Australasia crammed into a rather balmy space to find out just what makes these bands tick, and first to tell us were rockers, all the way from San Diego – Switchfoot.  They started out in 1996, so of course by now these guys are pretty well-known and are played quite regularly on The Rock radio station right here in New Zealand.

These guys are surprisingly down to earth and like the rest of the musicians interviewed, are true believers of their faith.  The lads stick by their families and know that without such understanding from them, there is no way that they would be doing what they’re doing with their careers.

While they admit that being away and touring for months on end is tough, the reward of coming home and being able to spend three months at a time with their families is something that is deeply valued and rewarding.

If you remember my words from last year’s event you’ll recall a little crush that I have come to form over Atlanta’s very own Family Force 5.  It started with a fondness for their look, which very quickly turned into a love of their incredible crunk rock tunes and outstanding on stage performance.  The lads are extremely tight – and I don’t just mean as an act, but also in the ‘family’ sense.

Having just come back from ‘shearing sheep down the road’, the guys got into a wee discussion about their loves in life - their wives, their children, music and naturally, God – all of which work in harmony to make them who they are.

Youngsters, Leeland have received an amazing amount of much deserved praise over the past few years.  They’re incredibly down-to-earth and when asked what they would be doing if it weren’t for music, they respond that they would easily fit back into the lives they led before in their hometowns.  It’s not about fame, but singing about what they truly believe in that is most important.

For this attitude and their talent it’s pretty obvious how they have come to where they are in the world.  These guys are popular in their own right and were an absolute pleasure to watch later on in the day.

Wellington based Rapture Ruckus formed about nine years ago now, and since then has released three popular records and supported hundreds of acts throughout Europe, Africa, North America and Asia.  Front-man Brad Dring is clearly the star of the show and always puts on an effortless, but stunning live performance.

This year’s show at Parachute was no different as Dring raced around the stage jumping onto speakers and (strategically placed) metal tables.  Clearly loving every moment of it, it was just delightful to see him watching the crowd get into it, and in turn playing off that energy.  The band will be heading of to the States next, and are unsure of when they’ll be back.

Worship based musicians Leeland were next to take the Palladium stage, and after seeing these guys earlier, it was an absolute must to see what they’re all about in the musical sense.  Although I don’t know a lot about this genre, these guys are not only beautiful to listen to, but also to watch.  Mooring’s vocals are to die for and remind me a lot of the wonderful, David Kelley.

Mind you, it wasn’t just his performance that stood out, but also his brother, Jack on the keyboards who was really feelin’ it – right through to his fingertips.  Not at all focused on the audience’s reaction he just got in there and went for gold.  Eyes closed, hands in the air.  Gorgeous.

After a bit of a sit down, it was time for teen favorites, Kingston who always manage to get the crowd pumping.  To be honest, I thought that they would have pulled a larger crowd this year, but that wasn’t the case.  Still, it was a treat watching the extremely cute Dan Gibson motor around the stage and into the crowd whilst performing a bunch of radio and television favorites.

Dying to see what Vince Harder was all about (minus P Money) it was time to check him out on the main stage…and oh, what a surprise I got watching him and his crew and their neatly choreographed skills.  Wouldn’t have a clue what the tunes were, but I guess in some ways it was entertaining to see what looked a lot like the rainbows end musicians on stage.  Not my cup of tea.  Sorry Vince.

A quick trip to the Deluxe stage meant catching Trigger Theory’s set for a few songs.  I wasn’t that impressed with their music last year, but this time round it was cute!  The lads spoke about Aladdin and how they remembered it before jumping into a tune that was for ‘everyone who liked Aladdin, but liked The Lion King better’.  A cover of I Just Can’t Wait to be King, was the one.  Cute!  Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

The fantastical Family Force 5 were next to grace the main stage, and from the moment the American Football clad lads hit the stage the crowd went mental.  Taking photographs in the pit up the front, you’d think you’d be safe from it all.  But this year that was definitely not the case and I managed to get smacked in the back of my head a few times, along with getting stood on.  What the?!

These guys are well worth the injuries though, and seeing them up so close, performing with such energy is an amazing experience.  Belting out all of their hits off their first album, Business up Front, Party in the Back and Dance or Die, these guys put on a truly unforgettable show full of heavy baselines and all that good stuff that they’re so well known for.  There’s only one word for this performance, and that’s epic.

Switchfoot had a hard act to follow, which of course they did with all of the grace and charm that had been demonstrated earlier in the day.  The guys are naturals when it comes to wooing the crowd - even with their heavier tunes, and they make it pretty clear that they’re having the time of their lives while on stage.

A bunch of glow sticks had been handed out to the crowd, which looked incredible in the night sky. And what looked even more incredible was when the lads walked off stage and got yelled at for an encore performance.  Glow sticks got hurled forward at the stage creating quite the scene, before they came back to finish with radio hit, Stars.

After all that excitement it was time to finish up the day with a band who I’ve been meaning to check out for some time now – Needles & Bees.  After a wee trek to the White Elephant, we arrived to see only a handful of tunes by the band that included a wonderful surprise – Roy Irwin, who I’d also been hoping to see live at some stage.  A double treat!

The White Elephant is a low-lit intimate space, which was so lovely after such a massive day just to sit and listen to the pop-inspired tunes from the locals.  The last song we got to enjoy was Irwin’s Jackson 5 cover – I Want You Back.  From this tiny snippet, I can’t say I know what Needles & Bees are like, but I’m glad to have caught what I did!

And so comes the end of another Saturday spent at the Parachute music festival.  Escaped the sunburn brilliantly, and most importantly – escaped the rain that came down on the Sunday.  Apparently most people go along for the full event to camp out. Sucks to be them.

- Amanda Ratcliffe



For the first time since Parachute 08, Switchfoot will return to New Zealand to front the country’s largest four-day music festival.

The San Diego surfer-turned-musicians have double-platinum albums featuring singles 'Meant To Live', 'Dare You To Move' and 'Stars' – plus their music is showcased on Hollywood movies such as The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and A Walk To Remember.

Other announcements have included major headliners Underoath (US) and Hillsong United (AUS).

Grammy-nominated metalcore band Underoath hails from Florida but has a groundswell following worldwide, and is currently unleashing its sound on the Warped Tour.

Hillsong United is a Festival favourite and has become a force in global worship music – touring extensively across the continents from its Sydney church-base with a #1 Billboard Top Christian Album.

Parachute Music has previously announced that Progressive-rockers Leeland are coming downunder for one of the Southern Hemisphere's largest festivals, Parachute 2010.

Hailing from Oregon (US), Leeland has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and featured on hit TV show Army Wives.

Parachute 2010 will mark the band's first time in New Zealand.

US bands Leeland, Family Force 5, NewWorldSon and Falling Up have also been confirmed to grace New Zealand shores for the January Festival.

Family Force 5 will make a comeback after breaking onto the Mainstage at Parachute 09 with moon-walking, costume changes and electro pop-rock.

Parachute Music founding CEO Mark de Jong says, "After introducing Family Force 5 to the Parachute audience earlier this year, there has been unprecedented demand to have them return. We're excited that they'll be part of our best-ever line-up for Festival."

NewWorldSon will take to Parachute stages for the first time with an original blend of rootsy funk and gospel, and alt-rockers Falling Up are returning after wowing Parachute 07 crowds with swirling guitar rifts and a high-energy show.

Parachute 2010 will be held from January 29 through to February 1 at Hamilton's Mystery Creek.

With all headliners announced, this birthday weekend is shaping up to be the biggest Festival ever, celebrating two decades of seriously good music.

The event will feature major birthday celebrations, marking 20 years of seriously good music and the Festival's rapid growth.

Parachute Festival regularly attracts crowds of 25,000+.

Tickets are on sale now from www.iticket.co.nz.

For more information about artists and stages, please visit www.parachutemusic.com.

Parachute 2010 is proudly supported by Coke, Hamilton City Council, World Vision, C4, Life FM, The Edge and Mai FM.


Switchfoot, Underoath, Hillsong United, Leeland, Family Force 5, Falling Up, Newworldson, Parachute Band, Rapture Ruckus, Nathan King, All Left Out, Steve Apirana, Kingston, MumsDollar, Manafest, Magnify, Julia Grace, Derek Lind, Late 80's Mercedes, Bradley Hathaway, Lydia Cole, Three Houses Down, Addison, The Revs, Hoi Polloi, New Empire, The Glory Sea, Dziah 2.0, Trigger Theory, Stu Larsen, Saving Grace, Junipah, Darcy Perry Band, Citipointe Live, Ruby Frost, Presige Dance Crew, Radiator, Shooting Stars, Lauren Thomson, Lieutenant, Funk The Frisk, Chris Cope, Playjerise, Edwin Derricutt, Bright Lights, Tami Neilson, The Smart, Sienna Skies, Willet, Sunburn, Little Fire & The Funeral Choir, Great North, Alkasayians, A Kiss Goodbye, Zero T, PrimalBand, Grace Lawry, Andrea Hamilton, Andy Pulzar, Animal Magician, Atlanta Fall, Avalanche City, Best Before, Bloodsport, Chloe Bartlett, Alaska, Dan Leigh, Daybreak, Emily Jones, Erakah, Esther Melody Band, Fly By Wire, Geneva, Hikoikoi, Jocee Tuck, Joel Armstrong, John Bristow, Lastawake, Legacy Dance Crew, Lifestyle Limit, Marlon Van & DJ Easy, Molly Apirana, Mosaic, Nazarite Vow, Needles And Bees, Original Liberty, Penny J, Phil Austen & The Bayonets, Rachel Hope & The Music Box, Polaroids, Raise The Alarm, Rosita Vai, Ryan & Friends, Same Old Story, Season Pass, Steven Naea, Tim Richards, Seven Steady Sleeptalkers, Sleepy Jean, Stonemason Fusion and Cultural Group Mission Choir.

Speakers: Mike Pilavachi, Paul De Jong and Matt Fielder.




Hillsong United


Family Force 5


Falling Up

Rapture Ruckus

Go to www.parachutemusic.com for all other bios.


Official Website
Facebook Page
Bebo Page
Twitter Page
MySpace Page
Festival Listing


NZ Top 10 Singles

    Tommy Richman
    Post Malone feat. Morgan Wallen
    Kendrick Lamar
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Benson Boone
    Taylor Swift feat. Post Malone
    Teddy Swims
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