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Parachute Review

Another New Years' flies by and brings us to what is quite possibly the busiest time of the year in the industry outside of New Zealand Music Month. We are all spoilt for the choice of talented musicians gracing our shores, and more coming out of the woodwork as exceptional local talent. This last month has brought me back to an event that with the exception of last year, has been a permanent fixture on my calendar for the last (dare I say it) 13 years.

It’s easy to fill the page with all the same old things one writes about Parachute year after year, and there’s a reason for that. Parachute is always a great place full of friendly people. Too much to do, too much to see... and for me, too hot!!! Once again the skies cleared for a blistering Anniversary weekend, with the temperature hovering around the high 20's but i swear it felt like 30+ even in the shade.

There’s no real easy way to describe Parachute without digging up everything that has been said before. Normally when you mention a 'Christian music festival', most people get totally the wrong impression. The presence of the likes of C4, The Edge, and many other mainstream media outlets getting on board is awesome and show that just because its Christian doesn’t mean it’s like your old Nan’s church. Once you break through the stereo-types and get down to the music, it’s pretty easy to get blown away at the talent on offer. Social networking sites such as Bebo now even have their own Parachute Fan sites dedicated to talking about how great people’s experiences are.

Personally the absolute highlight for me had to be the Massive Stage and its hip-hop dancers. I was getting tired watching these guys do their thing. They weren’t put off by the sweltering heat (did I mention it was hot yet?) and they showed their pure athleticism (and to be honest, made me want to learn to dance). I’m not one that has one particular taste in music, so for those not wanting the hip-hop beats there is almost every Genre available. American rockers Switchfoot on the other hand blew every one of the capacity crowd on the main stage away. They truly showed just why they are so big in the states.

A quick run down of the kiwi bands that were my highlights;

Callista - Not your average screamo band. Not too emo, they bring a fresh sound into a genre that’s way to full of depressing songs. One of my bands to watch out for in '08.

MumsDollar - I can’t speak highly enough of these guys. Their showmanship is second to none. One of the best live bands I've seen. I’m the first to admit I'm biased, but I can’t believe these guys haven’t taken over the world yet. Their opening set (1/3 sets for the weekend) on the Debut Stage showed just how much they enjoy plying their trade.

Spacifix - Great bunch of guys and talented musicians. They’re taking the chance that they have with both hands and making the most of it.

I can’t really think of much more to say about the weekend. Every year you manage to meet incredible people, see some great bands, and look forward to next year just that little bit more!!!

- Nathan

25 - 28 January 2008

With 170 bands performing on 9 different stages over 4 days, Parachute 08 promises to draw the biggest crowd in the event's history with killer international artists and speakers confirmed, the return of the Massive Stage and a whole heap of activities including the Skate Park, Crump battles, and the nations biggest ever barn dance. Whether you're 7 or 70, you don't want to miss the 17th annual Parachute Music Festival.

For more information, check out the Official Parachute 2008 Website.

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