I will admit that it took me a while to jump on the Broods bandwagon but now that I’m on it, it’s zooming along at 1000 kilometres per hour and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. I was able to catch their set at Auckland City Limits earlier in the year but, ashamedly, watched the entire thing quite nonchalantly from the very back.
Last night was a different story.
Despite turning up after the doors opened, I ambled inside and managed to secure myself a third row spot in the middle which I managed to keep the entire night. The venue was set up so that the stage was in the middle of the floor, meaning that there was only half the capacity of a usual Vector gig. To me, this was the perfect set up because it had a much more intimate vibe than usual and I was really freaking excited about it.
Broods were supported by two other New Zealand acts – October and Thomston – making it a full kiwi lineup. Whilst most of the crowd remained unphased by October, I couldn’t help but bop along to her electro beats and stare in amazement at her sweet leather pants and cool confidence. She won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but she certainly has a whole lot of talent in her and for a small act from Blenheim, to be sharing a stage with Broods, she must be doing something right.
Thomston received a much warmer welcome from the crowd, with many around me singing almost every word along with him. As someone that had never heard his music before, I was instantly reminded of Troye Sivan – whether that was because of the type of tunes he was playing or just the angelic sounds coming from his mouth, I’m not sure. Without a doubt, though, he was the perfect main support for Broods, getting everyone warmed up nicely for the band they were there to see. Including myself.
Flailing drunken crowd members aside, the next hour and a half was flawless. I would even go as far as to say heavenly. Cathartic. Magical. I have fallen in love with Broods over the past couple of weeks since their second album – Conscious – was released but this show just took it to an entirely new level. Seeing the tracks I love performed live always forces me to see them in a new light but I have never experienced it in this capacity before. The emotions were pouring out of me like Niagara Falls and if there was a point during the show where I stopped crying then I honestly cannot remember it.
Georgia came onto the stage to deafening screams. Wearing a black catsuit with tassels flying as she spun around, she used up every bit of space that was available to her. With bright blonde hair she reminds me of a shooting star and as cheesy as it may sound, I felt like at that moment, any wish I had would be granted. The first part ended with one of my favourite tracks on Conscious – Freak of Nature. It was preceded by Georgia telling the crowd the a percentage of the proceeds from ticket sales were being donated to the charity Key to Life, whose aim is to raise awareness for and support those with mental illnesses.
“This is for anyone who’s had to deal with that.”
What followed was the most intense and emotional live performance I have ever seen. It was clear that the lyrics really resonated with her and as the final notes ended and Georgia fell to the floor in tears, so too did I. The passion that was put into those few minutes will forever remain unparalleled. I can’t and won’t ever forget it. I can absolutely pin point this as the exact moment I fell irrevocably in love with Broods.
Following this, Caleb came down from his spot at the back of the stage. First and foremost he comforted his sister and then he sat down on one of the two stools provided for an acoustic part of the set. After a beautiful rendition of All of Your Glory, Georgia announced that “we have a surprise for you, Auckland!” and on walks Australian singer/songwriter Jarryd James. She proclaimed that he has the most beautiful voice in the world and, as he accompanied Georgia and Caleb on their recent collaboration – 1000x – we needed no more convincing.
After the much needed emotional and physical rest, the pace picked up again with Recovery – an obvious crowd favourite that incited dancing of the best kind. Georgia and Caleb had quickly changed from black clothing to white and re-entered the stage with a whole new energy. After a quick introduction of the rest of the band that “haven’t been running around the stage pretending they can dance”, they launched into eight more phenomenal tracks. It was at this point that the audience really started to lose their inhibitions and I was absolutely loving it. With songs that filled me with love, hope, and strength, I was on top of the world. My arms were above my head without me really remembering how they got there and it truly seemed as though everyone around me felt the same. This feeling reached its climax during Free – the last song before the encore and I was able to scream the lyrics at anyone that had ever hurt me. I don’t doubt for one moment that the rest of the crowd was doing the same.
The encore consisted of three songs: Four Walls, Bridges, and Couldn’t Believe, and whilst we were definitely stoked that they were back for more, I’m sure that as the last notes were played, most were wishing that Broods could go on all night. As the sparkly sea of cell phone lights emerged, Georgia’s face lit up just as brightly and she proclaimed “I love you guys!”. Nothing beats seeing a band in their home country and this night made it clear that nothing beats playing there, either.
The evening was a glorious mix of old and new tracks (“When I say old, I mean like 2 years. I’m so young I’m sorry.”), with every song off Conscious besides Worth The Fight gracing the setlist. I left with a new found understanding of what this band stands for and an elevated appreciation for their art. There is no way that this will have been the last time I attend one of their shows.
Hold the Line
Never Gonna Change
Freak of Nature
All of Your Glory
1000x (with Jarryd James)
Sleep Baby Sleep
Are You Home?
We Had Everything
Full Blown Love
Mother & Father
You can buy Conscious now, available on CD, vinyl, and most digital media and streaming services.
Tickets for the Dunedin show on July 18th still available here.